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Happy Birthday to...

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...Sissy Spacek (born Mary Elizabeth Spacek on December 25, 1949), the Texas product who's still working on various acting projects after almost 50 years in the business.
 
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She has been nominated for Academy Awards six times, winning once. Her nominated roles and movies are as follows (Oscar win is in bold): 
  • Carrie White in "Carrie" (1976). Best Actress.
  • Loretta Lynn in "Coal Miner's Daughter" (1980). Best Actress.
  • Beth Horman in "Missing" (1982). Best Actress.
  • Mae Garvey in "The River" (1984). Best Actress.
  • Rebecca Magrath/Babe Botrelle in "Crimes of the Heart" (1986). Best Actress.
  • Ruth Fowler in "In the Bedroom" (2001). Best Actress.
Spacek's cousin is the actor Rip Torn, another native Texan. When she decided to become an actress, she lived with him and his wife Geraldine Page in New York. They helped start her career by introducing her to acting teacher Lee Strasberg. Torn also persuaded her to keep her own name as a professional actress. In March 2001, Torn presented Spacek the award for her induction into the Texas Film Hall of Fame.
 
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Spacek's first major film was the 1972 drama "Prime Cut," which starred Lee Marvin (pictured below with the actress) and Gene Hackman. She played an orphan named Poppy, whom Marvin's mob enforcer character tried to rescue from a sex trafficking operation.
 
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Inspired by the infamous 1958 Starkweather-Fugate killing spree, "Badlands" (1973) was the first full-length feature film by the screenwriter-director Terrence Malick ("Days of Heaven," "The Thin Red Line," "The Tree of Life"). The film starred Spacek as a 15-year-old South Dakota girl named Holly Sargis, spirited away by an older ne'er do well named Kit Carruthers (Martin Sheen). After Carruthers killed her disapproving father (Warren Oates), the duo headed for the road and created more havoc.
 
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Spacek became a star in Brian De Palma's 1976 screen adaptation of the classic Stephen King horror tale "Carrie." She earned her first Best Actress Oscar nomination as the high school outcast with telekinetic powers. Piper Laurie received a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her performance as Carrie's ultra-religious mother. The film also starred Amy Irving, Nancy Allen, John Travolta, Betty Buckley and William Katt.
 
 
In the 1980 screen biography "Coal Miner's Daughter," Spacek portrayed the country music legend Loretta Lynn -- and impressed moviegoers and critics by doing her own singing throughout the film. Tommy Lee Jones co-starred as Lynn's husband Doolittle, who was supportive of his wife's budding career as a singer. Directed by Michael Apted, the film also starred Beverly D'Angelo (as singer Patsy Cline, Lynn's mentor) and Levon Helm.
 

"Coal Miner's Daughter" opened in theaters on March 7, 1980 -- one month before the 52nd Academy Awards ceremony that celebrated the best in motion pictures for 1979. Spacek's performance held up for an entire year. She was named Best Actress at the 53rd Oscars presentation on March 31, 1981.

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Based on a true story, filmmaker Costa-Gavras' 1982 political thriller "Missing" starred Spacek as an American woman searching for her activist husband (John Shea), who disappeared in South America. She was joined in her efforts by her father-in-law, played by Jack Lemmon. The drama was nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor (Lemmon), Best Actress (Spacek) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Costa-Gavras and Donald E. Stewart, who won).
 
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In 1984, there were three noteworthy films that focused on farm families. The first was Robert Benton's "Places in the Heart" with Sally Field as a Texas widow trying to save her farm during the Depression. Then there was "Country," starring the real-life lovers Sam Shepard and Jessica Lange as a contemporary couple battling to keep its farm from foreclosure. And then there was "The River," featuring Spacek and Mel Gibson as 1980s farmers struggling with flooding and other hardships. All three actresses were nominated for Oscars. but the award went to Field.

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In the 1985 drama "Marie: A True Story," Spacek portrayed the real-life Marie Ragghianti, former head of the Tennessee Board of Pardons and Paroles. She caused a stir in political circles when she became a whistleblower in a scandal involving the governor's office. Fred Dalton, who served as Ragghianti's legal counsel, played himself -- and then embarked on a considerable acting career. He interrupted his acting efforts to represent Tennessee as a Republican member of the U.S. Senate from December 2, 1994 to January 3, 2003. He died on November 1, 2015.

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The 1986 screen version of Marsha Norman's play " 'night, Mother" starred Anne Bancroft and Spacek as a mother-daughter duo at odds after one of them announced she planned to shoot herself. The film was directed by Tom Moore, based on Norman's adaptation of her play.

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Spacek has been married since 1974 to the director, set designer and art director Jack Fisk. They have two daughters: the actress and singer-songwriter Schuyler Fisk (b. 1982, pictured at right) and Madison (b. 1988), a budding filmmaker.

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In 2018, Spacek will return to the world of Stephen King in the Hulu anthology series "Castle Rock, set in the Maine town where many of the author's novels have taken place. King and the filmmaker J.J. Abrams are involved with the 10-episode project, which also stars André Holland, Melanie Lynskey, Jane Levy, Bill Skarsgård, Scott Glenn and Terry O'Quinn. Spacek starred in the Hulu series "Bloodline" from 2015 to 2017. 

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...Jared Leto (born on December 26, 1971), who is an Academy Award-winning actor as well as the lead singer of a popular rock music group. He has gained a reputation for his Method acting.
 
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Leto gained a following in MTV's teen-oriented drama "My So-Called Life," which starred Claire Danes. In the series, which ran during the 1994-1995 season. he played Jordan Catalano -- a student with a learning disability.
 
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Since 1998, Leto has fronted the band "30 Seconds to Mars," which also features his older brother Shannon as the drummer and Tomo Miličević (whose older sister is the actress Ivana Miličević) as the lead guitarist. The group, which has won three MTV Video Music awards, borrowed from a classic Stanley Kubrick film for its 2007 release "The Kill." Leto, who directed the video, originally said it was created by "an obnoxious Danish albino named Bartholomew Cubbins." 
 
 
In Darren Aronofsy's 2000 drama "Requiem for a Dream," Leto played Harry Goldfarb -- whose life was ruined by his addiction to drugs. He also saw his mother (played by Best Actress nominee Ellen Burstyn), his girlfriend (Jennifer Connelly, pictured below with Leto) and his best friend (Marlon Wayans) become tragic victims of drug use. 
 
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David Fincher's 2002 thriller "Panic Room" starred Jodie Foster and a pre-teen Kristen Stewart as a mother and daughter forced to take refuge in a specially designed chamber during a home invasion. The intruders were three would-be burglars (played by Forest Whitaker, the sometime country singer Dwight Yoakum and Leto) searching for a fortune that happened to be hidden in the occupied panic room.
 
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For the 2007 drama "Chapter 27," Leto gained more than 60 pounds to portray Mark David Chapman -- the professed Beatles fan who assassinated John Lennon in New York City on December 8, 1980. The film was directed by Jarrett Schaefer, who also wrote the screenplay based on the book "Let Me Take You Down" by Jack Jones. Lindsay Lohan had a supporting role as a Lennon groupie who befriended Chapman.
 
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Leto won the 2013 Academy Award for Supporting Actor for his performance as a transgendered person named Rayon in the biopic "Dallas Buyers Club." The film starred Matthew McConaughey -- who was named Best Actor -- for his portrayal of the real-life AIDS victim and activist Ron Woodruff. 
 
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At the 86th Academy Award ceremony held on March 2, 2014, Leto paid tribute to his mother, Constance, who was seated next to him. He described her as a "high school dropout and a single mom, but somehow she managed to make a better life for herself and her children." He added: "She encouraged her kids to be creative, to work hard and to do something special...Thank you for teaching me to dream."
 
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For his role as The Joker in the 2016 superhero tale "Suicide Squad," Leto (pictured below with Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn) stayed in character throughout the filming. "I've never actually met Jared Leto," said co-star Will Smith at the time of the movie's release. "We worked together for six months and we've never exchanged a word outside of 'Action' and 'Cut!' I literally have not met him yet. So, the first time I see him will be 'Hey, Jared. What's up?' He was all in on the Joker."
 
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In Sir Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner 2049," Leto plays Niander Wallace, the blind scientist whose company manufactures replicants, or artificial humans. The sci-fi tale, which stars Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, is the long-awaited follow up to Scott's 1982 classic "Blade Runner."
 
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Google is paying tribute to Marlene Dietrich 116th birthday.

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https://www.google.com/doodles/marlene-dietrichs-116th-birthday

 

The Telegraph...On this day in 1901: Marlene Dietrich – megastar, bisexual seductress and scourge of Nazi Germany – is born

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/27/day-1901-marlene-dietrich-megastar-bisexual-seductress-scourge/

 

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...the French actor Gérard Depardieu (born December 27, 1948), who became an international presence in films and an Academy Award nominee for his performance in a 1990 remake of "Cyrano de Bergerac."
 
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Depardieu and his frequent co-star Catherine Deneuve won César Awards -- the French equivalent of the Oscar -- for their lead performances in François Truffaut's 1980 French film "Le Dernier Métro" (or "The Last Metro"). In the World War II drama, Deneuve played a theater operator hiding her German Jewish husband (Heinz Bennent) from the Nazis in Occupied Paris. Depardieu played a stage actor who fell in love with her character. Truffaut won three Césars for his efforts: Best Film, Best Director and Best Writing (with Suzanne Schiffman). The picture also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.
 
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In 1986, Depardieu co-starred with his then-wife Élisabeth in "Jean de Florette," Claude Berri's hit film based on the 1962 novel by Marcel Pagnol. They played an early 20th-century Provence farmer and his wife whose property is coveted by a wealthy neighbor (Yves Montand) and his nephew (Daniel Auteil). The farmer's young daughter Manon was played by Ernestine Mazurowna. Her character would play an important role as an adult in the follow up tale, "Manon des Sources" (or "Manon of the Spring") -- which starred Emmanuelle Béart. It also was released in 1986.
 
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Depardieu received international acclaim for the title role in the 1990 French-language version of "Cyrano de Bergerac." Forty years earlier, José Ferrer won a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of playwright Edmond Rostand's famous 17th century go-between. Depardieu (pictured with Anne Brochet, who played Roxane) received an Academy Award nomination and his second César (he has been nominated for the French award a record 17 times).
 
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Depardieu went Hollywood in Peter Weir's 1990 romantic comedy "Green Card," the story of a marriage of convenience between a Frenchman and a New Yorker (played by theactress and model Andie MacDowell). For his performance, he won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture -- Comedy or Musical.
 
 
Depardieu co-starred with Marie Gillain in the 1991 French release titled "Mon père, ce héros" (or "My Father the Hero"), written and directed by Gérard Lauzier. The comedy featured the actor as a divorced man trying to come to terms with his spoiled teen daughter.
 
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A side note: In 1994, Depardieu starred in an American version of the film, which was titled "My Father the Hero." His daughter was played by the former model and rising teen starlet Katherine Heigl.
 
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In Sir Ridley Scott's 1992 historical drama "1492: Conquest of Paradise," Depardieu portrayed Italy's Christopher Columbus during his Spanish-financed expedition to the New World. The film co-starred Sigourney Weaver (as Queen Isabella I of Spain), Armand Assante, Loren Dean, Kevin Dunn and Frank Langella. It was one of two Columbus films released in time for the 500th anniversary of the explorer's first transatlantic voyage. The other picture -- "Christopher Columbus: The Discovery" -- starred Georges Corraface, Marlon Brando, Tom Selleck, Rachel Ward, Benicio del Toro and Catherine Zeta-Jones. 
 
Writer-director Florence Quentin's 2017 French comedy "Bonne Pomme" (or "Good Apple") teams Depardieu and Deneuve for the 10th time. He plays an auto mechanic who ditches his lifestyle and moves to an idyllic surburban village. He soon becomes enchanted by he mysterious woman (Deneuve) who runs a bed-and-breakfast inn.
 
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M. Depardieu--C'est un comédien épatant!

Cyrano de Bergerac will always be my favorite Depardieu movie.

But he just breaks my heart so much in two others as well-- Colonel Chabert & Jean de Florette.

 

For a change of pace, he's extremely seductive and sexy with Catherine Deneuve in Truffaut's The Last Metro.

 

This  actor also shows that he actually has a gift for farcical comedy in The Closet--

 A film about a straight man who pretends to be gay to teach some moral lessons.

 

Actually I've never seen Gérard Depardieu in a bad performance, even if the movie was a little dull. 

It's hard to believe that at 69 he has appeared in over 200 films, most of which are feature films that he starred in.

 

BON ANNIVERSAIRE GERARD!

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...Denzel Washington (born December 28, 1948), the film superstar who has received more Academy Award nominations than any other African-American actor.

 
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He has been nominated for acting Academy Awards seven times and won twice. He also received a nomination as a producer of the 2016 Best Picture contender "Fences," which he also directed. His recognized roles and movies are as follows (Oscar wins are in bold): 
  • Stephen Biko in "Cry Freedom" (1987). Best Supporting Actor.
  • Private Trip in "Glory" (1989). Best Supporting Actor.
  • Malcolm Little/ Malcolm X in "Malcolm X" (1992). Best Actor.
  • Rubin "Hurricane" Carter in "The Hurricane" (1999). Best Actor.
  • Detective Alonzo Harris in "Training Day" (2001). Best Actor.
  • William "Whip" Whitker in in "Flight" (2012). Best Actor
  • Troy Maxson in "Fences" (2016). Best Actor. 
In January 2017, Washington was Oscar-nominated in the Best Picture category as a  producer of "Fences," along with Todd Black and Scott Rudin.  Only eight other blacks have been recognized in the category. The others:
  • Quincy Jones for "The Color Purple" (1985).
  • Lee Daniels for "Precious: Based on the Novel "Push' by Sapphire" (2009).
  • Broderick Johnson for "The Blind Side" (2009). 
  • Reginald Hudlin for "Django Unchained" (2012).
  • Steve McQueen for "12 Years a Slave" (2013).  Won Best Picture
  • Oprah Winfrey for "Selma" (2014).
  • Pharrell Williams for "Hidden Figures" (2016).
  • Kimberly Steward for "Manchester by the Sea" (2016).
Washington made his screen debut in the 1981 comedy "Carbon Copy," in which he played the illegitimate son of a prosperous California businessman (played by George Segal). The fllm was directed by Michael Schultz, whose credits also included "Cooley High" (1975) and "Car Wash" (1976). 
 
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From 1982 to 1988, Washington starred as Dr. Philip Chandler on the acclaimed NBC drama series "St. Elsewhere." The end of the series dovetailed nicely with his growing presence in motion picture projects.
 
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Based on Charles Fuller's 1981 stage drama "A Soldier's Play," Norman Jewison's "A Soldier's Story" (1984) was about a murder probe involving an all-black military unit in Louisiana during World War II. The investigator (played by Howard E. Rollins, Jr.) was black. So was the victim. And most of the suspects. And the culprit. The film, which received nominations for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Adolph Caesar, pictured below right) and Best Acapted Screenplay (Fuller), also provided a breakthrough screen role for Washington. 
 
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In "Power," Sidney Lumet's 1986 drama about poilitics and the media, Washington played a powerful P.R. expert who clashed with a political strategist played by Richard Gere. Directed by Sidney Lumet, the film also starred Julie Christie, Gene Hackman, Kate Capshaw, E.G. Marshall, Beatrice Straight and Fritz Weaver.
 
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Kevin Kline and Washington co-starred in "Cry Freedom" (1987), based on the true story of South African journalist Donald Woods' relationship with the doomed anti-apartheid activist Stephen Biko. Directed by Sir Richard Attenborough, the film earned Washington his first Academy Award nomination -- in the Best Supporting Actor category.
 
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In "Glory" (1989) -- the Academy Award-winning Civil War tale about the heroic all-black 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry -- Washington played the defiant former slave Private Trip. Directed by Edward Zwick ("Legends of the Fall," "The Last Samurai"), the film earned three Oscars: Best Supporting Actor (Denzel Washington), Best Cinematography (Freddie Francis) and Best Sound (Donald O. Mitchell, Gregg Rudloff, Elliot Tyson and Russell Williams II). It also received nominations for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Norman Garwood and Garrett Lewis) and Best Film Editing (Steven Rosenblum).
 
 
On March 26, 1990, Washington's Best Supporting Actor win at the 62nd Academy Awards made him only the third black actor to win an Oscar -- after Sidney Poitier (Best Actor of 1963 for "Lilies of the Field") and Louis Gossett, Jr. (Best Supporting Actor of 1982 for "An Officer and a Gentleman").

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Three years later, Washington received his first Best Actor nomination for his portrayal of the title figure in Spike Lee's "Malcolm X." The 1992 biopic followed the life of the black activist (1925-1965) from his early years in Harlem, his stint in prison and his rise as a national spokesperson for the Black Muslims. Lee movie was partially financed by contributions from such prominent African-Americans as Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Janet Jackson, Prince, and Peggy Cooper Cafritz, founder of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington.

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A side note: In 1981, Washington portrayed Malcolm X in a New York stage production of Laurence Holder's play "When the Chickens Come Home to Roost." The production was one of two one-act plays by Holder performed at Woodie King, Jr.'s New Federal Theatre in New York City.

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Washington and Julia Roberts starred in the 1993 screen version of John Grisham's best-selling novel "The Pelican Brief." The actors became fast friend, and, in 2002, she was delighted to present him a Best Actor Oscar at the 74th Academy Awards ceremony.
 
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In 1996, Washington was named The Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine. His reaction: "I don't take myself too seriously. I don't stop in the mirror and go, 'Hey, Sexy Man'."
 
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"The Preacher's Wife" (1996) -- which starred Washington, Whitney Houston and Courtney B. Vance -- was a remake of the 1947 Christmas classic "The Bishop's Wife." Directed by Henry Koster, the original film starred Cary Grant as a guardian angel sent to Earth to provide guidance for an Episcopalian bishop (Niven) struggling to find funds for a new cathedral. Meanwhile, he established a connection with the bishop's spouse (Young). Penny Marshall's version featured Washington as a heavenly vistor to the New York City church of a Baptist minister (Vance).
 
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Jewison and Washington collaborated again for the controversial 1999 biopic "The Hurricane" (1999), based on the legal woes of former middleweight boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter (1937-2014). The fighter's promising career was cut short by a murder conviction in New Jersey in the 1960s. Carter -- portrayed by Washington in the movie -- always declared that he was innocent and his case became a worldwide cause célèbre (Bob Dylan even wrote a song about him). After serving 19 years in prison, Carter was released when the charges were dismissed in 1988. Washington received a Best Actor Oscar nomination and won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama.
 
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Thanks to the Oscar win for his lead role as a duplicitous narcotics detective in "Training Day," Washington (pictured below with co-star Ethan Hawke) is one of 11 actors to win in both lead and supporting categories. The others: Helen Hayes, Ingrid Bergman, Jack Lemmon, Dame Maggie Smith, Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Gene Hackman, Jessica Lange, Kevin Spacey and Cate Blanchett. 

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Washington's Best Actor win on March 24, 2002 was significant because it happened the same night that Halle Berry became the first African-American woman to receive the Best Actress Oscar. Also honored was the veteran star Poitier, who was presented an honorary Academy Award for career excellence. 

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In 2010, Washington and Viola Davis received Tony Awards for their performances in a revival of August Wilson's play "Fences." They won in the categories of Best Actor in a Play and Best Actress in a Play, respectively. 
 
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In 2016, Washington and Davis reprised their Tony Award-winning roles for a screen version of "Fences," directed and co-produced by Washington. The film, which was set in Pittsburgh during the 1950s, received four Academy Award nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor (Washington), Best Supporting Actress (Davis) and Best Adapted Screenplay (a posthumous nomination for the playwright Wilson, who died in 2005). 

 

 

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...actor Jude Law (born David Jude Heyworth Law on December 29, 1972), the ubiquitous British leading man. He says he was named for the hero of Thomas Hardy's novel "Jude the Obscure" as well as the Beatles' song "Hey, Jude."

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He has been nominated for Academy Awards twice. His recognized roles and movies are as follows: 
  • Dickie Greenleaf in "The Talented Mr. Ripley" (1999). Best Supporting Actor.
  • W.P. Inman in "Cold Mountain" (2003). Best Actor.
In 1999, Law co-starred with Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow in an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's 1955 novel "The Talented Mr. Ripley," directed by Oscar-winner Anthony Minghella ("The English Patient"). The title character -- played by Damon -- was a resourceful American who conned his way into the lives of a wealthy playboy (Law) and his girlfriend (Paltrow). For his efforts, Law received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The film also starred Cate Blanchett and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Highsmith's novel was first filmed by the French director René Clément ("Forbidden Games," "Is Paris Burning?") and released as the 1960 drama "Purple Noon" (French title: "Plein soleil"). It starred Alain Delon, Maurice Ronet and Marie Laforêt.
 
 
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In the World War II drama "Enemy at the Gates" (2001), Law portrayed the heroic Soviet sniper Vassili Zaitsev locked into a battle of wills in Stalingrad with a formidable German counterpart, Major Erwin König (Ed Harris). Directed by the French filmmaker Jean-Jacques Annaud, the film was based on a true story.
 
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"Road to Perdition" (2002), based on the 1998 comic book series by Max Allan Collins, featured Law as a relentless hit man with a penchant for taking photographs of his kills. The screen version starred Tom Hanks as a 1920s mob enforcer at odds with his longtime boss and father figure (Paul Newman). The drama received six Academy Award nominations, and earned a posthumous win for cinematographer Conrad Hall (1926-2003).
 
 
In the 2003 Civil War drama "Cold Mountain," Law starred as W.P. Inman, a Confederate soldier determined to get back to his home in North Carolina. The film, directed by Minghella, co-starred Nicole Kidman as the woman who waited for his return. Renee Zellweger won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance as a woman who helps Kidman's character survive hard times.
 
 
Law had a busy year in 2004. He appeared in "I ♥ Huckabees," a remake of "Alfie," a screen version of the dramatic play "Closer," the Howard Hughes biopic "The Aviator" (as actor Errol Flynn), "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" and "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" (as Lemony Snicket). He also was named The Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine.
 
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A side note: Law was in so many films released in 2004 that Oscars host Chris Rock addressed it in his opening monologue during the 77th Academy Awards ceremony on February 27, 2005. "Who is Jude Law?" Rock asked. "Why is he in every movie I have seen the last four years? He's in everything. Even the movies he's not acting in, if you look at the credits, he made cupcakes or something. He's in everything. He's gay, he's straight, he's American, he's British. Next year he's playing Kareem Abdul Jabbar in a movie." The usually serious Sean Penn, who lated presented the award for Best Actress, later responded: "Forgive my compromised sense of humor, but I did want to answer our host's question about who Jude Law is. He's one of our finest actors."
 
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In "The Holiday" (2006), Cameron Diaz played an American who traded residences with a Britisher (Kate Winslet) during the Christmas season. Both women found love during their Yule vacations. Written, directed and co-produced by Nancy Meyers, the film also starred Law (pictured below with Diaz), Jack Black and Eli Wallach. 
 
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In the 2004 remake of "Alfie," Law took over a role originally played in 1966 by Sir Michael Caine. In the 2007 remake of "Sleuth," Law did it again -- but with a twist. In the 1972 version of "Sleuth," Sir Laurence Olivier played the aging mystery writer Andrew Wyke, while Caine co-starred as Milo Tindle -- who was having an affair with Wyke's wife. In the remake, Caine took over Olivier's role, while Law played the younger character.
 
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Law has played Dr. John Watson opposite Robert Downey Jr.'s Sherlock Holmes in two big-screen tales about the renowned sleuth created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. "Sherlock Holmes" was released in 2009 and followed two years later by "Sherlock Holmes: Game of Death." A third film is said to be in development.
 
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Law (pictured below with Diane Keaton) won acclaim and a Golden Globe nomination for his performance in the 2017 HBO series "The Young Pope." He played Lenny Bellardo, the former Archbishop of New York who became Pope Pius XIII.
 
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Law will play the young Angus Dumbledore -- destined to become the director of The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry -- in the sequel to J.K. Rowling's 2016 fantasy film "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them." The second film -- "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" -- is scheduled to be released in 2018.
  
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...Russ Tamblyn (born Russell Irving Tamblyn on December 30, 1934), the acrobatic actor and dancer whose career began as a child performer in the late 1940s. 

Hand-some guy: Russ Tamblyn shows his hands with cement on them
 
At the age of 14, Tamblyn -- billed as "Rusty" -- played the young Bret Tare in the well-regarded 1950 film noir "Gun Crazy." John Dall played the character as an adult. Peggy Cummins co-starred as the grown-up Tare's wife Annie Laurie Starr, who joined him on a crime spree. The film was directed by Joseph H. Lewis, who was instrumental in Tamblyn's eventually being signed by MGM.
 
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In "Father of the Bride" (1950) and the 1951 sequel "Father's Little Dividend," Tamblyn played Tommy Banks -- Elizabeth Taylor's younger brother and the son of Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett. When Taylor graduated from high school, Tamblyn was among the young MGM actors who helped her celebrate on the set. Pictured from left: Claude Jarman Jr., Tamblyn, Dean Stockwell, Tom Irish, Jane Powell and Taylor.
 
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Tamblyn starred as one of the title siblings in "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," the 1954 musical tale about romance in the Oregon territory of the 1850s. Directed by Stanley Donen ("Singin' in the Rain," "On the Town"). the production received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. It won for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture (Adolph Deutsch, Saul Chaplin).
 
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Debbie Reynolds and Tamblyn co-starred in the 1955 movie musical "Hit the Deck." They became fast friends. When Reynolds died on December 29, 2016 -- the day before Tamblyn's 82nd birthday -- he was devastated. "I never had so much fun as I did working with Debbie on 'Hit the Deck,' " he said in a statement issued through his daughter Amber Tamblyn's Instagram account. "She was a sweetheart and I will miss her smiling, tap-dancing, bigger than life, golden bubble of energy. She was a great friend and I'm sure she's now "Singing in the Heavens!"
 
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In the 1956 Western "Fastest Gun Alive," Tamblyn showed off his acrobatic skills and dancing prowess during an energetic hoedown sequence.
 

Tamblyn earned an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Norman Page in "Peyton Place" (1957). The character became involved with Allison McKenzie (played by Diane Varsi, also an Oscar nominee for the film). The production received nine Oscar nominations -- including Best Picture -- but wound up with no wins.

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In George Pal's 1958 fantasy-musical film "tom thumb," Tamblyn played the tiny title character based on the fairy tale.  
 
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Tamblyn played Riff, the leader of the Jets in the 1961 screen version of the Broadway musical "West Side Story." Derived from Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," the movie -- about rival gangs in New York City -- won 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Co-directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, the film also starred Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno and George Chakiris. 
 
 
The 1963 British thriller "The Haunting" starred Tamblyn, Richard Johnson, Claire Bloom and Julie Harris as a group investigating strange occurrences in an old New England mansion. Based on Shirley Jackson's novel "The Haunting of Hill House," the film was directed by Wise. In 2009, Martin Scorsese wrote an online piece for The Daily Beast about the 11 scariest horror films. This was No. 1 on his list.
 
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In the 1964 adventure film "The Long Ships," Tamblyn (pictured lower right) co-starred as a member of a Viking crew led by Richard Widmark. The adventurers were coerced by a Moorish ruler (Sidney Poitier) into searching for a legendary golden bell. The film was directed by Jack Cardiff, the cinematographer for the 1958 hit "The Vikings."
 
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In 1990, Tamblyn became an original cast member of David Lynch's offbeat but acclaimed ABC television drama series "Twin Peaks." He played the eccentric psychiatrist Dr. Lawrence Jacoby -- known for his two-toned glasses. He also played the character in Lynch's screen extension of the TV series titled "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me."
 
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Despite undergoing open-heart surgery in October 2014, Tamblyn reprised the role of Dr. Jacoby in six episodes of the 2017 "Twin Peaks" reboot for Showtime.
 
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His daughter Amber is an actress and filmmaker who starred in the CBS drama series "Joan of Arcadia," the two "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" movies and the CBS sitcom "Two and a Half Men."
 
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...Sir Anthony Hopkins (born Philip Anthony Hopkins on December 31, 1937), the Welsh-born actor who has played captains, kings, presidents, a Norse god and a cannibal. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1993 for services to the arts. He became an American citizen in 2000.  
 
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He has been nominated for Academy Awards four times and won once. His recognized roles and movies are as follows (Oscar win is in bold): 
  • Dr. Hannibal Lecter  in "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991). Best Actor.
  • James Stevens in "The Remains of the Day" (1993). Best Actor.
  • President Richard Milhous Nixon in "Nixon" (1995). Best Actor.
  • Former President John Quincy Adams in "Amistad" (1997). Best Supporting Actor.
Hopkins' first role in a full length feature film was a memorable one. He portrayed England's future King Richard the Lionheart in "The Lion in Winter" (1968). Katharine Hepburn won her third of four Best Actress Oscars in the role of Richard's mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Peter O'Toole appeared as his father, King Henry II of England. Directed by Anthony Harvey -- who died on November 23, 2017 at the age of 87 -- the film earned two other Oscars: Best Adapted Screenplay (James Goldman) and Best Music Score (John Barry).
 
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In a 1973 film version of Ibsen's "A Doll's House," Hopkins played the domineering husband Torvald Helmer opposite Claire Bloom as his wife Nora.  The drama, directed by Patrick Garland, also starred Sir Ralph Richardson, Denholm Elliott, Dame Edith Evans and Anna Massey. 
 
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Hopkins co-starred with Richard Harris in the 1974 thriller "Juggernaut," which focused on a threat to a transatlantic cruise ship. A mysterious blackmailer (known only as "Juggernaut) informed British authorities that he had placed several devices aboard the "Britannic," a passenger vessel bound for the United States. He threatened to ignite the explosives unless he was paid the sum of £500,000. Meanwhile, a crack Navy bomb squad -- headed by  Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Fallon (Harris) -- was rushed into action to locate and defuse the explosives. Hopkins played a Scotland Yard superintendent who tried to work on the case, although his wife and daughter were aboard the ship. The film was directed by  Richard Lester -- best known for lighter fare such as The Beatles romps "A Hard Day's Night" (1964) and "Help!" (1965). 
 
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Hopkins won a Primetime Emmy Award for his portrayal of Bruno Richard Hauptmann in the 1976 CBS miniseries "The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case." Hauptmann, accused in the kidnapping and death of the young son of the renowned American aviator Charles Lindbergh, was tried and convicted in a highly publicized court case. Hauptmann, who was a German-born carpenter, maintained his innocence until his execution on April 3, 1936.
 
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Hopkins portrayed Britain's Lt. Col. John Frost in Sir Richard Attenborough's 1977 film "A Bridge Too Far," based on Cornelius Ryan's best-selling World War II 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. The film featured an all-star cast that included Robert Redford, Sir Laurence Olivier, Sir Michael Caine, Gene Hackman, Sir Sean Connery, Ryan O'Neal, Edward Fox, Dirk Bogarde, James Caan, Elliott Gould, Hardy Krüger, Maximilian Schell and Liv Ullmann. Frost's paratroopers had the mission of holding the Arnhem Bridge, but they were surrounded by the German II SS Panzer Corps. The real-life Frost served as a military consultant for the film.
 
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Hopkins teamed with Attenborough again for the 1978 theatrical film "Magic," based on William Goldman's 1976 horror novel. The drama, which starred Hopkins as a magician/ventriloquist who became dominated by a dummy named Fats, also featured Ann-Margret and Burgess Meredith. 
 
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Hopkins won a second Primetime Emmy Award for his portrayal of Adolf Hitler in "The Bunker" (1981). The three-hour CBS production re-created the final days of the Nazi leader in an underground bunker in Berlin.
 
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"The Bounty" (1984) starred Hopkins as Captain William Bligh and Mel Gibson as Fletcher in a new version of the 1780s mutiny aboard a British vessel at sea in the Pacific. The mission of the H.M.S. Bounty: to return to England with breadfruit trees from Tahiti as a source food for colonies in the West Indies. On the return voyage in 1789, Bligh was deposed by a band of mutineers led by Christian, Bligh's second in command. At issue were Bligh's cruel and abusive methods of punishing crew members. Bligh and several loyal seamen were set adrift in a lifeboat, while the captain swore vengeance against the mutineers. Meanwhile, the remaining crew members of the Bounty dumped the breadfruit trees in the ocean and headed back to a Tahitian paradise. Directed by Roger Donaldson, the film featured an appearance by Sir Laurence Olivier as Admiral Hood.
 
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Based on a true story, "84 Charing Cross Road" starred Hopkins as London book dealer Frank Doel (1908-1968), who had a remarkable correspondence with American writer Helene Hanff (1916-1997). Anne Bancroft portrayed Hanff, a New Yorker who had a passion for classic literature, particularly out-of-print works by British writers. She began her correspondence with Doel at his bookstore, Marks & Co, after local booksellers were unable to satisfy her needs. The film, directed by David Jones ("Betrayal") from a screenplay by Hugh Whitemore, also starred Dame Judi Dench and Mercedes Ruehl.
 
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Hopkins played the sinister Dr. Hannibal Lecter for the first time in "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991), a violent tale based on the 1998 novel by Thomas Harris. Jodie Foster co-starred as Clarice Starling, a young FBI agent who confers with Lecter in prison about the motivations of an at-large serial killer known as "Buffalo Bill." The film was directed by Jonathan Demme, who died on April 26, 2017.
 
 
At the 64th Academy Awards ceremony on March 30, 1992, "The Silence of the Lambs" became only the third film in history to win five major Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director (Demme), Best Actor (Hopkins), Best Actress (Foster and a screenwriting category (Ted Tally for Best Adapted Screenplay). The two other films that accomplished the feat were "It Happened One Night" (1934) and "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975). Hopkins, who originally had been slated for the Best Supporting Actor category, preferred the Best Actor race -- and won.
 

In "The Remains of the Day" (1993), Hopkins received a Best Actor nod for his performance as a repressed butler so devoted to his duties at a British estate, he overlooked a possible romantic relationship with a housekeeper (played by Emma Thompson). The film, based on the 1989 novel by the Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro, received six other Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. The production was directed by James Ivory, produced by Ismail Merchant and adapted by screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.

 Hopkins in Remains of the Day

 
Debra Winger'received a 1993 Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance in "Shadowlands," based on the true story of the tragic relationship between the British author C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) and the American poet and writer Joy Davidman (1915-1960). Directed by Attenborough, the film starred Hopkins as Lewis.
 
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Hopkins and Joan Allen received Academy Award nominations for their performances in "Nixon," Oliver Stone's 1995 film treatement about the 37th President of the United States. Hopkins was nominated as Best Actor for his portrayal of the embattled Richard Milhous Nixon. Allen was honored in the Best Supporting Actress category for her work as First Lady Pat Nixon.
 
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In Steven Spielberg's 1997 historical drama "Amistad," Hopkins portrayed former U.S. President John Quincy Adams, who defended enslaved Africans who mutinied on the Spanish ship La Amistad when their case was heard in American courts.
 
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Hopkins starred with Gwyneth Paltrow in the 2005 film version of David Auburn's "Proof," the story of the relationship between father-and-daughter mathematicians. Directed by John Madden, the movie's screenplay was written by Rebecca Miller -- daughter of the great American playwright Arthur Miller. Auburn's work won the 2001 Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
 
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 I once heard Anthony Hopkins relate in an interview why he became an actor. He was from Wales and apparently he was  within the same vicinity as Richard Burton. He saw what Richard Burton had acquired from acting:

Sybil, a beautiful actress wife, a nice home,  an expensive sports car and international travel. 

Hopkins thought he would enjoy that kind of Lifestyle too, so he decided to become an actor.

Apparently Anthony Hopkins had some facility for the profession as well. LOL

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Also, Happy Birthday today to:

Ben Kingsley-  74

Val Kilmer-  58

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...Frank Langella (born on January 1, 1938), the veteran stage, screen and television star who is one of two men to win four Tony Awards for acting (Boyd Gaines is the other). 

 
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Langella's Tony wins were for:
  • 1975 -- Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play -- "Seascape"
  • 2002 -- Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play -- "Fortune's Fool"
  • 2006-2007 -- Best Performance by an Actor in a Play  -- "Frost/Nixon"
  • 2016 -- Best Performance by an Actor in a Play -- "Le Père" ("The Father")  
 
He has been nominated for three other Tony Awards during his career on the stage. Actress Audra McDonald has won a record six Tony Awards, followed by theater legends Julie Harris and Dame Angela Lansbury, who received five competitive honors each. 
 
In the 1970 drama "Diary of a Mad Housewife," Langella appeared opposite Carrie Snodgress, who received an Academy Award nomination as Best Actress. The film was directed by Frank Perry and written by his then-wife, Eleanor, based on the novel by Sue Kaufman.
 
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Langella played a con artist in "The Twelve Chairs," Mel Brooks' 1970 adaptation of a 1928 Russian novel by Ilya Ilf and Yevgeni Petrov. Brooks wrote, directed and appeared in the film -- and he also wrote the movie's theme song heard during the opening credits ("Hope for the Best, Expect the Worst"). Set in the newly Communist-run Soviet Union a few years after the 1917 Russian Revolution, the comedy was about a frantic search for pre-Bolshevik era jewels hidden in one of 12 London-made dining chairs. Among those in pursuit of the treasure: a once-wealthy aristocrat (Ron Moody) whose late mother-in-law hid the jewels; a renegade priest (Dom DeLuise) who heard her deathbed confession; and Langella's character, who wormed his way into the chase.
 
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In the 1972 Western, "The Wrath of God," Langella co-starred with Robert Mitchum and Rita Hayworth in her final feature film appearance. In his 2012 memoir "Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them," he recalled his friendship with the screen goddess and said "the woman I had known in real life is, for me, still the single most tragic example of how far from the real person an image can be."
 
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Langella was a smash on Broadway as a sexy vampire in "Dracula" during the 1977-78 season. Naturally, he starred in a 1979 screen version directed by John Badham ("Saturday Night Fever") and co-starring Sir Laurence Olivier as the vampire hunter Van Helsing.
 
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He has said that one of his favorite film performances was as the evil Skeletor in the 1987 live-action version of "Masters of the Universe." As he once explained: "I played him because my son was four years old and walked around with a sword yelling, ‘I [have] the power!’ And he loved, loved, loved Skeletor. I didn’t even blink. I couldn’t wait to play him."
 
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In the political comedy "Dave" (1993), Langella played Bob Alexander, the White House chief of staff who tried to manipulate a POTUS lookalike (Kevin Kline) secretly pressed into service after the president suffered a stroke. The film earned Gary Ross an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Directed by Ivan Reitman, the production also starred Sigourney Weaver Kevin Dunn, Ving Rhames and Sir Ben Kingsley.
 
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In the 2005 historical drama "Good Night, and Good Luck," Langella portrayed William Paley, the founder and CEO of the CBS television network. Directed and co-written by George Clooney, the film focused on the CBS News broadcaster Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) and his powerful television commentaries against McCartyism in the 1950s. The production was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor (Strathairn).

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In "Superman Returns" (2006), Langella played Perry White, editor of The Daily Planet newspaper. Bryan Singer's reboot of the "Superman" movie series starred Brandon Routh as The Man of Steel and Clark Kent.
 
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In the 2007 drama "Starting Out in the Evening," Langella played a once celebrated author who developed a friendship with a grad student (Lauren Ambrose) writing a thesis on his works. The film was directed by Andrew Wagner, based on the 1998 novel by Brian Morton.
 
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Langella reprised his Tony Award-winning role as former U.S. President Richard Nixon in the 2008 screen version of British author Peter Morgan's 2006 stage play "Frost/Nixon." The play was based on the 1977 television interviews involving Nixon and broadcaster David Frost (played by Michael Sheen in the stage and screen versions). The movie earned five Academy Award nominations: Best Picture, Best Director (Ron Howard), Best Actor (Langella), Best Adapted Screenplay (Morgan) and Best Film Editing (Mike Hill and Daniel P. Hanley).
 
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...Kate Bosworth (born Catherine Ann Bosworth on January 2, 1983), whose background as a teen equestrian led to an acting career.
 
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Bosworth's screen debut was in "The Horse Whisperer" (1998), which was directed by its star Robert Redford and based on the 1995 novel by Nicholas Evans. She appeared as Judith, the best friend of Grace MacLean (played by a preteen Scarlett Johansson). While riding their horses on a winter's day, the characters were involved in a fateful accident involving a truck. Bosworth won the role of Judith because she was a champion equestrian in her native Massachusetts.
 
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Based on a true story, "Remember the Titans" (2000) featured Bosworth as Emma Hoyt, a teen student who didn't share her football star boyfriend's enthusiasm for desegregation at their Virginia high school. Denzel Washington starred as Coach Herman Boone, the African-American head coach of the newly consolidated football team. Also appearing in the film: Hayden Panettiere, Ryan Gosling, Will Patton, Wood Harris, Ryan Hurst (as Emma's boyfriend), Donald Faison, Ethan Suplee and Nicole Ari Parker.
 
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In the 2002 movie "Blue Crush," Bosworth starred as a teen who hoped to enter a surfing competition at Hawaii's North Shore. The film, directed by actor John Stockwell, also featured Michelle Rodriguez and Sànoe Lake. 
 

Bosworth portrayed actress Sandra Dee in the 2004 biopic "Beyond the Sea," which starred Kevin Spacey as her husband, the actor-singer Bobby Darin.

In "Supeman Returns," Bryan Singer's 2006 reboot of the movie series about The Man of Steel, Bosworth played newspaper reporter Lois Lane. She had a couple of big surprises for Superman (Brandon Routh) upon his return to Metropolis after years away from Earth. 

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In the 2008 drama "21," Jim Sturgess and Bosworth played members of an M.I.T. group determined to win big at Las Vegas casinos by counting cards. Based on a true story, the film also starred Spacey and Lawrence Fishburne.
 
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In 2011, Bosworth starred in a remake of Sam Peckinpah's 1971 thriller "Straw Dogs," which was headlined by Dustin Hoffman and Susan George as a husband and wife who encounter problems while living in an English village. The remake, directed by Rod Lurie ("The Contender"), was set in rural Mississippi and featured Bosworth and James Marsden as a couple that moved there.
 
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In "Still Alice" (2014), Bosworth and Kristen Stewart played the daughters of Julianne Moore, who starred as a college professor trying to cope with the devastating effects of early onset familial Alzheimer's disease. Written and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, the film also starred Alec Baldwin. The picture was based on the 2007 novel by Lisa Genova.
 
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Sarah Wayne Callies and Bosworth played real-life U.S. Army wives in National Geographic's 2017 miniseries "The Long Road Home." The eight-part production was based on the 2008 nonfiction best seller by Martha Raddatz of ABC News and focused on the events of April 4, 2004 -- "Black Sunday" -- when an Army platoon was ambushed in Iraq.
 
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Also, Happy Birthday to Cuba Gooding, Jr.-  50

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...Mel Gibson (born January 3, 1956), the American product who achieved early fame as an actor in Australia and became an international star. In recent years, he has concentrated on directing and producing -- and overcome controversies about his personal behavior and beliefs.
 
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He has been nominated for three Academy Awards: 
  • 1995 -- Best Picture (for "Braveheart." shared with Alan Ladd, Jr. and Bruce Davey).
  • 1995 -- Best Director (for "Braveheart"). 
  • 2016 -- Best Director (for "Hacksaw Ridge").
Gibson played the title character in "Mad Max" (1979), a post-apocalyptic drama co-written and directed by Australia's George Miller. It was the first installment of a series of films about Max Rockatansky -- a former policeman turned futuristic savior -- and his battles with vicious bikers and gangs. In the United States, "Mad Max 2" was released in 1982 under the title "The Road Warrior," and its success solidified the actor's status as a major star. The third film, "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" (1985), teamed Gibson with the Grammy Award-winning singer Tina Turner, who played Aunty Entity -- ruler of a village known as Bartertown. A fourth installment, the 2015 release "Mad Max: Fury Road," starred Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron. It won six Academy Awards: Best Film Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.
 
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In the 1979 romantic drama "Tim," Gibson played the title character, a developmentally challenged gardener who became involved with the American woman (Piper Laurie) who employed him. Directed by the Australian actor Michael Pate, the film was based on a 1974 novel by Colleen McCullough, author of "The Thorn Birds." For this performance, Gibson received an Australian Film Institute award as Best Actor. 
 
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Directed by Australia's Peter Weir, the 1981 historical drama "Gallipoli" was the story of one of the major disasters for the Allies during World War I. The film starred Gibson and Mark Lee as onetime rival sprinters who joined the war effort as members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). They and their comrades were put to the test during the Gallipoli campaign, an Allied attempt to take Constantinople -- the strategic key to the Ottoman Empire. The effort failed at a great cost -- more than 100,000 men on both sides were killed, including an estimated 8,709 Australians and 2,721 New Zealanders. The movie's screenplay was written by the Australian playwright David Williamson, who later collaborated with Weir on "The Year of Living Dangerously (1982).
 
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"The Year of Living Dangerously" starred Gibson as an Australian journalist covering political unrest in Indonesia in 1965. Sigourney Weaver co-starred as a British Embassy aide -- perhaps a spy -- who became a romantic partner for Gibson's character. Linda Hunt (pictured below with Gibson), who played the Asian photographer Billy Kwan, became the first person to win an Academy Award for playing a member of the opposite sex. She received the 1983 Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. 
 
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The 1987 police action/buddy film "Lethal Weapon" starred Gibson as Martin Riggs -- an L.A. detective who's both suicidal and a loose cannon. His new partner, Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover), is a family man considering retirement. Directed by Richard Donner ("Superman"), the film was a worldwide smash and launched sequels in 1989, 1992 and 1998. It also inspired a Fox Network television series that stars Clayne Crawford and Damon Wayans. Believe it or not, there's talk that Gibson and Glover might reunite for a fifth "Lethal Weapon" feature film.
 
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The 1988 crime drama "Tequila Sunrise," featured a romantic triangle involving characters played by Kurt Russell, Michelle Pfeiffer and Gibson. It was the second theatrical film written and directed by the formidable Oscar-winning screenwriter Robert Towne.
 
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Gibson directed, co-produced and starred in the 1995 historical drama "Braveheart" -- based on the life of the warrior Willam Wallace, who battled against English forces for Scotland's independence in the late 13th century and early 14th century.
 
 
"Braveheart" was nominated for 10 Academy Awards at the 68th annual ceremony held on March 25, 1996. It won five Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography (John Toll), Best Makeup (Peter Frampton, Paul Pattison and Lois Burwell) and Best Sound Effects Editing (Lon Bender and Per Hallberg).
 
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A side note: Although Ron Howard won the 1995 Directors Guild Award for his space drama "Apollo 13," he wasn't nominated for a Best Director Oscar. His film was nominated for Best Picture, but lost to Gibson's "Braveheart." The day after the Academy Awards ceremony, Gibson returned to work on the thriller "Ransom" -- which was directed by Howard.(pictured below).
 
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Five years after the success of "Braveheart," Gibson starred in the Revolutionary War drama "The Patriot," which left British moviegoers wondering what the actor had against their country. The 2000 film, which featured a patriotic score by John Williams, starred Gibson as a South Carolina widower and family man who reluctantly joined the colonial war effort.
 
 
Another 2000 film, the comedy "What Women Want," teamed Gibson with Helen Hunt. Directed by Nancy Meyers ("The Holiday"), it became the year's fifth-highest grossing film after "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," "Cast Away," "Mission: Impossible II" and "Gladiator." It went on to earn $374 million worldwide. The film featured Gibson as a man who discovered he could hear the thoughts of women.
 
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In the 2002 war film "We Were Soldiers," Gibson portrayed U.S. Army Lt. Col. Harold G. "Hal" Moore, Jr. -- the real-life leader of American troops at Ia Drang Valley in the first significant battle of the Vietnam conflict. For three days in November 1965, Moore's fighting men persevered while being outmanned and surrounded by enemy forces. The film was directed by Randall Wallace, who wrote the screenplay for "Braveheart." He also adapted the 1992 book "We Were Soldiers Once...and Young" by Moore (who retired as a lieutenant general and died in 2017 at the age of 94) and the veteran newsman Joseph L. Galloway. Also starring in the film: Madeleine Stowe, Greg Kinnear, Sam Elliott, Chris Klein, Keri Russell and Barry Pepper (as Galloway).

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Happy Birthday, MARION DAVIES, born this day in 1897!

 

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...the actress Dyan Cannon (born Samille Diane Friesen on January 4, 1937), who enjoyed a considerable career in films and in television after divorcing the world's most famous movie star.
 
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She has been nominated for three Academy Awards: 
  • 1969 -- Best Supporting Actress (as Alice in "Bob & Ted & Carol & Alice").
  • 1976 -- Best Short Film, Live Action (for "Number One")
  • 1978 -- Best Supporting Actress (as Julia Farnsworth in "Heaven Can Wait"). 
 
From 1965 to 1968, Cannon was married to film superstar Cary Grant, who was 30 years her senior. He retired from filmmaking after the birth of their daughter Jennifer Grant (b. February 1966) -- who later became an actress. 
 
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Paul Mazursky's 1969 comedy "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice" starred Elliott Gould, Natalie Wood, Robert Culp and Cannon as couples confronted with options during the sexual revolution. The film received four Academy Award nominations: Best Supporting Actor (Gould, as Ted), Best Supporting Actress (Cannon, as Ted's wife Alice), Best Original Screenplay (Mazursky and Larry Tucker) and Best Cinematography (Charles Lang).
 
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In 1973, she co-starred with James Coburn, Joan Hackett, James Mason, Richard Benjamin,  Ian McShane and Raquel Welch in "The Last of Sheila," a stylish and witty murder mystery written by the Tony Award-winning composer Stephen Sondheim and actor Anthony Perkins. The film, directed by Herbert Ross ("The Goodbye Girl," "The Turning Point"), featured Coburn as a wealthy producer seeking revenge for his wife's death in a hit-and-run accident after a party in Southern California. A year later, with the homicide still unsolved, he decided to ferret out the culprit himself. He invited six of the partygoers -- all Hollywood insiders -- to a yachting trip in the south of France, where he hosted a very special parlor game.
 
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In Warren Beatty's 1978 hit "Heaven Can Wait," Cannon and Charles Grodin played clandestine lovers who plotted the demise of her husband --millionaire Leo Farnsworth. What they didn't know was that an earlier murder attempt succeeded, but Farnsworth's body had been taken over by ex-football star Joe Pendleton (Beatty). 
 
 
In "Honeysuckle Rose" (1980), Cannon co-starred with Willie Nelson and Amy Irving in the tale of a romantic triangle involving a country singer, his wife and the daughter of a former band member. Directed by Jerry Schatzberg, the film also starred Slim Pickens, Priscilla Pointer (Irving's mother), Diana Scarwid and Emmylou Harris (as herself). Nelson received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song: "On the Road Again."
 
 
Cannon starred with Sir Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve in the ever-surprising "Deathtrap," Sidney Lumet's 1982 screen version of the 1978 stage play by Ira Levin. Caine starred as Sidney Bruhl, a once-acclaimed playwright fallen on hard times. He saw a chance for a comeback, however, when a student (Reeve) shows up with a can't-miss manuscript titled "Deathtrap." Although his wife Myra (Cannon) had some misgivings, Bruhl concocted a plan to gain possession of the script by any means necessary. 
 
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In 1992, Cannon starred in a made-for-television remake of the 1945 holiday film "Christmas in Connecticut," which starred Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan. Cannon played a cooking celebrity and TV show host who actually wasn't an expert. Her secret was in danger of being exposed when she was asked to make a home-cooked Christmas dinner for a heroic forest ranger (Kris Kristofferson). The TV movie, which also starred Tony Curtis, was directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger. 
 
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Cannon and comedian George Lopez are among the diehard Los Angeles Lakers fans who attend NBA games regularly at STAPLES Center in downtown L.A.
 
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Cannon's daughter Jennifer is the mother of Cary Grant's only grandchild, a 9-year-old named Cary Benjamin. Her book, "Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant," was published in 2011. 
 
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...Robert Duvall (born January 5, 1931), the veteran actor who has excelled in supporting roles and as an occasional leading man. He's still going strong at the age of 87.
 
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He has been nominated for Academy Awards seven times and won once. His recognized roles and movies are as follows (Oscar win is in bold): 
  • Tom Hagen in "The Godfather" (1992). Best Supporting Actor.
  • Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore in "Apocalypse Now" (1979). Best Supporting Actor.
  • Lt. Col. Wilbur "Bull" Meechum in "The Great Santini" (1980). Best Actor.
  • Mac Sledge in "Tender Mercies" (1983). Best Actor.
  • Eulus F. "Sonny" Dewey (the Apostle E.F.) in "The Apostle" (1997). Best Actor.
  • Jerome Facher in "A Civil Action" (1998). Best Supporting Actor.
  • Joseph Palmer in "The Judge" (2014). Best Supporting Actor.
Duvall made many guest star appearances on network television in the 1960s. One of his first acting jobs was in the CBS anthology series "The Twilight Zone." In the episode "Miniature" -- one of the last stories written by Charles Beaumont -- Duvall played a man mesmerized by a Victorian era dollhouse and a tiny figure inside it.
 
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He made his screen debut as Boo Radley (pictured below with Mary Badham as Scout Finch) in the 1962 drama "To Kill a Mockingbird," based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee. The film produced Oscar wins for Best Actor (Gregory Peck), Best Adapted Screenplay (Horton Foote) and Best Black-and-White Art Direction-Set Decoration (Alexander Golitzen, Henry Bumstead and Oliver Emert). 
 
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In Robert Altman's black comedy "M*A*S*H (1970), Duvall played Major Frank Burns, a surgeon and medical officer at the U.S. Army's 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War. He also was a religious hypocrite involved in a torrid affair with Chief Nurse Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan (Sally Kellerman). It turned out to be his undoing, thanks to the machinations of Captain Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce (Donald Sutherland).
 
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Duvall received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his performance as Corleone family consigliere Tom Hagen in "The Godfather" (1972). Another well-known character actor, Ned Beatty, once marveled over Duvall's performance. What impressed him was how Hagen reacted differently to members of the Corleone family and other characters in the movie. Tom was an adviser to Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), so their relationship was of a confidential nature. Hagen and Sonny Corleone (James Caan) had been friends/brothers since childhood, so they had a different relationship. Tom was patronizing to Michael (Al Pacino) until the youngest Corleone son showed his mettle. And he was businesslike when it came to dealing with such figures as movie producer Jack Woltz (John Marley) and heroin dealer Virgil "The Turk" Sollozzo (Al Lettieri). "I had never seen a performance exactly like that before," Beatty said.
 

In Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 Vietnam War saga "Apocalypse Now," Duvall was Oscar-nominated for his appearance as the fearless Army Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore -- who memorably played a recording of Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" on loudspeakers during a helicopter attack on a village.

 
For his performance in "The Great Santini," Duvall received a 1980 Best Actor nomination -- his first in the category. He played Lt. Col. Wilbur "Bull" Meechum (a.k.a The Great Santini), a gung-ho Marine fighter pilot trying to cope with peacetime in early 1960s America. Michael O'Keefe, who received a Best Supporting Actor nomination, co-starred as Ben Meechum -- the eldest of the flier's four youngsters. A high school basketball star at the age of 18, Ben began to resent his father's overbearing nature. Blythe Danner played matriarch Lillian Meechum, who somehow managed to keep the family together. The film was based on a semi-autobiographical novel by Pat Conroy.
 
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Duvall has appeared in many film and television projects written by the late playwright Horton Foote (1916-2009). In the 1983 drama "Tender Mercies," the actor played a former country singer and recovering alcoholic who finds redemption in a solid relationship with a widow (Tess Harper) and her son. He also had a chance to get to know the teen daughter (Ellen Barkin) that he hadn't seen since she was a child.
 
 
At the 56th Academy Awards ceremony on April 9, 1984, "Tender Mercies" was nominated for five Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director (Bruce Beresford), Best Actor (Duvall), Best Original Screenplay (Foote) and Best Original Song ("Over You" by Austin Roberts and Bobby Hart). Awards went to Duvall and Foote. 
 
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In the 1984 baseball fable "The Natural," Duvall played sportswriter-cartoonist Max Mercy -- who believed there was something familiar about New York Knights phenom Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford). Directed by Barry Levinson, the film -- based on the 1952 novel by Bernard Malamud -- also starred Glenn Close, Kim Basinger, Wilford Brimley, Barbara Hershey, Robert Prosky, Richard Farnsworth and an uncredited Darrin McGavin.
 
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Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones starred in a 1988 CBS miniseries based on Larry McMurtry's 1985 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "Lonesome Dove." The four-part presentation -- the story of the friendship between two ex-Texas Rangers turned cattlemen -- drew a large viewing audience when it aired February 5-8, 1989. It was nominated for 18 Primetime Emmy Awards and won seven. Both Duvall and Jones were nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. 
 
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In the 1996 comedy/drama "A Family Thing," Duvall played a white Southerner who discovered his biological mother was an African-American housekeeper -- and that he had a half-brother (James Earl Jones) in Chicago. Directed by Richard Pearce, the film -- written by Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Epperson -- was produced by Duvall, who also originated the idea for the project.
 
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Duvall received his third Best Actor nomination for "The Apostle" -- a 1997 drama about a small-time preacher who reinvents himself as an evangelical force known as "The Apostle E. F." The film, which was written and directed by its star, also featured Farrah Fawcett, Miranda Richardson, June Carter Cash, Walton Goggins, John Beasley and Thornton.  
 
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Almost 20 years after "Lonesome Dove," Duvall won a Primetime Emmy for the 2006 AMC miniseries "Broken Trail," a Western tale directed by Walter Hill. Duvall and Thomas Haden Church played cowboys moving horses from Oregon to Wyoming during the late 19th century. Along the way, they rescued five Chinese girls from a slave trader -- and then fought off revenge-minded attackers. The production won Emmys for Outstanding Miniseries, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie (Duvall), Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie (Church) and Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie, or a Special.
 
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On January 15, 2015, 10 days after his 84th birthday, Duvall received his seventh Academy Award nomination. He was honored in the Best Supporting Actor category for his performance as the title character in "The Judge." He became the oldest nominee in the acting category, surpassing the record of Hal Holbrook -- who was 82 years and 339 days old when he received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his performance in "Into the Wild" (2007).
 
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Robert De Niro, a co-founder of the annual Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, helped arrange a special treat in April 2017. On the final night of the event, there was a reunion of principals from "The Godfather" and "The Godfather Part II." The other participants were: Diane Keaton, Duvall, director Coppola, Caan, Pacino and Talia Shire. 
 
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Kevin Mazur/Getty Images Entertainment  
 
 
 
 
 
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Also, Happy Birthday to:

Diane Keaton-  72

Hayao Miyazaki-  77

Bradley Cooper-  43

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...Eddie Redmayne (born Edward John David Redmayne on January 6, 1982), the first actor born in the 1980s to win the Academy Award for Best Actor. 

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He has been nominated twice for Academy Awards and won once. His recognized roles and movies are as follows (Oscar win is in bold): 
  • Stephen Hawking "The Theory of Everything " (2014). Best Actor.
  • Lili Elbe in "The Danish Girl" (2015). Best Actor.
Redmayne co-starred with the British-American actress Hayley Atwell in the 2010 miniseries "The Pillars of the Earth," about the construction of a cathedral in medieval England. The eight-part production, based on the 1989 novel by Ken Follett, aired in the United States on the Starz Network.
 
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In "My Week with Marilyn" (2011), Redmayne portrayed Colin Clark, a production assistant who befriended the actress Marilyn Monroe during the filming of the 1957 film "The Prince and the Showgirl." Michelle Williams received an Academy Award nomination as Best Actress -- her third -- for her portrayal of the screen goddess. Sir Kenneth Branagh earned a Best Supporting Actor nod for the role of Sir Laurence Olivier -- Monroe's director and co-star.  
 
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In the 2012 screen version of the musical "Les Misérables." Redmayne played the heroic Marius, who fell in love with Cosette (Amanda Seyfried) -- the ward of the story's hero Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman). Both the film and the stage production were set in 18th-century France and based on the novel by Victor Hugo.
 
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In the 2014 biopic "The Theory of Everything," Redmayne portrayed Stephen Hawking, the brilliant British theoretical physicist confined to a wheelchair for the past 30 years because of a motor neurone disease. He has used a speech synthesizer to communicate with others. Directed by James Marsh, the film was based on "Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen" -- the book by Hawking's ex-wife Jane. She was portrayed in the film by actress Felicity Jones.
 
 
At the 86th Academy Awards ceremony on February 25, 2015, "The Theory of Everything" was nominated for five Oscars: Best Picture, Best Actor (Redmayne), Best Actress (Jones), Best Adapted Screenplay (Anthony McCarten) and Best Original Score (Jóhann Jóhannsson). Redmayne won -- and appeared to be overwhelmed by his good fortune.
 
 
The futuristic sci-fi tale "Jupiter Ascending" (2015) starred Redmayne as Balem Abrasax, a Jupiter-based space mogul who held ownership of the Earth. He became threatened by the appearance of Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), a genetic match to his late mother who may have a rightful claim to the Earth. The film was written and directed by The Wachowskis, creators of the "Matrix" trilogy.
 
 
In January 2016, Redmayne earned a second Oscar nomination as Best Actor for his performance in "The Danish Girl" (2015), based on the 2000 novel by author David Ebershoff. The story was inspired by the real-life Lili Elbe (born Einar Wegener in 1882), a transgendered Danish painter. Elbe died in 1931, a year after transitioning to female. Redmayne's co-star Alicia Vikander, who portrayed the artist's wife Gerda, won the Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress. The drama was directed by Tom Hooper, who won an Oscar for "The King's Speech" (2010).
 
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Redmayne starred in the 2016 fantasy "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" -- set in the 1920s and based on a screenplay by Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling. He played Newt Scamander in the spin-off film and will reprise the character in the 2018 sequel "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald." 
 
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Redmayne (pictured with his wife Hannah Bagshawe) was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in December 2016. He received the award for services to drama from Queen Elizabeth II at an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle. Redmayne and his wife have been married since 2014. They have a daughter, Iris (b. 2016), and are expecting their second child this year.
 
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Also, Happy Birthday to the very funny Rowan Atkinson-  63

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...Nicolas Cage (born Nicolas Coppola on January 7, 1964), the Academy Award-winning actor and member of a distinguished family of filmmakers. He's also known for his sometimes controversial choices as an actor. 

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He has been nominated twice for Academy Awards and won once. His recognized roles and movies are as follows (Oscar win is in bold): 
  • Ben Sanderson in "Leaving Las Vegas " (1995). Best Actor.
  • Charlie Kaufman and Donald Kaufman in "Adaptation" (2002). Best Actor.
The Coppola family, which includes generations of Oscar winners, has received a combined total of eight Academy Awards. Francis Ford Coppola (pictured below right), his late musician father Carmine, and his writer-director daughter Sofia (center) duplicated the feat of the Hustons (John, Walter and Anjelica) who were the first three-generation Oscar winners. Cage, who changed his last name to when he began acting professionally, is the nephew of Francis and cousin of Sofia. Carmine was his grandfather.
 
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Cage's first starring role was in the 1984 romantic comedy "Valley Girl," which was directed by Martha Coolidge. A variation on Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," the film focused on Julie Richman (Deborah Foreman), a high school beauty from the San Fernando Valley. Cage played a Hollywood punker who attracted her attention after she broke up with her longtime boyfriend. Despite their differences -- and the odds against them -- the couple made an effort toward a workable relationship.
 
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Sean Penn and Cage played best buds in the 1984 coming-of-age drama "Racing with the Moon," which was set in California during the 1940s. Both actors would go on to win Oscars, but their real-life friendship became strained after Penn criticized Cage for selling out. "Nic Cage is no longer an actor," Penn told The New York Times in 1999. "He could be again, but now he’s more like a…performer." Cage later responded: "The door to our friendship is now closed. In this business you get enough negativity from the press without having your friends dump on you in public."  
 
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In the 1984 drama "Birdy," Matthew Modine and Cage played longtime friends from Philadelphia who became traumatized by their experiences in the Vietnam War in the 1960s. Directed by Alan Parker, the film was based on the acclaimed 1978 novel by William Wharton.
 
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Kathleen Turner earned an Academy Award nomination for the 1986 romantic fantasy "Peggy Sue Got Married," in which she played a middle-aged woman who time traveled back to her high school days in the 1960s. But Cage, who played her husband/ teen boyfriend was criticized in some quarters for the way he played his character. Vincent Canby of The New York Times bemoaned "the lack of any sense of rapport between Miss Turner and Mr. Cage. As the teen-age Charlie, he's a charmless creep and, as the older man, in gross makeup, he looks like Peter Cushing playing Dr. Frankenstein in a Hammer horror film." 
 
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Cage and Holly Hunter played would-be parents in the 1987 comedy "Raising Arizona," an early hit for the filmmaking brothers Joel and Ethan Coen. Their characters Kidnapped one of the quintuplets of a prosperous Arizona businessman. The film also starred John Goodman, William Forsythe, Trey Wilson and Frances McDormand.
 
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Cher won a 1987 Best Actress Oscar for her performance opposite Cage in Norman Jewison's romantic comedy "Moonstruck." She played an Italian-American widow in Brooklyn who found unexpected love with a baker (Cage). Oscars also went to Olympia Dukakis -- who played the mother of Cher's character -- and to John Patrick Shanley for Best Original Screenplay. The film also was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor (Vincent Gardenia).
 
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The 1988 horror comedy "Vampire's Kiss" starred Cage as New York publishing executive who was bitten on the neck by a woman (Jennifer Beals). He then became obsessed with the possibility that he might turn into a creature of the night. The film probably is best remembered for the fact that Cage ate a real cockroach in one of the scenes.
 
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The original title of the 1994 romantic comedy "It Could Happen to You" (with Bridget Fonda) was "Cop Gives Waitress Million Dollar Tip" -- which explains the movie's storyline.
 
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Directed by the British filmmaker Mike Figgis, "Leaving Las Vegas" starred Cage as a writer who's slowly drinking himself to death. Elisabeth Shue co-starred as the hooker who became devoted to him. The film was based on the 1990 novel by John O'Brien.
 
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At the 68th Academy Awards ceremony on March 25, 1996, Cage won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in "Leaving Las Vegas." The film was nominated for three othe awards: Best Director (Figgis), Best Actress (Shue) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Figgis). 
 

 

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