Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Jennifer Love (Hewitt)!

Ms Love

Lucky Crow

"Kids Incorporated"


Heart Melter

Pretty Little Schoolgirl

What a Cutie!

As Audrey Hepburn

In "Heartbreakers"

In the Hoosegow... Again

Playing with her ball

Ghost Whisperer

It is my great pleasure and honor to wish one of my very favorite actresses a very happy birthday, the only one to ever get her own short story here in Joyce's Take, Miss Love herself, Jennifer Love Hewitt!
Jennifer was born at a very early age in Waco, Texas, at 10:48 in the evening. Her mom, Patricia Mae was a speech-language pathologist (probably still is) who specializes in speech and language disorders... a noble profession. Her dad, Herbert Daniel was a medical technician, who broke up with his wife when Jennifer was just six months old, and she and her older brother, Todd, were raised by mom. Jennifer and Todd are of Italian and German ancestry.
Todd picked Jennifer's first name after a girl he had a crush on (the scamp), and her middle name was chosen by her mom (nice of Todd to let her participate) who chose the name after her college roommate. Mom and the kids lived in Harker Heights, Texas, which is a suburb of Killeen, which is an army town due to nearby Fort Hood.
Born to entertain Jennifer debuted at the age of 3, singing at a livestock show. She worried her mom the next year when she disappeared in a restaurant-dance hall (in my humble opinion 4 year olds should unequivocally not be allowed to hang out in dance halls... I mean really). She was later found on the stage singing "Help Me make It Through The Night." When she was 5 she was taking tap, jazz, and ballet lessons which led her to joining the Texas Show Team when she was 9 (not to be confused with the Junior East Texas Meat Goat Show Team), which toured the Soviet Union and Europe. After winning the title of Our Little Miss Talent Winner for Texas, she moved here, where I live, in Los Angeles, at the advice of a talent scout. Miss Love wanted to act and sing.
They left Todd back in Texas to finish high school.
She attended Lincoln High School, which I believe is just a little north east of where I'm writing this, due north to the Death Palace... the Los Angeles County General Hospital, but she graduated from Laurel Springs High School in Ojai, California, former home of the famous Chumash Indians. Ojai that is, not the Laurel Springs High School.
I at one time lived for about four years in nearby Camarillo, California, about 28 miles from Ojai, both in Ventura County. And I would like to take this opportunity now to plead... Miss Love, even though my admiration for you is unbounded, please stop following me around. It's unseemly.
The word Ojai, by the way means "Valley of the Moon." How lovely.
She graduated in 1997, when she was 18.
But way before that, way... she had been appearing in television commercials. More than twenty. And when she was still just 10, she got her first big break by being cast in the Disney television production, "Kids Incorporated," which contrary to many persistent and vicious rumors was not a black market ring dealing in children, but a variety show for kids.
Don't believe me? Okay, here's a clip featuring Jennifer (yes, it's really her):
Stacy Ferguson appeared on the show four years before Jennifer. You may know her better as Fergie, from The Black Eyed Peas hip hop group.
Love worked on that show for a couple of years, then moved on getting a lot of work. She played the daughter of Pierce Brosnan in a pilot for NBC which wasn't picked up. She got parts on a number of television shows that were short lived. Then in 1995, when she was 16, she got her big break after joining the cast of the Fox teen drama, "Party of Five," during it's second season, along with Neve Campbell and Lacy Chabert.
At first the show didn't do all that well in the ratings and was actually scheduled to be canceled after it's first season. But it won a Golden Globe for Best Drama, and the ratings continued to climb during the second season when Love joined the cast. Coincidence or no? I say no. Her character, Sarah Reeves Marin, was a big hit with the fans, and Jennifer's huge acting abilities were finally able to be put on display. The American public, especially the boys, took notice.
As did I. I first became aware of Jennifer at about this time when I was living in Camarillo. I remember seeing this picture in some magazine of this pretty girl in a bikini making out with a crow. Well there's nothing unusual about that, California is known for beautiful girls in bikinis. However I took notice (two pictures above) of the burgeoning actress, and began to follow her career (I don't know why, nothing much better to do at the time I suppose).
I took notice, but not enough to watch a teen drama show on Fox. As a matter of fact I've never seen a single episode of "Part of Five." So let's watch this clip together, dear readers, and discover why Jennifer is such a big and accomplished star today:
Well, that was interesting. Love was so popular that the good folks at Fox decided to spin her character off onto her own show after Party's rating slumped again, and was canceled. "Time of Your Life," first aired in October of 1999, but didn't quite catch on and was canceled half way through the season.
To hell with TV though. Love had made her film debut back in 1992 in "Munchie," an independent sequel to "Munchies," a "Critters," rip off with Loni Anderson. The next year she worked with Whoopie Goldberg in "Sister Act 2, Back in the Habit," and then in 1997 she got her first lead role in the hit thriller, "I Know What You Did Last Summer," a teen slasher flick , written by Kevin Williamson, who had written "Scream," the year before. Love worked with the lovely Sarah Michelle Gellar, and the lovely Ryan Phillippe. The film got mixed reviews but was successful financially, making $72.5 million domestically, and $53 million overseas, for a total of $125.5 million. It probably cost about $20 to $30 million to make, so it did very well. Not so with it's sequel, "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer," also starring Love. This movie cost $65 million to make (why?), and is reported to have only brought in $40 total, thereby ending the franchise.
I liked both movies.
I like every movie Love Hewitt has been in... I don't know why. I even liked her outing with Jackie Chan in "The Tuxedo," which for it's opening shot has a deer urinating. A close up!
I really liked her and Sigourney Weaver in 2001's crime riddled romantic comedy "Heartbreakers," with Gene Hackman, Ray Liotta, and Anne Bancroft. This film presented a somewhat different side of Jennifer... she had been tired of being called "cute," all of the time and in this film she went a long way into changing her screen image. Here's a short interview in which she talks about her part, and then a clip:
I love this movie! I don't know why (Jennifer Love Hewitt).
I wasn't particularly successful, cost around $35 million to make, and brought back about $57 million worldwide, and it was a real crappy part for Hackman (in one of his last film performances before he retired to a life of doing voice overs for airline and hardware store commercials), but I like this film. I even have a VCR copy of it right here in my box. I'm going to watch it right now as a matter of fact... please excuse me...
Okay, back. That was fun.
In 2005 Love got the lead in another television program, "Ghost Whisperer," about a young woman who can see and talk to dead people who she helps to move on "into the light."
It was at this time I wrote the short story "Love," which you can find right here:
I was going to give Jennifer a copy directly if she had showed up at the Thanksgiving Dinner celebration held by the Los Angeles Mission here in downtown Los Angeles that year. But she didn't. She had been there the year before, but she wasn't there in 2005. Probably too busy with her new TV show. I certainly understand and hold no grudges.
"Ghost Whisperer," was great. I wasn't an avid fan, but I tuned in every once in a while (although I don't understand why the lovely Aisha Tyler was let go after the first season, and I continue to believe the show would still be on if Love's character, Melinda, was a single person rather than married, but that's just me). By golly, Love can cry at the drop of a hat, and that's really, really hard! Veteran actors like Robert DeNiro can't even do that.
Anyway, CBS canceled the show last year after it's fifth season. Here's Jennifer's fairwell tribute to the show for her many fans:
And Jennifer has moved on.
I used one of Jennifer's next projects in this post entitled The Client List,
to emphasize the state of the current economy. By a strange coincidence her project had the same name, and was made pretty much to emphasize the very same thing. Here she is talking about it on The View:
And the movie is really, really good. You get to hear Jennifer in her native Texas accent, and not that phoney Hollywood speech she pretends to talk like most of the time.
Anyway, did I mention that Love is a great singer as well. She is! She is so multi-talented she reminds me of myself. Here's a sample:
She's produced four albums and is working on another featuring country songs. I don't know why.
She is also going to direct her first feature film, "Wait Till Helen Comes," which is a fairly provocative title, I can't wait to see it.
Love has been romantically linked to about every guy in Southern California, except me, so I won't go into it. She's currently dating some guy, blah, blah, who cares.
I'll tell you this though... Love is a fan of the Glasgow Celtic Football Club, which doesn't play football at all. She is slightly claustrophobic, as was my dear mother (she doesn't like snakes very much either. I once saw her on The Tonight Show with a big snake, and she kind of freaked out. But who does like snakes?). She lives in the affluent community of Toluca Lake, where Bob Hope used to live. It's a private lake these rich people enjoy in their back yards. I've seen it. It's kind of pathetic really, I'm not impressed.
Oh yes, Love says that when she takes a bath she wears a tiara.
As do I.
Here's a link to her official web site:
And everyone here at Joyce's Take sincerely wishes Jennifer Love continued good health and fortune, and of course, a very happy birthday.
Happy birthday Jennifer!

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