Friday, January 21, 2011

birthdays: january 20 & 21

Geena Davis, 55, though her Oscar-winning role was in 1988's romantic drama The Accidental Tourist, her most famous role was her second Academy Award-nominated performance as one half of the outlaw duo in Thelma & Louise; she got her start on television before breakout film roles in The Fly and Beetlejuice made her a major movie star - after the swashbuckling pirate picture Cutthroat Island (which I secretly enjoyed) became a legendary box office flop, though, she returned to television, with the sitcom The Geena Davis Show and the Emmy's nominated Commander in Chief... oh, and she's also a borderline Olympic archer and a genius member of Mensa
George Burns, (1896-1996), though he had movie roles in 1930s, his biggest success came in 1950, as one half of the comedy duo of The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (also notable is that the couple remained married for nearly 40 years until Gracie's death in 1964); he made a triumphant return to film, though, in the '70s, starring as the title character alongside John Denver in the Oh, God! movies and winning an Oscar for an adaptation of Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys
Rainn Wilson, 45, though he's obviously most recognizable for his triple-Emmy-nominated turn as Dwight Schrute in The Office, he started out in movies, with small parts in Galaxy Quest and Almost Famous before landing a regular role on HBO's Six Feet Under in 2003; since his success on The Office, he's had successful film parts in Juno and Monsters vs. Aliens and an infamously unsuccessful one in The Rocker
David Lynch, 65, four-time-Oscar-nominated director and screenwriter who's known for his eerie and downright weird films, his first film Eraserhead is a subversive cult hit, and his subsequent ones (namely The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, the TV series Twin Peaks, and Mullholland Dr.) have been major critical hits - though I've never understood the appeal for that last one on the list
Patricia Neal, (1926-2010), known for her incredible screen presence and her tumultuous love life off-screen, the actress who won an Oscar for 1963's Hud and a Tony award at the first-ever ceremony in 1946 for Another Part of the Forest had highly publicized relationships with big-screen actors before settling down with children's book author Roald Dahl; in addition to Hud, she had high-profile roles in The Fountainhead, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and The Subject Was Roses
Telly Savalas, (1922-1994), famously bald actor whose early film roles in The Dirty Dozen, Cape Fear, and Birdman of Alcatraz (for which he was nominated for an Oscar) became eclipsed by his later work in television, including dozens of guest parts in series and, of course, the title role in the hit detective series Kojak, for which he won two Golden Globes and an Emmy
Federico Fellini, (1920-1993), ridiculously influential Italian director and writer whose work garnered him a whopping 12 Oscar nominations, his most famous films include I Vitelloni, La Strada, La Dolce Vita, 8 1/2, and Amarcord
Colin Clive, (1900-1937), though his life was cut short due to tuberculosis, this film actor will forever be remembered for uttering that iconic line, "It's ALIVE!" as the title character in the original Frankenstein in 1931; beyond that, he had a high profile role in a 1934 adaptation of Jane Eyre and reprised his famous role in Bride of Frankenstein
DeForest Kelley, (1920-1999), though he had a long career in film and television dating as far back as the late-40s, he most famously portrayed Dr. Leonardo "Bones" McCoy in the original Star Trek and its subsequent film outings
Skeet Ulrich, 41, he probably most famously played Neve Campbell's brooding boyfriend Billy in the original Scream, but his other notable roles in film include nude-model-turned-violent-attacker Vincent in As Good As It Gets and Jewel's love interest in Ang Lee's Ride with the Devil; he's mostly stuck to TV lately, starring in the short-lived Miracles, the cult-favorite Jericho, and the new spinoff Law & Order: Los Angeles
James Denton, 48, his claim to fame is essentially the frenzy he caused by taking off his shirt in the first season of Desperate Housewives, but his character of Mike Delfino has remained a series regular into the show's seventh season; his most notable roles outside DH include a regular role on the series The Pretender and a small part in the action movie Face/Off
Robby Benson, 55, getting his start on stage and then in soap operas, he went on to receive two Globe nods for his work in the film Jeremy and the TV movie Two of a Kind, before starring in the goofy ice skating romance Ice Castles and eventually breaking out thanks to voicing the Beast in Disney's Beauty and the Beast; he's since stuck mostly to TV directing, including work on Ellen, Evening Shade, Friends, and Jesse

1 comment:

Dan said...

One of my favourite Geena Davis films (and Bill Murray films for that matter) is Quick Change when Murray dresses up like a clown to rob a bank and the rest of the film is about them trying to evade capture even though things keep going wrong. Great comedy, very underrated.