Monday, March 18, 2013

Five movie stars (and one director) who share my birthday

I normally don't make a big deal out of commemorating another natal anniversary (as Ivan calls them). Growing older has given me less reason to celebrate as the years pile on, but still, I try not to think about it and attempt to go through life as if I were still 25 and the world was my oyster. (Strange expression. What would I do with an oyster other than eat it?) But you're not here to listen to me complain about getting old (are you?), you're here for me to amuse and edify you (I think), so check out these movie makers, past and present, with whom I'll share the birthday cake with today:

- Edward Everett Horton. I just found this one out recently. Cool, huh? Eddie was always the "dandy" type in classic films such as Top Hat - and, of course, he also narrated the "Fractured Fairy Tales" in Rocky and Bullwinkle. He's always a pleasant addition to any movie; fussy, prim and a little uptight, yes, but always in a good-humored manner. Did he embody a gay stereotype? Maybe... but the kinds of characters he usually played were never embarrassing in the way that, say, Stepin Fetchit was embarrassing. I can look at a movie with Eddie in it and not want to reach for the mute button every time he appears. So take that for what it's worth.

- Queen Latifah. This one I knew about for years. Never seen Chicago, but I have seen her in a few films both before and after it, such as Stranger Than Fiction - and yes, I even remember her when she was still a rapper. I have nothing against her. It's amazing how she's been made over into a glamour girl post-Chicago; I see her in make-up ads all the time now and she looks sooooo beautiful. Definitely would've preferred it if she hadn't lost quite so much weight, though; there are more than enough skinny chicks in Hollywood.

- Brad Dourif. From One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest to The Lord of the Rings, this guy's always a great character actor, especially in genre flicks. He's perfected the creepy-guy aesthetic so well that it's hard to imagine him any other way - I mean, he's the voice of Chucky, after all! I'm not surprised to see his name come up in the credits of TV shows, though it mostly seems to be as a guest star, though he did have a regular gig on Deadwood.

- Vanessa Williams. I vaguely remember her winning Miss America way back when - I've never been a big follower of beauty pageants - but I sure do remember the Playboy scandal that followed. Ancient history now - and in retrospect, it's hard to believe that we took that so seriously. I haven't seen enough of her films to judge, but she strikes me as a decent actress. Never got the Halle Berry-type roles, but I enjoyed her in Soul Food. And she's a good singer. Looks like she's gonna be in the next Tyler Perry movie, Temptation. Hopefully he'll make good use of her. IMDB says she's been getting plenty of TV work lately, including Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives. That's good.

- Irene Cara. FAME! I'm gonna live for-eee-vah!

And the one director is Luc Besson. The Fifth Element, La Femme Nikita and The Professional are three totally awesome films, and we have this man to thank for them. Haven't been as hip to his more recent stuff - The Lady didn't do as well as expected, but I'll probably look at it on video - but you can't hold a grudge against the guy who gave us Jean Reno and Natalie Portman.

So consider this post my one and only concession to my birthday. Any celebs born on yours?


  1. Happy Birthday, Rich! A few notable birthdays on mine, which is five months from now to the day, belong to Robert Redford, Shirley Winters, the late Patrick Swayze, and coincidentally, the other Ed Norton.

    You've got a great group. Queen Latifah is such a force--talented and gorgeous, indeed. That is so funny to think about how Vanessa Williams made waves. I can't imagine it being such a big deal now. I was never a loyal viewer of 'Ugly Betty,' but she was fantastic and hilarious in the episodes I've seen.

    Hope you had a great day!

    1. It was snowy and yucky, but at least I got a free dinner at Pizzeria Uno's.

  2. We love Edward Everett Horton in the Neno household (and are halfway through the second Bullwinkle and Rocky box set). Queen Latifah kind of let me down over the years because her first two albums were really strong (lyrically and otherwise), but her music became gradually weaker. I haven't seen a Luc Besson film, but got Leon: The Professional on DVD and will be watching that soon.

  3. I suppose it's a consequence of success, especially in music - the more mainstream an artist gets, the more middle-of-the-road their work gets. Granted, that's not always true, but it happens a lot.

  4. Pizzeria Uno's - my favorite pizza in the world!

    1. Mine too! I'm on their email list, so they sent me a voucher for a free entree.

  5. Happy belated birthday. I agree that birthdays don't necessarily have to be a big deal, but another year of living is worthy of at least silent commemoration.

    Most guys are impressed when I tell them I share a birthdate (not year!) with Jack Nicholson.

    My favourite birth-mates are singer/actor/conservationist Eddie Albert, violin virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin, mystery writer Janet Evanovich and funny guy Ryan Stiles.

    When I channel surf to "The View" and Sherri Shepherd says something dumb I cringe at our birthdate connection. However, when I recall that we are both mothers of special needs sons I cut her some slack.

  6. Sharing a birthday with Jack Nicholson is definitely impressive.


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