On This Day
1949 – Brent Spiner
Brent Jay Spiner is an American actor, comedian, and singer best known for his portrayal of the android Lieutenant Commander Data in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and four subsequent films. In 1997, he won the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Data in Star Trek: First Contact, and was nominated in the same category for portraying Dr. Brackish Okun in Independence Day, a role he reprised in Independence Day: Resurgence. He has also enjoyed a career in the theatre and as a musician.
1956 – Philip Franks
Philip Franks is an English actor and theatre director, known to the public chiefly for his roles in British television series.
Franks was born in London and is the only child of Patricia and Robert Franks. His father was a squadron leader pilot in the Royal Air Force. Franks maintains that he first fell in love with theatre at age six, when his parents took him along to see a production of The Tempest. The following year, his parents were going to a production of Hamlet, and Franks insisted on going with them; at age seven, he was hooked for life.
Franks is best known for his role as the tax inspector Cedric “Charley” Charlton in the British sitcom The Darling Buds of May, and also as Sgt. Raymond Craddock on Heartbeat. He has also been a guest star in Absolutely Fabulous, Pie in the Sky, Midsomer Murders, Foyle’s War, Bleak House, Martin Chuzzlewit, The Buddha of Suburbia, The Green Man and To Serve Them All My Days. For the role of his character in Martin Chuzzlewit (Tom Pinch), Franks shaved off all of the hair on his head leaving wispy strands at the sides. When he was recognized in the street by fans they asked if he had done it for religious reasons.
He also makes regular appearances alongside Susie Dent in the ‘Dictionary Corner’ on the British quiz show Countdown (having applied to be a contestant on the show before becoming better known). From December 2012 Franks will play The Narrator in the 40th anniversary UK touring production of Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show.
Franks is also a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. In addition, he has directed many plays including “Kafka’s Dick” and “The Kiss of the Spiderwoman” (Nottingham Playhouse); “The Cocktail Party” (Edinburgh Festival); “Rebecca” (Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh); “Hamlet” (Greenwich and tour); “Macbeth” (Sheffield Crucible) and “The Duchess of Malfi” (West Yorkshire Playhouse, Greenwich and West End); “Private Lives” and “The Heiress” (Royal National Theatre); “The White Devil” (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith); “Nicholas Nickleby” (Chichester Festival Theatre); and “The Tempest” (Liverpool Playhouse).
1977 – Shakira
Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll is a Colombian singer, songwriter, dancer, and record producer. Born and raised in Barranquilla, she began performing in school, demonstrating Latin American, Arabic, and rock and roll influences and belly dancing abilities. Shakira’s first studio albums, Magia and Peligro, failed to attain commercial success in the 1990s; however, she rose to prominence in Latin America with her major-label debut, Pies Descalzos (1996), and her fourth album, Dónde Están los Ladrones? (1998). As of 2001, before releasing her best seller Laundry Service, she has sold over 10 million albums alone in Latin America.
Shakira entered the English-language market with her fifth album, Laundry Service. Its lead single, “Whenever, Wherever”, became one of the most successful singles of 2002. Her success was solidified with her sixth and seventh albums Fijación Oral, Volumen Uno and Oral Fixation, Volume Two (2005), the latter of which spawned the best selling single of the 2000s, one of the best-selling songs of the 21st century, “Hips Don’t Lie”, selling over 13 million only counting downloads (not including any other forms of digital sales, streams and physical copies). Shakira’s eighth and ninth albums, She Wolf (2009) and Sale el Sol (2010), received critical praise. Her official song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)”, became the biggest-selling World Cup song of all time with 10 million downloads. With over 1.6 billion views, it is one of the most viewed music videos on YouTube. She has four of the twenty top-selling hits of the last decade (2000 – 2009), more than any other artist. Shakira served as a coach on the fourth and sixth seasons of the American version of The Voice in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Her tenth album, Shakira (2014), is preceded by its lead single, “Can’t Remember to Forget You”.
Shakira has received numerous awards, including 5 MTV Video Music Awards, 2 Grammy Awards, 13 Latin Grammy Awards, 7 Billboard Music Awards, 33 Billboard Latin Music Awards and has been Golden Globe-nominated. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and sold over 125 million records worldwide (over 70 million albums sold) with 25.4 million record sales in the United States (as of 2014), making her the best selling South American singer and one of the best selling artists of all time. She carries out well-known philanthropic activities through charity work most notably through her Pies Descalzos Foundation. In 2011, she was appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics – a four-person group that advises the president and Education Secretary. In 2014, she was listed as the 58th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.
1986 – Gemma Arterton
Gemma Christina Arterton is an English actress. Arterton made her film debut in the comedy film St Trinian’s (2007). Her breakthrough role was in the James Bond film Quantum of Solace (2008), playing Bond Girl Strawberry Fields, which won her an Empire Award for Best Newcomer. She was the title star of the film The Disappearance of Alice Creed (2009). She is known for her roles in the fantasy films Clash of the Titans (2010), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010), Byzantium (2013), and as the character Gretel in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013). She played Joan in Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan at Donmar Warehouse, December 2016. She plays the lead role in the film Their Finest (2017).
1994 – Michael Drennan
Michael Joseph ‘Mikey’ Drennan is an Irish footballer who last played professionally as a striker for Shamrock Rovers. Drennan has represented the Republic of Ireland at youth level and won the Football Association of Ireland’s Under-16 International Player of the Year in 2010. Drennan was scouted by then Premier League side Aston Villa and spent five years in their youth and reserve sides where he was loaned out to English Football League sides Carlisle United and Portsmouth.
Drennan played 14 times for Portsmouth scoring 3 goals in 2014
1997 – Ellie Bamber
Ellie Bamber is an English actress
Her TV debut in 2012 was in the ITV two-part miniseries A Mother’s Son, where she played alongside Martin Clunes and Hermione Norris. In 2015, she appeared in the BBC costume drama The Musketeers. Her film debut was in The Falling (2014). In the same year she starred as Lydia Bennett, the youngest of the Bennett sisters in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, starring alongside Lily James, Douglas Booth, Sam Riley and Matt Smith. In 2015, she was chosen as one of the British Film Institute and Screen Daily – Screen Stars of Tomorrow.
In 2016, she appeared in Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, playing the daughter of Jake Gyllenhaal and Isla Fisher’s characters, in a film also starring Amy Adams. Also that year, she filmed the feature film Extracurricular Activities, in which plays a lead role alongside Timothy Simons and Colin Ford. In 2017 she also filmed Taipei by Tao Lin and directed by Jason Lester also starring Justin Chon. In parallel with her musical theatre, TV and film career she has collaborated in the creation of the band Annoy the Boy, co-writing original numbers and releasing an EP on Union Records.
In 2017, Bamber appeared in the music video for Shawn Mendes’ song “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”.
2014 – Philip Seymour Hoffman
Born: 23 July 1967
Philip Seymour Hoffman was an American actor, director, and producer. Best known for his distinctive supporting and character roles – typically lowlifes, eccentrics, bullies, and misfits – Hoffman acted in many films from the early 1990s until his death at age 46.
Drawn to theater as a teenager, Hoffman studied acting at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He began his screen career in a 1991 episode of Law & Order and started to appear in films in 1992. He gained recognition for his supporting work, notably in Boogie Nights (1997), Happiness (1998), Patch Adams (1998), The Big Lebowski (1998), Magnolia (1999), The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Almost Famous (2000), Punch-Drunk Love (2002), and Along Came Polly (2004). He began to occasionally play leading roles, and for his portrayal of the author Truman Capote in Capote (2005), won multiple accolades including the Academy Award for Best Actor. Hoffman’s profile continued to grow, and he received three more Oscar nominations for his supporting work as a brutally frank CIA officer in Charlie Wilson’s War (2007), a priest accused of pedophilia in Doubt (2008), and the charismatic leader of a Scientology-type movement in The Master (2012).
While he mainly worked in independent films, including The Savages (2007) and Synecdoche, New York (2008), Hoffman also appeared in Hollywood blockbusters, such as Twister (1996) and Mission: Impossible III (2006), and in one of his final roles, as Plutarch Heavensbee in the Hunger Games series (2013–15). The feature Jack Goes Boating (2010) marked his debut as a filmmaker. Hoffman was also an accomplished theater actor and director. He joined the off-Broadway LAByrinth Theater Company in 1995, where he directed, produced, and appeared in numerous stage productions. His performances in three Broadway plays – True West in 2000, Long Day’s Journey into Night in 2003, and Death of a Salesman in 2012 – all led to Tony Award nominations.
Hoffman struggled with drug addiction as a young adult, and relapsed in 2013 after many years of sobriety. In February 2014, he was found dead with a syringe of heroin still in his arm – an unexpected event that was widely lamented in the film and theatre industries. Remembered for his fearlessness in playing reprehensible characters, and for bringing depth and humanity to such roles, Hoffman was described in his New York Times obituary as “perhaps the most ambitious and widely admired American actor of his generation”.
Died Aged 46