birthdays: december 16

Miranda Otto, 43, though she rose to international recognition as Eowyn, the docile but fearsome female warrior in the second and third installments of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Australian actress has also appeared as unhappy war wife Marty Bell in The Thin Red Line, intense pseudo-murder victim Mary Feur in What Lies Beneath, and swanky hotelier Juliet Draper in the short-lived series Cashmere Mafia
Benjamin Bratt, 47, best known as Detective Rey Curtis for nearly 100 episodes of NBC’s Law & Order, this Peruvian-American actor had roles in action movies such as Clear and Present Danger and The River Wild and later starred as Sandra Bullock’s love interest in Miss Congeniality as well as headlined the series E-Ring and The Cleaner
Noel Coward, (1899-1973), though nominated for only one competitive Academy Award for In Which We Serve (although he won special recognition for his work on the film), this screenwriter and playwright was the wordsmith behind the films Cavalcade, Blithe Spirit, Brief Encounter, and Easy Virtue
Jane Austen, (1775-1817), though her full, finished novels come to a count of merely six, her lasting influence on popular culture is immeasurable; big-screen adaptations of her work include the 1940 Greer Garson edition of Pride & Prejudice, Gwyneth Paltrow playing matchmaker in Emma, Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet showing sisterly bonds in Sense & Sensibility, and Alicia Silverstone spinning Emma for modern audiences in Clueless – though my personal favorite is the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle miniseries of P&P 
Liv Ullmann, 72, two-time Oscar nominee and long-time muse of legendary Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, she’s one of Europe’s premier actresses thanks to performances in  Persona, The Emigrants, Cries and Whispers, Scenes from a Marriage, and Autumn Sonata
James Mangold, 47, though his work in film and television has been hit and miss, he was one of the helmers of the two-season wonder and fan favorite drama series Men in Trees and he directed Cop Land, Girl Interrupted, Kate & Leopold, Identity, Walk the Line, the 3:10 to Yuma remake, and Knight and Day
Philip K. Dick, (1928-1982), novelist and short story writer whose work has been translated to film and television several times, the biggest successes being 1982’s Blade Runner, 1990’s Total Recall, Minority Report, and (hopefully) the upcoming 2011 action/fantasy The Adjustment Bureau, while the biggest slip-up is probably the ill-fated 2003 action movie Paycheck and the 2007 Nicolas Cage action flick Next
Arthur C. Clarke, (1917-2008), science fiction novelist and screenwriter, he is responsible for the Oscar-nominated screenplay for the 1968 space epic 2001: A Space Odyssey, as well as its subsequent sequels; he also has written countless novels and is an icon in the sci-fi world
Steven Bochco, 67, long-time TV crime show hit-maker, he had a part in the creation of such classics as Hill Street Blues, Columbo, Doogie Howser, M.D., L.A. Law, Murder One, NYPD Blue, and Commander in Chief; most recently he helmed the one-season TNT drama Raising the Bar – and he will always be remembered as the man behind the ill-fated and infamous 1990 singing-police series Cop Rock

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