birthdays: december 29 & december 30

Patricia Clarkson, 51, absolutely brilliant character actress with nary a failure in sight on her filmography – though her sole Oscar nomination was for playing the sullen cancer patient Joy Burns in Pieces of April (she was wonderful of course), she’s had a host of other stellar performances such as wife Melinda in The Green Mile, gossip-hound Eleanor in Far From Heaven, hippie-chick love interest Olivia in The Station Agent, wayward wife Judy in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and her 1-2-3 punch this year with Cairo Time, Easy A, and Shutter Island
Jude Law, 38, though he’s had his share of high-profile scandals thanks to his womanizing ways, this Brit is actually a fairly good thesp, shining brightest as enviable Dickie Greenleaf in The Talented Mr. Ripley, sex robot Gigolo Joe in A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, war-torn soldier Inman in Cold Mountain, and hopelessly lovelorn Dan in Closer; oh, and I have a special affinity for Music from Another Room – rent it
Jennifer Ehle, 41, though she’s primarily worked on stage thanks to her roots (she’s the daughter of theater great Rosemary Harris) – plus she managed a Tony nod for the recent play The Coast of Utopia, her most famous role is as Elizabeth Bennet in the much-beloved BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice; her big-screen credits include a supporting role in the romantic drama Possession and a recent turn as Geoffrey Rush’s character’s wife, Myrtle, in The King’s Speech
Mary Tyler Moore, 74, long-time darling of the tube – she’s been nominated for 15 Emmys and won six, she was a part of the cast of two of the most beloved TV comedies of all time, The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show; beyond that, she’s starred in a host of guest roles in other series and leading roles in TV movies (oh, and there was an Oscar-nominated turn in 1980’s Ordinary People)
Jon Voight, 72, though his public life has become something of a circus thanks to an estranged relationship with daughter Angelina Jolie, his acting career took off with his Oscar-nominated turn as a street hustler in 1969’s Midnight Cowboy; he went on to Academy Award nominations for Runaway Train, Ali, and Coming Home (for which he won) before moving on to blockbusters such as the Transformers and National Treasure series
Ted Danson, 63, much like his birthday buddy Ms. Tyler Moore, he’s had a successful TV career garnering 15 Emmy nominations (and two wins) thanks to parts in such hit series as Cheers and Damages; his latest venture is the cult hit HBO comedy Bored to Death
Alison Brie, 27, after struggling through community theater and bit roles in television parts, she nailed a plumb role as Pete Campbell’s bubbly wife Trudy in AMC’s Mad Men; but it turns out success comes in twos – she’s juggling Mad Men with the newly minted sitcom success, NBC’s Community, playing goody-goody Annie

Tracey Ullman, 51, famed British comedienne, her style of humor is bolstered in pottymouth and impersonations; her shows The Tracey Ullman Show and Tracey Takes On garnered her loads of Golden Globes (four nods and one win) and Emmys (24 nods and seven wins), and she has the distinct honor of spawning the longest running comedy in TV history, The Simpsons, from a popular short on The Tracey Ullman Show; though her film career hasn’t yielded as much success, her role in Woody Allen’s Small Time Crooks landed her an additional Golden Globe nomination
Meredith Vieira, 57, one of the most visible personalities working on TV today, she has 10 News & Documentary and Daytime Emmys (out of 27 nominations), and her credits include hosting gigs on The Rosie O’Donnell Show, Lifetime’s Intimate Portrait, The View, and currently Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Today
C.S. Lee, 39, he’s now infamous as the dirty-minded and mouthed Vince Masuka on Showtime’s Dexter, but he had a recurring role on Chuck as golden boy Harry Tang and a role as a doctor in last year’s horror romp The Unborn
Jo Van Fleet, (1914-1996), actress who got her break later in her career thanks to the 1955 James Dean star vehicle East of Eden (for which she won an Oscar), she went on to a lengthy film career with roles in The Rose Tattoo, I’ll Cry Tomorrow, and Cool Hand Luke
James Burrows, 70, an incredible TV hitmaker (who’s just one day away from sharing his birthday with one of his biggest stars, Mary Tyler Moore), his 10 Emmy wins (and incredible 42 nominations) are thanks to having a part in creating the following: The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Phyllis, The Bob Newhart Show, Laverne & Shirley, Lou Grant, The Betty White Show, Rhoda, Taxi, Cheers, Wings, Newsradio, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Frasier, Caroline in the City, Dharma & Greg, Friends, Will & Grace, The Big Bang Theory, and Mike & Molly – need I say more?
Russ Tamblyn, 76, though his contribution to film include his Oscar-nominated turn in Peyton Place, a memorable role as Riff in West Side Story, and parts in Father of the Bride (1950), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and The Haunting (1963), his most recent contribution is daughter and Joan of Arcadia star Amber Tamblyn
Sheryl Lee Ralph, 54, well known on stage for originating the role of Dina in Dreamgirls (and netting a Tony nomination), her work in film and television include voicing bad dog Rita in Oliver & Company, playing Anthony’s lover Etienne in Designing Women, playing Dee Mitchell in the Brandy-led comedy Moesha, and disapproving of Lauryn Hill’s singing as a hairdressing mama in Sister Act 2

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