There are a wealth of famous Birthday boys and girls today, whilst this post is named Happy Birthday Danny DeVito I’m sure he won’t mind sharing. The late greats Peter Cook and Hollywood icon Rock Hudson were both born on this day. Sadly they are no longer with us, but heir contribution to film and television will never be forgotten.
Also sharing the day are directors Martin Scorsese and Roland Joffe (The Killing Fields), Fried Green Tomatoes producer/director Jon Avnet is another member of club November 17th. It’s not just behind the camera where the candles are being blown out, actresses Rachel McAdams (Sherlock Holmes), Sophie Marceau (Braveheart) and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (Robin Hood Prince of Thieves) are all having a piece of birthday cake today.
If you have seen Deathproof’s death defying car chase sequence at the end, then you’ll know of stuntwoman and actress Zoe Bell. Her stunt work is fearless and her catalogue of work was well captured in the 2004 documentary Double Dare.
It doesn’t end there, Dylan Walsh (Nip/Tuck), Ron Howard’s actor father Rance Howard, Radio DJ and Hollywood Babble-On co host Ralph Garman and Character actor Stephen Root also celebrate today. Root might not be a name you know but you have defiantly seen him in something. He’s appeared in True Blood, Dodgeball and Office Space as well as voicing Bill Dauterive on the long running King of the Hill.
And last but by no means least, Happy Birthday to actor/director/producer and all round jolly good fellow Danny DeVito. I have always enjoyed his films, Romancing The Stone, Twins, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Batman Returns were staples of my young movie watching life. His directorial efforts often go over looked, and he’s directed some truly great films.
His feature directorial debut was cult classic, ‘Throw Mamma From The Train’ starring Billy Crystal, Anne Ramsey and DeVito. A reworking of Hitchcock’s ‘Stranger On A Train;, the film is both a loving homage and pitch black comedy. He followed this with another black comedy ‘The War Of The Roses’, this saw his reunion with his ‘Romancing The Stone/Jewel Of The Nile co-stars Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. DeVito showed his was a skilled filmmaker and dark comedy was his natural calling.
He went on to direct former co-star and friend Jack Nicolson in biopic Hoffa, and the quite wonderful Roald Dhal adaptation ‘Matlida’. The crown of his directing career to date simply has to be Death To Smoochy, we previously featured Smoochy as one of our favourite hidden gems. We hardly expected a tweet back from the man himself, so thanks for the tweet and thanks for making films that have stayed with us for many years.
Personally, we think that all the November 17th Birthday people should get together for a party, because that’s one hell of a guest list.
Happy Birthday one and all.