(belated again) birthdays, december 18

Steven Spielberg, 64, the man requires no introduction, of course – he’s one of the most recognized names in the business of any generation of filmmakers; his specialties include sci-fi (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, A.I., Minority Report), historical dramas (Schindler’s List, Amistad, Saving Private Ryan, Munich), and adventure/thrillers (Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Hook); he’s been nominated for 13 Oscars and won thrice
Brad Pitt, 47, rising to prominence as the shirtless wonder wielding a blow dryer as a pretend gun in 1991’s Thelma & Louise, he went on to become celebrité embodied for the next two decades; he garnered two Oscar nods (12 Monkeys and Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and starred in such films as A River Runs Through It, Interview with the Vampire, Se7en, Fight Club, Ocean’s Eleven, Troy, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Burn After Reading, and Inglourious Basterds
Betty Grable, (1916-1973), pin-up girl most famous for having the most sought after legs in history – they were insured by Lloyds of London for $1 million and the above photo of her was the number-one pin-up poster of the 1940s – she also had an enviable film career, becoming 20th Century Fox’s top-earning star of the WWII era in movie such as Moon Over Miami, Sweet Rosie O’Grady, How to Marry a Millionaire and My Blue Heaven
Christina Aguilera, 30, though she recently made her acting debut starring in the widely panned barroom musical Burlesque, she’s obviously most famous as the big-voiced talent that came out of the early 21st Century teen girl singer craze; she’s sold 50 million albums across the country (and is one of the top-selling artists ever), she’s had many hit records – including “Genie in a Bottle,” “Beautiful,” “Fighter,” “Ain’t No Other Man,” and “Keeps Gettin’ Better,” and she was the youngest person included on Rolling Stone‘s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time
Ossie Davis, (1917-2005), cinematic icon and Civil Rights activist, this long-time acting partner and husband to actress Ruby Dee broke boundaries for African American actors in the film industry, starring in such movies as The Cardinal, A Man Called Adam, The Scalphunters (for which he received a Golden Globe nomination), The Hill, and Do the Right Thing
Rachel Griffiths, 42, though this Australian screen star rose to fame through the film industry with roles as best friend Rhonda in Muriel’s Wedding, bridesmaid Samantha in My Best Friend’s Wedding, wife and mother Lorri Morris in The Rookie, and the Oscar nominated title role of Hilary in Hilary & Jackie, she’s nestled in a spot on TV as Brenda on HBO’s Six Feet Under (two Emmy nominations and a Globe win) and ABC’s Brothers & Sisters as eldest sister Sarah Walker for five seasons (two Emmy and two Globe nominations)
Ray Liotta, 55, distinctively voiced actor whose Jersey roots are utilized very often in his acting career, his most lauded role was in Something Wild in 1986, though his most famous roles were as imagination figment Shoeless Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams, lead character and narrator Henry Hill in Goodfellas, and Captain T.C. Doyle in Operation Dumbo Drop (just kidding)
George Stevens, (1904-1975), prominent director of the 1940s and 50s, his most prestigious work includes Oscar-nominated direction of The More the Merrier, Shane, and The Diary of Anne Frank and Oscar-winning direction of A Place in the Sun and Giant
Gladys Cooper, (1888-1971), British dame whose early career as a stage actress eventually led her to film, where she would go on to three Oscar nominations in Now Voyager, The Song of Bernadette, and My Fair Lady; she was also a part of the casts of Rebecca, Kitty Foyle, That Hamilton Woman, Mrs. Parkington, and The Bishop’s Wife
Katie Holmes, 32, though outside of the indie hit Pieces of April, her film career has yielded mostly critical punching bags (Teaching Mrs. Tingle, The Gift, First Daughter, Mad Money, her performance in Batman Begins), she’s most famous as the lovelorn Joey in the hit WB teen soap Dawson’s Creek; and she’s now most famous for having married Tom Cruise – and that’s about it

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