Christina Ricci celebrates her 38th birthday today. She first attracted notice acting in an elementary school play at 8 years of age; two years later she made her feature film debut in Mermaids, as the younger sister of Winona Ryder’s character. During much of the 1990s she was a well-known juvenile and teenage actress, starring in the big-screen adaptation of Casper the Friendly Ghost and in a remake of That Darn Cat, and appearing in an ensemble cast in Now and Then, sometimes considered a distaff counterpart to Stand by Me. She also played Wednesday Addams in the two Addams Family feature films.
During the late 1990s, Ricci began transitioning to more mature roles, in films like Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm and Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow. She also costarred opposite Charlize Theron in Monster, and later in the 2000s played Trixie in the Wachowski’s adaptation of Speed Racer. While she never emerged as a major star, she has continued to work steadily; in the past couple of years she was in the ensemble cast of Mothers and Daughters, and starred as Zelda Fitzgerald on Amazon Studios’ Z: The Beginning of Everything.
Kim Novak is turning 85. While attending Wright Junior College in Chicago, she was hired as a model by a refrigerator company, appearing at trade shows across the US; this led to a couple of roles as an extra in films, and then a contract with Columbia. Her first credited role was in the 1954 film noir Pushover, and later that year she starred in a rom-com titled Phffft, and was awarded a Golden Globe as the Most Promising Newcomer of the year. A year later she appeared in two of her most famous films, starring with William Holden in Picnic and Frank Sinatra in The Man with the Golden Arm. In 1957 she rejoined Sinatra in a film adaptation of the musical Pal Joey, and a year later made another of her best-known films.
After Vertigo, Novak starred in films like Bell, Book and Candle, a romantic comedy that re-teamed her with James Stewart, and in an adaptation of Paddy Chayefsky’s play Middle of the Night, a film the actress often described as her favorite role. But by the early sixties, Novak was beginning to sour on working in Hollywood. When she lost her Bel Air home in 1966 to a mudslide, she took the opportunity to distance herself from the industry. She worked intermittently for the next 25 years, in films like The Legend of Lylah Claire and The Mirror Crack’d, and in several episodes of the sixth season of Falcon Crest, before bowing out of the industry entirely after the 1991 film Liebestraum.
February 12 birthdays also include voice actress Tara Strong (née Charendoff) who celebrated her 45th. She is known for voice roles such as Timmy Turner, Poof and many more on The Fairly Oddparents, Bubbles on The Powerpuff Girls, and Twilight Sparkle on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Australian actor Angus Sampson, who appeared as Tucker in several of the Insidious films and the Organic Mechanic in Mad Max: Fury Road, turned 39.
One major historical birthday omitted from last year’s article was Cotton Mather (1663-1728), a New England Puritan minister remembered today for his association with the Salem Witch Trials, but also for his advocacy of smallpox inoculation to prevent the spread of that dread disease.
Other February 13 birthdays include Richard Tyson, who turns 57; Tyson is known for playing villains in films like Three O’Clock High and Kindergarten Cop, and for appearing in several of the Farrelly Brothers’ films. Carol Lynley, who like Kim Novak once won the Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer, is 76; she starred in films like Return to Peyton Place and Bunny Lake is Missing, and was one of the survivors of The Poseidon Adventure. Sophia Lillis, who starred in last year’s adaptation of Stephen King’s It, is 16 today.
Robert H. Jackson (1892-1954) served in succession as the US Solicitor General, the Attorney General of the US, and a Justice of the Supreme Court, the only man ever to hold all three offices. He is remembered for his eloquent opinions on First Amendment issues and for also serving as the chief US prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes trials after World War II.
On February 12 of last year, Josh Brolin and Darren Aronofsky were the headliners.
Josh Brolin celebrated his 50th yesterday. He starred in the action drama Only the Brave, and will be seen on many movie screens this year—as Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War and Nathan Summers/Cable in Deadpool 2, just for starters. Other viewers may be more interested in his return to the role of Matt Graver for Sicario 2: Soldado. Darren Aronofsky, who turns 49, directed the allegorical horror film Mother!, which came out last September and will likely receive some mentions in this year’s Razzie coverage.
Maud Adams, who turns 73, is largely inactive these days, but gets a mention as a Bond Girl. Michael Ironside, who is now 68, had a prominent role in last year’s The Space Between. Australian actress Sigrid Thornton, who turned 59, was most recently seen on the Aussie prison drama Wentworth. John Michael Higgins, currently a regular on NBC’s Great News, celebrated his 55th. Jesse Spencer, who stars on Chicago Fire as Matthew Casey, turned 39. Iko Uwais, who is 35, costarred in the sci-fi thriller Beyond Skyline. Michael McDonald, who turned 66, released his tenth solo studio album, Wide Open, last September.
Stockard Channing and Peter Gabriel were the February 13 headliners a year ago.
Stockard Channing, who turns 74 today, starred in last summer’s West End revival of Alexi Kaye Campbell’s play Apologia. Peter Gabriel, who is turning 68, received a Grammy nomination for his song “The Veil,” written for the movie Snowden.
Mena Suvari, our WTHH birthday today, turns 39. She will star with fellow WTHHer Alicia Silverstone in the upcoming Paramount Network sitcom American Woman. Kelly Hu, who is 50, starred in last year’s Maximum Impact, a joint Russian-America production. George Segal remains a regular on The Goldbergs, as Albert “Pops” Solomon, as he turns 84. Neal McDonough, who celebrates his 52nd, continues to appear in the Arrowverse as Damien Dahrk, and also appears in the upcoming Proud Mary.
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.