January 30: Happy Birthday Christian Bale and Olivia Colman


Our headliners today were both born on this date in 1974 and are celebrating their 44th birthdays.

Christian Bale began acting in commercials in the early 1980s and made his West End debut in a production of Larry Shue’s The Nerd in 1984.  His film debut came a few years later, and his second feature role, as the juvenile lead in Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun, was highly praised.  As a teen and twenty-something, he appeared in a number of literary adaptations—Branagh’s Henry V, Little Women, The Portrait of a Lady.  Early in the 2000s, Bale began to establish himself as a leading man in films like American Psycho, Equilibrium, and The Machinist.

Bale’s public profile was raised considerably when he was cast in the title role of Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, and returned to the role for the remainder of the Dark Knight trilogy.  He won an enormous list of Best Supporting Actor honors, including an Oscar and a Golden Globe, as Dicky Eklund in David O. Russell’s The Fighter.  He has been nominated for two additional Oscars, for American Hustle and The Big Short.  He has starred in films like the remake of 3:10 to Yuma, Public Enemies (as Melvin Purvis), and last year’s Hostiles, and will play US Vice President Dick Cheney (himself a January 30 birthday celebrant) in the upcoming Backseat.

Olivia Colman studied at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in the late 1990s and began working in British television at the start of the 2000s.  She first became known for her work with the duo of Mitchell and Webb, on several of their projects.  She has won three BAFTA Television awards, for her roles on Twenty Twelve, Accused, and Broadchurch.  American audiences may know her best for her Golden Globe winning role as Angela Burr on The Night Manager.

By the end of this year, Colman will have played three Queens of England on screen.  She played Queen Elizabeth (the wife of King George VI) in 2012’s Hyde Park on the Hudson, and later this year will appear as Queen Anne in The Favourite and take over the role of Queen Elizabeth II on The Crown.  Her film roles have included a supporting part in Hot Fuzz, playing Margaret Thatcher’s daughter in The Iron Lady, and Hildegarde Schmidt in last year’s Murder on the Orient Express.

Ann Dowd, who has been working in film and television for over 30 years, turns 62 today.  She won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama as Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid’s TaleJake Thomas, who is 28, is best know for his work as a child actor, as Matt McGuire on Lizzie McGuire, and in a supporting role in A.I. Artificial IntelligenceSteven Zaillian, who is 65 today, won an Oscar for the screenplay for Schindler’s List, and has been nominated for three additional screenwriting Oscars, most recently for Moneyball.  He has also directed and written films like Searching for Bobby Fischer and the 2006 remake of All the King’s Men.

A year ago today, our headliners were Gene Hackman and Vanessa Redgrave.

Gene Hackman remains retired from acting as he turns 88.  Vanessa Redgrave, who turns 81, costarred in Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, released in the US in December, and directed the documentary Sea Sorrow.

Norbert Leo Butz, who turns 51 today, will return to Broadway this spring as Alfred P. Doolittle in a revival of My Fair LadyWilmer Valderrama, who celebrates his 38th, is now a regular on NCIS, and will voice Prince Charming in the upcoming animated feature Charming.  Also 38 is Lena Hall, who starred in the off-Broadway production of Sarah Ruhl’s new play, How to Transcend a Happy MarriageDanielle Campbell, who is 23, continues to make guest appearances as Davina Claire on The Originals, and starred in the teen comedy F the PromKylie Bunbury, who will appear in the upcoming Game Night, turns 29.  Eiza González, who is celebrating her 28th, costarred in last year’s Baby Driver and will appear in Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel.  Rapper and actor Kid Cudi, who is 34, appeared in the features Vincent n Roxxy and Killing Hasselhoff.

Dorothy Malone (1924-2018) would have turned 94 today; she died earlier this month in Dallas, TX.

If today is your birthday, congratulations on sharing your big day with these notable names.  Birthday wishes to everyone celebrating a big day today.  Come back tomorrow for more celebrity birthdays.


Posted on January 30, 2018, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Gene Hackman. I could sing his praises all day long. As Superman: The Movie remains to this day my all-time favorite superhero movie, Gene remains my quintessential Lex Luther. Honestly, in my humble opinion after 40 years no one has even challenged him yet on screen.

    Speaking of favorites, I absolutely love Unforgiven. Everybody has their personal favorites, but for my money I think Unforgiven is the best western ever made. That’s debatable of course, but consider that in the quarter century since Eastwood has never approached the western genre since, despite being quite prolific as a director. I think that speaks volumes.

    Lastly, I wanted to give a nod to what I think is an underrated gem in Gene’s filmography: Heartbreakers, from 2001 which also starred Sigourney Weaver, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ray Liotta and Jason Lee. Look, I’m not saying it’s a great film, but as a comedy it does have its charms – comedy being subjective of course.


  2. Olivia Colman is superb, and equally good at both comedy and serious drama (a BAFTA for each in 2013, . It’s interesting that in the “best of their generation” conversations about actors, it’s only ever the men who get talked about; if women were included, I suspect she’d nail it. And also get much bigger roles. Worth watching ‘Tyrannosaur’, if you’ve not already seen it. And the sitcom ‘Rev’ if available.

    Christian Bale always strikes me as underrated, but I have no idea how that would happen. Is it just that I’m overrating him?


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