Saturday, 3 June 2017

Birthday's to share this week : 4th - 10th June 2017.

Do you celebrate your Birthday this week?

Paul Giamatti does on 6th June - check out my tribute to this Birthday Lad turning 50, at the end of this feature.

Do you also share your birthday with a well known, highly regarded & famous Actor or Actress; share your special day with a Director, Producer, Writer, Cinematographer, Singer/Songwriter or Composer of repute; or share an interest in whoever might notch up another year in the coming seven days? Then, look no further! Whilst there will be too many to mention in this small but not insignificant and beautifully written and presented Blog, here are the more notable and noteworthy icons of the big screen, and the small screen, that you will recognise, and that you might just share your birthday with in the week ahead. If so, Happy Birthday to you from Odeon Online!

Sunday 4th June
  • Geoffrey Palmer - Born 1927, turns 90 - Actor
  • Bruce Dern - Born 1936, turns 81 - Actor 
  • Sean Pertwee - Born 1964, turns 53 - Actor 
  • Russell Brand - Born 1975, turns 42 - Actor | Writer | Producer | Singer | Songwriter
  • Angelina Jolie - Born 1975, turns 42 - Actress | Director | Producer | Writer
Monday 5th June
  • Kathleen Kennedy - Born 1953, turns 64 - Producer
  • Mark Wahlberg - Born 1971, turns 46 - Actor | Producer | Singer | Songwriter  
Tuesday 6th June
  • Robert Englund - Born 1947, turns 70 - Actor | Director | Producer
  • Jason Isaacs - Born 1963, turns 54 - Actor | Producer 
  • Paul Giamatti - Born 1967, turns 50 - Actor | Producer
  • Jonathan Nolan - Born 1976, turns 41 - Writer | Producer | Director
  • Sandra Bernhard - Born 1955, turns 62 - Actress | Writer 
Wednesday 7th June
  • James Ivory - Born 1928, turns 89 - Director | Writer | Producer 
  • Ronald Pickup - Born 1940, turns 77 - Actor 
  • Liam Neeson - Born 1952, turns 65 - Actor | Producer
  • William Forsythe - Born 1955, turns 62 - Actor | Producer | Writer
  • Karl Urban - Born 1972, turns 45 - Actor
  • Bill Hader - Born 1978, turns 39 - Actor | Writer | Producer | Director | Singer
  • Michael Cera - Born 1988, turns 29 - Actor | Director | Producer | Writer | Composer | Singer
Thursday 8th June
  • Jerry Stiller - Born 1927, turns 90 - Actor | Producer
  • Griffin Dunne - Born 1955, turns 62 - Actor | Producer | Director   
Friday 9th June
  • James Newton Howard - Born 1951, turns 66 - Composer | Orchestrator | Songwriter
  • Michael J. Fox - Born 1961, turns 56 - Actor | Producer | Writer
  • Aaron Sorkin - Born 1961, turns 56 - Writer | Producer | Actor | Director
  • Johnny Depp - Born 1963, turns 54 - Actor | Producer | Director | Writer | Singer
  • David Koepp - Born 1963, turns 54 - Writer | Director | Producer 
  • Eddie Marsan - Born 1968, turns 49 - Actor 
  • Natalie Portman - Born 1981, turns 36 - Actress | Producer | Director | Writer | Singer  
Saturday 10th June
  • Gina Gershon - Born 1962, turns 55 - Actress | Producer | Singer
  • Jeanne Tripplehorn - Born 1963, turns 54 - Actress 
  • Elizabeth Hurley - Born 1965, turns 52 - Actress | Producer
  • Leelee Sobieski - Born 1983, turns 34 - Actress | Producer
  • Jurgen Prochnow - Born 1941, turns 76 - Actor | Producer
Paul Edward Valentine Giamatti was born in New Haven, Connecticut, USA to mother Toni Marilyn Smith, a housewife and English teacher who taught at the private co-ed Hopkins School in New Haven, and who had previously done some Acting, and father Angelo Bartlett Giamatti, a Yale University Professor who went on to become the President of the University and the Commissioner of Major League Baseball. He is the youngest of three children, having an older brother Marcus, an Actor, and an older sister Elena a designer of jewellery. He attended the co-ed private Foote School in New Haven and in 1985 graduated from the Choate Rosemary Hall private boarding school in Wallingford, Connecticut. From there he attended Yale University where he was active in the theatre scene working with fellow students and aspiring Actors, Edward Norton and Ron Livingstone. In 1989 he graduated from Yale with a bachelor's Degree in English. He subsequently earned a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the Yale School of Drama. During the late '80's and early '90's he appeared in many stage productions, including a period on Broadway before television and film roles started to come his way.

Giamatti scored his first role in the television movie 'She'll Take Romance' in 1990, and followed this up a year later with 'Past Midnight' with Rutger Hauer and Clancy Brown, and then Cameron Crowe's Written and Directed 'Singles' with Bridget Fonda and Kyra Sedgwick the year after. 'Mighty Aphrodite' came next for Woody Allen starring, writing and Directing in 1995, and Sydney Pollack's 'Sabrina' that same year with Harrison Ford and Julia Ormond. Mike Newell's 'Donnie Brasco' with Al Pacino, Johnny Depp and Michael Madsen followed in 1997, then the autobiographical film based on the life of Howard Stern, 'Private Parts', followed by the likes of 'My Best Friend's Wedding', 'Deconstructing Harry' for Woody Allen again, Peter Weir's 'The Truman Show', Steven Spielberg's 'Saving Private Ryan', F. Gary Gray's 'The Negotiator', Tim Robbins all star historical political drama 'Cradle Will Rock' and Milos Forman 'Man on the Moon' saw out the '90's. In between there were appearances on television shows including 'NYPD Blue', 'New York News', 'Homicide : Life on the Street' and 'American Experience'.  

The new decade launched with 'Big Momma's House' and 'Duets' in 2000 before Tim Burton's reimagining of 'Planet of the Apes' in 2001. Shawn Levy's 'Big Fat Liar' was released in 2001 and followed up with 'Thunderpants', 'Confidence' and then the critically acclaimed 'American Splendour' which really put Giamatti on the map with several awards nominations from around the circuit. John Woo's actioner 'Paycheck' with Ben Affleck followed and then another highly acclaimed role as the Pinot Noir loving, Merlot hating Miles in Alexander Payne's California wine country road trip comedy drama film 'Sideways'. The film garnered much critical praise and secured more award wins and nominations for Giamatti including a Golden Globe nod. Ron Howard's 'Cinderella Man' was also highly praised picking up an Oscar and a Golden Globe nod for Giamatti's role as Joe Gould alongside Russell Crowe and Renee Zellweger, plus a swag of other wins and nominations along the way. 

'The Hawk is Dying' came in 2006, and then 'The Illusionist' opposite Edward Norton and Jessica Biel, 'The Lady in the Water' for Writer and Director M. Night Shyamalan, 'Shoot 'Em Up' with Clive Owen and Monica Bellucci, 'The Nanny Diaries' with Scarlett Johansson, 'Fred Claus' opposite Vince Vaughn, Paul Schneider's comedy 'Pretty Bird', 'Cold Souls', Tony Gilroy's Written and Directed 'Duplicity' with Clive Owen again and Julia Roberts, and then Russian historical drama 'The Last Station' with Helen Mirren and James McAvoy saw out the decade. In between time there was also the seven part television mini-series 'John Adams' in which Giamatti plays the second President of the United States and one of its founding fathers, John Adams, in the country's first half century.

This past decade to date has brought a diversity of roles kicking off in 2010 with the title role in 'Barney's Version' opposite Rosamund Pike, then in 2011 a swathe of films that started with the sporting drama Written and Directed by Tom McCarthy, 'Win Win' and that same year the 13th Century England action adventure 'Ironclad' in which Giamatti portrays the tyrannical King John alongside an ensemble cast, followed by 'The Hangover, Part II', the George Clooney Written, Directed and starring 'The Ides of March' and Curtis Hanson's 2008 biographical drama made for television film 'Too Big to Fail' in which Giamatti plays Ben Bernanke, the Chairman of the US Federal Reserve at the time of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.

Horror Sci-fi followed in 2012 'John Dies at the End', then David Cronenberg's 'Cosmopolis', and 'Rock of Ages' with Tom Cruise, 'The Congress', Steve McQueen's highly acclaimed '12 Years a Slave', 'Parkland' recounting the events at the Dallas Parkland Hospital on the day that President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed, 'Saving Mr. Banks', 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2', 'Madame Bovary', the Beach Boys biopic about Brian Wilson 'Love & Mercy' and then disaster epic 'San Andreas'. Working for Director F. Gary Gray again on NWA mid-'80's Hip-Hop biopic 'Straight Outta Compton', and then baseball story 'The Phenom' and 'Morgan' bring us up to date. In the intervening years Giamatti has also lent his voice talents to many an animated character including on such films as 'Ratchet & Clank', 'The Little Prince', 'The Ant Bully', 'Turbo', 'Robots' and the English language versions of 'April and the Extraordinary World', 'Asterix and the Vikings' and 'Ernest & Celestine'.

Two successful seasons already aired is financial drama set in New York, 'Billions', with Giamatti starring as US Attorney Chuck Rhoades who has hedge fund king, Bobby 'Axe' Axelrod (Damian Lewis) in his sights and wants to bring him down in this tale of two powerful personalities pitched against each other. Season three goes to air in 2018. Currently in post-production is 'The Catcher Was A Spy' about a major league baseball player who lived a double life also working for the Office of Strategic Services and also starring Guy Pearce, Mark Strong, Paul Rudd, Connie Nielsen and Sienna Miller, and so too is 'Private Life' about a strained husband and wife relationship as a result of the wife undergoing multiple fertility treatments in an attempt to get pregnant.

All up Giamatti has one hundred Acting credits to his name and five as Producer. He has garnered throughout his career to date 45 award wins and another 59 nominations including an Academy Award nomination for 'Cinderella Man', three Golden Globe nods and two wins for 'Barney's Version' and 'John Adams', three Primetime Emmy Award nominations and a win for 'John Adams' and three SAG Awards nominations and four win for 'Sideways', 'John Adams', 'Cinderella Man' and 'Too Big to Fail'. Giamatti is also an occasional stage actor having appeared in a number of productions over the years including 'The Iceman Cometh' and 'Hamlet' more recently.

Giamatti has been married to Elizabeth Cohen since 1997, and together they have a son, Samuel, born in 2001, who is raised by his wife's religion of Judaism, whereas he is an atheist.

Paul Giamatti - master of the hang-dog expression, is renowned for playing unscrupulous business men, or the reasonable other half of the protagonist, has played historical figures, has played in small independent features and big screen epics too and has worked for just about every major movie Director you care to poke a stick at. We love your work and your versatility, whether playing some character from the history books, the good guy, the bad guy, the loser, no hoper, the downtrodden, the visionary or the man of success we'll keep watching as long a you keep turning it on. Like a good bottle of wine that has been stored sideways and under ideal conditions, you just keep maturing with age. Happy 50th Birthday to you Paul, from Odeon Online.

-Steve, at Odeon Online-

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