Twelve years ago today in Movie History was the release of Black Hawk Down for its Oscar qualifying run. Ridley Scott’s true life tale of the Battle of Mogadishu starred Josh Hartnett, Eric Bana, Tom Sizemore, Sam Shephard, and Ewan McGregor. It won Academy Awards for Sound and Editing and Scott was nominated for his direction, while the film itself did not receive a nod. Down was a box office success with $108 million domestic, providing Scott with his third $100M+ grosser in less than two years with Gladiator and Hannibal having been released prior.
As for birthdays, Denzel Washington is 59 today. He is an Oscar winner for 2001’s Training Day in the lead category and won Supporting Actor in 1989 for Glory. Other Academy Award nominations: Cry Freedom, Malcolm X, The Hurricane, and Flight. Beyond his nominated performances, he’s been one of the most consistent actors over the past 25 years with box office hits that include Philadelphia, The Pelican Brief, Crimson Tide, Remember the Titans, American Gangster, and Unstoppable.
He may only be known for cameos in films, but you could certainly argue that no one has been more important in the world of film over the past decade as Stan Lee. He turns 91 today. Lee is the creator of many comic books that have been adapted into hugely grossing Marvel adaptations, including Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, X-Men, Iron Man, Thor, The Avengers, Captain America, and Daredevil. He has had cameos in nearly 20 of those pictures based on his works.
As for Six Degrees of Separation between the two birthdays boys:
Denzel Washington was in Inside Man with Willem Dafoe
Willem Dafoe was in Spider-Man with Stan Lee
And that’s today – December 28 – in Movie History!