Happy Birthday, Ian Ziering

Ian Andrew Ziering, who captivated America’s television viewers of the ’90s with his gritty performance as the deeply conflicted Steve Sanders on the original version of “Beverly Hills 90210,” turns 46 today. Those of us who were around during the show’s initial run can still remember the electricity in his portrayal, the palpable suspense that pervaded each of his scenes. The choices he made as an actor were so groundbreaking that it is difficult to recall exactly how brave and unique they were at the time, particularly now that they’ve been completely integrated into the mainstream. But he was never showy or precious about it; what made the work so powerful was the subtle sense of transformation he was bringing to the archetype of “spoiled rich kid.” While he’s made subsequent appearances on “Dancing With the Stars” and some other stuff (probably), the massive display of craft which made his identity simultaneous to that of the character into which he breathed such life has probably been a detriment to the rest of his career: To many of us, he will always be Steve Sanders and Steve Sanders alone. And there’s no shame in that. Sometimes you create something that belongs to the ages, and in the act of that creation, it recreates you. Such is the case here. Anyway, happy birthday, SteveIan.