Friday, January 14, 2011

(belated) birthdays: january 10 & january 11

Mary J. Blige, 40, long-reigning "queen of hip-hop/soul," she was discovered in 1992, and shortly thereafter her debut album What's the 411? went triple platinum; winning nine Grammy awards and having recorded eight multi-platinum albums, she's one of the bestselling recording artists of the last two decades, and her work includes the hit singles "Family Affair," "Not Gon' Cry," and "Be Without You"
Amanda Peet, 39, she's been a presence in Hollywood since the mid-'90s, but her work has never gotten much respect, despite her impressive and extensive filmography, including work in One Fine Day, Seinfeld, Jack & Jill, Igby Goes Down, Syriana, and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip; her most recent work includes a guest part on How I Met Your Mother and a supporting role in the indie comedy Please Give
Sal Mineo, (1939-1976), well-known as much for his short life and tragic murder as for his quick but whirlwind acting career, his debut film performance in Rebel Without a Cause got him his first Oscar nod (a subsequent one came for Exodus), and he went on to parts in another James Dean picture Giant, as well as his final film role in Escape from the Planet of the Apes
Ray Bolger, (1904-1987), one-time vaudeville performer, he went on to portray the Scarecrow in the iconic The Wizard of Oz, and he had parts in noted films such as The Great Ziegfeld and The Harvey Girls, as well as playing Grandpa on The Partridge Family
Rod Taylor, 81, Australian actor who rose to fame in the 1950s thanks to Giant, Raintree Country, and Separate Tables and went on to star in the 1960 adaptation of The Time Machine, to voice protagonist Pongo in Disney's 101 Dalmatians, to play leading man Mitch in Hitchcock's The Birds, and, most recently, to garner his first major honor (a SAG Award) as part of the cast of Inglourious Basterds (he played Winston Churchill)
Fran Walsh, 52, triple Oscar winner (for producing, screenwriting, and song-writing The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) and long-time wife to director Peter Jackson, her work outside the Lord of the Rings trilogy includes Dead Alive, Heavenly Creatures, and King Kong (2005)
Gurinder Chadha, 51, Kenyan-British screenwriter and director whose most notable film is the sports comedy Bend it Like Beckham, she also helmed the Austen musical Bride & Prejudice and the upcoming romantic comedy It's a Wonderful Afterlife
Paul Henreid, (1908-1992), Hungarian-born actor, his most noted role was as Victor Laszlo in Casablanca, but he additionally played parts in such films as Now Voyager, Of Human Bondage, and Exorcist II, as well as directed countless television series throughout the 1950s and 1960s
Joel Zwick, 69, though his successes began as a television director (see Mork & Mindy, Laverne & Shirley, Full House, and Family Matters), his perhaps biggest success came with 2002's runaway hit (and still unmatched as the number-one romantic comedy of all time) My Big Fat Greek Wedding
William Sanderson, 63, character actor who had some breakout roles in Coal Miner's Daughter, Blade Runner, and Fletch, his biggest roles since, though, have been on television, with parts in Lonesome Dove, Newhart, Deadwood, and, playing Sherrif Bud Dearborne, True Blood

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