Ben McKenzie is turning 39 today. He has been a regular on series television for nearly fifteen years. In 2003, at a time when he had only had a couple of TV guest spots, he was cast as Ryan Atwood, the troubled teen who was a central character on The O.C.; he appeared in every episode of the series four-year run. Two years after that gig ended, he was cast as rookie cop Ben Sherman on TNT’s Southland (the series originally aired on NBC).
McKenzie’s film career has largely been in supporting roles, in films such as Junebug (his feature film debut) and Goodbye World. A couple of exceptions have been in his portrayal of Joe Bonham in the one-man show adaptation of Johnny Got His Gun, and, in a bit of casting that was subsequently ironic, as Bruce Wayne/Batman in an animated adaptation of Batman: Year One. For the past three years, he has been starring as James Gordon on Fox’s Gotham.
Sir Ian Holm celebrates his 85th birthday today. After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he became a mainstay of the Royal Shakespeare Company, where one of his notable roles was Richard III. He made his Broadway debut as Lenny in Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming, winning a Tony Award. During this time he began appearing in British film and television, as well as giving a foretaste of his future by playing Frodo Baggins in a BBC Radio dramatization of The Lord of the Rings.
He was nearly fifty when his first major film role came along—playing a science officer with a secret, on a space freighter called the Nostromo: