Gillian Anderson is celebrating her 49th birthday today. She studied theater at DePaul University and then moved to New York, where she pursued a classic career path for aspiring actresses—waitressing. Her acting debut came in Alan Ayckbourn’s Absent Friends, and brought her a Theatre World Award. She had added only a couple of other roles to her resume when she was cast as an FBI agent on a new series that made its debut on Fox in the fall of 1993.
Two actresses with Oscar nominations as well as musical theater experience headline today’s birthday post.
Anna Kendrick’s career started on Broadway, playing Dinah Lord in the musical adaptation of the movie High Society. She was 12 on opening night in 1998, which did not prevent her from impressing enough people to get a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Her movie debut, at about 18, was in Camp, a musical about high schoolers at a summer theater camp. Anna had a big scene performing “The Ladies Who Lunch” from Stephen Sondheim’s Company: