It looks like late October is a pretty good time for iconic geek entertainers to be born. We mentioned Carrie Fisher’s birthday yesterday, and coming up before the end of the month are the birthdays of modern-day geek icon Grant Imahara, the awesomely funny John Cleese, and tech billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates. In keeping with that, today is a geek icon two-fer: Christopher Lloyd turns 73 and Jeff Goldblum turns 59.
Christopher Lloyd is one of those actors who makes every role he plays his own, to the point where it would just seem wrong even to think of anyone else playing it. Lloyd is best known, of course, as the quintessential wacky, good-natured, and brilliant scientist “Doc” Emmett Brown in the Back to the Future trilogy, a role that will no doubt ensure him a place of honor in the geek pantheon forever. That would really be enough for us, but he also secured a solid place in geek history as the villain of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Klingon Commander Kruge. As Kruge, Lloyd had the unenviable task of following Ricardo Montalban as Trek antagonist, but did such a good job portraying the character’s commanding ruthlessness that he provided an otherwise just-OK movie with some very memorable moments. He also memorably played the truly evil Judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Uncle Fester in the first two Addams Family movies. And he even played the evil Red Lectroid John Bigbooté in one of my personal favorite cult science fiction films — in 1984, the same year he played Kruge — The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, a film that also memorably included an up-and-coming actor named Jeff Goldblum.
Jeff Goldblum may not have been that well-known when he played the character New Jersey, a member of Buckaroo Banzai’s Hong Kong Cavaliers (if you haven’t seen the movie, trust me, that actually does make some sense), but that wouldn’t last long. Two years later he had his first significant leading role in the horror science fiction film The Fly, followed by another cult movie — and one that’s way more fun than it has any right to be — Earth Girls Are Easy. He later played Dr. Ian Malcolm in the blockbuster Jurassic Park and its first sequel — and is reportedly interested in reprising the role in the Spielberg-announced upcoming fourth film. And in 1995 he shared the lead in another blockbuster, the implausible alien invasion classic Independence Day, with Will Smith.
Both Lloyd and Goldblum have, of course, appeared in many other movies as well as quite a few TV shows — Lloyd in fact famously got his start on the very funny sitcom Taxi. But I’ve hit the geeky heights here, and being comprehensive about both men might require a dissertation.
Please join all of us at GeekDad in wishing Christopher Lloyd and Jeff Goldblum a very happy 73rd and 59th birthday, respectively, today — and many more to come!