Jessica Lange, Paul Rudd, Lee Majors and other stars celebrate big ones this month
by Susan Wloszczyna, AARP, March 31, 2019|Comments: 0
PHOTO BY: Mark Davis/Getty Images
April 2: Pamela Reed, 70
En español | You might know this character actress for her role as Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler’s tough politician mom, Marlene Griggs-Knope, on the NBC sitcom. But Reed first came to prominence in a string of films in the '80s and '90s, including Melvin and Howard, The Right Stuff and two comedy classics opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kindergarten Cop and Junior. She was a regular on the postapocalyptic series Jericho and had recurring roles on United States of Tara and NCIS: Los Angeles.
Pierce was recruited for the role of Niles Crane, fussbudget brother of the title character and fellow shrink on the NBC sitcom Frasier, partly because he bore a resemblance to its star, Kelsey Grammer. (There has been talk that a reboot of the series is in the works.) He was up for a supporting actor Emmy for each of the Cheers spinoff’s 11 seasons and won four times. More recently, he was nominated for a Tony for his role as Horace Vandergelder, opposite Bette Midler, in a 2017 Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly!
Social media declared this amusing actor to be “ageless” when he was a presenter on this year’s Oscar telecast, despite birthday evidence to the contrary. But Rudd doesn’t look all that much older than when he was Alicia Silverstone’s sweet ex-stepbrother in 1995’s Clueless. After starring in a string of bawdy Judd Apatow comedies (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up), he has been recruited into the Marvel superhero universe as Ant-Man and will appear in Avengers: Endgame, which opens April 26.
PHOTO BY: Amanda Edwards/Getty Images
April 7: Francis Ford Coppola, 80
The director behind The Godfathertrilogy was a leading figure in the New Hollywood movement in the '70s. He first made a splash when he won an Academy Award for his original script for the 1970 military biopic Patton. Coppola followed that up with his 1972 classic, The Godfather, which won three Oscars and spawned two sequels. The noted winemaker heads a dynasty with ties to film, including sister Talia Shire, daughter Sofia, son Roman, wife Eleanor and nephews Jason Schwartzman and Nicolas Cage.
This British dame remains the only person to win an Oscar for both acting (for her housekeeper role in 1993’s The Remains of the Day) and for a screenplay (for her 1995 adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility). But a younger generation probably knows her best as the kooky Divination teacher Sybil Trelawney in the Harry Potter franchise. This year, she has no less than four movies opening: The comedy Late Night, the animated Missing Link, Men in Black: International and Last Christmas.
The onetime model managed to escape from King Kong’s clutches in the 1976 remake of the great ape thriller and would go on to achieve the triple crown of acting, with two Oscars (supporting for 1982’s Tootsie and lead for 1994’s Blue Sky), three Emmys and one Tony. These days, she's riding the Ryan Murphy TV train, starring in his American Horror Story series, playing Joan Crawford opposite Susan Sarandon’s Bette Davis in Feud, and on the upcoming Netflix series The Politician with Gwyneth Paltrow.
PHOTO BY: Michael Kovac/Getty Images
April 23: Lee Majors, 80
This TV star has been a cowboy (The Big Valley), a legal assistant (Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law) and a stuntman who moonlights as a bounty hunter (The Fall Guy). But Majors is probably best known for being Col. Steve Austin, a former astronaut with superhuman bionic implants, on ABC’s The Six Million Dollar Man, for five seasons in the '70s. Austin would occasionally join forces with Lindsay Wagner’s Jaime Sommers on The Bionic Woman. Last year, the actors reunited on Netflix’s Fuller House.
PHOTO BY: Mike Coppola/VF19/Getty Images
April 25: Renée Zellweger, 50
She had us at hello as Tom Cruise’s squeeze in 1996’s Jerry Maguire and made us root for her working girl character in 2001’s Bridget Jones’s Diary, before she got us singing along as Roxie Hart in the 2002 musical Chicago. But Zellweger won an Oscar for her supporting role as tomboyish mountain woman Ruby Thewes in 2003’s Civil War-era epic Cold Mountain. She will next star — and presumably sing — as a late-life Judy Garland in Judy, an upcoming film set in 1968, when Garland performed her final concerts in London before her death at 47, in 1969.
PHOTO BY: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
April 27: Cory Booker, 50
The first African American senator from New Jersey is a former Rhodes scholar and a Yale Law School grad, and was the mayor of Newark for 14 years. Now he’s one of at least 18 candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for president in the 2020 election. As a mayor, he was famously hands-on, known to patrol the city streets in the wee hours as part of the effort to reduce crime.
PHOTO BY: Jeff Golden/Getty Images
April 27: Sheena Easton, 60
This Scottish lass won the Grammy for best new artist in 1982, with help from her catchy song "Morning Train" — about a woman who can’t wait until “her baby’ comes back home. She proved to be remarkably versatile, doing a country duet with Kenny Rogers, "We’ve Got Tonight," and crooning the James Bond theme song "For Your Eyes Only." But it was her work with Prince that turned her into an outright sex symbol, including the suggestive 1984 single, "Sugar Walls," which he penned, and their 1987 pairing on "U Got the Look."