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Periodically, I check for film information, or to see if “anything interesting is happening.”  My friend, Marc, swears I do it daily.  No.  Well, he’s…almost right.  One of the features on the sight is:  “Born Today.”  It is a list of people in the film business, most alive, some deceased, whose birthdays occur on a specific date.  On the day I first started putting this post together, July 22nd, eight names jumped out at me.  And a few familiar faces were recognizable, too.  A bumper crop.

totalstripSee if any of these ring a bell.  Albert Brooks.  This Summer you’ve heard his voice in “Finding Dory” and “The Secret Life of Pets.”  Both films are being seen by a lot of people.  You’ve heard or seen him elsewhere.  On “The Simpsons” and “Finding Nemo.”  All these efforts are good paydays for Mr. Brooks.  I also remember him from other films, such as: Defending Your Life (very funny film, and Meryl Streep is great, as always), Broadcast News (can you say “flop sweat”?  Brooks holds his own with William Hurt and Holly Hunter), and Lost in America.

Willem Defoe.  He’s probably best known for his distinctive face and unique roles.  He’s been a voice in both “Finding Nemo…and Dory.”  His work in “Platoon” and “The English Patient” was wonderful.

Louise Fletcher.  Nurse Ratched.  Does more need to be said?  “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” won the big 5 Oscars. She earned 134 acting credits from 1958-2013.

Danny Glover.  I first saw him in “Places in the Heart” (a fine film, great cast).  From 1984 – 1987, he was also in: “Witness” (he tried to kill Han Solo, a no-no), “The Color Purple,” “Lethal Weapon,” and —my favorite western— “Lonesome Dove.”

David Spade.  Probably most recognizable for his work on Saturday Night Live.  Lots of appearances on TV and in films.

John Leguizamo.  TV, movies, and on Broadway, too.

Terence Stamp.  When younger, he was famous for acting (“Billy Budd”, 1962) and dating (Brigitte Bardot, et al).  He was General Zod in Superman II.  Want to see a dangerous man?  Watch Stamp’s portrayal of Wilson (no first name) in “The Limey.”  A British Father comes to America to avenge his daughter’s death in Hollywood.  He does.  Best performance you will see in a long time?  Stamp’s Bernadette: a transexual with 2 friends on a bus traveling through Australia’s outback.  He takes no ****.  A superb, m
emorable  performance.

Alex Trebek.  I’ll take TV Game show hosts for a thousand.  So will you.

And then, there are names you may not recognize.  But these birthday celebrators have faces that could be familiar.  I’ll give a half-dozen names and you check their faces. Some may trigger pleasant memories ?



Orson Bean. A long TV career.  1952 – 2016.  Guests on many shows.  Was on Omnibus in 1956.  Had a part in “Being John Malkovich.”  Does his face look familiar?


fergusonColin Ferguson.  He’s had appearances on lots of TV shows. “Eureka,” for example.    Last night, I think I saw him in a commercial portraying a washer or a washer repairman.


GodleyAdam Godley.  He’s acted in TV, film, and on Broadway.  He’s a parent of one of the “bad” kids in “Charley and the Chocolate Factory.  And, I think, a faculty member helping to put on a kid’s talent show in “Love, Actually.



Rhys Ifans.  I’ve seen his work in at least 2 places.  As Hugh Grant’s roommate in “Notting Hill” and in TV’s “Elementary” (my favorite TV show) as Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock’s brother. The roles are about this……….far apart.



Peter Jason.  I KNOW I’ve seen him in something.  With 245 work credits, I must have.  He has a face I recognize but can’t quite place.  But at least he’s working.



Franka Potente.  She’s done a variety POTENTEof film and TV work. Her most memorable work I’ve seen are her roles in Bourne films with Matt Damon.  2002’s “The Bourne Identity” where they survive and fall in love. Plus, 2004’s “The Bourne Supremacy” where she doesn’t.  Bourne’s enemies paid for that.

Hopefully, some of these names are familiar to you.  For other actors, their faces will be recognized.  I think a visit to will refresh your memories of these folks.  Whether remembering their performances or retrieving memories when spying faces, you might enjoy a few trips down memory lane.  And, no, I don’t get paid for mentioning the website.





About rcarmean

Two things... First, why have I decided to establish this blog? I like to put essays together. I research an idea or topic looking for information, statistics, stories, quotes, pictures, etc. I enjoy the process and seeing a finished product. I’m told that as I get older, new activities can help maintain energy and keep my brain alert. In other words, I am not doing this for money or fame. Second, regarding the gentleman in the collage of pictures's not me. Those are photos of Christy Mathewson. Why him? When I was young, my primary activity was being sick. It took up much of my time. Eczema (a case so bad I was written up in a medical journal showing doctors what their patients COULD look like), asthma, and allergies. You know allergies: don’t eat this, don’t wear that, and, for Heaven’s sake, don’t touch any of these things (eg, dogs, cats, horses --I only saw horses in cowboy movies and TV shows, dust, swimming pools, my brother --OK, that’s an exaggeration, Rick was a fine brother). In my spare time between doctors' appointments, pills, and ointments, baseball kept me sane. In the 1940s and 1950s, when I grew up, pro footballI and basketball had not yet become extremely popular. Baseball truly was “the national pastime.” I listened to games on the radio (remember it? TV without the picture). I read magazines, books, and newspaper accounts of games. I collected baseball cards. I learned about the game’s history, as well as present. The same with its stars. One man stood out: Christy Mathewson. He was a great pitcher for the New York Giants in the early 20th century. But there was much more to him. At a time when professional athletes made little money (yes, there was such a time) and ball players were considered on the same level as actors, artists, and prostitutes, Mathewson stood out. One of his nicknames was: “The Christian Gentleman.” Most men is baseball drank, smoked, cursed, and fought —with other players, umpires, and fans. The fights were physical, not just verbal. Mathewson did none of these things. But he earned the respect of other players who did them all. Even Ty Cobb and John McGraw. There’s more. He was a college graduate (Bucknell University) when most men were lucky to have a high school diploma. He played other sports, including pro football which you wouldn’t recognize. He was handsome. He played in New York City, then as now, the largest city in the country. Excellence and popularity there meant fame and money. He dressed well. Today, his commercials would rival LeBron’s. And, finally, a hero’s life must have tragedy. After his playing career ended, WWI arrived. He suffered from influenza and was exposed to mustard gas. Chemical warfare. His lungs were damaged and he required treatment for the rest of his life. (Like my Grandfather who also fought in The Great War.) He died in 1925. He was 45 years old. I have his picture here because you need to know more about him than me. He was what an athlete could be. Players like him and their accomplishments got me through a sickly, painful childhood and can still sustain me in difficult times. *****
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