Happy Birthday to Gene Wilder, Hugh Laurie, and Peter Dinklage!


Gene Wilder

Today has the remarkable, and completely coincidental, distinction of being the anniversary of the birth of three great actors in geeky (and non-geeky) movies and television.

The first, chronologically speaking, is the one and only Gene Wilder, who turns 79 today. Wilder is best known for his appearances in the classic Mel Brooks films The Producers, Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles, and for his iconic portrayal of the title character in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. I have a certain affection for The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother — a parody that Wilder wrote, directed, and starred in — despite it falling short of brilliance.

Hugh Laurie

Next comes Hugh Laurie, who celebrates his 53rd birthday today. Laurie is probably best known to most people for his portrayal of the title character on the recently-ended dramatic TV series House M.D.. However, there are those (myself included) who fondly recall Laurie’s comedic roles in three of the four Black Adder series, and his collaborations with the also-great Stephen Fry on A Bit of Fry and Laurie and what I consider the definitive portrayals of P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster. Laurie also has a terrific singing voice and is a very talented pianist, and has recently produced an excellent Blues album called Let Them Talk.

Peter Dinklage

And last, but in no way least, is Peter Dinklage, who turns 43 today. Dinklage has had many roles over his 17-year acting career, but he is certainly — and deservedly — best known to audiences today for his role as Tyrion Lannister in the HBO production of Game of Thrones, an adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s epic series A Song of Ice and Fire. Despite not being as skilled at imitating a British accent as, say, Hugh Laurie is at imitating an American one, Dinklage simply rules every scene he’s in from start to finish — even ones with other quite competent actors.

So please join all of us at GeekDad in wishing Gene Wilder, Hugh Laurie, and Peter Dinklage a very happy birthday, and many more to come!

All photos via Wikimedia Commons.

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