Guy Pearce celebrates his 50th today. Born in England, he spent most of his youth in Australia, and began his screen career with a three-year run on the durable Australian soap opera Neighbors, after which he had a brief stint on the other long-running Aussie soap, Home and Away, and a regular role on Snowy River: The McGregor Saga. He also made a few Australian films in the early 1990s; he played a drag queen in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, which was a surprise success.
However, Pearce was still little-known in the US when he was cast as Ed Exley, one of the three protagonists of Curtis Hanson’s neo-noir L.A. Confidential, adapted from James Ellroy’s novel. After that success, Pearce appeared in two major Hollywood productions in 2000. One, Rules of Engagement, was a relative failure, barely making back its production budget, while the other, a more modestly-budgeted picture, overcame marketing and distribution difficulties to become a financial and critical success.
Kate Winslet celebrates her 41st today. She began acting in 1991 in British television. Her film debut was in 1994, as Juliet Hulme in Heavenly Creatures. In the next two years she was featured in several literary adaptations: as Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility, as Sue Bridehead in Jude, and as Ophelia in Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet. Then, after lobbying James Cameron intensely for the part, she was cast in a certain disaster movie/romance: