Genre Icons, Oscar Heroes And Comedic Geniuses In This Week’s Birthday Bash

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.

July is populated with some of the highest profile celebrity birthdays yet to be featured on Birthday Bash, with this week bringing a trio of faces famous for very different roles.

Harrison Ford (July 13): While it’s a given that everyone gets older as the years progress, it’s still incredibly difficult to believe that Harrison Ford turns 67 today. The actor is a genre legend, hanging with furry co-pilot Chewbacca as Han Solo in “Star Wars” and making whips cool again in the “Indiana Jones” franchise. Despite pushing 70, Ford even managed to bust out a surprising fourth turn as Indy just last year — and there are rumors of a fifth outing on the horizon as well.

Birthday Wishes: There isn’t much I can wish Mr. Ford that he hasn’t already received in his lifetime, though I’ll hope for this: if “Indiana Jones 5” actually comes to fruition, my fingers are crossed that Dr. Jones keeps the fedora firmly on his own head, and not on that of his scruffy son played by Shia LaBeouf.

Forest Whitaker (July 15): One thing that you can say for Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker is that he’s never hurting for employment. The very definition of a working actor, Whitaker has delivered celebrated performances in film (like his Academy Award-winning role in “The Last King Of Scotland”) and television (as Lt. Kavanaugh on “The Shield”).

Birthday Wishes: Erasing “Battlefield Earth” from his past? If for some reason his acting career hits a wall, at least Whitaker could easily pursue a career as a Sinatra-esque crooner. I mean, seriously, check out those chops as he covers Andy Samberg’s legendary “D*** in a Box“!

Will Ferrell (July 16): Rising from the ranks of “Saturday Night Live,” Will Ferrell has emerged as one of comedy’s clear-cut kings. The funnyman has gifted popular culture with a bevy of repeated one-liners, such as “We’re going streaking!” in “Old School” and “Milk was a bad choice!” in “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.” But Ferrell has proven himself capable of breaking beyond the realm of comedy, seen in his surprisingly dramatic role in “Stranger Than Fiction.” Still, I’ll always remember him best as Malaysian Prime Minister hunter and fashionista terrorist Mugatu in “Zoolander.”

Birthday Wishes: Despite his best efforts to become the world’s greatest Rick Marshall, Ferrell’s “Land of the Lost” didn’t do so well in the box office even with a talent roster that included Danny McBride, Anna Friel and “The Today Show” personality Matt Lauer. If there’s one lesson I gleaned from that film, it’s that Ferrell and Lauer need to team up for a buddy comedy as soon as humanly possible. Hollywood, get on that!

Honorable mention goes to none other than Captain Jean-Luc Picard himself, Patrick Stewart (July 13). The “Star Trek” veteran has become a household name in the geek community not only for his turn as the fiery Picard, but also thanks to other roles like Professor Xavier in the “X-Men” films.

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