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PHOTO BY: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images
Jan. 11: Amanda Peet, 50
After co-starring in crowd-pleasing Hollywood hits like The Whole Nine Yards and Something’s Gotta Give, the actress has turned in recent years to TV with a string of critically acclaimed roles on Togetherness, Brockmire and Dirty John (starring as real-life murderer Betty Broderick). This year, Peet stepped behind the camera as the co-creator and writer of Netflix’s Sandra Oh-led dramedy The Chair, which she produced alongside her husband, Game of Thrones showrunner David Benioff.
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PHOTO BY: Rob Kim/Getty Images
Jan. 12: Walter Mosley, 70
One of America’s most celebrated crime writers, Mosley became the first Black man to win the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 2020. A hyper-prolific author with more than 50 novels, plays, graphic novels and non-fiction books under his belt, Mosley is perhaps best known for his Easy Rawlins mysteries, about a Black P.I. living in L.A.: The first, 1990’s Devil in a Blue Dress, was adapted into the 1995 Denzel Washington neo-noir film of the same name. The 15th, Blood Grove, was published in 2021.
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PHOTO BY: Rich Polk/Getty Images
Jan. 13: Trace Adkins, 60
Known for his impossibly deep bass-baritone singing voice, the country music star released his 17th studio album in August, The Way I Wanna Go, featuring unexpected guest appearances by, among others, Melissa Etheridge, Stevie Wonder and Snoop Dogg. Non-country fans may know Adkins better from his appearance on The Celebrity Apprentice (he won the all-star season), and he’ll return to TV screens this month on the FOX drama Monarch, in which he and Susan Sarandon star as the heads of a country music dynasty.
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PHOTO BY: Raymond Liu/Getty Images
Jan. 16: Richard T. Jones, 50
Currently starring as Sergeant Wade Grey on the ABC cop procedural The Rookie, Jones has appeared as a detective, police officer or federal agent (CIA, FBI, DEA) more than a dozen times since he started acting in the 1990s, in projects like Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Criminal Minds and Godzilla. Jones has often played supporting roles, but if you want to see him in a rare lead performance, check out his 2002 film G, a retelling of The Great Gatsby set in the world of hip-hop.
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PHOTO BY: Christopher Polk/Getty Images
Jan. 17: Jim Carrey, 60
Not since Robin Williams has an actor glided so seamlessly between rubber-faced slapstick and dramatic roles that require real emotional heavy-lifting. After a two-season run as a grieving father and kids’ television host on Showtime’s Kidding, Carrey leaned into his silly side in 2020, playing both the mad scientist Dr. Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog and Joe Biden on Saturday Night Live. Next up, he’s reportedly in talks to star as Dr. Seuss in an upcoming biopic — a role that might finally remove him from the list of acclaimed performers who have somehow never been nominated for an Oscar.
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Jan. 18: Alison Arngrim, 60
We’re sure Little House on the Prairie star Alison Arngrim is a perfectly lovely person, but she was so devilishly good at playing the biggest brat on the prairie, Nellie Oleson, for seven seasons that she’ll never quite escape that reputation. In fact, in 2006, she won the TV Land Award for “character most in need of a time-out”! In 2010, Arngrim released her autobiography Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated, in which she detailed her childhood sexual abuse, and she even adapted it into a stage version that combined humor and heart. This year, she co-starred as a music manager in the inspiring musical dramedy Even in Dreams.
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PHOTO BY: Medios y Media/Getty Images
Jan. 20: Paul Stanley, 70
If you’re not a member of the Kiss Army, you might know vocalist and rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley as “the one with the star over his right eye” — or the Starchild. Since 2019, he and his bandmates have been slowly saying farewell on their End of the Road World Tour, which had to be temporarily postponed when he and Gene Simmons both tested positive for COVID-19. (They’re fine!) They’ll pick the tour back up in March in Australia; if you don’t live down under, you can learn more about Stanley by watching the documentary Biography: KISStory, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival before airing on A&E last summer.
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PHOTO BY: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images
Jan. 21: Cat Power, 50
Once dubbed “the queen of sadcore” by LA Weekly, the indie singer-songwriter Chan Marshall (otherwise known as Cat Power) drapes her melancholy tunes in the sounds of soul, blues, punk and folk. This month, she releases her album Covers, which — you guessed it — features covers of songs by everyone from Billie Holiday to Iggy Pop. She’s also setting off on a world tour that will take her through North America and Europe.
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PHOTO BY: Greg Doherty/Getty Images
Jan. 22: Piper Laurie, 90
One of the last surviving members of the old Hollywood studio system, Piper Laurie racked up three Oscar nominations throughout her seven-decade career: as a young woman battling alcoholism in The Hustler, an abusive religious fanatic in Carrie and the mother of a deaf woman in Children of a Lesser God. Cult TV fans will remember her as the sawmill manager Catherine Martell on Twin Peaks, and her most recent film role was in 2018’s White Boy Rick, in which she played the wife of Bruce Dern, another holdover from the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Nicholas DeRenzo is a contributing writer who covers entertainment and travel. Previously he was executive editor of United Airlines’ Hemispheres magazine and his work has appeared in the New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, Sunset and New York magazine.
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