February 6: Happy Birthday Alice Eve and Francois Truffaut
Today is Alice Eve’s 36th birthday. Her parents, Trevor Eve and Sharon Maughan, are well known to English theater and television audiences (Trevor Eve is a two-time Olivier Award winner). She made her film and television debuts in 2004, and in 2006 had a mini-breakthrough, with good roles in the romantic comedy Starter for 10 and the black comedy/crime film Big Nothing. American audiences are most likely to know her for her roles in Men in Black 3 and Star Trek Into Darkness (as Carol Marcus). She has appeared in romantic comedies like She’s Out of My League and The Decoy Bride, and this blog took notice of her starring role in Neil LaBute’s Dirty Weekend. One of her best performances was in the indie film noir Cold Comes the Night.
Eve has several movies coming out in the near future. She will be featured in the heist comedy The Brits Are Coming and stars in the sci-fi thriller Replicas with Keanu Reeves. She also costars with Dakota Fanning in the recently released Please Stand By.
François Truffaut (1932-1984) was a film lover from an early age; as a boy he would cut school and sneak into theaters to see movies. In his teens, he met the film critic André Bazin, who a few years later hired Truffaut to write for Cahiers du Cinéma. One of Truffaut’s contributions to the journal was his article “A Certain Tendency of the French Cinema,” one of the key sources of the auteur theory of film analysis, which posits that a film’s director should be considered the “author” of the film. In 1959, Truffaut turned from writing about film to directing, making his debut with the first of several films featuring a character often seen as his cinematic alter ego.
The 400 Blows won Truffaut the Best Director honor at Cannes, and is one of the films that is seen as launching the French New Wave (Truffaut also made some early contributions to the screenplay for another key New Wave film, Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless). In addition to four additional films in the Antoine Doinel series, Truffaut is known for the crime drama Shoot the Piano Player and the romantic drama Jules and Jim. His 1973 film Day for Night won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film, while The Last Metro, from 1980, won him Cesars for Best Film, Best Director, and Best Writing. Many will also remember him for an acting role, as the scientist Claude Lacombe in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Charlie Heaton, who turns 24 today, is a regular on Netflix’s Stranger Things, and is scheduled to play Sam Guthrie/Cannonball in the upcoming The New Mutants. Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev turns 54 today. His Leviathan, from 2014, was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, and his Loveless received the Jury Prize last year at Cannes. Anna Diop, who was a regular on the short-lived 24: Legacy and will play Koriand’r/Starfire on the upcoming Titans, is turning 30. Australian actor Ben Lawson, who celebrates his 38th, is a regular on season 2 of Designated Survivor and will also appear in the 2nd season of 13 Reasons Why.
Mary Leakey (1913-1996) was one of the leading anthropologists of the 20th century. Along with her husband, Louis, and later her son, Richard, she supervised the excavation program at Olduvai Gorge, in Tanzania, which discovered some of the most important fossils of ancestors to modern humans.
One year ago on this date was the first time that the birthday series featured two headliners who are no longer with us, a pair of moderately famous people named Bob Marley and Babe Ruth.
Mike Farrell is 79 today; his most recent appearance was in an episode of season 2 of American Crime Story. Kathy Najimy, who has been seen recently in recurring roles on Veep and Younger, is turning 61. Jim Sheridan, who is turning 69, directed the short film The Eleventh Hour, and is reportedly at work on a film about the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. Dane DeHaan, who is turning 32, starred in Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets as the title character, and also in the historical drama Tulip Fever. Crystal Reed, who is 33 today, is now a regular on Gotham as Sofia Falcone. Axl Rose, who continues to front Guns N’ Roses as they continue on their Not in This Lifetime… tour, is 56 today.
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.