Kurt Russell celebrates his 66th birthday today. He began working as a juvenile actor in 1960s television, including starring on a short-lived Western series, The Travels of Jamie McPheeters. He began to work regularly in features in the seventies, starring in a series of Disney films, most notably the three films featuring Medfield College undergrad Dexter Riley, beginning with The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes.
In the late seventies Russell began to break with his Disney image, with an Emmy-nominated performance in the TV movie Elvis, and made an even more decisive break as Snake Plissken in Escape from New York. By the late eighties and early nineties, Russell was a credible leading man in many genres, including romantic comedy (Overboard), crime thriller (Tequila Sunrise, Unlawful Entry), and even Westerns:
Prior to 1994, Gary Sinese was viewed primarily as a theater guy. Just when he was getting frustrated with the lack of movie roles, he landed parts in two very successful projects; the TV miniseries based on Stephen King’s The Stand and the Oscar-winning ode to baby boomers, Forrest Gump. Movieline editor Virginia Campbell interviewed Sinese for the June ’95 issue.