Producer Frank Marshall is turning 71 today. He got his start in the film industry through Peter Bodgdanovich; he met the director at a party and wound up as Bogdanovich’s assistant on Targets. He then worked with Bogdanovich on several subsequent films, taking on more responsibility each time until he was a credited producer on Nickelodeon. Marshall then worked with Martin Scorsese on The Last Waltz and with Walter Hill on The Driver and The Warriors. In 1981, he began his must durable association with a director, working on a film that became the first of five Best Picture nominees he would produce.
The multi-talented Tyler Perry, who celebrates his 47th birthday today (according to most sources; some say it’s tomorrow), was inspired to begin his career by an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show on the therapeutic power of writing. He ended up creating the musical I Know I’ve Been Changed, the first of several successful plays. His second play, I Can Do Bad All By Myself, marks the first appearance of the character Madea—a tough-minded elderly black woman played by Perry himself—in his work; Perry adapted the play into a feature film in 2009. The character of Madea, along with a couple of others such as her brother Joe (also played by Perry), appears repeatedly in Perry’s plays as well as the films and television shows he has created: