birthdays: december 21 & 22

Jane Fonda, 73, more than just the child of a major Hollywood player, she went on to become one of the premier actors of the 1970s, winning two Oscars (for 1971’s Klute and 1978’s Coming Home) and starring in dozens of major films including Cat Ballou, Barefoot in the Park, Barbarella, They Shoot Horses Don’t They?, Julia, The China Syndrome, and 9 to 5; sure, she’s had her public scandals (that whole “Hanoi Jane” issue) and her film career has diminished (uh… Monster-in-Law and Georgia Rule, not so much), but she’s an icon, so we’ll look past all that
Ralph Fiennes, 48, though he’s never won an Oscar (surprising isn’t it?), he’s been nominated for two – the despicable Nazi Amon Goeth in Schindler’s List and the lovelorn Count Laszlo in The English Patient – and has starred as the sneaky pretty boy Charles Van Doren in Quiz Show, a widower seeking revenge in The Constant Gardener, and evil Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter franchise
Samuel L. Jackson, 62, best known for playing the confident tough guy, he’s got more than 100 credits in his film and television work – his most beloved roles are as Mister Senor in Do the Right Thing, hitman Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction, and the fed-up Neville Flynn in, yes it must be mentioned, Snakes on a Plane; beyond those, he’s played in countless movies such as Jurassic Park, Jackie Brown, Unbreakable, The Incredibles, and the Star Wars prequels
Ray Romano, 53, though he’s obviously most known for his starring role (he got six Emmy nods and one win for it) in the sitcom based on his own life, Everybody Loves Raymond; in addition, he voiced Manny the mammoth in the Ice Age movies, he starred alongside Gene Hackman in Welcome to Mooseport, and is currently starring in the TNT series Men of a Certain Age
Jane Kaczmarek, 55, though she got her first big role with a recurring part on TV’s Hill Street Blues, her lasting impression came years later with her seven-time Emmy nominated role as matriarch Lois in Malcolm in the Middle
Jordin Sparks, 21, though the bubbly teen songstress began her whirlwind career as the winner of season six of American Idol, she’s gone on to a platinum album and several charted songs including “No Air,” “Tattoo,” “One Stop at a Time,” and “Battlefield”
Diane Sawyer, 65, though she originated as a part of Richard Nixon’s staff in the ’70s (and an oops moment when she was accused of being “Deep Throat”), she went on to become one of the figureheads of female news anchors, appearing on CBS Morning News, 60 Minutes, Primetime Live, 20/20, and Good Morning America
Kiefer Sutherland, 44, his early career as a part of young Hollywood in the 1980s, yielding Stand By Me, The Lost Boys, and Young Guns, was marred by legal woes, but a giant comeback in the form of an eight-season starring role on FOX’s 24 (for which he garnered seven Emmy nominations and one win) revitalized his career
Lynne Thigpen, (1948-2003), distinctive actress best-known to ’90s youth as “The Chief” on Where in the World is Carmen San Diego, she had roles in such TV series as thirtysomething, L.A. Law, and Homicide: Life on the Street before landing a regular role on The District; following her death at a young age from a cerebral hemorrhage, a foundation was established in her honor to help young actors and actresses succeed in stage productions
Barbara Billingsley, (1915-2010), she warmed hearts as the integral 1950s mother June Cleaver in Leave it to Beaver, she shocked and tickled audiences as the jive-speaking old lady in 1980’s Airplane!, and she was nominated for two Emmys for voicing the Nanny on the children’s programming fave Muppet Babies

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