birthdays: december 13

Christopher Plummer, 81, until 2009’s Tolstoy biopic The Last Station, he’d been famously snubbed by the Academy Awards for his decades of work; his perhaps most famous role was as Captain von Trapp in the 1965 musical The Sound of Music, particularly for his rendition of “Edelweiss” – though he graced film screens in all sorts of other movies including The Man Who Would Be King, Malcolm X, Twelve Monkeys, The Insider, A Beautiful Mind, and Inside Man (and then there was the voice work in An American Tail, Rock-a-Doodle, and Up)
Steve Buscemi, 53, though he’s most recently transitioned to television work as the star of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, his roles in film, thanks in part to his very unique look and method, have been largely praised, particularly Reservoir Dogs, Fargo, and Ghost World – though I’m partial to his voice work as villain Randall in Monsters Inc. and his alcoholism counselor in 28 Days (let’s just forget all those cameos in terrible Adam Sandler movies through the years)
Wendie Malick, 60, she’s widely known for her twice-Emmy-nominated performance as Nina van Horne on the NBC comedy Just Shoot Me! (always thought she was way too good for that show), but her most recent role is as aging soap star Victoria Chase on TV Land’s Hot In Cleveland (don’t knock it ’til you try it; she’s kind of a gem on the show); other than that, her best-known roles on the big screen include parts in The American President and The Emperor’s New Groove (oh, and she also played David Hasselhoff’s wife on Baywatch… a saint, that one)
Dick van Dyke, 85, he was one half of a television pioneering duo on his self-titled show with TV wife Mary Tyler Moore, but his big start included playing the movie version of Albert F. Peterson in Bye Bye Birdie and Bert in Mary Poppins; my fondest memory of the actor, though, was his eight-season tenure on the ’90s hospital mystery drama Diagnosis Murder
Robert Prosky, (1930-2008), beloved character actor who I recall fondly as the judge in the 1994 remake of Miracle on 34th Street, he also had a regular role on the ’80s drama Hill Street Blues, a recurring role as a priest on The Practice, and bit parts in Broadcast News, The Great Outdoors, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Dead Man Walking
Jamie Foxx, 43, following his humble sketch comedy beginnings as a regular on In Living Color, he went on to become one of the most in-demand actors in Hollywood following an Oscar win for Ray (which I still insist was undeserved in favor of Leo DiCaprio in The Aviator, but I digress); his other notable film credits include an Oscar-nominated turn in Collateral and parts in Dreamgirls, Any Given Sunday, and Jarhead
Darlene Cates, 63, though her filmography is supremely limited, she had the uber-memorable role of Johnny Depp’s mom Bonnie in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?; she earned the role of Bonnie after a producer saw her on the Sally show discussing her struggles with weight
Harry Gregson-Williams, 49, known in this past decade as the go-to guy for the quartet of Shrek movies, his score composing work includes Veronica Guerin, Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and the Chronicles of Narnia movies
Van Heflin, (1910-1971), an Oscar winner in the ’40s for Johnny Eager, he’s remembered for his work in westerns like Shane and 3:10 to Yuma and for his late-in-career part in 1970’s disaster flick Airport

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