In honor of SRK’s birthday, here are some favorite moments from Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003). This seems an appropriate choice this week, since the movie was filmed in New York. After the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, Aman and Naina are not the only ones crying.
I love Shah Rukh, and I’m counting the days until his new movie Jab Tak Hai Jaan opens on November 13th. Happy Birthday!
Click on any image to scroll through larger versions.
Today, Robert Fuller turns 79. Happy Birthday, Mr. Fuller!
Yet another April birthday! No, not Taylor Kitsch’s. His birthday was April 8th. Today is a very special birthday for my friend, so Taylor Kitsch is my birthday present to her. I’m sure she’d rather have the real thing, but this is the best I can manage!
Taylor Kitsch (click to see full-size)
Today is Hadley Fraser’s birthday. Currently playing Javert in Les Misérables, this West End performer is about to take a quick break from the stage to appear in the movie version of Les Mis. (He’s playing the army officer who calls out to the student revolutionaries, “You at the barricades, listen to this! No one is coming to help you to fight!” and all that.) My friend and guest blogger extraordinaire, Scolytinae, has written this fine tribute to Mr. Fraser, in honor of his special day:
Happy Birthday, Hadley – the Metal Monkey
According to the Chinese, people born under the Year of the Monkey are good at mastering anything they put their hands to and are highly successful. Those born during the period of the Metal Monkey are motivated by constancy, are self reliant and stylish, and have a good memory. Quite an accurate description of the lovely Mr. Hadley Fraser, who is, by anyone’s standards, having an amazing year. From a triumphant return to the West End in Les Misérables, the show that marked his professional debut 10 years ago, to a stunning performance in The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary, Hadley hasn’t stopped working. He has filming for the Les Misérables movie still to come next month. But it’s not been all high profile public performances. In his quiet and unassuming manner, Hadley has also lent his support to charity by taking part in Les Mis Gives, performed shows and cabarets alongside friends and colleagues and, most recently, lent his magnificent voice to the concept album for the prospective new musical The In-Between by new young writer Laura Tisdall—all fitted round a demanding 8 show a week schedule as Inspector Javert, without fuss or fanfares.
He may disagree, but I feel he lives and breathes music in all its many and varied forms. Yes he can (and does) belt out a West End show stopper onstage, but just listen to him perform some of his own beautiful compositions for Sheytoons, or deliver the beautiful ballads of friend Scott Alan, and you begin to appreciate the depth of talent he has. Acting, singing, arranging, writing—he seems to epitomise that monkey by indeed mastering anything he puts his hand to.
As his year in the West End nears its end—his last performance is on 16th June 2012—I can’t help but wonder, what’s next for Hadley? Whatever it may be, rest assured he will have an army of dedicated fans wishing him all the best as he embarks on the next phase of an amazing career.
So it’s with the greatest of pleasure that I say “Thank you” and “Happy Birthday, Mr Fraser!” Enjoy your day, because you certainly deserve the very best that life has to offer.
Thank you, Scolytinae, I couldn’t have said it more eloquently. I too wish Hadley Fraser a great birthday. May the cake flow, and save me slice of champagne! (Perhaps we shouldn’t have started celebrating so early…)
I love Constance Talmadge, the silent film star who was born on this day in 1898. I’ve only seen her in one full length movie—D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance. Her performance as Mountain Girl is so fresh, so modern, so fun. You sure can’t say that about the rest of the film! I first encountered the Talmadge sisters when I was reading books about Buster Keaton, at the beginning of my love affair with silent film (A Silent Scream). Buster Keaton married Natalie Talmadge, middle sister to Constance and Norma. Having the Talmadges for in-laws was no picnic for Keaton! I was surprised to find Constance so delightful onscreen, after the stories I’d read about these formidable ladies.
Constance Talmadge was a fair-haired comedienne, unlike her older sister Norma, a brunette known for serious roles. In spite of the 83 film credits listed at IMDb, very few of Constance’s movies are available for viewing, if they exist at all. I’m aware of only five on DVD: Intolerance, The Primitive Lover, Her Night of Romance, Her Sister From Paris, and The Duchess of Buffalo. A few of her shorts are included in DVD anthologies, like The Matrimaniac with Douglas Fairbanks. I keep hoping that a title sitting in some archive will be restored for the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. (The festival needs more comedies!) Constance Talmadge retired from films when sound was introduced. She died in 1973 at the age of 75.
Happy Birthday, Dutch!
Chuck Connors was born on this day in 1921. He starred in my favorite TV western, The Rifleman, with Johnny Crawford and Paul Fix. Connors passed away in 1992, but The Rifleman and the character he created are as popular as ever. There’s even a reboot of the show in development, but Connors left some awfully big shoes to fill. For his fans, Chuck Connors will always be the definitive Lucas McCain.
(click for larger, sharper version)
Related posts: Happy Birthday, Cowboys! The Rifleman
Today, The Ugly Bug Ball celebrates two birthdays.
My grandfather was born on this day in 1909. He wasn’t actually a cowboy. He was a National Park ranger. Still, I love this photo of him in a jaunty cowboy hat.
My grandfather in the early 1960s
It’s also Johnny Crawford’s 66th birthday.
He’s best known for playing young Mark McCain on The Rifleman, which everybody knows is my favorite western. Mark was never seen celebrating his birthday on the show, so I got silly in photoshop to change that.
A Birthday Party at the McCain Ranch (click to see larger, sharper version)
Happy Birthday, Grandpa John and Johnny!
I’m a city girl, but I love farm animals. I’m thinking of my friends Rob and Kathy today, because it’s Rob’s birthday. When I used to visit them in Suffolk, they would drive me around the countryside so I could photograph sheep, cows, horses, and yes, even enlightened goats.
Happy Birthday, Rob!
(I named this sequence “Zen Goat” many years ago, when I was studying eastern spirituality. I don’t know, maybe it’s really more Taoist. What do you think?)
I’ve been under the weather this month, and I managed to overlook Sal Mineo’s birthday on January 1oth. He would have been 73 this year. My friend has promised to send me the latest biography on Mineo when she’s finished reading it. For Christmas, she sent me some of the postcards that came with the book, and here’s my favorite:
I may have forgotten his birthday, but I’ll never forget his performances, or the impact he had on me when I first discovered him as a young teen. Happy Birthday, Sal.
Dennis Severs, my uncle, was born on this day in 1948. He passed away in 1999, and his restored Georgian home in Spitalfields is now a private museum. I occasionally post photos and stories from my visits to 18 Folgate Street, especially on special days like this one. Here are some favorites images. The black and white portrait is my uncle’s high school senior picture, taken the same year he moved to London from Escondido, California. The others are from the mid-90s. Most of the photographs of the house were taken in 1997. A few of them were later used in the book that he spent years writing and re-writing. It was published after his death by Chatto & Windus, with the softcover version done by Vintage. Happy birthday, Dennis. You are missed. (And so are your parties.)
©M. Stacey Shaffer, 1965-1998.
Click on “Dennis Severs” in the Tag Cloud (Stuff That I Discuss, in the right column) to see the other posts about my uncle. Visit the facebook group page, and go to www.dennissevershouse.co.uk for visitor information.
Today is my birthday. It’s been my tradition to post old photos for family birthdays. Here’s my first, where I’m looking as excited as I feel now about getting older:
My First Birthday
This was the only thing I was going to post, but my wonderful friend (and guest blogger) Katydid sent me a special “handmade” card. She knows me far too well! I had to share:
Ian Tracey with muscles (L) and favorites clockwise from top: Jonathan Jackson, Hadley Fraser, Matthew Gray Gubler, Ramin Karimloo and James McAvoy
Today, the musical Les Misérables turns 26. Here’s a toast from Grantaire (Hadley Fraser) at the O2 concert last October.
(Will I ever get tired of posting Les Mis screencaps? I doubt it!)
"It is better than an opera!"
Note: I just looked through my old diaries to see exactly when I saw the original Les Misérables in London. Turns out it was October 2, 1986. I guess that means I was celebrating two 25th anniversaries last Sunday!
Related post: My Les Mis