Very Happy Birthday wishes to Bruce Dern who was born 79 years today. A very unique and quirky actor who never fails to make in an impression no matter what the role is. He's had (which continues to this day) a pretty amazing career starting off in early 60's TV. moving on to A.I.P. stuff ( THE WILD ANGELS & PSYCH OUT), westerns (THE WAR WAGON, WILL PENNY & HANG "EM HIGH - where he invariably seemed to killed and/or had the crap kicked out of him by the likes John Wayne or Clint Eastwood in the 2nd or 3rd reel) and off beat 70's features such as KING OF MARVIN GARDENS, SILENT RUNNING and THE LAUGHING POLICEMAN.
One of my favorite roles of his was in John Frankenheimer's under appreciated 1977 thriller BLACK SUNDAY. Playing a psychotic ex-navy blimp pilot, he's recruited by a terrorist organization to use the Goodyear blimp to explode thousands of steel darts into the Super Bowl. Dern (who's always at his best playing characters of questionable mental stability) plays the role alternating between an almost child like giddiness and scary psychopath. Also starring Robert Shaw as an Israeli intelligence agent and a terrific turn by Marta Keller as Dern's operative and handler, who while all the time realizing Dern is bat-shit crazy must alternately coddle and cajole him.