On This Day
1946 – Alan Rickman
Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman was an English actor and director known for playing a variety of roles on stage and on screen. Rickman trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, performing in modern and classical theatre productions.
His first big television role came in 1982, but his big break was as the Vicomte de Valmont in the stage production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses in 1985, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award. Rickman gained wider notice for his film performances as Hans Gruber in Die Hard (1988) and Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series.
Rickman’s other film roles included the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), for which he received the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Jamie in Truly, Madly, Deeply (1991), Colonel Brandon in Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility (1995), the title character in Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny (1996), which won him a Golden Globe Award, an Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award, Harry in Love Actually (2003), P.L. O’Hara in An Awfully Big Adventure (1995), Dr. Alfred Blalock in the Emmy-winning HBO film Something the Lord Made (2004), Alexander Dane in Galaxy Quest (1999), and Judge Turpin in the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s musical of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007).
His final film roles are as Lieutenant General Frank Benson in the thriller Eye in the Sky (2015), and the voice of Absolem, the caterpillar in Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016).
Died: 14 January 2016
1978 – Helen Marnie
Helen Marnie is a Scottish musician, known as the lead vocalist and one of the keyboardists and songwriters of the electronic band Ladytron. In 2012, she started a solo career as Marnie and released her debut solo album Crystal World on 11 June 2013. Her second solo album, Strange Words and Weird Wars, was released on 2 June 2017.
1979 – Jennifer Love Hewitt
Jennifer Love Hewitt is an American actress, singer, songwriter, producer and director. Hewitt began her career as a child actress and singer, appearing in national television commercials before joining the cast of the Disney Channel series Kids Incorporated (1989–1991) as well as performing as a backup singer before recording her debut studio album at the age of 12, Love Songs (1992), which was released exclusively in Japan. Hewitt received her breakthrough role as Sarah Reeves Merrin on the Fox teen drama Party of Five (1995–1999), and rose to fame as a teen star for her role as Julie James in the horror film I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) and its 1998 sequel.
Hewitt released her second and third studio albums with Atlantic Records, Let’s Go Bang (1995) and Jennifer Love Hewitt (1996), both of which saw little commercial success. Thereafter, she starred alongside Sigourney Weaver in the romantic comedy film Heartbreakers (2001) and alongside Jackie Chan in the action comedy film The Tuxedo (2002). Hewitt released her fourth studio album and most recent to date with Jive Records in 2002, BareNaked, which became her first album to chart in the United States, peaking at number 37 on the Billboard 200 chart. Her most successful single on the Billboard Hot 100 was the 1999 release “How Do I Deal”, which peaked at number 59.
From 2005 to 2010, Hewitt starred as Melinda Gordon on the CBS supernatural drama Ghost Whisperer, for which she received two Saturn Awards in 2007 and 2008. She later starred on the Lifetime drama series The Client List from 2012 to 2013, and was previously nominated for a Golden Globe Award for the pilot film. From 2014 to 2015, she starred as Special Agent Kate Callahan on the CBS crime drama Criminal Minds. In addition to acting, she has served as a producer on some of her film and television projects. Hewitt was identified as the “number one reader choice” on the November 1999 and May 2009 covers of Maxim magazine. TV Guide named her the sexiest woman on television in 2008.
1980 – Elize du Toit
Elize du Toit is a South African-born British actress best known for playing the role of Izzy Davies in the Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks from 2000 to 2004, with a brief return in 2007.
1983 – Katie McGrath
Katie McGrath is an Irish actress. In television, she is best known for portraying Morgana on the BBC One series Merlin (2008–2012), Lucy Westenra on the British-American series Dracula (2013–2014), Sarah Bennett in the first season of the Canadian horror anthology series Slasher (2016), and currently portrays Lena Luthor, in the American superhero series Supergirl (2016–present). In film, she starred as Lady Thelma Furness in the drama film W.E. (2011) and Zara Young in the science fiction adventure film Jurassic World (2015).
1986 – Charlotte Church
Charlotte Maria Church (born Charlotte Maria Reed) is a Welsh singer-songwriter, actress, television presenter and political activist.
She rose to fame in childhood as a classical singer before branching into pop music in 2005. By 2007, she had sold more than 10 million records worldwide including over 5 million in the United States. In 2010, she was reported to be worth as much as £11m (though one 2003 report quoted her worth at £25m). She hosted a Channel 4 chat show titled The Charlotte Church Show. Church released her first album in five years, titled Back to Scratch, on 17 October 2010. Church is a soprano.
1987 – Tuppence Middleton
Tuppence Middleton is an English actress. She was nominated for the London Evening Standard Film Awards 2010 for Most Promising Newcomer. Since 2015, she portrays Riley Blue in the Netflix webseries Sense8.
She has appeared in feature films such as Tormented (2009), Chatroom (2010), Cleanskin (2012), Trance (2013), The Lady Vanishes (2013), The Imitation Game (2014), and Jupiter Ascending (2015), as well as in television series such as Bones (2008), New Tricks (2010), Friday Night Dinner (2011), Sinbad (2012), Spies of Warsaw (2013), Black Mirror (2013), and Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams (2017).
She starred in two British period dramas screened around the same time, Dickensian (2015–16), playing Miss Havisham, and War & Peace (2016), in which she played Russian princess and villain Hélène Kuragina.
1988 – Danny Rose
Daniel Stephen Rose is an English footballer who plays as a midfielder for Portsmouth. He also captained the England C team in 2012.
A former captain of Manchester United Reserves, he joined Oxford United in 2007 following a four-month loan spell. He switched to Newport County the following year, and helped Newport to the Conference South title in 2009–10. He was sold to Fleetwood Town in January 2012, and was part of the side that won the Conference Premier title in 2011–12, before returning to Oxford in June 2013.
1994 – Hayley Orrantia
Sarah Hayley Orrantia known professionally as Hayley Orrantia, is an American actress, singer, and songwriter. She is best known for portraying Erica Goldberg on the ABC comedy series The Goldbergs. She was a member of Lakoda Rayne, a country-pop girl group assembled by Paula Abdul during the first season of The X Factor.
1996 – Sophie Turner
Sophie Turner is an English actress. Turner made her professional acting debut as Sansa Stark on the HBO fantasy television series Game of Thrones (2011–present), which brought her international recognition.
Turner has also starred in the television film The Thirteenth Tale (2013) and she made her feature film debut in Another Me (2013). She has also starred in the action comedy Barely Lethal (2015) and portrays a young Jean Grey / Phoenix in the X-Men film series.
2004 – Les Gray
Born: 09 April 1946
Thomas Leslie “Les” Gray was an English musician best known for his work with glam rock pop band Mud. Gray was also known for his distinctive vocal impersonation of Elvis Presley.
Gray was born in Carshalton, Surrey. He was a self-taught musician, and during his school years, he played trumpet with a jazz band, and then, with a younger brother, went on to form the skiffle unit, The Mourners. After leaving school he worked for Pearl & Dean, writing commercials, and later for Moss Bros before finding success with Mud.
With a few line-up changes, The Mourners evolved into Mud in February 1966, with Gray on vocals, Dave Mount on drums, Rob Davis on guitar, and Ray Stiles on bass, and won the Search for Sound song contest the same year. After a few unsuccessful singles including “Flower Power”, they were signed to Mickie Most’s RAK record label, and gained television exposure via an appearance on The Basil Brush Show. They toured in support of Tom Jones in 1973. Mud had a string of hits written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, including two which topped the UK Singles Chart in 1974, “Lonely This Christmas”, and “Tiger Feet”, and a chart topping cover of “Oh, Boy!” (originally performed by Buddy Holly). They disbanded in 1979.
Gray had a Top 40 solo hit (#32) in 1977 with his cover version of “A Groovy Kind of Love.” He later toured with backing musicians under the name ‘Les Gray’s Mud’, but never found the same level of success as he had enjoyed with the original outfit.
Died Aged 57