Each day we're celebriting the birth of various cinematic persons. Can someone in Hollywood please give their Oscar to Ed Harris today? I mean, my god how long does he have to wait for that damn thing? The rest of today's Sagittarians are less easy to shop for. What could we give Jon Stewart, for example, that he doesn't already have?
1896 Lilia Skala, Oscar nominated actress (Lilies of the Field)
1923 Gloria Grahame, Oscar winner (The Bad the Beautiful)
933 Hope Lange, Oscar nominated actress (Peyton Place, The Young Lions, Death Wish)
1941 Laura Antonelli, Italian actress, sex symbol
1946 Joe Dante He'll always have Gremlins, such a great 80s picture.
1949 Alexander Godunov, like Baryshnikov, he was a Russian ballet star who defected to America and co-starred in movies. It didn't go quite as well. He never achieved anything close to Misha's level of fame though he made for a memorable screen presence (Witness, Die Hard), and dated other celebrities (memorably 70s sex symbol Jacqueline Bissett). He died at 45. Alcoholism done him in.
1950 Ed Harris golden winner-in-waiting, fab actor... If I had to pick a favorite performance I'd say The Truman Show. But then there's always The Right Stuff, A History of Violence... Pollock!
1959 Judd Nelson "what we found out is that each of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basketcase, a princess ...and a criminal. Does that answer your question?"
1960 Barry Alexander Brown, edits nearly every Spike Lee joint. He still hasn't been Oscar nominated.
1961 Alfonso Cuarón one of my fav' current directors (Children of Men, Y Tu Mama Tambien)
1962 Jon Stewart former actor, the most trusted (and funniest) newsman alive
1975 Sunny Mabrey film/tv actress (Snakes on a Plan, Species III)
1979 Daniel Henney actor (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Three Rivers), Bean Pole model
1984 Mary Elizabeth Winstead, horror star (The Ring Two, Final Destination 3, Grindhouse). Next up: bigger stardom via "Ramona V. Flowers" in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
2004 Twin Spawn of JULIA aka Hazel & Phinnaeous Moder
Today is also the 252nd anniverary of the birth of poet/painter William Blake. His work, often questioning organized religion (though he was spiritual himself) influenced the writing of The Golden Compass. There are still more movie connections. Johnny Depp reads his verse and is named after him in Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man. Blake's painting 'The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in the Sun' is the one that Ralph Fiennes was so hungry for in Red Dragon. Because in the movies, you see, all serial killers are well educated aesthetes who love classical music and art and not seemingly average blue collar men like they tend to be statistically in real life. It's just part of Hollywood's dependable anti-intellectualism. Beware the big brain! It wants to eat your liver with some fava be... (well, you know the rest)