birthdays: december 31 & january 1

Anthony Hopkins, 73, though his work post-1995’s Nixon has been a bit spotty, he’ll always reign as one of my all-time favorite male actors; he has four Oscar nods under his belt including the aforementioned Nixon, Amistad, The Remains of the Day, and, in his most iconic role as serial killer Hannibal Lecter, The Silence of the Lambs (for which he won the coveted award); though he’s opted for breezier fare in the past two decades (hey, I happen to like his turn in The Mask of Zorro!), I feel he’s poised for a late-in-life comeback (even though he keeps threatening retirement)
Ben Kingsley, 67, another four-time Oscar nominee and one-time winner who’s filmography has been a bit sullied by the last two decades of work, his big role (and winning one) was as the title character in Gandhi, and he went on to nominations for Bugsy, Sexy Beast, and House of Sand and Fog; again, though, let’s move past the laughable roles (The Love Guru and BloodRayne come to mind) and relish in some plumber ones (namely 2008’s The Wackness and this past year’s Shutter Island)
Bebe Neuwirth, 52, she’s found great success on Broadway, winning Tonys for parts in the revivals of Sweet Charity and Chicago, but she’s likely most recognizable as tight-lipped ex-wife of Frasier Crane, Lillith on Cheers (and sometimes on spinoff Frasier) – she won two Emmys for the role; since, she’s most notably had a little indie success as a seductive older woman in Tadpole and recently starred alongside Nathan Lane in the Broadway version of The Addams Family
Val Kilmer, 51, he had a rather promising start thanks to a breakthrough role as Jim Morrison in The Doors in 1991, but three Razzie nominations later (The Island of Doctor Moreau/The Ghost and the Darkness, The Saint, and Alexander) his name isn’t exactly synonymous with acclaim these days; his biggest successes were in the indie flick The Salton Sea and as the title character in the box office hit Batman Forever, but his last movie was MacGruber so you do the math
Gong Li, 45, Chinese actress who’s managed crossover success stateside thanks to her work in awards darlings Raise the Red Lantern and Farewell My Concubine; since, she won the Cannes Festival award for 2046 and gained more critical praise in The Curse of the Golden Flower, and though it was almost universally maligned by critics, she got some awards attention for Memoirs of a Geisha
Taylor Hackford, 66, though his Oscar win came for a short film in 1978, this director’s biggest successes have come from his double-nomination for 2004’s Ray, crowd-pleaser An Officer and a Gentleman, the eerie Stephen King adaptation Dolores Claiborne, and landing Helen Mirren as his wife in 1997
James Remar, 57, his most notable role in the past 10 years is probably as the title characters dead father/ghostly advisor on Showtime’s Dexter, but he’s had a long career as a supporting player in films such as The Clan of the Cave Bear, White Fang, What Lies Beneath, and Ratatouille

Frank Langella, 73, he’s had a major career renaissance thanks to an Oscar-nominated turn as Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon (a role he originated on Broadway and for which he won one of his three Tony Awards) and a critically acclaimed performance in Starting Out in the Evening, but with an extensive career dating back to the mid-’60s and hallmarked by his performance as Dracula in a 1979 incarnation and countless supporting film roles through the ’90s, it appears he’s here to stay
Pam Ferris, 63, though in my world she is first and foremost the vindictive villain Agatha Trunchbull in the severely underrated Roald Dahl adaptation Matilda, this British actress has graced screens with parts in many British TV movies, as the ever-expanding Aunt Marge in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and dreadlocked activist Miriam in Children of Men
Danny Lloyd, 38, this mop-topped child star is instantly recognizable as the pip-squeak seer Danny Torrance in Stanley Kubrick’s cult classic The Shining, though the remainder of his acting career was restricted to a portrayal of a young G. Gordon Liddy in a TV biopic; he’s since retired from show business and is now a biology professor in Missouri
Sophie Okonedo, 43, British-born actress whose career really took off in 2004, thanks to an Oscar-nominated performance in Hotel Rwanda, her other film credits include Dirty Pretty Things, the ill-fated action flick Æon Flux, and as part of the cast of The Secret Life of Bees
Charles Bickford, (1891-1967), three-time Oscar nominee for The Song of Bernadette, The Farmer’s Daughter, and Johnny Belinda, he was a go-to character actor throughout the ’30s and ’40s, despite his notorious reputation for a nasty temper; he’s also known for his roles in Days of Wine and Roses, the Judy Garland adaptation of A Star is Born, and a recurring role in the TV series The Virginian
Richard Roxburgh, 49, Australian actor whose biggest hits in this part of the world were in the Cate Blanchett starrer Oscar and Lucinda, the goofy action sequel Mission: Impossible II, and roles as Dracula and the sniveling Duke in Van Helsing and Moulin Rouge!, respectively
Roberts Blossom, 87, everyone who was born in the ’80s will instantly recognize him as the scary man with the shovel in Home Alone, but he had an extensive earlier career that includes film roles in Slaughterhouse-Five, The Great Gatsby (1974), Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and The Last Temptation of Christ and a popular villainous role on the soap, Another World
Dana Andrews, (1909-1992), well-liked actor of the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s and former Screen Actors Guild president, he’s most famous for roles in The Ox-Bow Incident, Laura, The Best Years of Our Lives, and Where the Sidewalk Ends

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One response to “birthdays: december 31 & january 1”

  1. Jose says :

    OMG everyone's so old! I don't mean that to sound as shallow as it does haha. I'm just surprised at some of these people's ages. Okonedo being in her 40s is just impossible to believe!Also Remar's best role by far is that of Richard Wright on "Sex and the City".Happy birthday to them all!

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