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Tuesday
Dec252018

Ten Coolest Celebrities Born on Christmas Day

It must be weird to be born on Christmas day, if you celebrate Christmas that is. As a kid do you only receive one present or do parents double up or are there other arrangements to give you what your siblings go with two unwrapping holidays each year. Happy birthday to anyone reading who has this very specific life circumstance. Merry Christmas to any of you who celebrate and Happy Tuesday to any of you who don't! We're trying our best to be inclusive.

Perhaps you're taking a wee online break away from family festivities today? We don't imagine you'll be doing much intense reading today so herewith a list about Christmas babies with pretty photos for you.

TEN BEST SHOWBIZ CHRISTMAS BABIES
They were gifts to their parents on Christmas day and also, as it turns out, gifts to the world through their big showbiz careers as either actors, producers, writers, musicians, personalities or all above the above. We've selected the ten greatest ever (in alpha order) after the jump...

HUMPHREY BOGART (1899-1957)
Here's to late bloomers. Though Humphrey Bogart had been working in front of the camera since he was 29 years old the early years of his career were quite bumpy. It all changed in 1941 with two hits (The Maltese Falcon, and High Sierra) when he was 42 years old. Though he'd only live another 15 years (dying at 57 from throat cancer) his career was so full of classics that he is now one of the most iconic male movie stars of all time with classics ranging from Casablanca (1943's Oscar for Best Picture), The Big Sleep (1946), The African Queen (1951), to Sabrina and The Barefoot Contessa (1954) 

CAB CALLOWAY (1907-1994)
Born in Rochester New York, he came to great fame as a bandleader, composer, actor and author. Though he only had small roles in the movies, he had a key role in  the original cast of the 1953 Broadway classic Porgy and Bess (singing the classic "It Ain't Neccessarily So")  and later played male leads Horace Vandergelder in the later years of Hello Dolly!'s original run and "Hines" in a revival of The Pajama Game in 1973.

Quentin Crisp photographed by Jillian Edelstein

QUENTIN CRISP (1908-1999)
This famed British eccentric worked primarily as a writer (his most famous work being his memoir "The Naked Civil Servant") but also lived on his distinct intellectual dandy persona in his years in NYC. A true character he was and before he died he found the perfect big screen swansong, playing Queen Elizabeth I to Tilda Swinton's awesome Orlando (1992). If you ever get a chance to read his book "How to Go to the Movies" I can't recommend it highly enough. It's hilarious and insightful, especially if you know 1980s movies and actresses.

ANNIE LENNOX (1954-)
Happy 64th to the four-time Grammy winning goddess/songstress/icon. Her most recent movie song composition was the title track to A Private War (2018) which did not make the Oscar finals in its category (that's okay she already has an Oscar for her song "Into the West" from 2003's The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King).

Other movies that have benefit from her potent pipes include Scrooged ("Put a Little Love In Your Heart") and  Bram Stoker's Dracula ("Love Song for a Vampire"). But her main claim to fame is her solo music career and her legendary years as one half of 80s rock band The Eurythmics. She's sold over 80 million records all told but we always wished she'd had more of an interest in acting. She acted in only two films (Revolution in 1985 with Al Pacino and Derek Jarman's Edward II in 1991 though she only sang in the latter) but if you watch her video album for "Savage" (personal favorite album of hers), you'll see how easily she shifts from character to character... sometimes within the same song! 

GWEI LUN-MEI (1983-)
Happy 35th birthday to this Taiwanese actress. Her most popular performances have been in the romantic drama Girlfriend Boyfriend (2012), and the critically acclaimed and award winning Black Coal Thin Ice (2014). She recently starred in the comedy Beautiful Accident which you can stream on Amazon Prime.

 

James Ivory and Ismail Merchant in Manhattan in 1975. They'd been together since the early 1960s. Photographed by Mary Ellen Mark

ISMAIL MERCHANT (1936-2005)
As one half of the one of the great showbiz couples (with life and filmmaking partner, Director James Ivory) this producer was instrumental in the delivery of so many major classics: A Room With a View, Howards End, and Remains of the Day among them. On a personal note, since Merchant and Ivory were heroes of mine as I grew to love cinema, my favorite interview last season for The Film Experience was speaking with James Ivory about Call Me By Your Name

CCH POUNDER (1952-)
Happy 66th birthday to the four-time Emmy nominated actress. Incredibly all of her nominations come from different TV series: The No. Ladies' Detective Agency, The Shield, ER, and The X-Files.  She's currently a regularly on NCIS: New Orleans  and will next be seen on the big screen in Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) and then all of those Avatar  sequels which are supposedly all already filming (2020-2025).

HANNA SCHYGULLA (1943-)
Happy 75th birthday to the preeminent New German Cinema actress who was one of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's principle muses in classics like The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (1972) and The Marriage of Maria Braun (1978 - Berlinale Best Actress), Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980),  Lili Marleen (1981) among many others. Major non-Fassbinder films include The Story of Piera (1983 - Cannes Best Actress), Dead Again (1991), The Werckmeister Harmonies (2000), and The Edge of Heaven (2007). Did you know she was supposedly considered for Sophie's Choice before it went to Meryl Streep?

ROD SERLING (1924-1975)
This six time Emmy winning writer has one of the most recognizable voices of all time, thanks to his television creation The Twilight Zone which he also hosted. But he was already a three time Emmy winner for his television writing even before his most legendary creation ever aired. 

SISSY SPACEK (1949-)
Happy 69th birthday to one of Oscar's all time favorite actors. The petite Texas beauty hit the big and small screen in the early 70s and has never stopped working in either medium since. She's recently been a regular on three different series: Homecoming and Bloodline for Netflix and Castle Rock for Hulu, but it was the movies that truly made her famous with classics like Badlands (1973), Carrie (1976 - Best Actress Oscar Nominee), and 3 Women (1977), Coal Miner's Daughter (1980 - Best Actress Oscar), and In the Bedroom (2001 - Best Actress Oscar Nominee) among many others. More on Sissy here.

 

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Reader Comments (8)

sorry to break it but i think mr merchant is more or less deceased

December 25, 2018 | Unregistered Commentertomo

The studios weren't sure about Bogart or his marketability but sold him as someone born on Christmas so he couldn't be that bad.

December 25, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTom G

Ismail Merchant died in 2005.

December 25, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterErick Loggia

Bogart’s mother, Maud Humphrey, was a well known illustrator. She did drawings of beautiful children (in the style of the time. Think miniature Mary Pickfords). Her baby son Humphrey was one of her models. Apparently he was a beautiful baby, and in photos he was a surprisingly cute toddler, with a lovely smile.

December 25, 2018 | Unregistered Commenteradri

Great list! I LOVE Annie Lennox. My personal favorite album of hers is Diva. Wish she had more interest in continuing to make records.

December 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJJM

Count me in! I was born December 25, 1954 in Washington, DC. Same day as Annie Lennox!

December 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJimmy

happy belated Jimmy!

December 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I'm a Christmas Eve baby, and the parents did remember to separate the two when I was a kid. As an adult, well....

I still love my birthday. There's excitement and magic in the air, and theoretically peace on earth. Happy Holidays, and Happy Birthday, near Birthday Twin Jimmy!!!

December 28, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

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