Actor Dennis Quaid is 70

Thing Called Love

Dennis Quaid was born in Houston, TX. He has appeared in several movies I’ve seen, all in the cinema except for The Parent Trap, but none of them I’ve viewed since the initial viewing. Most of them I liked.

Breaking Away (1977) -This is a sports movie about bicycling, which I really enjoyed. It was Oscar-nominated for Best Picture and won for Best Original Screenplay.

The Right Stuff (1983) – It won four Oscars, including Best Picture, and deservedly so. It was… what the title said.

The Big Easy (1986). Per IMDb, “Both Ellen Barkin and Dennis Quaid consider this the favorite of all the films they’ve made.” I saw it with a friend, and we both thought the crime drama had plot holes that one could drive a police cruiser through. But the soundtrack is marvelous. Someone posted most of it on YouTube, some with variations from the album. Notably, it leaves off what AllMusic called “a respectable track,” Dennis Quaid singing Closer To You, which he wrote.   I can’t find the studio version, but here’s a live take with Bonnie Raitt and the Neville Brothers.

Dennis shows up on the video for Bonnie’s Thing Called Love (1989) from her Grammy-winning comeback album, Nick Of Time. It’s a sexy video, even though they were just friends.

Postcards from the Edge (1990) – the somewhat autobiographical account of the lives of Debbie Reynolds and author/screenwriter Carrie Fisher, played by Shirley MacLaine and Meryl Streep, respectively. Quaid plays the Streep character’s sometimes boyfriend. I related to the family drama.

The Parent Trap (1998) – Quaid and Natasha Richardson play the divorced parents of the twins played by Lindsay Lohan (X2). Having watched the Hayley Mills original film, I think the remake was better, which I imagine is sacrilege.  I saw this on video with my daughter.

Traffic (2000) – A fine film, though Quaid, as one of the bad guys, gets about fifth billing.

21st Century

The Rookie (2001)—Based on a true story, it’s the tale of a high school chemistry teacher who coaches the school’s baseball team. Once a pitching prospect before an injury, he agrees to go to a professional tryout if his team wins the championship. (No spoiler: they do, so he does.) I immensely enjoyed it.

Far From Heaven (2002) – A seemingly perfect 1950s suburban couple, played by Quaid and Oscar-nominated for Best Actress Julianne Moore, is jeopardized. The Moore character consoles herself with the friendship of their gardener (Dennis Haysbert). A fine work by the actors and writer/director Todd Haynes. My favorite Quaid movie.

I might have caught other films. The TV movie Dinner With Friends is about two close couples who are confounded when one couple decides to split up. And I’m sure I caught some guest appearances on SpongeBob or Inside Amy Schumer.

Dennis is the younger brother of actor Randy Quaid. According to reports, “the two have not communicated in over 20 years due to a bad real estate deal in Montecito, California.”

Happy birthday to Dennis Quaid.

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