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Happy Birthday to...

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...Judd Apatow (born on December 6, 1967), the mega-successful filmmaker who has been called "one of the most influential comedy minds of the past decade." He sometimes makes family movies -- that is, movies starring members of his own family.
 
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Apatow, who always was fascinated by comedians, had a chance to talk to some of the best as a student at Syosset High School in New York. He hosted a program titled "Club Comedy" on a 10-watt radio station at the school. Among the celebrities he interviewed: Jay Leno (pictured below with Apatow), Jerry Seinfeld, Garry Shandling, John Candy, Harold Ramis, Howard Stern and Steve Allen. 
 
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After a few years of working as a standup comic, Apatow turned to television. He was a writer/co-creator of "The Ben Stiller Show," a 1992-1993 sketch comedy series that aired on the FOX Network. The project only lasted 13 episodes, but it won a Primetime Emmy Award in 1993 for Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program.
 
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In 1993, Apatow went on to work as a writer and producer for "The Larry Sanders Show," the HBO series about a late-night talk show host played by the late Garry Shandling.
 
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On June 9, 1997, Apatow married actress Leslie Mann, who has been in show business since the age of 17. They met on the set of the 1996 Jim Carrey-Matthew Broderick film "The Cable Guy," for which Apatow was a producer. They have become frequent collaborators onscreen. They have two daughters: Maude (b. 1997) and Iris (b. 2002).
 
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Apatow served as executive producer of the short-lived NBC comedy/drama series "Freaks and Geeks," which aired during the 1999-2000 season. Created by Paul Feig, the high school tale featured several actors who would go on to bigger stardom: Seth Rogen, Busy Philipps, Jason Segel, Linda Cardellini and James Franco. Many of them would work with Apatow more than once in films.
 
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In 2005, Apatow made his feature film debut as a director with "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," which starred Steve Carell in the title role. The picture, which also was co-written (with Carell) and co-produced by Apatow, co-starred Catherine Keener (pictured below with the star), Rogen, Mann, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, Elizabeth Banks and Jane Lynch. The film was shot for $26 million and grossed $177 million worldwide.
 
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In the 2007 screen comedy "Knocked Up," which was written, directed and co-produced by Apatow, Katherine Heigl played a career woman who became pregnant after a one-night stand with a slacker (Rogen). The film, which also starred Mann, Rudd, Jonah Hill, Alan Tudyk and Kristen Wiig, was a worldwide hit. The movie's scene stealers were Maude and Iris Apatow, who were cast as the children of Mann and Rudd.
 
 
Apatow wrote, directed and co-produced the 2009 film "Funny People," which starred his onetime roommate Adam Sandler, Rogen, Eric Bana and Mann. It also featured Maude and Iris. In the film, Sandler played a former comedian turned film star battling a life-threatening illness. 
 
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Apatow produced the 2011 comedy hit "Bridesmaids," for which Melissa McCarthy earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. The film was written by Wiig and Annie Mumolo -- both Oscar-nominated for their screenplay. They and McCarthy were members of The Groundlings, an improv comedy troupe based in Los Angeles.  
 
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Written, directed and co-produced by Apatow, "This is 40" was a 2012 sequel of sorts to "Knocked Up." Mann and Rudd reprised their characters from the first movie. Their daughters again were played by the Apatow Sisters. Maude, who turns 20 next week, is studying communications at Northwestern. The 15-year-old Iris received positive reviews for her performances as a child television star in the Netflix series "Love" (co-created by her father).
 
 
Apatow's 2015 romantic comedy "Trainwreck" marked the major screen debut of comedienne Amy Schumer (pictured below with the director and co-star Bill Hader). Schumer, who played a magazine writer on the road to finding true love, wrote the movie's acclaimed screenplay.
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After long absences from performing standup comedy, Apatow has been making a comeback this year. He will headline a Netflix special titled "Judd Apatow: The Return," which premieres December 12. The one-hour program  was recorded in July at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal .
 
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...Ellen Burstyn (born Edna Rae Gillooly on December 7, 1932), who only needs a Grammy to become the 13th person in history to win all four major entertainment awards. She already has an Oscar, two Emmys and a Tony.

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She has been nominated for six Academy Awards. Her recognized roles and movies are as follows (Oscar win in bold): 
  • Lois Farrow in "The Last Picture Show" (1971). Best Supporting Actress.
  • Chris MacNeil in "The Exorcist" (1973). Best Actress.
  • Alice Hyatt in "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" (1974). Best Actress.
  • Doris in "Same Time, Next Year" (1978). Best Actress.
  • Edna in "Resurrection" (1980). Best Actress.
  • Sara Goldfarb in "Requiem for a Dream" (2000). Best Actress.
 
Burstyn -- billed as Ellen McRae -- guest starred on numerous television series during the 1960s. In a 1966 episode of the ABC sci-fi/fantasy series "The Time Tunnel," she played Dr. Eve Holland, a British researcher studying a volcano on the island of Krakatoa in August 1883. Time traveler Dr. Tony Newman (series star James Darren, pictured below) realized that the volcano was about to explode in one of the deadliest eruptions in history.
 
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Burstyn's first Academy Award nomination was for her performance as Lois Farrow in Peter Bogdanovich's 1971 drama "The Last Picture Show." Farrow's relationship with daughter Jacy (Cybill Shepherd) was a classic example of how the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree. The film's other Oscar nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Jeff Bridges and Ben Johnson), Best Supporting Actress (Cloris Leachman), Best Cinematography (Robert L. Surtees) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Larry McMurtry and Bogdanovich). Oscars were awarded to Johnson and Leachman.
 
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In the 1973 horror/thriller "The Exorcist" -- based on the best-selling novel about demonic possession by William Peter Blatty -- Burstyn played actress Chris MacNeil, said to have been modeled after Shirley MacLaine. Directed by William Friedkin, the film earned 10 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress (Burstyn). It won for Best Adapted Screenplay (Blatty) and Best Sound Mixing (Robert Knudson and Chris Newman).
 

In Martin Scorsese's comedy/drama "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" (1974), Burstyn played single mother Alice Hyatt, who tried to make her own way in life after the tragic death of her husband. She wound up working as a waitress at Mel's Diner. For her performance, Burstyn won the Academy Award as Best Actress

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Burstyn was unable to pick up her Academy Award on Oscar night (it was accepted for her by director Scorsese). At the time, she was starring on Broadway opposite Charles Grodin in Bernard Slade's comedy "Same Time, Next Year." The play focused on two people -- married to others -- who get together once a year to have an affair. Burstyn co-starred with Alan Alda (pictured below) in a 1978 screen version, directed by Robert Mulligan ("To Kill a Mockingbird").
 
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The 1980 drama "Resurrection" starred Burstyn -- pictured below with Sam Shepard -- as a woman who survived an automobile accident that killed her husband. She discovered that she suddenly had the power to heal people. The film, based on a screenplay by Lewis John Carlino ("The Great Santini"), was directed by Daniel Petrie. Academy Award nominations went to Burstyn (Best Actress) and the distinguished stage star Eva Le Gallienne (Best Supporting Actress).
 
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In the 1981 NBC made-for-television movie "The People vs. Jean Harris," Burstyn portrayed the woman prosecuted for the 1980 murder of her lover, Dr. Herman Tarnower -- the co-author of the best-selling book "The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet." The drama co-starred Martin Balsam as Harris' defense attorney Joel Aurnou. Burstyn received a Primetime Emmy nomination for her performance.
 
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In HBO's 2005 version of the Jean Harris story -- titled "Mrs. Harris" and starring Annette Bening," Burstyn appeared briefly in a flashback scene as a former lover of Dr. Tarnower (Ben Kingsley). A controversy arose when the actress was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for a 14-second performance. She spoke two lines that totaled 38 words. The award went to Kelly Macdonald for another HBO production, "The Girl in the Café."
 
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In 2013, when Burstyn won an Emmy for her performance in the USA Network miniseries "Political Animals," she made a reference to the "Mrs. Harris" controversy.
 
 
 
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...Kim Basinger (born Kimila Ann Basinger on December 8, 1953), the Georgia-born product who went from modeling to screen stardom in the 1980s. Her surname is pronounced "BAY-sing-ger (with a hard 'g' at the end).
 
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Basinger joined the Ford Modeling Agency in the 1970s and appeared in numerous magazine ads for products such as Breck Shampoo. Among the other Breck Girls through the years: Pattie Boyd, Cheryl Tiegs, Cybill Shepherd, Jaclyn Smith, Brooke Shields, Farrah Fawcett, Erin Gray and Christie Brinkley.
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One of her early acting roles was a stint on the short-lived ABC police drama "Dog and Cat," about a male-and-female detective team in Los Angeles. The series, which ran for six episodes in the spring of 199, starred Lou Antonio as the veteran partner of Basinger's character..
 
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In 1983, Basinger co-starred with Charlton Heston in the independently produced film "Mother Lode," directed by the actor from a screenplay by his son Fraser. The older Heston played a dual role in the production -- an overprotective prospector and his brother.. 
 
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The former Breck Girl became a Bond Girl, appearing as Domino Petachi in the 1983 007 film "Never Say Never Again." The production -- a remake of the 1965 James Bond thriller "Thunderball" -- marked the return of Sir Sean Connery to his most famous role after a 12-year absence. The film -- with a clever title taken from Connery's earlier refusals to play the superspy again -- was not a part of the Bond series co-produced or produced since 1962 by the late Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli and his family. In fact, there were dueling 007 films in 1983. Sir Roger Moore, who succeeded Connery in 1973, starred that year in the 12th official Bond film, "Octopussy."
 
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In "The Natural" (1985), Basinger played the femme fatale Memo Paris -- one of two women who brings bad luck to 1930s baseball star Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford). First, her relationship with him caused the New York Knights outfielder to become mired in a slump. Then she tried to harm him when he refused to take a bribe before a pennant-deciding ball game. Directed by Barry Levinson, the "baseball fable" -- based on the 1952 novel by Bernard Malamud -- also starred Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, Wilford Brimley, Barbara Hershey, Robert Prosky, Richard Farnsworth and an uncredited Darren McGavin.
 
 
In Tim Burton's 1989 film "Batman," which starred Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne and Jack Nicholson as The Joker, Basinger played reporter Vicki Vale. The role originally had been given to actress Sean Young, but she injured herself in a horseriding accident and was forced to withdraw from the film.
 
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Basinger teamed with actor Alec Baldwin for the 1991 comedy "The Marrying Man," based on a Neil Simon screenplay. Baldwin played a wealthy playboy forced to marry a Vegas nightclub singer (Basinger) -- who happened to be the girlfriend of mobster Bugsy Siegel. The movie's title turned out to be meaningful in real life. On August 19, 1993, Basinger and Baldwin were wed.
 
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Two years later, Basinger and Baldwin co-starred in a remake of Sam Peckinpah's 1972 crime drama "The Getaway." The original also starred a real-life couple -- Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw, who fell in love during the making of the movie.
 
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In the 1997 crime drama "L.A. Confidential," set in the early 1950s, Basinger played a Veronica Lake lookalike and prostitute who became involved with an irrepressible police detective (Russell Crowe). Directed by Curtis Hanson, the film -- based on the 1990 novel by James Ellroy -- also starred Kevin Spacey, Guy Pearce, James Cromwell, Danny De Vito, David Strathairn, Ron Rifkin and Simon Baker.
 
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Although "L.A. Confidential" was nominated for nine Academy Awards, it won only two on an Oscar night dominated by James Cameron's "Titanic." Hanson shared Best Adapted Screenplay honors with Brian Helgeland. Basinger won the award for Best Supporting Actress. She became the first onetime Bond Girl ever to win an Oscar (Halle Berry would duplicate the feat in 2002)
 
 
After almost a decade of marriage, Basinger and Baldwin divorced in 2002. Their daughter Ireland Balwin (b. 1995) followed in her mother's footsteps and became a model. She also has shown an interest in acting. She played the younger version of her mother in the 2013 boxing tale "Grudge Match," which starred Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone. 
 
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...Kirk Douglas (born Issur Danielovitch on December 9, 1916), the film great who observes his 101st birthday today. He and Sidney Poitier are the only living actors on the American Film Institute's 1999 list of the top 50 greatest screen legends of all time. Douglas was the No. 17 male; Poitier was ranked at No. 22. Sophia Loren is the only living actress on the list (she was No. 21 in the category of Top 25 Female Legends).
 
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He has been nominated for Academy Awards three times. His recognized roles and movies were as follows: 
 
  • Midge Kelly in "Champion" (1949). Best Actor.
  • Jonathan Shields in "The Bad and the Beautiful" (1952). Best Actor.
  • Vincent Van Gogh in "Lust for Life" (1957). Best Actor.
 
He received an honorary Oscar in 1996 for his career excellence.
 
Douglas always gave credit to Lauren Bacall for the start of his screen career. They met as students at the Academy of Dramatic Arts when he was 24 and she was 17, and became friends. After Bacall had become a Hollywood star, she recommended Douglas to the film producer Hal Wallis. The result: Douglas made his screen debut in "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers." He was forever grateful and considered Bacall his "lucky charm."
 
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Douglas appeared in "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers" as a Pennsylvania district attorney married to the title character (Stanwyck), who inherited an industrial empire. For years, they kept an important secret that might be exposed by the return of Sam Masterson (Van Heflin), an old flame of Martha's.
 
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"I Walk Alone" was the first of several screen collaborations between Douglas and actor Burt Lancaster (pictured below with Lizabeth Scott). Among their other films together: "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" (1957), "The Devil's Disciple" (1959), "Seven Days in May" (1964) and "Tough Guys" (1986).
 
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Based loosely on the meteoric career of the great jazz cornet player Bix Beiderbecke (1903-1931), the 1950 drama "Young Man with a Horn" was the first of two screen collaborations between Douglas and Bacall. The other was the 1999 drama "Diamonds." Directed by Michael Curtiz ("Casablanca"), the picture focused on a talented young trumpet player (Douglas) and his relationships with a singer (Doris Day) and a budding psychiatrist (Bacall). 
 
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Douglas received his second Academy Award nomination for his performance as a ruthless movie studio head in "The Bad and the Beautiful" (1952), Vincente Minnelli's Hollywood film about Hollywood. The drama won Oscars for Best Supporting Actress (Gloria Grahame), Best Adapted Screenplay (Charles Schnee), Best Black-and-White Cinematography (Robert Surtees), Best Black-and-White Art Direction-Set Decoration (Cedric Gibbons, Edward C. Carfagno, Edwin B. Willis and F. Keogh Gleason) and Best Black-and-White Costume Design (Helen Rose).
 
Using flashbacks, the drama followed the rise and decline of hotshot movie producer Jonathan Shields (Douglas) who let success go to his head. Along the way, he alienated many of the people important to him, including a rising actress (Lana Turner), a longtime director friend (Barry Sullivan) and a best-selling author turned screenwriter (Dick Powell).
 
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Directed by Minnelli, the 1956 screen biography "Lust for Life" starred Douglas as the tortured but talented Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. The film earned four Academy Award nominations and a Best Supporting Actor Oscar win for Anthony Quinn's portrayal of fellow artist Paul Gaugin. Douglas, who actually looked like Van Gogh in the movie, was nominated for Best Actor, but lost that year to Yul Brynner from "The King and I."
 
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Douglas produced and headlined the 1957 anti-war drama "Paths of Glory," which was directed by Stanley Kubrick. The film was based on the 1935 novel by Humphrey Cobb, who derived it from a true World War I story. The title is from a line in "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" by the 18th-century British poet Thomas Gray: "The paths of glory lead but to the grave."

Douglas starred as Colonel Dax, a French officer who tried to cope with an insensitive and duplicitous military hierarchy in 1916. When a futile assault on a German position known as the Ant Hill fails, French military officials do not admit their blunder.They decide instead to court-martial three soldiers selected at random. The scapegoats -- Corporal Paris (Ralph Meeker), Private Ferol (Timothy Carey) and Private Arnaud (Joseph Turkel) -- were found guilty of cowardice by a military tribune and sentenced to be executed by a firing squad. The entire episode enrages Dax, who has a showdown with a superior officer (Adolphe Menjou).
 
 
Douglas also produced and starred in "Spartacus," based on the true story of a gladiator from Thrace who led a major slave rebellion against the Roman Republic from 73 to 71 B.C. Directed by Kubrick, the biopic also starred Jean Simmons, Sir Laurence Olivier and Tony Curtis. The movie's screenplay -- adapted from the 1951 historical novel by Howard Fast -- was written by the blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, Douglas helped end the Hollywood blacklist by insisting that Trumbo receive an onscreen credit for his work.
 
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In 1962, Douglas starred in "Lonely Are the Brave" -- which he has called his favorite film. The movie's screenplay was written by Trumbo from the 1956 novel by Edward Abbey. "I love the theme that if you try to be an individual, society will crush you," Douglas told The Huffington Post in 2014. "I play a modern-day cowboy still living by the code of the Old West. Dalton wrote a perfect screenplay -- one draft, no revisions."  
  
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Douglas bought the rights to Ken Kesey's novel "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and starred as Randle P. McMurphy in a Broadway version of the tale in 1963 and 1964. Although he had hoped to turn the story into a movie project, nothing ever developed. "I loved the book: it was a brilliantly conceived story of one man against the system," his son Michael Douglas later told The Guardian newspaper. "I had never thought about producing, but told my dad: 'Let me run with this'." The result: The 1975 film version received nine Academy Award nominations and won The Big Five: Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director (Miloš Forman), Douglas Best Actor (Jack Nicholson), Best Actress (Louise Fletcher) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman). 
 
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Douglas never won a competitive Oscar, but on March 25, 1996, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented him with a special statuette for "50 years as a creative and moral force in the motion picture community." It was presented to him by director Steven Spielberg.
 
 
Douglas co-starred with his son in the 2003 comedy/drama "It Runs in the Family," which also featured Michael's son Cameron. The project, directed by the Australian filmmaker Fred Schepisi ("A Cry in the Dark"), was about  a family coming together during a crisis.
 
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Also, Happy Birthday today to:

Dame Judi Dench-  83

John Malkovich-  64

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...Sir Kenneth Branagh (born December 10, 1960), the versatile actor and filmmaker from Northern Ireland. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2012 "for services to drama and to the community in Northern Ireland."
 
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Branagh has been nominated for five Academy Awards in five different categories:
  • 1989 -- Best Director (for "Henry V").
  • 1989 -- Best Actor (for "Henry V"). 
  • 1992 -- Best Short Film, Live Action (for "Swan Song").
  • 1996 -- Best Adapted Screenplay (for "Hamlet").
  • 2011 -- Best Supporting Actor (as Sir Laurence Olivier in "My Week with Marilyn").
 
He also is one of only three people to have earned Oscar nominations for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Director. The others who have done it: Sir Laurence Olivier and George Clooney. No one has ever won awards in all three categories.
 
Branagh met actress Emma Thompson in 1987 during the filming of the BBC miniseries "Fortunes of War." They were wed from 1989 to 1995. During their marriage, Branagh and Thompson appeared together in several other films: "Henry V" (1989), "Dead Again" (1991) and "Peter's Friends" (1992) -- all directed by Branagh. They also appeared in a 1989 televised dramatization of John Osborne's "Look Back in Anger" (1989). And they were in "Pirate Radio" (2009, titled "The Boat That Rocked" outside the United States), but had no scenes together. 
 
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In 1989, Branagh became celebrated for his screen version of Shakespeare's "Henry V." He received Oscars for acting and directing, and the film won the award for Best Costume Design (Phyllis Dalton). "There is no more stirring summons to arms in all of literature than Henry's speech to his troops on St. Crispin's Day, ending with the lyrical 'We few, we happy few, we band of brothers'," wrote Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert. "To deliver this speech successfully is to pass the acid test for anyone daring to perform the role of Henry V in public, and as Kenneth Branagh, as Henry, stood up on the dawn of the Battle of Agincourt and delivered the famous words, I was emotionally stirred even though I had heard them many times before. That is one test of a great Shakespearian actor: to take the familiar and make it new."
 
 
In 1993, Branagh and Thompson co-starred in a screen version of Shakespeare's late 16th-century "Much Ado About Nothing," set in Messina, Italy. Among their co-stars in the production: Denzel Washington, Keanu Reeves, Michael Keaton, Robert Sean Leonard, Kate Beckinsale (in her film debut), Brian Blessed, Imelda Staunton and Thompson's mother, Phyllida Law. The adaptation was written, co-produced and directed by Branagh.
 
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Branagh's take on Shakespeare's tragedy "Hamlet" -- shot in 65mm and set in the 19th-century -- earned him a 1996 Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. He also directed the film and played the Danish prince. The production also starred Kate Winslet (pictured below, as Ophelia), Sir Derek Jacobi, Julie Christie, Sir Richard Attenborough, Jack Lemmon, Gérard Depardieu, Sir John Gielgud, Charlton Heston, Sir John Mills, Billy Crystal and Robin Williams.
 
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In the 1999 big-screen version of "The Wild, Wild West," Branagh played the diabolical Dr. Arliss Loveless -- a man determined to destroy the United States of America. The country's future rested in the hands of the heroic James T. West (Will Smith) and Artemus Gordon (Kevin Kline). 
 
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Branagh appeared in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" (2002)  as the self-satisfied Gilderoy Lockhart -- Hogwarts' Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. 
 
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Cynthia Nixon and Branagh received Primetime Emmy Award nominations for their portrayals of Eleanor and Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 2005 HBO biopic "Warm Springs." The made-for-television movie focused on FDR's struggle with polio in the years before he became the 32nd U.S. president in 1933.
 
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In "Wallander," a British drama series based on the detective novels by Sweden's Henning Mankell (1948-2015), Branagh starred as a Swedish police inspector. David Warner (pictured below with Branagh) appeared as the detective's father. The series, which ran from 2008 to 2016, aired in the United States on PBS' Masterpiece Mystery!
 
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In 2011, Branagh explored the Marvel Universe as the director of "Thor," which starred Chris Hemsworth and Stellan Skarsgård (pictured below. The film, which grossed $449.3 million worldwide, also starred Sir Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Kat Dennings, Idris Elba and Jaimie Alexander.
 
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Often linked to Lord Olivier, Branagh earned a 2011 Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his portrayal of the iconic actor in "My Week with Marilyn." Directed by Simon Curtis, the film was a behind-the-scenes look at the tumultuous filming of the 1957 picture "The Prince and the Showgirl," which starred Monroe and Sir Laurence Olivier. The actress was portrayed by Michelle Williams, who earned a Best Actress nomination.
 
 
 
During the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Branagh appeared as Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859) -- a leading contributor to the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain. Directed by Danny Boyle, the pre-Olympics event -- telecast worldwide on July 27 -- celebrated Great Britain's history and its pop culture. 
 
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Branagh directed Disney's 2015 live-action version of "Cinderella," whiched starred Lily James of TV's "Downton Abbey" as the title character. Richard Madden, who played Robb Stark on "Game of Thrones, co-starred as Prince Charming, Cate Blanchett as Cinderella's stepmother and Helena Bonham Carter as her fairy godmother. The film, which earned $543.5 million worldwide, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design (Sandy Powell).
 
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In 2017, Branagh starred in Christopher Nolan's World War II drama "Dunkirk" as Commander Bolton, the British officer charged with the task of evacuating Allied solders from France in 1940 after a disastrous rout. 
 
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The actor sported a formidable mustache in a 2017 film adaptation of Agatha Christie's "Murder on the Orient Express" that he also directed and co-produced. He played the Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot while surrounded by an all-star cast that included Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Dame Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Sir Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom, Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer and Daisy Ridley.
 
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...Rita Moreno (born Rosa Dolores Alverío on December 11, 1931), the Puerto Rican-born actress, singer and dancer who is one of only 12 people to achieve EGOT status -- winning at least one Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.

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Academy Awards (1):
1961: Best Actress in a Supporting Role -- "West Side Story"
 
Emmy Awards (2):
1977: Outstanding Continuing or Single Performance by a Supporting Actress in Variety or Music -- "The Muppet Show"
1978: Outstanding Lead Actress for a Single Appearance in a Drama or Comedy Series -- "The Rockford Files" for the episode “The Paper Palace”
 
Grammy Awards (1):
1972: Best Recording for Children -- "The Electric Company"
 
Tony Awards (1):
1975: Best Featured or Supporting Actress in a Play -- "The Ritz"
 
As a rising starlet, Rosita changed her name to Rita Moreno after her favorite actress. Rita Hayworth. But her look was borrowed from another well-known screen idol: Elizabeth Taylor. "I did my eyebrows like her, I did my hair like her," she told Mo Rocca of CBS Sunday Morning in 2013. "I wore a waist cincher because she has this wasp waist. I did everything I could. And when I did meet Mr. Louis B. Mayer, the first thing he said was, 'Look at that: She looks like a Spanish Elizabeth Taylor.' Signed me on the spot."
 
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One of Moreno's first films for MGM turned out to be one of the greatest movie musicals of all time. In "Singin' in the Rain" (1952), she played Zelda Zanders, a B-list movie star who revealed the secret that Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) had been dubbing the voice of the film star Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen).
 
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In the 1961 screen musical "West Side Story" -- based on the Broadway production and derived from Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" -- Moreno played Anita, girlfriend of the Sharks' gang leader Bernardo (George Chakiris). Their New York City rivals were the Jets.
 
 
At the 34th Academy Awards on April 9, 1962, "West Side Story won 10 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director (Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins). Awards also went to Moreno and Chakiris for their supporting roles.
 

In June 2004, Moreno and golf great Arnold Palmer were among the recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, one of the nation's highest civilian honors. The medals were awarded by President George W. Bush during a White House ceremony.

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On February 25, 2010, President Obama presented her the American National Medal of the Arts for her service and career contributions. 
 
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On January 18, 2014, Moreno received the Screen Actors Guild's Life Achievement Award at the organization's 20th annual ceremony. During her acceptance speech, she took a moment to sing a portion “This Is All I Ask.” a song written by Gordon Jenkins and recorded by Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams and Tony Bennett. "As I approach the prime of my life,” she sang, “I find I have the time of my life.” 
 
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In December 2015, Moreno's career was celebrated at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The other honorees: the orchestra conductor Seiji Ozawa, the singer songwriter Carole King, the actress Cicely Tyson and the filmmaker George Lucas.
 
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In 2017, Justina Machado and Moreno starred in the Netflix comedy "One Day at a Time," producer Norman Lear's rebooting of his 1970s CBS sitcom. The focus this time is on a Cuban-American family. "All these years later, it’s not like we are the first show to have a Latino family, but there are so few out today -- that doesn’t make any sense when you look at the demographics in the U.S.," Moreno told The Los Angeles Times. "There seems to be this dumb idea that you can’t get into a show with Latinos if you’re not Latino." 

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...Jennifer Connelly (born on December 12, 1970), the onetime child star who became an Academy Award-winning actress.
 
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As a preteen, Connelly modeled and appeared in television commercials. When she was 11, she successfully auditioned for a role in Sergio Leone's 1984 mob saga "Once Upon a Time in America. She played Deborah Gelly, an aspiring young dancer (Elizabeth McGovern played the character as an adult, when Deborah became the love interest of Robert De Niro's mobster, "Noodles" Aaronson). There were two versions of the film: Leone's uncut version and a truncated release. The late Chicago Tribune critic Gene Siskel put the shortened version at No. 1 on his worst films list. His No. 1 entry on his best of 1984 list: Leone's uncut version.
 
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Connelly co-starred with the recording artist and actor David Bowie in the 1986 fantasy "Labyrinth," which was directed by Muppets creator Jim Henson. The film was populated by numerous Muppet-like creatures. Connelly appeared as a teen girl searching for her missing baby brother in the realm of The Goblin King (Bowie).
 
 
In the 1991 action film "The Rocketeer," Connelly played a budding actress named Jenny Blake --a watered-down version of the heroine in the late Dave Stevens' 1980s comics. That character -- named Betty -- was a photographer's model and a dead ringer for the notorious 1950s pin-up queen, Bettie Page. But a Page clone was out of the question for a Disney film, and so Connelly's Jenny was the girl next door.

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A side note: Maybe it was coincidence. Or maybe not. But Connelly appeared in three films between 1998 and 2003 that featured her characters in scenes on piers. The pictures were "Dark City" (1998, with Rufus Sewell), "Requiem for a Dream" (2000, with Jared Leto) and "House of Sand and Fog" (2003).

 
Ron Howard's  2001 biopic "A Beautiful Mind" starred Russell Crowe as the American mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr. (1928-2015), who won a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences --- and battled mental illness. Connelly co-starred as Nash's wife Alicia.
 
 
"A Beautiful Mind" won Oscars for Best Picture (Howard and Brian Grazer), Best Director (Howard), Best Adapted Screenplay (Akiva Goldsman, from the book "A Beautiful Mind" by Sylvia Nasar) and a Best Supporting Actress win for Connelly. Her competition in the category: four actresses who either were or would become Oscar winners.
 
 
In addition to her Oscar, "A Beautiful Mind" provided Connelly with something else that enhanced her life. She became involved with the British actor Paul Bettany, who appeared in the film as a figment of John Nash's imagination. They have been married since 2003 and have three children.
 
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In 2003, Connelly co-starred with Eric Bana in Ang Lee's superhero movie "Hulk," based on the Marvel comic book character. Bana played Dr. Bruce Banner, whose accidental exposure to gamma rays resulted in his occasional transformation into a gigantic, green-skinned monster. Connelly was his love interest -- Betty Ross, daughter of the Hulk-hating Gen.Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross (Sam Elliott).
 
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Connelly and Crowe reunited for the 2014 Biblical tale "Noah," in which she played the wife of the title character on a mission from God.
 
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Connelly is currently attached to a television adaptation of the 2013 film "Snowpiercer" -- South Korean director Bong Joon-ho's dystopian tale about survivors on a train during a new Ice Age. Scott Derrickson ("Doctor Strange") will direct the pilot for cable station TNT. The project will team Connelly with Daveed Diggs, who won Tony and Grammy awards for his roles as Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette in the smash Broadway musical "Hamilton."

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...Christopher Plummer (born Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer on December 13, 1929), the Academy Award-winning actor best remembered as the patriarch of the Trapp Family Singers in "The Sound of Music." He has been in the news recently because of his last-minute participation in the 2017 film "All the Money in the World," scheduled to open on Christmas Day.
 
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Plummer has been nominated for Academy Awards twice. His nominated roles and movies are as follows (Oscar win is in bold):
  • Count Leo Tolstoy in "The Last Station" (2009). Best Supporting Actor.
  • Hal Fields in "Beginners" (2011). Best Supporting Actor.
 
The Canadian actor made his screen debut in the 1958 drama "Stage Struck," which starred Henry Fonda and Susan Strasberg. The film was a remake of "Morning Glory," the 1933 story of a young actress (Katharine Hepburn) who became a stage star. For her performance, Hepburn won the first of her record four Academy Awards as Best Actress.
 
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In the 1958 drama "Wind Across the Everglades," Plummer starred as an early 1900s game warden who tried toi protect wildlife in South Florida from a band of plume hunters. He found himself at odds with a particularly ruthless group of poaches led by a headstrong character known as Cottonmouth (Burl Ives).
 
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The 1964 epic film "Fall of the Roman Empire" starred Plummer as the Emperor Commodus -- essentially the same character played 36 years later by Joaquin Phoenix in "Gladiator." Directed by Anthony Mann, the production also starred Sophia Loren, Stephen Boyd, Sir Alec Guinness, James Mason, Mel Ferrer and Omar Sharif.
 
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Plummer portrayed Captain Georg von Trapp -- opposite Dame Julie Andrews as his wife Maria -- in "The Sound of Music" (1965). Directed by Robert Wise, the screen version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's stage musical supplanted "Gone With the Wind" as the No. 1 box-office attraction of all time. "The Sound of Music" won five Academy Awards: Best Picture and Best Director (both for Wise), Best Original Music Score (Irwin Kostal), Best Film Editing (William H. Reynolds) and Best Sound Mixing (Fred Hynes). Plummer and Andrews are pictured below with the actors who played the younger member of the Trapp Family Singers: Kym Karath, Angela Cartwright, Heather Menzies, Charmian Carr, Nicholas Hammond, Duane Chase and Debbie Turner.
 
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The 1965 drama "Inside Daisy Clover" starred Natalie Wood as a Depression-era teen (Wood) who became an overnight success as a movie star despite many trials and tribulations. Plummer played the overprotective producer Raymond Swan who manager her career. After experiencing a series of setbacks -- including a failed marriage to actor Wade Lewis (Robert Redford) and the death of her mother (Ruth Gordon), Daisy suffered an emotional breakdown while looping a musical performance at a movie studio.
 
 
Plummer portrayed Rudyard Kipling in the 1975 drama "The Man Who Would Be King, based on the 1888 short story by the British author. Director John Huston spent more than 20 years trying to bring the tale to the screen and succeeded with this effort. In the film, Kipling made the acquaintance of Daniel Dravot (Sir Sean Connery) and Peachy Carnehan (Sir Michael Caine) -- two former British officers in India with big adventure plans.
 

In "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" (1991), Plummer played the Shakespeare quoting, Federation hating Klingon general named Chang. He was determined to disrupt peace talks with the Federation and came close to destroying the USS Enterprise-A and its crew. Directed by Nicholas Meyer, this was the last film in the "Star Trek" series to feature the cast from the original television series of the 1960s. The production was a reunion for fellow Canadians Plummer and William Shatner, who worked on radio plays in French and English in Montreal during the 1950s.

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Plummer portrayed the veteran CBS News "60 Minutes" correspondent Mike Wallace (1918-2012) in Michael Mann's 1999 drama "The Insider." The film, which starred Al Pacino as "60 Minutes" producer Lowell Bergman, examined the television newsmagazine's probe of the cigarette industry in the mid-1990s. Russell Crowe, who played tobacco industry whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand, received an Oscar nomination as Best Actor. The film also was nominated for six other awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.
 
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After 51 years in movies, Plummer received his first Academy Award nomination for his performance in the 2009 historical drama "The Last Station." He was recognized in the Best Supporting Actor category for his portrayal of the Russian author Count Leo Tolstoy. Directed by Michael Hoffman ("Restoration"), the film also starred Dame Helen Mirren, James McAvoy and Paul Giamatti. The picture was based on the 1990 historical novel by Jay Parini.
 
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The next year, Plummer received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his performance as a retired art expert who decided to come out of the closet at the age of 75. Ewan McGregor co-starred as the son who wound up having to take care of his father. Written and directed by Mike Mills ("20th Century Women"), the comedy/drama also starred Mélanie Laurent and Goran Višnjić.
 
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At the 84th Academy Awards ceremony on February 26, 2012, Plummer became the oldest person to win an Oscar in any acting category. He was 82 years and 75 days old when he won the award (Plummer was born seven months after the first Oscars ceremony was held on May 16, 1929).
 
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Plummer appears as Ebenezer Scrooge in the recently released film "The Man Who Invented Christmas." The biopic stars Dan Stevens as Charles Dickins and focuses on the 19th-century British author's creation of the holiday tale "A Christmas Carol."
 
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When reports surfaced last month about sexual misconduct by the actor Kevin Spacey (pictured below right), director Ridley Scott decided to replace him in the role of billionaire J. Paul Getty in the drama "All the Money in the World." Although all of Spacey's scenes had been filmed, Plummer was brought in as a replacement. Plummer's reshoots began on November 21; he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture three weeks later. The 
 
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Also, Happy Birthday today to:

Dick Van Dyke-  92

Steve Buscemi-  60

Jamie Foxx-  50

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...Jane Birkin (born on December 14, 1946), the British model and actress turned French recording artist and icon. She is the mother of the award-winning actress and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg, known for her screen collaborations with the notorious filmmaker Lars von Trier.
 
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From 1965 to 1968, Birkin was married to John Barry (1933-2011), the prolific Academy Award-winning film composer known for his scores for almost a dozen James Bond films. They had a daughter Kate, a well-regarded photographer who died in December 2013 of an apparent suicide.
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Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni's 1966 English-language thriller "Blow-Up" starred David Hemmings as a fashion photographer reportedly modeled after British Vogue ace cameraman David Bailey. In a memorable scene, Hemmings' character participated in a lively photo session with budding models played by Birkin and Gillian Hills. 
 
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Birkin played Penny Lane, a Swinging Sixties' model, in the psychedelic 1968 film "Wonderwall." Director Joe Massot's picture probably is best remembered for its soundtrack by George Harrison of The Beatles.
 
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In 1968, Birkin became involved with the controversial French singer-songwriter and filmmaker Serge Gainsbourg (pictured below in 1973 with baby Charlotte). Birkin recorded the 1969 song "Je t'aime...moi non plus" (or "I Love You...Me Neither"), which Gainsbourg originally wrote for his ex-girlfriend Brigitte Bardot. The song's explicit lyrics led to its being banned by several countries and denounced by the Vatican. It reached the No. 1 spot in the United Kingdom, despite the BBC's decision not to play it on the radio. Birkin and Gainsbourg were together until 1980. He died of a heart attack at the age of 62 in 1991.
 
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Birkin and Bardot co-starred in the 1973 French film "Don Juan ou Si Don Juan était une femme..." ("Don Juan, or If Don Juan Were a Woman"), which was directed by Bardot's ex-husband Roger Vadim.
 
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In "Death on the Nile" (1978), Sir Peter Ustinov's first outing as Agatha Christie's Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot, Birkin played  the French maid Louise Bourget, one of several suspects in the murder of a wealthy heiress (Lois Chiles) in Egypt. The all-star cast also featured Bette Davis, Mia Farrow, Jon Finch, Olivia Hussey, George Kennedy, Dame Angela Lansbury, Simon MacCorkindale, David Niven, Dame Maggie Smith, Jack Warden and I. S. Johar. The film, directed by John Guillermin, won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design (Anthony Powell).
 
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Birkin reunited with Ustinov for "Evil Under the Sun" (1982), another Poirot murder mystery based on a Christie novel. This one -- directed by Guy Hamilton -- focused on the murder of the actress Arlena Marshall (Dame Diana Rigg) on an island resort in the Adriatic. Birkin played Christine Redfern, the demure wife of a dashing man (Nicholas Clay) who had been having an affair with the murder victim. The cast also starred Colin Blakely, Dame Maggie Smith, Roddy McDowall, Sylvia Miles, James Mason and Denis Quilley,
 
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In the 1980s, Hermès created handmade leather bags that were named for Birkin. It all began with a 1983 Air France flight from Paris to London. Birkin sat next to Hermès CEO Jean-Louis Dumas (1938-2010) and lamented the fact that tote bags never had enough pockets. Dumas later conferred with designers who came up with The Birkin bag. The actress later asked that her name be removed because of concerns about the treatment of crocodiles used to make the bags.
 
Jane Birkin with her Birkin bag.
 
Birkin starred in the 2016 French-language short film "La femme et le TGV" (or "The Railroad Lady"), which was directed by the Swiss filmmaker Timo von Gunten. It was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Live Action Short Film. Birkin announced that the film would be her last. 
 
In September 2016, Birkin was accompanied by her daughters Lou Doillon and Charlotte at a Saint Laurent fashion show in Paris. Doillon, a popular French recording artist, model and actress, is Birkin's daughter by the director Jacques Doillon.
 
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...Don Johnson (born on December 15, 1949), the actor who zoomed to stardom in the 1980s television series "Miami Vice." He is the father of the actress Dakota Johnson, who has headlined the "Fifty Shades of Grey" movie series.

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Johnson met the teen actress Melanie Griffith during the filming of the 1973 film "The Harrad Experiment," based on the risqué 1960s novel about a sexual experimentation course at a college. The film also starred Griffith's mother 'Tippi' Hedren. Johnson and Griffith married twice -- briefly in 1979 and again from 1989 to 1996.
 
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In 1975, Johnson starred in the sci-fi cult film "A Boy and His Dog," directed by the actor L.Q. Jones and based on the 1969 novella by Harlan Ellison. Set in the year 2024, the dystopian tale featured Johnson as an 18-year-old wandering a post-apocalyptic desert with his telepathic dog Blood (voiced by the late actor Tim McIntire). The film also starred Susanne Benton, Jason Robards and Alvy Moore (who adapted the screenplay with Jones).
 
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Johnson starred in the 1980 NBC drama series "From Here to Eternity," a follow up to the network's 1979 six-part miniseries that starred Natalie Wood, William Devane, Kim Basinger, Steve Railsback and Roy Thinnes. Both projects were based on the 1951 best-selling novel by James Jones. Devane and Thinnes returned for the series, while Barbara Hershey assumed the role played by Wood. Johnson played Private Jefferson “Jeff” Davis Prewitt. The series lasted 11 episodes.
 
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From 1984 to 1989, Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas starred as undercover police detectives in NBC's hit series "Miamii Vice." The program had a major impact on the pop culture, including the prominent use of designer fashions and contemporary music.
 
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In 1986, Johnson released an album titled "Heartbeat," which peaked at No. 17 on Billboard magazine's LPs chart. The title song was a worldwide hit and reached the No. 5 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. The music video featured appearances by the actor Giancarlo Esposito, former "Late Show with David Letterman" bandleader Paul Shaffer and guitarist Dweezil Zappa.
 
 
Johnson played the former college rival of a late-blooming golf pro (Kevin Costner) in the 1996 sports film "Tin Cup" -- co-written and directed by Ron Shelton ("Bull Durham"). The golfers renewed their rivalry at the U.S. Open golf tournament in North Carolina. The film also starred Rene Russo and Cheech Marin.
 
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From 1996 to 2001, Johnson starred as a San Francisco cop in the CBS police series "Nash Bridges," which featured Marin as his partner and Jodi Lyn O'Keefe as his teen daughter.
 
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Johnson played the plantation owner Spencer Gordon "Big Daddy" Bennet in Quentin Tarantino's 2012 film "Django Unchained," for which Tarantino won a Best Original Screenplay Oscar.
 
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Johnson's daughter Dakota is the product of his second marriage to Griffith. In 2006, she was Miss Golden Globe, the title bestowed upon celebrity children who help present trophies at the annual award show. She starred in the short-lived FOX sitcom "Ben and Kate" during the 2012-2013 season. She has appeared as Anastasia Steele in the films "Fifty Shades of Grey" (2015) and "Fifty Shades Darker" (2017). A third installment of the series, "Fifty Shades Freed," is scheduled to be released next year.
 
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...Liv Ullmann (born on December 16, 1938), the Norwegian actress who became a professional and personal muse for the great Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007). Their daughter Linn Ullmann has become a noted writer and literary critic in Norway.
 
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Liv Ullmann has been nominated for Academy Awards twice. Her recognized roles and movies are as follows: 
 
  • Kristina Nilsson in "The Emigrants" (1972). Best Actress.
  • Dr. Jenny Isaksson in "Face to Face" (1976). Best Actress.
 
Her first of 10 Bergman films was "Persona," the stylish but enigmatic 1966 tale of an actress (Ullmann) who had stopped speaking. An arrangement was made for her to rest at an isolated country house and be looked after by a nurse (Bibi Andersson, another longtime Bergman muse). "Persona" was one of the first movies reviewed by Roger Ebert for The Chicago Sun-Times in 1967. "This is a difficult, frustrating film, seeming at times to have more in common with the 'personal cinema' of Jean-Luc Godard than with Bergman's usual cool control," Ebert wrote. "The director keeps reminding us that he's right there, creating his film before our eyes. And the distance between his presence and the story he tells is like the distance between what the actress is and what she reveals. The nurse is maddened by the unspeaking actress in the same sense that the audience is frustrated by the movie: Both stubbornly refuse to be conventional and to respond as we expect." In 2001, Ebert added the film to hils list of Great Movies.
 
 
Bergman alums Ullmann and Max von Sydow starred in "The Emigrants," filmmaker Jan Troell's tale of Swedish farmers who emigrated to America in the mid-19th century. The drama was nominated for a 1971 Academy Award as Best Foreign Language Film. A year later, it received five 1972 Oscar nominations -- including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress (Ullmann). The travails of the Swedes in America continued with Troell's 1972 follow up, "The New Land."
 
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On March 27, 1973, Ullmann and Sir Roger Moore were the presenters when Marlon Brando's spokeswoman Sacheen Littlefeather announced that "The Godfather" star would not accept the Academy Award for Best Actor. Brando regretfully could not accept, the spokeswoman said, because of "the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry...and on television and in movie reruns." 
 
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"Scenes from a Marriage" (1973) was Bergman's almost five-hour miniseries for Swedish television. It was the story of a disintegrating relationship between Marianne (Ullmann) and Johan (Erland Josephson) over a decade. The filming of the production, which was shortened for a theatrical release, occurred not long after the end of Bergman's own relationship with Ullmann.
 
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The 1973 romantic comedy "Forty Carats" starred Ullmann as a 40-year-old woman who had an affair in Greece with a man (played by Edward Albert) who was almost half her age. Upon her return to New York, she discovered that the young man also was in town --and dating her teen daughter (Deborah Raffin). The film was based on a 1968 Broadway play for which Julie Harris won a Tony Award.
 
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The 1973 musical remake of the 1937 film "Lost Horizon" -- based on James Hilton's novel about the utopian land of Shangri La -- starred Ullmann, Peter Finch. Sally Kellerman, George Kennedy, Michael York, Olivia Hussey, Bobby Van, Sir John Gielgud and Charles Boyer. Directed by Charles Jarrott ('Anne of the Thousand Days"), the film featured songs written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. The film was panned by critics -- and it was not a commercial success.
   
 
Ullmann co-starred with Gene Hackman in the 1974 Western drama "Zandy's Bride," directed by Troell. Set in the late 19th century, the film focused on cattle rancher Zandy Allan (Hackman) and his tempestuous relationship with a Minnesota mail-order bride (Ullmann).
 
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Bergman's 1976 drama "Face to Face" starred Ullmann as a psychiatrist who suffered an emotional breakdown. Josephson co-starred as her husband, also a psychiatrist. In his review of the film, Vincent Canby of The New York Times said: "I know of no other actress today who has at hand the reserves that enable her to move so effortlessly through such multiple levels of mood and feeling. But then nobody today except Mr. Bergman writes such roles for actresses."
 
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Ullmann was the only major actress in the all-star cast of the 1977 World War II drama "A Bridge Too Far," based on Cornelius Ryan's best-selling book. The story focused on Operation Market Garden, a doomed Allied effort in September 1944 to end the war before Christmas. The objective was to take control of several German-held bridges in the Netherlands on the road to Berlin. Ullmann portrayed Kate ter Horst (1906-1992), an Arnhem resident who agreed to let her house be used as a hospice for wounded soldiers. Sir Laurence Olivier co-starred as Dr. Jan Spaander. Directed by Sir Richard Attenborough, the film also featured appearances by Hackman, Robert Redford, Sir Michael Caine, Sir Sean Connery, Ryan O'Neal, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Edward Fox, Dirk Bogarde, James Caan, Elliott Gould, Hardy Krüger and Maximilian Schell.  
 
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Bergman's 1978 drama "Autumn Sonata" marked the return of the actress Ingrid Bergman to a Swedish film. She played a world renowned concert pianist who chose her career over her children. Years later, she visited her adult daughter (Ullmann) in Norway, which prompted some difficult moments. The film received Academy Award nominations for Best Actress (Ingrid Bergman) and Best Original Screenplay (Ingmar Bergman). It was the final feature film for both Bergmans. Ingmar's next efforts were television productions, edited for release in theaters. Ingrid died on her 67th birthday on August 29, 1982. She won a posthumous Primetime Emmy Award for her portrayal of Israeli prime minister Golda Meir in the miniseries "A Woman Called Golda."
 

Ullmann and Josephson reunited for Bergman's "Saraband," a 2003 sequel to "Scenes from a Marriage." It also was shot for television before being shortened for a theatrical release. It turned out to be Bergman's last project. He died in July 2007. Josephson, who died in February 2012 at the age of 88, appeared in more than a dozen Bergman films -- a record among the filmmaker's favorite actors. 

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In 2014, Ullmann directed Jessica Chastain (pictured below) and Colin Farrell in an indepedent film version of August Strindberg’s 1888 stage play, “Miss Julie.” It was Ullmann's first stint as a film director in 14 years. She previously directed the 1992 Danish drama "Sofie" and the 2000 Swedish film "Faithless," which was written by Bergman. Both films starred her frequent co-star Josephson.
 
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...Milla Jovovich (born Milica Bogdanovna Jovovich on December 17, 1975), the Soviet Union-born beauty who became the world's highest-paid model in 2004. As an actress, she has flourished in such sci-fi/action films as "The Fifth Element" (1997) and the "Resident Evil" series. 
 
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Jovovich, whose family emigrated to the West when she was 5, made her screen debut as one of Sherilyn Fenn's younger sisters in the 1988 drama "Two Moon Junction." Directed by Zalman King, the romantic drama also starred Richard Tyson, Louise Fletcher, Burl Ives and Millie Perkins.
 
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As the star of "Return to the Blue Lagoon" (1991), the 15-year-old Jovovich drew comparisons to another model turned actress -- Brooke Shields. As was the case in "The Blue Lagoon," the 1980 coming of age film starring Shields, the film was about young people (Jovovich and Brian Krause) marooned on a remote island in the South Pacific.
 
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Jovovich portrayed Mildred Harris (1901-1944), the onetime child actress who became the first wife of the film great Sir Charles Chaplin in Sir Richard Attenborough's 1992 biopic. "Chaplin" starred Robert Downey, Jr., who earned an Academy Award nomination as Best Actor for his efforts.
 
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Jovovich played Michelle Burroughs in Richard Linklater's 1993 hit "Dazed and Confused," set during May 28, 1976 -- the last day of school at an Austin, Texas high school. The movie's cast also featured other up-and-coming stars, including Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, Park Posey and Renée Zellweger.
 
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Luc Besson's futuristic tale "The Fifth Element" (1997) featured Sir Ian Holm as a 23rd-century priest who believed a strange woman (Jovovich, pictured below with Holm and Charlie Creed-Miles) was the key to saving the universe. The film starred Bruce Willis as a cab driver who had a cute meeting with Jovovich's character. Jovovich was married to Besson from 1997 to 1999.
 
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In Spike Lee's "He Got Game" (1998), Jovovich played Dakota Burns, a prostitute who befriended a convicted murderer (Denzel Washington) released from prison for a special mission. He had to persuade his teen son (played by NBA great Ray Allen) to attend the governor's alma mater
 
Without consequence, "He Got Game" could easily lose a subplot involving temporarily released convict Jake Shuttlesworth (Denzel Washington) and Dakota (Milla Jovovich), the good-hearted prostitute next door.
 
Jovovich portrayed the national heroine of France in Besson's 1999 biopic "The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc." It was one of two noteworthy productions that year about "The Maid of Orleans." "Joan of Arc," a Canadian-produced television miniseries starring Leelee Sobieski, aired on CBS and earned 13 Primetime Emmy nominations. 
 
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In the comedy "Zoolander" (2001), Jovovich appeared as Katinka Ingabogovinanana, the menacing henchwoman of the fashion mogul Jacobim Mugatu (Will Ferrell). The film starred Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Christine Taylor, Jerry Stiller, David Duchovny, Jon Voight and Vince Vaughn. Jovovich reprised the role of Katinka in the 2016 sequel "Zoolander 2." 
 
 
Jovovich played the character Alice in the 2002 action film "Resident Evil," based on the popular video game about a zombie apocalypse. She also appeared in five sequels between 2004 and 2016. In 2009, she married the film series' director Paul W.S. Anderson. They have two daughters.
 
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Jovovich starred as the villainous and lethal Milady de Winter in a 2011 3-D screen version of "The Three Musketeers," based on the 1844 novel by the French author Alexandre Dumas the Elder (1802-1870). Set in 17th-century France, the film also featured Matthew Macfadyen, Logan Lerman, Ray Stevenson, Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom and Christoph Waltz. It was directed by Jovovich's husband.
 
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...Steven Spielberg (born on December 18, 1946), a master filmmaker of the past five decades -- and for the ages. His 30th film as a director is "The Post" -- based on the controversial 1971 Pentagon Papers case, in which The Washington Post newspaper published government documents about the Vietnam War. 
 
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At the age of 22, Spielberg directed screen legend Joan Crawford in a 1969 episode of NBC's anthology series "Night Gallery."
 
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Two of Spielberg's invaluable collaborators over the years were producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy (who have been married since 1987). Kennedy has been the president of Lucasfilm since May 2012.
 
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Spielberg has been nominated for 16 Academy Awards as a director or producer (Oscar wins in bold):
  • 1977 -- Best Director (for "Close Encounters of the Third Kind")
  • 1981 -- Best Director (for "Raiders of the Lost Ark")
  • 1982 -- Best Picture (for "E.T. the Extra-terrestrial," shared with Kathleen Kennedy)
  • 1982 -- Best Director (for E.T. the Extra-terrestrial")
  • 1985 -- Best Picture (for "The Color Purple," shared with Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Quincy Jones)
  • 1993 -- Best Picture (for "Schindler's List," shared with Gerald R. Molen and Branko Lustig)
  • 1993 -- Best Director (for "Schindler's List")
  • 1998 -- Best Picture (for "Saving Private Ryan," shared with Ian Bryce, Mark Gordon and Gary Levinsohn)
  • 1998 -- Best Director (for "Saving Private Ryan")
  • 2005 -- Best Picture (for "Munich," shared with Kennedy and Barry Mendel)
  • 2005 -- Best Director (for "Munich")
  • 2006 -- Best Picture (for "Letters from Iwo Jima," shared with Clint Eastwood and Robert Lorenz)
  • 2011 -- Best Picture (for "War Horse," shared with Kennedy)
  • 2012 -- Best Picture (for "Lincoln," shared with Kennedy)
  • 2012 -- Best Director (for "Lincoln")
  • 2015 -- Best Picture (for "Bridge of Spies," shared with Marc Platt and Kristie Macosko Krieger)
 
Spielberg and composer John Williams have worked together since the director's debut feature film -- "The Sugarland Express" (1974). Williams, the winner of five Academy Awards in 50 nominations, has scored all but two of Spielberg's 30 films. The two omissions: "The Color Purple" (1985) and "Bridge of Spies" (2015).
 
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Spielberg has directed 10 films that have been nominated for Best Picture in the past 42 years. He now is in sole possession of second place for the most Best Picture nominees by a director. Only William Wyler has had more -- 13 between 1937 and 1969 (his films won the top Oscar three times).
 
Here's a list of Spielberg's Best Picture nominees (Oscar winners in bold): 
  • "Jaws" (1975).
  • "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981). Also nominated for Best Director.
  • "E.T. the Extra-terrestial" (1982). Also nominated for Best Director.
  • "The Color Purple" (1985). Also nominated for Best Director.
  • "Schindler's List" (1993). Also won for Best Director.
  • "Saving Private Ryan" (1998). Won for Best Director.
  • "Munich" (2005). Also nominated for Best Director.
  • "War Horse" (2011).
  • "Lincoln" (2012). Also nominated for Best Director.
  • "Bridge of Spies" (2015). 
 
Spielberg has directed 13 actors to Academy Awards nominations (Oscar winners are in bold): 
  • Melinda Dillon  -- Best Supporting Actress, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (1977)
  • Whoopi Goldberg -- Best Actress, "The Color Purple" (1985)
  • Margaret Avery -- Best Supporting Actress, "The Color Purple" (1985)
  • Oprah Winfrey -- Best Supporting Actress, "The Color Purple" (1985)
  • Liam Neeson -- Best Actor, "Schindler's List" (1993)
  • Ralph Fiennes -- Best Supporting Actor, "Schindler's List" (1993)
  • Sir Anthony Hopkins -- Best Supporting Actor, "Amistad" (1997)
  • Tom Hanks -- Best Actor, "Saving Private Ryan" (1998)
  • Christopher Walken -- Best Supporting Actor, "Catch Me If You Can" (2002)
  • Sir Daniel Day-Lewis -- Best Actor, "Lincoln" (2012)
  • Tommy Lee Jones -- Best Supporting Actor, "Lincoln" (2012)
  • Sally Field -- Best Supporting Actress, "Lincoln" (2012)
  • Sir Mark Rylance -- Best Supporting Actor, "Bridge of Spies" (2015)
 
“I’ve always just adored stories -- hearing them, seeing them, being in them. So for me to have the chance to work with, I think, one of the greatest storytellers of our time -- Steven Spielberg -- that’s just been such an honor. And unlike some of the leaders we're being presented with these days, he leads with such love that he’s surrounded by masters in every craft on his film -- every craft."  -- Rylance during his acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor at the 88th Academy Awards. Rylance made it a point to search for Spielberg after his name was called (pictured below). 
 
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"The Post" stars Tom Hanks as the late Ben Bradlee, the executive editor whose stewardship at the newspaper -- from 1968 to 1991 -- helped it become one of the leading publications in the world. Meryl Streep portrays the late Katharine Graham, who was the publisher of The Washington Post. The film Spielberg's fifth collaboration with Tom Hanks. Their previous projects together were "Saving Private Ryan" (1998), "Catch Me If You Can" (2002), "The Terminal" (2004) and "Bridge of Spies" (2015). Streep provided the voice of The Blue Fairy in Spielberg's 2001 film "A.I.: Artificial Intelligence."
 
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Also, Happy Birthday today to:

Brad Pitt-  54

Ray Liotta- 63

Katie Holmes-  39

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...Cicely Tyson (born December 19, 1924), the African-American acting pioneer who was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in the 1972 drama "Sounder." She has won three Primetime Emmy Awards and a Tony.

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In 1961, Tyson and James Earl Jones were members of the celebrated Off-Broadway production "The Blacks: A Clown Show," the 1958 play written by France's Jean Genet. The original cast also featured Louis Gossett, Jr., Godfrey Cambridge, Maya Angelou, Roscoe Lee Brown and Charles Gordone.
 
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During the 1963-1964 season, Tyson was one of the rare black performers appearing regularly on primetime television -- thanks to her co-starring role in "East Side/West Side." The CBS drama series starred George C. Scott as a New York City social worker. Tyson played Jane Foster, the office secretary. The series lasted only one season.
 
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Tyson has credited her short hairstyle in "East Side/West Side" with starting the trend toward the "natura" look among African-American women in the 1960s. She recalled: "I got letters from hairdressers all over the country telling me that I was affecting their business because their clients were having their hair cut off so they could wear it like the girl on television."
 
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In the 1966 drama "A Man Called Adam," Tyson played the love interest of Adam Johnson (Sammy Davis Jr.), a jazz trumpeter with problems. For one thing, he still grieved over the deaths of his wife and child in an auto accident he caused. The film, which also featured Louis Armstrong, Ossie Davis, Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Jr, Mel Tormé, Lola Falana and an uncredited Morgan Freeman, was directed by Leo Penn (father of Sean).
 
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The cover of jazz great Miles Davis' 1967 album "Sorceror" featured a profile photo of Tyson, who was his girlfriend at the time. They were married from 1981 to 1988.
 
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In the 1968 screen version of Carson McCullers' novel "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter," Tyson played Portia -- a domestic who had a strained relationship with her father, Dr. Copeland (Percy Rodrigues). Directed by Robert Ellis Miller, the film received Academy Award nominations for Best Actor (Alan Arkin) and Best Supporting Actress (Sondra Locke).
 
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Directed by Martin Ritt ("Hud," "Norma Rae"), "Sounder" was a drama about the Morgans, a family of black sharecroppers in 1933 Louisiana. Tyson and Paul Winfield earned Academy Award nominations for their performances. The film also received Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay (for Lonne Elder III, who derived the screen story from the 1970 Newbery Medal-winning children's novel by William H. Armstrong). Tyson's Best Actress nomination for her performance as Rebecca Morgan occurred the same year that Diana Ross received a nod for her portrayal of singer Billie Holliday in "Lady Sings the Blues." It was the first time that two African-American women were nominated in the same acting category. They also were the first black actresses to be recognized in a lead category by the Academy since Dorothy Dandridge received a Best Actress nomination for the 1954 film "Carmen Jones."
 
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In the 1974 CBS made-for-television movie "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman," Tyson starred as a former slave who lived to witness the American civil rights movement as a centenarian. The drama was based on the novel by Ernest J. Gaines. 
 
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For her acclaimed work in "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman," Tyson won two 1973-1974 Primetime Emmy Awards: one for Best Lead Actress in a Drama and another for Actress of the Year (Special). The latter category was discontinued. Twenty years later, Tyson picked up a third Primetime Emmy for her performance in the 1994 CBS miniseries "Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All."
 
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In the 1977 ABC miniseries "Roots," Tyson appeared as Binta -- the mother of the central character Kunta Kinte. Angelou played the boy's grandmother. Tyson received a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Single Performance By a Supporting Actress in a Comedy Or Drama Series. Based on the best-selling book by Alex Haley, the miniseries earned a total of 37 Emmy nominations. It won nine awards, including Best Limited Series. 
 
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In the 2011 drama "The Help," Tyson played Constantine Bates, the elderly African-American maid who helped care for Skeeter Phelan (played as a child by Lila Rogers and as an adult by Emma Stone). 
 
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In June 2013 -- six months before her 89th birthday -- Tyson received a Tony Award for her stage work in the Horton Foote drama "The Trip to Bountiful."  
 
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Since 2015, Tyson has been nominated twice for her guest appearances on the ABC drama series "How to Get Away with Murder." She plays Ophelia Harkness, the mother of the irrepressible attorney and college professor Annalise Keating (series star Viola Davis).
 
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In December 2015, Tyson's career was celebrated at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The other honorees: the orchestra conductor Seiji Ozawa, the singer songwriter Carole King, the actress Rita Moreno and the filmmaker George Lucas.
 
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In November 2016, President Obama presented Tyson the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- one of the nation's highest civilian honors.

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On 12/16/2017 at 1:23 AM, jakeem said:
...Liv Ullmann (born on December 16, 1938), the Norwegian actress who became a professional and personal muse for the great Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007). Their daughter Linn Ullmann has become a noted writer and literary critic in Norway.
 
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Liv Ullmann has been nominated for Academy Awards twice. Her recognized roles and movies are as follows: 
 
  • Kristina Nilsson in "The Emigrants" (1972). Best Actress.
  • Dr. Jenny Isaksson in "Face to Face" (1976). Best Actress.
 
Her first of 10 Bergman films was "Persona," the stylish but enigmatic 1966 tale of an actress (Ullmann) who had stopped speaking. An arrangement was made for her to rest at an isolated country house and be looked after by a nurse (Bibi Andersson, another longtime Bergman muse). "Persona" was one of the first movies reviewed by Roger Ebert for The Chicago Sun-Times in 1967. "This is a difficult, frustrating film, seeming at times to have more in common with the 'personal cinema' of Jean-Luc Godard than with Bergman's usual cool control," Ebert wrote. "The director keeps reminding us that he's right there, creating his film before our eyes. And the distance between his presence and the story he tells is like the distance between what the actress is and what she reveals. The nurse is maddened by the unspeaking actress in the same sense that the audience is frustrated by the movie: Both stubbornly refuse to be conventional and to respond as we expect." In 2001, Ebert added the film to hils list of Great Movies.
 
 
Bergman alums Ullmann and Max von Sydow starred in "The Emigrants," filmmaker Jan Troell's tale of Swedish farmers who emigrated to America in the mid-19th century. The drama was nominated for a 1971 Academy Award as Best Foreign Language Film. A year later, it received five 1972 Oscar nominations -- including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress (Ullmann). The travails of the Swedes in America continued with Troell's 1972 follow up, "The New Land."
 
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On March 27, 1973, Ullmann and Sir Roger Moore were the presenters when Marlon Brando's spokeswoman Sacheen Littlefeather announced that "The Godfather" star would not accept the Academy Award for Best Actor. Brando regretfully could not accept, the spokeswoman said, because of "the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry...and on television and in movie reruns." 
 
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"Scenes from a Marriage" (1973) was Bergman's almost five-hour miniseries for Swedish television. It was the story of a disintegrating relationship between Marianne (Ullmann) and Johan (Erland Josephson) over a decade. The filming of the production, which was shortened for a theatrical release, occurred not long after the end of Bergman's own relationship with Ullmann.
 
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The 1973 romantic comedy "Forty Carats" starred Ullmann as a 40-year-old woman who had an affair in Greece with a man (played by Edward Albert) who was almost half her age. Upon her return to New York, she discovered that the young man also was in town --and dating her teen daughter (Deborah Raffin). The film was based on a 1968 Broadway play for which Julie Harris won a Tony Award.
 
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The 1973 musical remake of the 1937 film "Lost Horizon" -- based on James Hilton's novel about the utopian land of Shangri La -- starred Ullmann, Peter Finch. Sally Kellerman, George Kennedy, Michael York, Olivia Hussey, Bobby Van, Sir John Gielgud and Charles Boyer. Directed by Charles Jarrott ('Anne of the Thousand Days"), the film featured songs written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. The film was panned by critics -- and it was not a commercial success.
   
 
Ullmann co-starred with Gene Hackman in the 1974 Western drama "Zandy's Bride," directed by Troell. Set in the late 19th century, the film focused on cattle rancher Zandy Allan (Hackman) and his tempestuous relationship with a Minnesota mail-order bride (Ullmann).
 
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Bergman's 1976 drama "Face to Face" starred Ullmann as a psychiatrist who suffered an emotional breakdown. Josephson co-starred as her husband, also a psychiatrist. In his review of the film, Vincent Canby of The New York Times said: "I know of no other actress today who has at hand the reserves that enable her to move so effortlessly through such multiple levels of mood and feeling. But then nobody today except Mr. Bergman writes such roles for actresses."
 
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Ullmann was the only major actress in the all-star cast of the 1977 World War II drama "A Bridge Too Far," based on Cornelius Ryan's best-selling book. The story focused on Operation Market Garden, a doomed Allied effort in September 1944 to end the war before Christmas. The objective was to take control of several German-held bridges in the Netherlands on the road to Berlin. Ullmann portrayed Kate ter Horst (1906-1992), an Arnhem resident who agreed to let her house be used as a hospice for wounded soldiers. Sir Laurence Olivier co-starred as Dr. Jan Spaander. Directed by Sir Richard Attenborough, the film also featured appearances by Hackman, Robert Redford, Sir Michael Caine, Sir Sean Connery, Ryan O'Neal, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Edward Fox, Dirk Bogarde, James Caan, Elliott Gould, Hardy Krüger and Maximilian Schell.  
 
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Bergman's 1978 drama "Autumn Sonata" marked the return of the actress Ingrid Bergman to a Swedish film. She played a world renowned concert pianist who chose her career over her children. Years later, she visited her adult daughter (Ullmann) in Norway, which prompted some difficult moments. The film received Academy Award nominations for Best Actress (Ingrid Bergman) and Best Original Screenplay (Ingmar Bergman). It was the final feature film for both Bergmans. Ingmar's next efforts were television productions, edited for release in theaters. Ingrid died on her 67th birthday on August 29, 1982. She won a posthumous Primetime Emmy Award for her portrayal of Israeli prime minister Golda Meir in the miniseries "A Woman Called Golda."
 

Ullmann and Josephson reunited for Bergman's "Saraband," a 2003 sequel to "Scenes from a Marriage." It also was shot for television before being shortened for a theatrical release. It turned out to be Bergman's last project. He died in July 2007. Josephson, who died in February 2012 at the age of 88, appeared in more than a dozen Bergman films -- a record among the filmmaker's favorite actors. 

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In 2014, Ullmann directed Jessica Chastain (pictured below) and Colin Farrell in an indepedent film version of August Strindberg’s 1888 stage play, “Miss Julie.” It was Ullmann's first stint as a film director in 14 years. She previously directed the 1992 Danish drama "Sofie" and the 2000 Swedish film "Faithless," which was written by Bergman. Both films starred her frequent co-star Josephson.
 
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She still has those laser beam blue eyes. Should've been awarded an honorary Oscar decades ago. :(

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...Jenny Agutter (born Jennifer Ann Agutter on December 20, 1952), one of Britain's most formidable child actresses -- she won a Primetime Emmy Award as a teen. She appeared in three different versions of "The Railway Children" between 1968 and 2000. 

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Agutter was discovered at the age of 11 when Walt Disney Productions auditioned girls in British ballet schools for a film about the Royal Danish Ballet. She wound up with the role of a young pupil named Ingrid Jensen in "Ballerina," which was released in theaters abroad. In the United States, it aired in two parts on "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color" in early 1966. "I carried on with ballet classes right into my 20s," Agutter said. "I knew I didn't have the commitment to make ballet my career, but I loved the discipline and the beauty of it. In contrast, I found acting completely fulfilling, and I still do."
 
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She starred as Roberta in the 1968 BBC television serialization of "The Railway Children," based on the 1906 book for youngsters by Edith Nesbit. The drama -- about Roberta and her two siblings after they move with their mother from London to Yorkshire -- was turned into a 1970 feature film by actor Lionel Jeffries ("First Men in the Moon," "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"). Agutter reprised the role of Roberta for the movie. Her siblings in the film were played by Sally Thomsett and Gary Warren (pictured below).
 
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Agutter had a major role in "Walkabout," a 1971 survival story directed and photographed by Nicolas Roeg ("Don't Look Back," "The Man Who Fell to Earth"). She played a schoolgirl who -- along with her younger brother (played by Luc Roeg, son of the director) -- became stranded in the Australian Outback after her father's suicide. During their trek back to civilization, they were helped by a young aborigine (David Gulpilil, pictured below with Agutter) on a "walkabout" -- a traditional journey undertaken far from towns and cities. The story was based on the 1959 novel by James Vance Marshall, a pseudonym of the British author Donald G. Payne.
 
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Also in 1971, Agutter starred with Richard Harris in the British television drama "The Snow Goose," which was shown in America as an episode of The Hallmark Hall of Fame on NBC. Based on the short story by Paul Gallico, the production starred Harris as an artist residing in a lighthouse in Essex during the early days of World War II. He befriended a young orphan named Fritha (Agutter) and helped her care for an injured snow goose. For her performance, Agutter won the Primetime Emmy Award as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.
 
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Agutter starred with Michael York in the 1976 dystopian tale "Logan's Run," about a futuristic society that lived in a domed environment. Since they devalued aging, people reaching the age of 30 were required to be executed for the benefit of the rest of the population. People who attempted to flee were classified as "runners" and pursued and eliminated by an elite corps of enforcers called "Sandmen." York played a Sandman named Logan 5, who was assigned to uncover a secret group of runners with knowledge about a safe haven known only as Sanctuary. Directed by Michael Anderson, Sr. ("Around the World in Eighty Days"), the sci-fi tale won a Special Achievement Academy Award for its visual effects (presented to L.B. Abbott, Glen Robinson and Matthew Yuricich). The film also starred Sir Peter Ustinov, Richard Jordan, Michael Anderson, Jr., and Farrah Fawcett. 
 
 
Agutter won a BAFTA award -- the British equivalent of an Oscar -- for her supporting performance as Jill Mason in Sidney Lumet's 1977 screen version of the stage drama "Equus." Her character was attracted to a young stable boy named Alan Strang (Peter Firth) who caused a stir by deliberately blinding horses. Richard Burton, who starred as Strang's psychiatrist, received his seventh and last Academy Award nomination. Oscar nods also went to Firth (Best Supporting Actor) and playwright Peter Shaffer (Best Adapted Screenplay). Firth earned a Tony Award nomination for his performances in the Broadway version of the play in 1974
 
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In John Landis' 1981 tragicomedy "An American Werewolf in London,"  Agutter played Alex Price -- a British nurse who fell for an unfortunate American tourist (David Naughton). He was bitten by a werewolf while on a backpacking trip through England
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In 2000, Agutter appeared in a third version of "The Railway Children" -- a British television production that was shown in the United States on PBS' Masterpiece Theatre. This time, she was cast as the mother of the three youngsters (played by Jemima Rooper, Clare Thomas and Jack Blumenau). Michael Kitchen, who would later star in the TV crime-drama "Foyle's War," played Agutter's husband. 
 
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In 2002, Agutter was reunited with Firth in the British television series "Spooks" (called "MI5" in the United States). The original cast featured (pictured below from left to right) Keeley Hawes, Matthew Macfadyen, Agutter, Firth, David Oyelowo and Lisa Faulkner.
 
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Agutter joined the Marvel Universe in the 2012 blockbuster hit "The Avengers" as World Security Council member Hawley. She reprised the role in the 2014 follow-up "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (and sort of played Scarlett Johansson's character, The Black Widow).
 
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In October 2012, Agutter was awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. She received the honor for her many charitable causes.
 
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Since 2012, Agutter (pictured below with Jessica Raine and Judy Parfitt) has played Sister Julienne in the BBC1 drama "Call the Midwife," which is aired on public television stations in the United States. Set in the 1950s, the series focuses on the lives of midwives working in east London.
 
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...Jane Fonda (born Jayne Seymour Fonda on December 21, 1937), who observes her 80th birthday today. The daughter of screen legend Henry Fonda -- and sister of actor Peter Fonda -- has carved her own niche as a film great. 

 
TIME Magazine Cover: Jane, Henry & Peter Fonda -- Feb. 16, 1970
 
 
She has been nominated for Academy Awards sevem times and won twice. Her nominated roles and movies are as follows (Oscar wins in bold): 
  • Gloria Beatty in "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" (1969). Best Actress.
  • Bree Daniels in "Klute" (1972). Best Actress.
  • Lillian Hellman in "Julia" (1977). Best Actress.
  • Sally Hyde in "Coming Home" (1978). Best Actress.
  • Kimberly Wells in "The China Syndrome" (1979). Best Actress.
  • Chelsea Thayer Wayne in "On Golden Pond" (1981). Best Supporting Actress.
  • Alex Sternbergen in "The Morning After" (1986). Best Actress.
 
Fonda's screen debut was in the 1960 high-school comedy "Tall Story," in which she appeared as a cheerleader opposite a basketball star played by Anthony Perkins. The film was directed by an old family friend -- Joshua Logan, who had directed her father in several stage and screen productions.
 
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The 1965 Western comedy "Cat Ballou" starred Fonda as a demure schoolmarm who becomes an avenging angel when powerful developers eliminated her father (John Marley) and took possession of his Wyoming ranch. Among the people she relied on for help was Kid Shelleen (Lee Marvin, pictured below with Fonda and Michael Callan), a once-feared gunfighter who rarely stayed sober. Marvin won a Best Actor Oscar for his comedic dual role as Shelleen and his brother -- a hired killer with a missing nose. 
 
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It was sometimes said of Fonda that her film roles often were influenced by the men in her life. The French director Roger Vadim, best known for his collaborations with his onetime spouse Brigitte Bardot, was influential in Fonda's sex kitten image of the late 1960s. Their films together included the futuristic space comedy "Barbarella" (1968).
 
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Fonda won the first of her two Academy Awards for "Klute," which starred Donald Sutherland as a Pennsylvania detective searching in New York City for a missing man he knew personally. The actress played a hard-luck call girl named Bree Daniels, who provided assistance to the detective, She and Sutherland had become romantically involved before they worked together on the movie. They teamed up again for a traveling political vaudeville show called "F.T.A" (slang for "Free the Army"). The tour was the subject of a 1972 documentary, also titled "F.T.A.," which was directed by Francine Parker. Fonda and Sutherland also starred in the 1973 caper comedy "Steelyard Blues."
 
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Fonda was an outspoken political activist and anti-Vietnam war advocate. At the 44th Academy Awards ceremony on April 10, 1972, the world waited to hear what she would say if she won an Oscar for "Klute." Her acceptance speech was short, sweet and non-political. In a 2007 "Private Screenings" interview with Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne, Fonda revealed that her non-controversial comments were prompted by her father's advice. He told her: "You just want to say 'There's a lot to be said, but tonight's not the time. Thank you.' "
 
 
Fonda (pictured below with Bruce Dern) received her second Best Actress Oscar for the 1978 drama "Coming Home," in which she played a married woman who became involved with an injured Vietnam veteran (Best Actor winner Jon Voight). Dern -- who played Fonda's husband -- won a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his performance as a Vietnam vet suffering from PTSD. Directed by Hal Ashby, the film also won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay (Waldo Salt, Robert C. Jones and Nancy Dowd). 
 
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In 1979, Fonda co-starred with Michael Douglas and Jack Lemmon in "The China Syndrome," a thriller that foreshadowed a problem with a nuclear power plant. The film -- about a potential nuclear meltdown -- was released on March 16, 1979. Twelve days later, on March 28, 1979, an accident at Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island nuclear power plant shocked the world. Directed by James Bridges ("The Paper Chase," "Urban Cowboy"), the drama received four Academy Award nominations: Best Actor (Lemmon), Best Actress (Fonda), Best Original Screenplay (Bridges, Mike Gray and T.S. Cook) and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (George Jenkins, Arthur Jeph Parker).
 
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The 1980 screen comedy "9 to 5" starred Dolly Parton, Fonda and Lily Tomlin as secretaries who rebelled against their chauvinist boss (Dabney Coleman). Parton wrote the film's catchy theme song, which was Oscar-nominated for Best Original Song.
 
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Although an all-Fonda film project never materialized, Jane and Peter co-starred in the "Metzengerstein" segment of the 1969 supernatural anthology film "Spirits of the Dead."  Henry made a cameo in Peter's 1979 film "Wanda Nevada." Near the end of Henry's life, Jane used her producing skills to come up with "On Golden Pond," a 1981 film based on a play by Ernest Thompson. Directed by Mark Rydell, the drama won Oscars for Best Actor (Henry Fonda), Best Actress (Katharine Hepburn, her record fourth award) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Thompson). Jane had been nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
 
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On March 29, 1982, Henry Fonda was too ill to accept his Academy Award -- his only competitive Oscar, although he had been presented an honorary award the year before. It was picked up by his daughter, who gave it to him at his home. He died almost five months later, on August 12, 1982 at the age of 77.
 
 
Fonda won a Primetime Emmy Award for her performance as the title character in the 1984 ABC miniseries "The Dollmaker." Based on the 1954 novel by Harriette Arnow, the made-for-television production focused on the hard times of an Appalachian family that moved to Detroit. Fonda told TCM's Osborne that the heroine of the miniseries, Gertie Nevels, was her "favorite character that I've ever played."
 
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In 1991, Fonda married the cable television pioneer and sports owner Ted Turner. The marriage lasted until 2001.
 
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In June 2014, Fonda became the 42nd recipient of the American Film Insitute's Life Achievement Award. Her father was presented the honor in 1978. She was presented the award by Michael Douglas, another second generation star (and AFI honoree). "What I've realized is that I've been blessed to work with and know very many geniuses -- real geniuses. Actors and directors in our business." she said. "So many of them are gone now...I've had to ask myself, 'Why didn't I ask them more questions?' " Her final thoughts: "Just ask questions. Stay curious. Stay interested. It's much more important to be interested than to be interesting."  
 
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Since 2015, Tomlin and Fonda have starred in the Netflix series "Grace and Frankie." Both actresses were nominated this year for Primetime Emmys in the category of Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
 
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Fonda reunited with frequent co-star Robert Redford for the 2017 drama "Our Souls at Night," a project streamed on Netflix. They previously appeared together in three films: the 1966 drama "The Chase" (with Marlon Brando); the 1967 screen version of Neil Simon's stage play "Barefoot in the Park"; and the 1979 Western comedy/drama "The Electric Horseman." 
 
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Actor Troy Garity is Fonda's son by her former husband Tom Hayden (1939-2016), a political activist. Garity stars as sports agent Jason Antolotti in HBO's pro football-oriented comedy series "Ballers."
 
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Also, Happy Birthday to:

Samuel L Jackson-  69

Kiefer Sutherland-  51

Ray Romano-  60

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Yes, I was going to wish a Happy Birthday to Jane Fonda today, but Jakeem beat me to it! Cant believe she's EIGHTY (she looks 50!) Time sure flies.

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...Ralph Fiennes (born Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes on December 22, 1962), the versatile British actor who has played noteworthy movie heroes and villains. Fiennes, whose first name is pronouced "rafe," is among a handful of actors who have appeared in three films that won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

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He has been nominated for Academy Awards twice. His recognized roles and films are as follows: 
  • Amon Goeth in "Schindler's List" (1993). Best Supporting Actor.
  • Count Laszlo de Almásy in "The English Patient" (1996). Best Actor.
Fiennes' younger brother Joseph also has been a successful actor during the past two decades. Interestingly, they have never appeared in a film together. Both actors got the advantage over Colin Firth in films. Ralph won the heart of Dame Kristin Scott Thomas in "The English Patient." Joseph walked away with Gwyneth Paltrow in "Shakespeare in Love" (1998).
 
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Fiennes met Alex Kingston when they were teens at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London. They later married in 1993, but divorced after Fiennes became involved with Francesca Annis -- who was 18 years his senior. Kingston went on to international fame on television as Dr. Elizabeth Corday in "e.r." and "River Song" in "Doctor Who." Fiennes and Annis were together for 11 years, but parted in 2006.
 
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One of Fiennes' first film roles was the amoral Nazi commandant Amon Goeth in Steven Spielberg's 1993 screen biopic "Schindler's List." His character frequently bargained with Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), the German industrialist and Nazi Party member who used savvy and clout to protect the lives of hundreds of Jews during World War II. The drama earned seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. In 1998, the American Film Institute ranked the film No. 9 on its list of the 100 greatest movies of all time. When AFI updated the list in 2007, the film climbed one spot to No. 8. When AFI presented its 2003 television special on the top movie heroes and villains of all time, Schindler was the No. 13 hero and Goeth the No. 15 villain.
 

In Robert Redford's 1994 drama "Quiz Show," Fiennes starred as Charles Van Doren, who mesmerized American television viewers in 1957 as a contestant on the NBC game show "Twenty One." He later became embroiled in a scandal in which he admitted he had been given correct answers by the show's producers. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director (Redford), Best Supporting Actor (Paul Scofield as Van Doren's father) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Paul Attanasio).

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In 1995, Fiennes won a Tony Award for his performance in a Broadway production of Shakespeare's "Hamlet." He and British actress Tara Fitzgerald (who played Ophelia) had earlier performed in the play at London's Almeida Theatre.
 
 
In "The English Patient" (1996), Fiennes starred as Count Laszlo de Almásy -- a Hungarian mapmaker who became involved with a British married woman (played by Scott Thomas) in World War II North Africa. Her husband (Firth) triggered a series of tragedies as a result of his growing jealousy. Based on the 1992 novel by Michael Ondaatje, the film earned nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director (Anthony Minghella) and Best Supporting Actress (Juliette Binoche).

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In a 1998 screen version of the 1960s British television series "The Avengers," Fiennes' John Steed was teamed with Uma Thurman's Emma Peel. Sir Sean Connery appeared as Sir August de Wynter, a madman bent on destroying the world with a weather-changing machine. Directed by Jeremiah Chechik ("National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation," the film also starred Jim Broadbent, Fiona Shaw, Eddie Izzard, Dame Eileen Atkins, John Wood, Carmen Ejogo and Keeley Hawes.
 
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In Kathryn Bigelow's 2009 Academy Award-winning film "The Hurt Locker," Fiennes made a cameo appearance as a British mercenary operating in Iraq. The drama, which won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director, starred Jeremy Renner (a Best Actor nominee) as a member of an elite bomb disposal unit during the Iraqi War. 
 
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Fiennes played the sinister Lord Voldemort -- also known as "He Who Must Not Be Named -- in the Harry Potter movie series. He appeared in four films, and his final showdown with young Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) took place in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" (2011). The movie series earned almost $7 billion woridwide.
 
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In Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (2014), Fiennes played M. Gustave H., the savvy concierge at the title place located in the fictional Republic of Zurbrowka. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. It won Oscars for Best Costume Design (Milena Canonero), Best Original Score (Alexandre Desplat), Best Production Design (Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock) and Best Makeup and Hairstyling (Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier).
 
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...Harry Shearer (born on December 23, 1943), the actor, comedian, writer and Primetime Emmy Award-winning voice actor for "The Simpson" during for 29 seasons. 

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Shearer's screen debut was a child actor (pictured below, center) in the 1953 comedy "Abbott and Costello Go to Mars." The movie's title is a misnomer: The comedy duo actually wind up in New Orleans during Mardi Gras before rocketing off to Venus.
 
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In the late 1950s, the young Shearer was attached to a television sitcom pilot titled "It's a Small World." After a few changes, the project evolved into "Leave It to Beaver" and Shearer's character, Frankie Bennett, eventually became wiseguy Eddie Haskell, played by Ken Osmond.
 
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Shearer was a regular on "Saturday Night Live" twice. During the 1979-1980 season -- the last hurrah for the original Not Ready for Primetime Players -- Shearer began as a featured cast member and was elevated to regular status. He returned during the 1984-1985 season when the repertory group included Billy Crystal, Martin Short, Christopher Guest and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. He left at midseason over creative differences. In Rolling Stone magazine's ambitious 2015 ranking of the first 145 "Saturday Night Live" cast members, Shearer was tied with Michael McKean at 77-78 (No. 1 was John Belushi).
 
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Jeff Goldblum and Shearer provided a bit of comic relief as NASA recruiters in Philip Kaufman's 1983 film "The Right Stuff." The historical drama was based on the best-selling 1979 book by Tom Wolfe about America's space program.
 
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In Rob Reiner's 1984 mockumentary "This Is Spinal Tap," Shearer played bass player Derek Smalls in a British rock band that also featured guitarists Nigel Tufnel (Guest) and David St. Hubbins (McKean). Reiner, who co-wrote and directed the comedy, also played documentary filmmaker Marty Di Bergi. 
 
 
Since 1989, Shearer has provided voices for many of the popular characters on "The Simpsons." Among them: Ned Flanders, Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers, Principal Skinner, Reverend Lovejoy, Otto, Lenny, Rainier Wolfcastle, Kent Brockman, Dr. Hibbert, Scratchy and Kane the alien. In August 2014, he became the last principal cast member to win a Primetime Emmy Award for the series. He won in the newly created category of Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance.
 
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In Guest's 2003 mockumentary "A Mighty Wind," he, Shearer and McKean played musicians of a different era. They appeared as members of the folk trio known as The Folksmen. The actors first introduced the group in an episode of "Saturday Night Live" in 1984.
 
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Shearer, has had a residence in New Orleans for many years, wrote and directed the 2010 documentary "The Big Uneasy." The film focused on three people who discussed why the Crescent City flooded after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005. Shearer has been critical of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers because of failures in the federal levee system. 
 
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Shearer has been married to the accomplished London-born singer and recording artist Judith Owen since 1993. They divide time among their residences in New Orleans, Santa Monica and London. Their dog's name: Dorris Day.
 
Judith Owen and Harry Shearer pose with their Labrador, Dorris Day, the "official holiday dog of Los Angeles."
 
 
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...Lee Daniels (born on December 24, 1959), the Oscar-nominated producer and director known for his contemporary dramas in films and on television. 

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He has been nominated for Academy Awards twice: 
  • 2009 -- Best Picture (for "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire").
  • 2009 -- Best Director (for "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire").        
Daniels, who began as a casting director and manager, served as an assistant for the recording artist Prince's 1984 hit film with music -- "Purple Rain."  He also worked with Prince on "Under the Cherry Moon" (1986) -- which was directed by the music star, but not nearly as successful as the first film.  
 
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Daniels was a producer of the 2001 drama "Monster's Ball," which was directed by Marc Forster. Halle Berry starred as a widow who becomes involved with a Georgia prison officer (Billy Bob Thornton). What neither of them knew was that he executed her husband, a convicted killer (played by Sean "Diddy" Combs). For her performance in the film, Halle Berry became the first African-American woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress.
 
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Daniels (pictured below with actresses Gabourey Sidibe and Xosha Roquemore) won acclaim for his 2009 dramatic film "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire." The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress (Sidibe). It won Oscars for Best Supporting Actress (MoNique) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Geoffrey Fletcher).
 
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In "Lee Daniels' The Butler" (2013), Forest Whitaker portrayed a character based on Eugene Allen (1919-2010) -- who worked at the White House over a 34-year period. Among the presidents depicted during the historical drama: Dwight D. Eisenhower (Robin Williams), John F. Kennedy (James Marsden), Lyndon B. Johnson (Liev Schreiber), Richard M. Nixon (John Cusack) and Ronald Reagan (Alan Rickman). Daniels reluctantly wound up with his name in the title because of a legal dispute with Warner Bros., which made a 1916 silent film called "The Butler."
 
 
Daniels and his frequent collaborator Danny Strong co-created the FOX television series "Empire," which began airing in January 2015. Terrence Howard took the role of Lucious Lyon, an ailing record czar faced with choosing a successor from among his three sons. Taraji P. Henson won acclaim -- and a Golden Globe award -- for her performances as Cookie, Lyon's demanding first wife who served a prison term by taking a drug rap for him. The series is now in its fourth season .
 
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"Star," Daniels' second FOX series, made its debut in December 2016. The musical drama focuses on three aspiring singers (Jude Demorest, Brittany O'Grady and Ryan Destiny) who become a girl group in Atlanta. Co-created by Tom Donaghy, the series also stars Queen Latifah as the group's manager. 
 
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