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January 31: Happy Birthday Justin Timberlake and Jackie Robinson

0131TimberlakeRobinson

Justin Timberlake celebrates his 37th birthday today.  He is the sixth headliner in this series to have made a debut on the early 1990s revival of The Mickey Mouse Club (along with Christina Aguilera, J.C. Chasez, Ryan Gosling, Keri Russell, and Britney Spears).  He then went on to further fame as the youngest member of the boy band NSYNC, serving as one of the band’s two lead singers.  In 2002, following NSYNC’s dissolution, Timberlake embarked on a solo career, releasing his first solo album, Justified, and winning Gramys for both the album and its biggest hit single.

Timberlake has released three additional studio albums since Justified, all of which reached #1.  He began working regularly in film around 2005, and has had significant roles in films like Alpha Dog, Southland Tales, The Social Network, and last year’s Wonder Wheel.  He has had several voice acting roles, including in Trolls, for which he also produced the soundtrack and wrote the song “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” which won him his tenth Grammy.  His fifth studio album, Man of the Woods, comes out this Friday, and he will be the headliner of the Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday.

Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson (1919-1972) was born in Georgia but moved with his family to Southern California when he was very young.  A star in several sports at Pasadena City College and then UCLA (where, ironically, baseball was his “worst” sport), he then served in the Army in World War II and played briefly for the Kansas City Monarchs, a Negro League baseball team.  In the summer of 1945, Brooklyn Dodgers president and general manager Branch Rickey, who was committed to breaking down baseball’s color line (in place since about 1880), signed Robinson to a contract to play for the Dodger’s AAA minor league affiliate.  After Robinson played the 1946 season in the minors, the Dodgers called him up to the majors to begin the 1947 season, and on April 15 of that year, Robinson became the first African-American to play major league baseball in nearly seventy years.

Robinson went on to a terrific major league career, making six All-Star games and leading the Dodgers to six National League pennants and a World Series title in 1955 before retiring after the 1956 season.  He went on to be active in civil rights movement and in politics for many years before his death in 1972.  He has been the subject of a number of stage and screen productions over the years, including the feature film 42, which starred Chadwick Boseman as Robinson, and Ken Burns’s PBS documentary Jackie Robinson.

English actress Amy Jackson, who is 27, works mostly in Indian cinema, where she has been a Filmfare Award nominee; she also plays the recurring character of Imra Ardeen/Saturn Girl on SupergirlKelly Lynch, who is turning 59, became known in the late eighties for films like Road House and Drugstore Cowboy, and currently appears on Mr. Mercedes as Deborah Hartsfield.  Comedian and actor Paul Scheer is 42 today.  He starred on FX’s The League, and created and starred on the Children’s Hospital spinoff NTSF:SD:SUV.

James Franciscus (1934-1991) was a familiar face on television from the late 1950s to the early 1970s, starring in a number of crime dramas such as The Naked City and LongstreetJoanne Dru (1922-1996) had a decent run as a leading lady beginning in the late 1940s, in classic Westerns like Red River and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, and the film adaptation of Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men.

Last year’s January 31 headliners were Kerry Washington and Carol Channing.

Kerry Washington, who continues to star as Olivia Pope on Scandal, is turning 41 today.  She will also appear as Olivia Pope in a crossover episode of How to Get Away with Murder, and was a voice actor in Cars 3Carol Channing, who is 97, has been retired from acting for a number of years.

Minnie Driver, who celebrates her 48th, is currently starring on ABC’s Speechless, now in its second season, and appeared last year in the features The Crash and The Wilde WeddingPortia de Rossi is 45; her character of Elizabeth North was killed off during the sixth season of ScandalJonathan Banks, who is 71, was nominated for his fifth Emmy for the latest season of Better Call SaulAnthony LaPaglia, who starred in last year’s Annabelle: Creation and on the Canadian miniseries Bad Blood, is 59 today.  Jessica Walter, who turns 77, appeared in last year’s Undercover Grandpa.

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.

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Posted on January 31, 2018, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. At the height of the boy band craze, NSYNC and Britney Spears came to the movie theater I was working at. I forget what they saw. We had to walk them in through the exits to avoid a mob scene. At the time, Timberlake and Spears were rumored to be dating but officially denying it. The ushers said they spent the entire movie making out in the back row.

    Two Bluths in one day! Hazzah!

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  2. There must have been some pretty good talent scouts involved in casting for that early nineties Mickey Mouse Club—the number of cast members to go on to extremely successful careers is pretty amazing.

    I am just old enough to be conscious of how iconic a figure Jackie Robinson was in his time. In my case, the fact that I went to UCLA for grad school (where the baseball team plays in Jackie Robinson Stadium) probably raised my consciousness a bit.

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  3. great story. Did they say something?

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    • No. They weren’t rude or anything, but they didn’t really interact with anybody either. They were in town for a concert and just wanted a normal night out. So we told our staff to respect their privacy. I believe Sisqo was also there that night. It was right when Thong Song was a big hit. He was a little more out-going than Britney and NSYNC in terms of talking to the employees. He actually came out to the lobby for concessions and talked to some fans. Everyone else snuck in and out very quietly which was really in everyone’s best interests. We had security, but it was just a few off duty cops.

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