July 18 – Actors' Birthdays (and, no, I don't mean "Actresses')

Posted on July 18, 2017

Today is the birthday of two of my favorite actors!

 Kristen Bell was born on this date in 1980 in Michigan. She is famous as the high-school-student-private-investigator Veronica Mars, as the voice of Princess Anna in Frozen, and as a woman experiencing a puzzling afterlife in The Good Place. Of course she's also done tons more acting projects as well and, in addition to being an actor, Bell is a singer.

Priyanka Chopra was born on this date in 1982 in Jamshedpur, India. 

She was considering studying aeronautical engineering or criminal psychology.

But after winning the Miss World beauty pageant in 2000, she got offers that involved stage and screen, and she ended up becoming an actor, singer, and film producer. 

Much of Chopra's work has been in India, in Bollywood, but since 2015 she has starred in an American network show - the first South Asian to do so.

Chopra is also known as a philanthropist - someone who does good things for others. She has worked with UNICEF and promotes causes about health, education, the environment, and women's rights. 

I hope you notice that I am not using the word actress. A lot of people, including Wikipedia and the Academy Awards, do still use the word actress, but we in English-speaking societies have been making language and job titles less and less sexist, and I think that we should continue to do so.

When I was a child, people used words like policeman and fireman, and nobody could imagine changing the terms to be less sexist. I mean, it was going to be so repetitive and long-winded to constantly say things like, "the policemen and policewomen of this great city"...right?

As you probably know, it wasn't actually that difficult. Once a few newspaper style guides and cities decided to take the plunge, it turned out that police officer and fire fighter were easy to say and accurate for males or females. Who knew?

Even stewardess has been replaced by flight attendant, from what I've seen. And most people use server instead of waiter or waitress.

SAG awards have category names
like "Outstanding Performance by
a Female Actor in a Leading Role."
Back in the day, people used to use comedienne for female comics and manageress for female managers. Even female authors were called authoresses, by many. Those days are long gone, and although many publication style guides dictate that writers and editors use actor for men and women unless writing about an award that still uses the word actress. I read that the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of TV and Radio Actors union uses actor for both male and female.

So, I am going to try to remember to do the same, from now on!

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