Celebrity Birthdays, July 8: Jaden Smith, Kevin Bacon and Lance Gross

Actors Jaden Smith, Kevin Bacon and Lance Gross are all celebrating their birthdays today.

Jaden Smith, 16

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Actor and rapper Jaden Smith turns 16 today. After an appearance in Men in Black II, Smith made his major role debut in the film The Pursuit of Happyness in 2006. For his role, Smith won the award for Breakthrough Performance at the 2007 MTV Movie Awards. Smith next appeared as Jacob in the 2008 Scott Derrickson science fiction film, The Day the Earth Stood Still. In 2010, Smith starred alongside Jackie Chan in The Karate Kid, a remake of the 1984 film. In May 2013, Smith and his father, Will Smith, starred together, playing father and son, in After Earth.

Smith rapped alongside singer Justin Bieber in the song "Never Say Never." On October 1, 2012, Smith released his first mixtape, The Cool Cafe. He started his own clothing line called MSFTSrep, ranging from hoodies and T-shirts to trousers and vests. In May 2013 Smith collaborated with a Korean designer, Choi Bum Suk, to create a pop-up store in which customers can buy clothes with their collaborated logos.

In 2014, it was announced that, Smith will return for the sequel Karate Kid 2 with Jackie Chan. The movie will be directed by Breck Eisner, produced by James Lassiter and Will Smith and written by Zak Penn. The movie will be released in 2015. In April 2014, Smith was cast in the film The Good Lord Bird, based on the 2013 novel of the same name by James McBride. Smith plays Henry Shackleford, a young slave living in Kansas Territory in 1857 who encounters abolitionist John Brown.

Kevin Bacon, 56

image courtesy of Jennifer Graylock/INFphoto.com

Actor, musician and philanthropist Kevin Bacon turns 56 today. Bacon gained recognition for his role in Footloose in 1984. His other notable film works include JFK, A Few Good Men, Apollo 13, The River Wild, Hollow Man, Taking Chance, Mystic River and X-Men: First Class. Bacon has won a Golden Globe Award, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. In 2003, Bacon received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Bacon formed a band called The Bacon Brothers with his brother, Michael, and have released six albums.

In March 2012, Bacon was featured in a performance of Dustin Lance Black's play, 8, a staged reenactment of the federal trial that overturned California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage. The production was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and broadcast on YouTube to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

Bacon married actress Kyra Sedgwick in 1988. They have two children, Travis Sedgwick and Sosie Ruth. He currently plays Ryan Hardy in the Fox television series The Following, which follows an ex-FBI agent who is trying to catch a serial killer and his cult.

Lance Gross, 33

image courtesy of Jennifer Graylock/INFphoto.com

Actor and model Lance Gross turns 33 today. Gross began his career by modelling for Karl Kani and appearing in music videos for artists such as Mary J. Blige, Rihanna and Mariah Carey. In 2006, he had minor roles in Eve and The Bernie Mac Show. It was while he was performing in the Tasha Smith Acting Studio that he was discovered by Tyler Perry, who happened to be watching a night class. Gross was then cast as Calvin Payne on Perry's sitcom House of Payne, earning four NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role.

In 2008, Gross made his film debut in the romantic comedy Meet The Browns. His next big screen appearance was in Our Family Wedding in 2010 alongside America Ferrera. In 2012 he starred in the independent film The Last Fall, the story of a retired NFL player dealing with financial and family difficulties. Gross also made appearances in The Finder and Royal Pains

Gross recently starred in Tyler Perry's Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor, and played U.S. Secret Service Agent Marcus Finley on NBC's Crisis, which has since been cancelled.

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