Saturday, 14 October 2017

Birthday's to share this week : 15th - 21st October 2017.

Do you celebrate your Birthday this week?

Viggo Mortensen does on 20th October - check out my tribute to this Actor, Author, Musician, Photographer, Painter and Poet Birthday Boy turning 59, 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 15th October
  • Tanya Roberts - Born 1955, turns 62 - Actress
  • Michael Caton-Jones - Born 1957, turns 60 - Director | Producer
  • Todd Solondz - Born 1959, turns 58 - Director | Writer
  • Dominic West - Born 1969, turns 48 - Actor | Director
Monday 16th October
  • Tim Robbins - Born 1958, turns 59 - Actor | Producer | Director | Writer | Singer | Songwriter
  • Gary Kemp - Born 1959, turns 58 - Songwriter | Actor 
  • Flea (aka Michael Peter Balzary) - Born 1962, turns 55 - Actor | Songwriter
  • Kenneth Lonergan - Born 1962, turns 55 - Writer | Director | Actor
  • Angela Lansbury - Born 1925, turns 92 - Actress | Producer | Singer  
Tuesday 17th October
  • Felicity Jones - Born 1983, turns 34 - Actress
  • Lawrence Bender - Born 1957, turns 60 - Producer | Actor
  • Rob Marshall - Born 1960, turns 57 - Director | Producer | Choreographer
  • Eminem (aka Marshall Bruce Mathers III) - Born 1972, turns 45 - Singer | Songwriter | Actor | Producer | Writer
  • Matthew Macfadyen - Born 1974, turns 43 - Actor 
Wednesday 18th October
  • Howard Shore - Born 1946, turns 71 - Composer | Songwriter | Orchestrator | Conductor
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme - Born 1960, turns 57 - Actor | Producer | Writer | Director 
  • Zac Efron - Born 1987, turns 30 - Actor | Singer  
  • Freida Pinto - Born 1984, turns 33 - Actress
Thursday 19th October
  • John le Carre - Born 1931, turns 86 - Writer | Producer | Actor
  • Michael Gambon - Born 1940, turns 77 - Actor
  • John Lithgow - Born 1945, turns 72 - Actor | Producer | Singer 
  • Jon Favreau - Born 1966, turns 51 - Actor | Producer | Director | Writer
  • Trey Parker - Born 1969, turns 48 - Actor | Producer | Writer | Director | Singer | Songwriter 
  • Jason Reitman - Born 1977, turns 40 - Director | Producer | Writer | Actor 
Friday 20th October
  • Timothy West - Born 1934, turns 83 - Actor 
  • Thomas Newman - Born 1955, turns 62 - Composer | Singer | Songwriter | Orchestrator | Conductor
  • Danny Boyle - Born 1956, turns 61 - Director | Producer | Writer
  • Viggo Mortensen - Born 1958, turns 59 - Actor | Producer | Singer | Songwriter  
  • Snoop Dog (aka Calvin Cordozar Broadus) - Born 1971, turns 46 - Actor | Singer | Songwriter | Producer | Composer | Writer | Director 
  • John Krasinski - Born 1979, turns 38 - Actor | Producer | Director | Writer | Singer
Saturday 21st October 
  • Ken Watanabe - Born 1959, turns 58 - Actor | Producer
  • Catherine Hardwicke - Born 1955, turns 62 - Director | Producer | Production Designer | Writer
Viggo Peter Mortensen Jnr. was born in New York City to mother Grace Atkinson, and father Viggo Peter Mortensen Snr. She is American, and he Danish. The couple met in Norway. The family moved to Venezuela , then onto Denmark and then Argentina, where the young Viggo attended primary school and where he became fluent in Spanish. At age eleven, his parents separated and so Viggo Jnr. returned to New York with his mother  where he spent his remaining childhood years attending Watertown High School, in New York and from where he graduated in 1976. He then went on to study at St. Lawrence University in New York graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in Spanish Studies and Politics. That was 1980, and thereafter he spent time living in Spain, Denmark and England where he took menial jobs to pay his way before returning to the US to take up an acting career.  He has two younger brothers, Walter and Charles, both of whom work as geologists. 

In 1984 Mortensen appeared in the television mini-series 'George Washington' with the likes of Beau Bridges, Robert Stack, Hal Holbrook, James Mason and Trevor Howard, and the following year appeared in a single episodes of the long running day time television serial 'Search for Tomorrow'. It was also in 1985 that the aspiring Actor gained this first feature film role in Peter Weir's 'Witness' alongside Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis, Lukas Haas and Danny Glover. This gave way to a single episode on 'Miami Vice' then a few movies seeing out the '80's including Renny Harlin's horror crime drama 'Prison', then 'Fresh Horses' with Molly Ringwood, Ben Stiller, and Andrew McCarthy and then 'Tripwire'

From 1990 Mortensen scored regular feature film work year on year kicking off with 'Leatherface : Texas Chainsaw Massacre III' and then action Western 'Young Guns II' with Keifer Sutherland, Emilio Estevez, Christian Slater, Lou Diamond Phillips and James Coburn. Horror thriller 'The Reflecting Skin' and then the Sean Penn Directed drama 'The Indian Runner' with David Morse, Charles Bronson, and Dennis Hopper. 'Ruby Cairo' with Liam Neeson, 'Boiling Point' with Wesley Snipes, 'The Young Americans' with Harvey Keitel, led to the Brian de Palma Directed 'Carlito's Way' with Al Pacino in 1993.

The years that followed upto the end of the decade saw Mortensen star in a host of 'B' grade movies whilst others shared more notable mainstream success. Included in the latter were Tony Scott's 'Crimson Tide' with Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington; Jane Campion's 'The Portrait of a Lady' with Nicole Kidman and John Malkovich; the Kevin Spacey Directed 'Albino Alligator' with Matt Dillon and Faye Dunaway; the Rob Cohen Directed 'Daylight' with Sylvester Stallone; Ridley Scott's 'G.I. Jane' with Demi Moore and Anne Bancroft; the remake of Hitchcock's 'Dial M for Murder' with 'A Perfect Murder' starring Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow; and Gus Van Sant's frame by frame remake of the classic Hitchcock thriller 'Psycho' with Vince Vaughn and Julianne Moore seeing out the '90's.

2000 saw comedy drama offering '28 Days' with Sandra Bullock and Dominic West, before what is best described as his breakout roll in 2001 as Aragorn in Peter Jackson's epic trilogy 'Lord of the Rings : The Fellowship of the Ring' which was followed up with 2002's 'Lord of the Rings : The Two Towers' and in 2003 by 'Lord of the Rings : The Return of the King'. The three films went on to huge commercial and critical success winning a combined sixteen Academy Awards plus another 425 award wins and 384 further nominations. In terms of worldwide Box Office the three films cost a total US$281M to bring J.R.R. Tolkien's books to the big screen, and raked in a combined US$2,92B.

Following the four year 'LOTR' trilogy hiatus, Mortensen remained in the saddle (literally) with the Joe Johnston Directed historical biographical action adventure offering 'Hidalgo' with Omar Sharif. His first collaboration with Director David Cronenberg came in 2005 with 'A History of Violence' also starring Ed Harris and Maria Bello. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards and walked away with another 37 award wins and 78 nods. Spanish historical adventure drama 'Alatriste' came next in 2006, followed by his second outing for Cronenberg with crime drama 'Eastern Promises' with Naomi Watts and Vincent Cassel for which Mortensen was nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award from its total award haul of 28 wins and another 71 nominations.

Next up for Mortensen in 2008 was the Ed Harris, Co-Written, Directed and starring crime drama Western 'Appaloosa' with Renee Zellweger, Jeremy Irons and Timothy Spall, followed by WWII drama 'Good' with Jason Isaacs and Mark Strong. This in turn led to the Cormac McCarthy adaptation of his post-apocalyptic adventure drama 'The Road' as Directed to Critical acclaim by John Hillcoat and also starring Kodi Smit-McPhee, Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall and Guy Pearce.

2011 saw Mortensen's third collaboration with David Cronenberg in the historical biographical drama 'A Dangerous Method' in which Mortensen plays Sigmund Freud opposite Michael Fassbender's Carl Jung. The film also starred Keira Knightley, and Vincent Cassel and collected 18 award wins and a further 28 nominations from around the traps. 'On the Road' followed a year later with an ensemble cast in the adventure drama film also starring Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Amy Adams, Elisabeth Moss, Kirsten Dunst, Terrence Howard and Steve Buscemi. The Argentinian crime thriller 'Everybody Has a Plan' followed also in 2012, and then the romantic thriller 'The Two Faces of January' with Oscar Isaac and Kirsten Dunst in 2014.

2014 also saw the historical drama offering 'Juaja', and then the French drama film 'Far from Men'. This took us up to 2016 and Mortensen's turn in the highly regarded 'Captain Fantastic' as Written and Directed by Matt Ross and also starring Frank Langella, Steve Zahn and a cast of six child Actors all portraying Mortensen's somewhat dysfunctional children raised in remote woodlands totally isolated from the world for ten years, only to have to reintegrate into mainstream society as a result of the tragic and unexpected death of their mother. The film received generally positive Reviews and Mortensen was nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA and SAG for his performance out of its total fourteen wins and 43 other nominations.

Next up for Mortensen is 'Unabomb' currently in pre-production and telling the story of an FBI Agent who leads an unconventional team on the hunt for notorious Theodore (Ted) John Kaczynski (aka 'The Unabomber') who between 1978 and 1995 killed three people and injured 23 others in a nationwide bombing campaign, and who is now serving eight consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.  In between time Mortensen established his own publishing company - 'The Perceval Press' to help other artists by publishing their works that may not ordinarily find a home in more mainstream traditional publishing houses. He also uses his own company to publish many of his own personal artistic projects in the areas of photography, poetry, music and literature. His credits as an author on numerous books of poetry, photography and painting extend from his initial collection of poems - 'Ten Last Night' released in 1993 that take in a further seventeen publications right up to 2015. He also combines his love of poetry with music and he also boasts an extensive discography taking in seventeen released CD's between 1994 and 2013.

All up Mortensen has 57 Acting credits to his name, three as Producer, three Soundtrack credits and one as Composer. He has 32 Award wins under his belt and a further 93 nominations including two Academy Awards and two BAFTA nominations for 'Captain Fantastic' and 'Eastern Promises', three Golden Globe nominations for 'Captain Fantastic', 'Eastern Promises' and 'A Dangerous Method', and four SAG nods for Captain Fantastic''Eastern Promises', 'LOTR : The Fellowship of the Ring' and 'The Two Towers' and a win for 'LOTR : The Return of the King'. 

Mortensen was married to Actress and Singer Exene Cervenka from mid 1987 through until 1992, becoming officially divorced in 1997. They have a son together, Henry Blake Mortensen born in January 1988. Since 2009, Mortensen has been romantically linked to Spanish Actress Ariadna Gil.

Viggo Mortensen - fluent in English, Spanish, Danish and French, understands Norwegian and Swedish and can converse in Italian; is a fan of soccer, baseball (the New York Mets), ice hockey (the Montreal Canadiens), American football (the New York Giants); is an accomplished horse rider; has appeared on numerous 'Top' lists over the years including 100 Sexiest Movie Stars, 15 Sexiest Men, 25 Most Intriguing People, the Hottest Hotties and 50 Most Beautiful People; and turned down the role of Aragorn until his son convince him to take it on . . . . thankfully he made the right decision! Known for his cleft chin, soft mellow voice and for portraying rugged anti-heroes with absolute conviction, you are acclaimed in a multitude of artistic endeavours, and you never disappoint. Happy Birthday to you Viggo, from Odeon Online.

-Steve, at Odeon Online-

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