Birthday Bash: Impossible Missions, Punch-Outs And Red Carpet Antics Are Causes For Celebration

Just as everyone has an opinion, a favorite meal and a nose — albeit a fake one at times — so too does everyone have a birthday. Even celebrities. Here at Birthday Bash, it’s my mission to salute the fine actors, filmmakers and other Hollywood heroes that are celebrating their special day this week. After all, it’s cheaper than mailing a cake.

This week is jam-packed with birthday celebrations — so many, in fact, that I just couldn’t include them all. Still, there are some personalities who I found impossible to ignore…

Gary Busey (June 29): The current generation of moviegoers might only know Gary Busey for bear-hugging and smooching Jennifer Garner on the 2008 Academy Awards red carpet, or perhaps for his stint on “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.” But there’s a plethora of Busey performances that are truly must-see fare, such as his turns as Mr. Joshua in “Lethal Weapon,” pitching icon Chet “Rocket” Steadman in “Rookie of the Year” and crazed military veteran Drake Sabitch in “Black Sheep,” my personal favorite.

Birthday Wishes: As Chris Farley died nearly 12 years ago, the chances of Busey playing Sabitch once more seems unlikely — though I’d gladly give a leg to see the character in his own spin-off movie. What can you do about this, Lorne Michaels?

Mike Tyson (June 30): Life hasn’t always been easy for Mike Tyson, who has tragically lost a child and has spent several years in prison. But if life had a face, the punch-packing boxing aficionado might have an easier time slogging through this day-to-day bout. All that considered, Tyson still has many athletic achievements to be proud of and even has some film work to his name, including cameos in “Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles” and, most recently, in director Todd Philips’ summer 2009 comedy, “The Hangover.”

Birthday Wishes: Tyson’s latest accomplishment is his marriage to girlfriend Lakiha Spicer earlier this month. On top of that, he’ll hopefully have a role in “The Hangover 2” — so maybe someone can arrange singing lessons for Mr. Tyson in the meantime.

Tom Cruise (July 3): What’s left to say about Tom Cruise that hasn’t been said? Despite some recent struggles with his public image, there’s no denying it: Cruise has turned out a multitude of blockbuster performances over the last three decades. Whether it’s dramatic fare like “Jerry Maguire,” an actioner such as “The Minority Report” or even a comedic cameo in “Tropic Thunder,” there’s virtually no genre that the soon-to-be 47 year old actor hasn’t come across in his career.

Birthday Wishes: Recently, it was announced that Cruise and director J.J. Abrams would co-produce a fourth “Mission: Impossible” installment, leaving me to speculate on the film’s possibilities without Cruise in the starring role. Having some distance from my recent op-ed, I’ll now firmly state that I hope Cruise comes back as leading man Ethan Hunt — but only if I can hear him say “Toast, Toast” multiple times and at varying volumes.

Special shout out goes to Mel Brooks (June 28), who turned 83 yesterday. The “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein” writer-director has plenty of movie work in his repertoire, and I seriously doubt that the funnyman — who has taken hilarious, celebrated digs at George Lucas, Alfred Hitchcock and other famous filmmakers — will be slowing down anytime soon.

Be sure to come back next Monday for an all-new edition of Birthday Bash!