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16 Milestone Celebrity Birthdays in April

Dennis Quaid, Jackie Chan, Victoria Beckham, Djimon Hounsou and Penélope Cruz celebrate another year

spinner image Collage of Dennis Quaid, Djimon Hounsou, Jackie Chan, Victoria Beckham and Penélope Cruz on colorful, flashy background with all sorts of shapes and symbols
Photo Collage: MOA Staff; (Source: Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images; Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images for The Red Sea International Film Festival; Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images; Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)

April 3: Jane Goodall, 90

It was way back in 1960 that Jane Goodall first headed to Tanzania to begin her groundbreaking study of chimpanzees, and she first came to international prominence in 1965 with the Orson Welles–narrated documentary Miss Goodall and the Wild Chimpanzees. After receiving a Ph.D. in ethology from Cambridge University, she held professorships and published books on subjects like the ethics of keeping great apes in captivity. Later named a Dame of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II, Goodall appeared in the Emmy-winning documentary Jane, and this month she’ll be celebrated with public birthday events in Toronto and Vancouver.


April 4: Craig T. Nelson, 80

An Emmy winner for his role as the titular Coach Hayden Fox on Coach, Craig T. Nelson would go on to voice the superhero Mr. Incredible in Pixar’s Incredibles franchise and then star as the patriarch Zeek Braverman on the tear-jerking TV adaptation of Parenthood. In recent years, he’s emerged as the go-to love interest for actresses of a certain age: He romanced Jane Fonda on Grace and Frankie, Mary Steenburgen in Book Club, and Annie Potts on CBS’s Young Sheldon.


April 7: Jackie Chan, 70

spinner image Jackie Chan on colorful, flashy background with all sorts of shapes and symbols
Photo Collage: MOA Staff; (Source: J Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images for The Red Sea International Film Festival)

The martial arts legend started his career as a child actor in the 1960s, and he soon became beloved in his native Hong Kong for his seamless blending of slapstick comedy and acrobatic athleticism. In the 1990s, he broke out in the United States with international projects like Drunken Master II and Rumble in the Bronx before leading his own American buddy-cop franchise, Rush Hour, with Chris Tucker. In 2016, Chan took home an honorary Oscar for his contributions to the film industry. Next up, he’s set to return to the world of the Karate Kid — after starring in the 2010 reboot — in a new sequel opposite Ralph Macchio.


April 7: Russell Crowe, 60

Following a breakthrough role in the Australian drama Romper Stomper, the New Zealand–born actor and rock musician crossed the Pacific to star in such Hollywood films as L.A. Confidential. He quickly emerged as a critical and commercial force, earning three consecutive best actor Oscar nominations for The InsiderGladiator (for which he took home the trophy) and A Beautiful Mind. His record includes a historical epic (Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World), a Western (3:10 to Yuma) and a musical (Les Misérables). He even joined both the D.C. and Marvel Cinematic Universes — as Superman’s dad (Jor-El) and Thor’s dad (Zeus), and he’s set to make it a trifecta when he plays the titular comic book villain’s father in this summer’s Marvel film, Kraven the Hunter.


April 9: Dennis Quaid, 70

spinner image Dennis Quaid on colorful, flashy background with all sorts of shapes and symbols
Photo Collage: MOA Staff; (Source: Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images)

The Houston-born actor has enjoyed a diverse career on the big screen in films like Breaking AwayThe Right Stuff and The Big Easy, though it was his turn as a closeted 1950s husband in the 2002 drama Far From Heaven that earned him a slew of acting awards. He later surprised audiences with an Emmy-nominated performance as Bill Clinton in The Special Relationship. Quaid also moonlights as a singer, and last year, he released his debut gospel record, Fallen: A Gospel Record for Sinners. On the other end of the spectrum, his next big project will see him leaning hard into the sinning: He’s set to star as a real-life serial killer in the Paramount+ series Happy Face.


April 10: Anne Lamott, 70

Beloved as much for her nonfiction writing as for her novels, Anne Lamott earned a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1985, and she became a household name for books like the New York Times bestseller Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. She’s a woman of seeming contradictions in a world of black and white, writing often about her devout Christian faith while also proudly professing her progressive feminist beliefs. This month, she releases her 20th book, Somehow: Thoughts on Love, in which she explores all the different forms of love, including love for a partner you meet late in life or a child who might disappoint.


April 16: Ellen Barkin, 70

After making her feature debut in 1982’s Diner, the Bronx-born “quintessential New York broad, radiating sex and scrappiness” (according to The New York Times, at least) hit it big with films like Desert BloomThe Big Easy and Sea of Love. In 2011, she appeared in her first Broadway production, the revival of Larry Kramer’s AIDS crisis play The Normal Heart, and picked up a featured actress Tony for her work, before going on to appear on the sitcom The New Normal and the TNT crime drama Animal Kingdom. Last year, she starred opposite Pierce Brosnan in the Netflix action comedy The Out-Laws, in which her soon-to-be son-in-law suspects her of being a criminal mastermind.


April 17: Victoria Beckham, 50

spinner image Victoria Beckham on colorful, flashy background with all sorts of shapes and symbols
Photo Collage: MOA Staff; (Source: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

As a member of the ultimate ’90s pop group, the Spice Girls, Victoria Adams — aka Posh Spice — became a fashion icon, topped the charts and even costarred in a critically panned but cult-favorite musical comedy film, Spice World. As the decade came to a close, she met and married soccer superstar David Beckham, instantly becoming half of one of the most famous couples in the U.K., and despite releasing solo music, she shifted her focus to fashion. The Spice Girls have reunited a few times over the years, and last fall, she reentered the culture conversation when she and Beckham appeared in the Netflix docuseries Beckham. Cementing her status as a legend, this January, her face appeared on commemorative postage stamps celebrating the Spice Girls’ 30th anniversary.


April 20: Andy Serkis, 60

Known as the king of motion-capture acting, Andy Serkis has appeared in some of the biggest blockbuster franchises in movie history — though you might not immediately recognize him. He played Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, Caesar in the Planet of the Apes series, Captain Haddock in The Adventures of Tintin and Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars. Of course, he has also appeared on screen as a real person from time to time, earning a Golden Globe nod for playing serial killer Ian Brady in Longford and a BAFTA Award nomination for starring as punk rocker Ian Dury in Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll. Serkis also recently followed in the footsteps of Jeremy Irons and Michael Caine to play Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler Alfred Pennyworth opposite Robert Pattinson in The Batman, and he’s set to return for the sequel.


April 24: Cedric the Entertainer, 60

A scene-stealer on The Steve Harvey Show, Cedric the Entertainer got to show off his stand-up skills to an international audience in the Spike Lee–directed concert film The Original Kings of Comedy, alongside Harvey, Bernie Mac and D.L. Hughley. In the years that followed, he headlined his own sitcom, The Soul Man, as an R&B singer–turned–minister, and appeared in film franchises like Barbershop and Madagascar. Since 2018, he has returned to his sitcom roots on CBS’s The Neighborhood, about a white couple and a black couple living next door to each other in Los Angeles.


April 24: Djimon Hounsou, 60

spinner image Djimon Hounsou on colorful, flashy background with all sorts of shapes and symbols
Photo Collage: MOA Staff; (Source: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

The Benin-born actor first came to international attention in Steven Spielberg’s historical epic Amistad, playing an enslaved tribal leader who starts a mutiny on a Spanish slave ship. Hounsou would go on to earn two supporting actor Oscar nominations for his roles in Blood Diamond and In America before entering both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended Universe. Most recently, he appeared as a hardened warrior general in Zack Snyder’s Netflix space opera Rebel Moon — Part One: A Child of Fire, with Part Two: The Scargiver releasing this month.


April 24: Shirley MacLaine, 90

It’s been nearly 70 years since the prolific A-lister made her big-screen debut in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1955 film The Trouble With Harry, for which she won the Golden Globe for most promising newcomer. In the decades that followed, MacLaine picked up five Oscar nominations for acting (in films including The Apartment and Irma la Douce) and codirecting the documentary The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir, before finally winning on her sixth try for Terms of Endearment. Following a guest stint on Hulu’s star-studded mystery Only Murders in the Building, she’s starring in this spring’s indie comedy American Dreamer, as a childless widow who agrees to sell her palatial mansion to a divorced professor (Peter Dinklage) for well under the market value — as long as he agrees to let her stay there until she dies.


April 25: Hank Azaria, 60

Even if you didn’t recognize Hank Azaria’s face, chances are you would know his voice: He’s appeared on more than 700 episodes of The Simpsons, voicing such iconic Springfielders as Moe Szyslak and Chief Wiggum. Over the decades, he has stolen scenes in supporting turns on TV shows like Mad About You and Friends and such big-screen comedies as The Birdcage, in which he realized partway through filming that he was basing the flamboyant servant character Agador on his grandmother. After earning a Tony nomination for playing Sir Lancelot in the Monty Python musical Spamalot, Azaria has had an impressive run on TV, starring as a psychiatrist on Huff, a baseball announcer on Brockmire and a moon time-share salesman on last year’s Apple TV+ retrofuturist dramedy Hello Tomorrow!


April 28: Penélope Cruz, 50

spinner image Penélope Cruz on colorful, flashy background with all sorts of shapes and symbols
Photo Collage: MOA Staff; (Source: Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)

After studying classical ballet for nearly a decade, the preternaturally elegant Penélope Cruz made the leap to the world of acting, and her frequent collaborations with Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar earned her international acclaim. Following a nomination for his film Volver, Cruz picked up an Oscar for her role as the tempestuous artist Maria Elena in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona. On the small screen, she earned raves for her turn as Donatella Versace in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, and last year, she played another real-life Italian woman, Laura Ferrari, the famed carmaker’s wife and business partner, in the biopic Ferrari.


April 28: Alice Waters, 80

One of America’s most transformative culinary forces, Alice Waters opened her Berkeley, California, restaurant Chez Panisse in 1971, and it was a new kind of fine-dining restaurant, guided by the seasons and whatever her farmer friends were growing rather than by the prevailing trends. A little over two decades later, she became the first woman named best chef by the James Beard Foundation, and she later established such nonprofit organizations as the Edible Schoolyard Project. In recent years, the National Humanities Medal winner has released her memoir and a “slow food manifesto” and opened a new restaurant, called Lulu, at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.


April 29: Jerry Seinfeld, 70

The Brooklyn-born observational comic parlayed his success on the stand-up circuit into one of the most beloved sitcoms of all time, Seinfeld, which ran for nine seasons, earned him an Emmy and made him the first actor to earn $1 million per episode. Content to rest on his laurels, he disappeared from TV for a while, later returning with the short-lived reality show The Marriage Ref and the decidedly more successful Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. He has also returned to stand-up, releasing two specials on Netflix. After finishing a recent residency at New York’s Beacon Theatre, he’s now back on the road, with stops this spring in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Nashville and beyond. Next month, he’s set to release the film Unfrosted: The Pop-Tart Story, which he cowrote, produced and stars in.


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