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17 Milestone Celebrity Birthdays in December

Ben Kingsley, Tyra Banks, Brad Pitt , Kim Basinger and other are celebrating this month

spinner image collage of ben kingsley, tyra banks, brad pitt, and kim basinger on colorful, flashy background with all sorts of shapes and symbols
Photo Collage: MOA Staff; (Source: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney; Laretta Houston via Getty Images; J on Kopaloff/Getty Images; D Dipasupil/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

Dec. 2: Lucy Liu, 55

Beloved for her star-making turns in Charlie’s Angels and Kill Bill, Lucy Liu has had an equally impressive career on the small screen, earning an Emmy nomination for her role on Ally McBeal and later playing Sherlock Holmes’ sober companion Joan Watson on the CBS crime drama Elementary. Earlier this year, Liu showcased her more devious side as the villainous Kalypso in Shazam! Fury of the Gods, but she’s also a painter who earlier this year displayed her works in a New York gallery show exploring the themes of memory, identity and family.

Dec. 3: Ozzy Osbourne, 75

The lead vocalist of heavy metal band Black Sabbath rewrote the rules of reality TV when he and his family starred on the Addams Family-come-to-life MTV series The Osbournes. The band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, and earlier this year, Osbourne’s 13th studio album, Patient Number 9, earned him Grammys for best rock album and best metal performance. Sadly, he had to cancel his planned European-U.K. tour due to physical weakness caused by a spinal injury a few years ago, but he has said that he’s brainstorming ways to continue performing live without the stresses of travel.

Dec. 3: Brendan Fraser, 55

Long known for his roles as ditzy himbos (George of the Jungle, Encino Man) and next-gen matinee idols (the Mummy franchise), Fraser first began to show signs of his dramatic potential in the acclaimed film Gods and Monsters. He shocked audiences with his transformation in The Whale, about a reclusive English professor who is morbidly obese, and won the Academy Award for best actor. This fall, Fraser can be seen as a deliciously over-the-top lawyer in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon.

Dec. 4: Tyra Banks, 50

spinner image tyra banks on colorful, flashy background with all sorts of shapes and symbols

The first Black woman to appear on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, Tyra Banks made modeling history as one of the original Victoria’s Secret Angels, then went on to be the host and executive producer of America’s Next Top Model for years. She later launched her own daytime talk show, earning a pair of Daytime Emmys, and more recently emceed Dancing With the Stars for three seasons. Banks is now trying something completely new by founding her own ice cream brand, Smize & Dream, which takes its name from the supermodel’s trademark word for smiling with your eyes.

Dec. 7: Noam Chomsky, 95

While he originally got his start as a linguist, Noam Chomsky long ago ascended to the ranks of America’s most famed public intellectuals, and he’s frequently looked to for his opinions on foreign policy, mass media and capitalism. His most recent work is Illegitimate Authority: Facing the Challenges of Our Time, a collection of interviews conducted by Truthout journalist C.J. Polychroniou about such hot-button topics as the war in Ukraine, climate change, Roe v. Wade and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dec. 8: Kim Basinger, 70

spinner image kim basinger on colorful, flashy background with all sorts of shapes and symbols

The model-turned-actress emerged as a major star in the 1980s, appearing in such films as The Natural and the 007 flick Never Say Never Again as Bond girl Domino Petachi. Her greatest success came when she won the Academy Award for best supporting actress for the 1997 noir film L.A. Confidential. Basinger, who had once courted controversy with the sexually explicit romance 9½ Weeks, most recently returned to the genre when she appeared in the Fifty Shades franchise, based on the novels by E.L. James.

Dec. 9: John Malkovich, 70

An early member of Chicago’s acclaimed Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Malkovich earned praise for his ferocious intensity, both onstage and onscreen, for his roles in films like Places in the Heart, In the Line of Fire and The Killing Fields. He played with this reputation in the surrealist satire Being John Malkovich and has recently found success off the big screen, with roles as the fictional Pope John Paul III in The New Pope and as aerospace scientist Adrian Mallory in Space Force. Next up, Malkovich is set to appear as couturier Lucien Lelong in the Apple TV+ drama The New Look, which is set in the fashion world in post-WWII Paris.

Dec. 16: Benjamin Bratt, 60

The Law & Order alum has spent the past decade cementing his status as a TV fixture, with the chameleonlike ability to fit into any number of genres, from a Shonda Rhimes prime-time soap (Private Practice) to an adrenaline-pumping thriller (24: Live Another Day) to a musical drama (Star). This year alone, he played a menacing casino enforcer on the Columbo-inspired comedy Poker Face and voiced a character on the Netflix animated adventure series Skull Island, set in the world of King Kong.

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Dec. 17: Bill Pullman, 70

A fan favorite in films like Independence Day and Spaceballs, Bill Pullman recently starred for four seasons on the anthology crime series The Sinner as police detective Harry Ambrose. Following a stint on the West End stage opposite David Harbour in the play Mad House, Pullman put aside his good-guy persona for Lifetime’s Murdaugh Murders: The Movie, a ripped-from-the-headlines film in which he played prominent South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh, who was found guilty of murdering his wife and son.

Dec. 18: Keith Richards, 80

If you thought that the Rolling Stones legend’s celebrated 2010 autobiography Life was a sign that he was winding down, think again: The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer is still going very strong. Richards and Mick Jagger cowrote and this year released Hackney Diamonds, the first album of original Stones songs since 2005’s A Bigger Bang, and he told BBC Radio 4 that the band would be touring next year “if everybody’s still standing.” When asked how long the Rolling Stones would keep chugging along, he replied, “My answer to that is, ‘I’m not Nostradamus.’”

Dec. 18: Brad Pitt, 60

spinner image brad pitt on colorful, flashy background with all sorts of shapes and symbols
Photo Collage: MOA Staff; (Source: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

The quintessential ’90s heartthrob has brought his megawatt charisma to every kind of Hollywood genre imaginable, from gritty thrillers (Fight Club) and action comedies (Mr. and Mrs. Smith) to war flicks (Inglourious Basterds) and art-house fare (The Tree of Life). It seems appropriate, in a way, that he won his first acting Oscar for playing a classic Tinseltown archetype, the stunt double, in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood. Pitt is also a heavyweight behind the scenes as a producer on projects like 12 Years a Slave and The Big Short, and his upcoming roster includes the biopic Bob Marley: One Love and the Netflix series 3 Body Problem.

Dec. 21: Samuel L. Jackson, 75

The beloved (and hilariously foulmouthed) actor took home an honorary Oscar last year, and you may be surprised to hear he’s never won one outright, having been nominated only once before, for Pulp Fiction. (Many film buffs would argue he deserves at least three or four for his collaborations with Quentin Tarantino alone, including Jackie Brown and Django Unchained.) Jackson is still very much at the top of his game, having starred in last year’s Apple TV+ limited series The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey and a slew of Marvel projects as Nick Fury, while also earning a Tony nomination for his role in August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson.

Dec. 23: Harry Shearer, 80

The former Saturday Night Live cast member was part of one of the best fictional bands in pop culture history, when he played bassist Derek Smalls in This Is Spinal Tap. But it’s a TV role — or, more accurately, a few hundred TV roles — that have made him the stuff of legend. For 35 seasons and counting, Shearer has been an Emmy-winning member of the Simpsons voice ensemble, giving life to such characters as Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Otto Mann, Kent Brockman and many, many, many more.

Dec. 26: Lars Ulrich, 60

Before becoming one of the greatest heavy metal drummers of all time, the Denmark-born Ulrich had hopes of going pro in tennis. The career change paid off: His work with Metallica landed him in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and he was later knighted by the Danish crown prince. Earlier this year, the band released the album 72 Seasons, which became its fifth album to top Billboard’s top rock albums chart, and launched an international tour.

Dec. 29: Jon Voight, 85

An Academy Award winner for his role as a paraplegic Vietnam War veteran in Coming Home, Jon Voight became something of a poster child for the 1960s counterculture in films like Midnight Cowboy. The father of fellow Oscar winner Angelina Jolie, he has continued to act for six decades and counting, most recently costarring on the Showtime crime drama Ray Donovan as the titular L.A. fixer’s gangster father. He’s set to be part of the sprawling ensemble cast of Francis Ford Coppola’s upcoming film Megalopolis, alongside the likes of Adam Driver, Laurence Fishburne and Forest Whitaker.

Dec. 30: Meredith Vieira, 70

An esteemed television host across genres, the former reporter and news correspondent was the original moderator on The View, and she has amassed an impressive résumé that includes coanchoring Today, helming the daytime edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and later hosting her own eponymous chat show. In the process, she’s racked up a slew of Emmys, and she can currently be seen emceeing the game show 25 Words or Less, which she’s hosted for more than 725 episodes.

Dec. 31: Ben Kingsley, 80

spinner image ben kingsley on colorful, flashy background with all sorts of shapes and symbols
Photo Collage: MOA Staff; (Source: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

Born in 1943 to an Indian-Kenyan father and an English actress mother, Sir Ben Kingsley will perhaps always be best known for his Oscar-winning role as the titular Indian leader in Gandhi. He would later go on to pick up a trio of other Academy Award nominations for his roles in Bugsy, Sexy Beast and House of Sand and Fog. After taking a spin in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Trevor Slattery, he appeared this fall in a pair of short films by Wes Anderson adapted from the stories of Roald Dahl.

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