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8 Milestone Birthdays in December

Cheers to Jude Law, Susan Dey and other stars celebrating big ones this month

spinner image Side by side images of Jude Law and Alyssa Milano
(Left to right) Jude Law and Alyssa Milano
Steve Granitz/FilmMagic; Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images

Dec. 7: Ellen Burstyn, 90

spinner image Ellen Burstyn at opening night of Medea at The Metropolitan Opera House in New York City
Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

One of the most celebrated actors of the 1970s, Ellen Burstyn starred in five Oscar-nominated roles in less than a decade: The Last Picture ShowThe ExorcistAlice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (for which she won), Same Time, Next Year and Resurrection, later nabbing a sixth nod for her turn as a Coney Island widow addicted to diet pills in Requiem for a Dream. Next year, she’ll return to one of her most spine-tingling roles, in a reboot of The Exorcist, which is tentatively scheduled to open in theaters on the 50th anniversary of the original’s premiere.

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Dec. 9: Felicity Huffman, 60

spinner image Actress Felicity Huffman at A New Way of Life 2022 Gala in Los Angeles
Leon Bennett/Getty Images

A breakout star on Aaron Sorkin’s short-lived but critically adored Sports Night, Felicity Huffman later earned an Emmy for her turn as Lynette Scavo on Desperate Housewives, before branching out with her Oscar-nominated role as a transgender woman in the indie drama Transamerica. In 2019, Huffman was involved in a situation that may have made for a juicy plotline on Housewives, when she was arrested as part of a college admissions scandal, convicted for an illegal scheme to boost her daughter’s SAT scores, and served 11 days in federal prison.

Dec. 10: Susan Dey, 70

spinner image Actress Susan Dey speaking in a courtroom in the TV series L.A. Law
Susan Dey as Grace Van Owen in "L.A. Law."
20th Century Fox Film Corp/Courtesy Everett Collection

A teen star beloved for her musical turn as Laurie on The Partridge Family, Dey struck TV gold twice when she reemerged in the 1980s as deputy district attorney-turned-judge Grace Van Owen on L.A. Law, for which she earned a trio of Emmy nominations. She retired from acting in 2004, though she made a rare public appearance when she reunited with her L.A. Law castmates on the pandemic-era talk show Stars in the House.

Dec. 12: Cathy Rigby, 70

spinner image Cathy Rigby at the 6th Annual Gold Meets Golden at The House on Sunset in Beverly Hills, California
Steve Granitz/WireImage

The diminutive athlete helped put gymnastics on the map in America when she competed in the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. She’s remembered as one of the most famous figures in her sport’s history, but she actually only placed 16th at those Games, though that was amazingly the highest ranking ever for an American female Olympian. Rigby later became known for her Tony-nominated role as the boy who wouldn’t grow up in the musical version of Peter Pan, and these days, she and her husband, Tom McCoy, run a youth arts conservatory in Yorba Linda, California.

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Dec. 12: Tracy Austin, 60

spinner image Tracy Austin seated on grass while bouncing a tennis ball on her racket
Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

A three-time Grand Slam title winner, Austin was the whiz kid of the tennis world, becoming the youngest US Open winner at 16 and the youngest player to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame at 29. Sidelined by injuries and a car accident, Austin ended her career in her prime, but she reemerged as a sought-after analyst and commentator, as well as a proud tennis mom: Her son Brandon Holt made his Grand Slam debut this year at the US Open.

Dec. 19: Alyssa Milano, 50

spinner image Actress Alyssa Milano at the 2022 UNICEF Gala
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Best known for her breakout role as Samantha Micelli on Who’s the Boss?, the Brooklyn-born actress and activist has appeared regularly on TV for decades, as a lead on Charmed, Insatiable and Mistresses and as the host of Project Runway All Stars. Since 2019, she’s hosted the podcast Sorry Not Sorry and released an intimate and revealing book of the same name in October 2021. In the works is a potential Who’s the Boss? revival, which would see Tony Danza return to take care of Samantha’s kids.

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Dec. 22: Ralph Fiennes, 60

spinner image Actor Ralph Fiennes attends The Menu New York Premiere
Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Though younger generations may know Fiennes as the big baddie of the Harry Potter franchise “who must not be named” (fine, it’s Voldemort), the acclaimed British thespian has a great track record playing historical figures: He earned his two Oscar nominations starring as Nazi war criminal Amon Göth in Schindler’s List and Hungarian aviator László Almásy in The English Patient, and he spent the past two years channeling urban planner Robert Moses on the London and New York stages in the David Hare play Straight Line Crazy. Last month, he premiered in a deliciously sinister new role to match Voldemort as celebrity chef Julian Slowik in the horror comedy The Menu.

Dec. 29: Jude Law, 50

spinner image Actor Jude Law attends the Academys 13th Governors Awards
Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images

The British stage and screen actor put his matinee idol looks to good use in films such as Closer and The Talented Mr. Ripley, and in recent years, he’s struck an interesting balance between the arthouse and the megaplex. He’s played everyone from young Albus Dumbledore in the Fantastic Beasts franchise to an ambitious 1980s entrepreneur with secrets in last year’s critically beloved (but under the radar) The Nest. Next year, he’s taking on Captain Hook in Disney+’s new Peter Pan adaptation, followed by an equally notorious figure from history — Henry VIII in the drama Firebrand.

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