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October 13: Happy Birthday Paul Simon and Sacha Baron Cohen

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Paul Simon, a 12-time Grammy winner, is turning 75 today.  He met his future performing partner, Art Garfunkel, when they were in the sixth grade.  The two began performing together as “Tom & Jerry,” and had a moderately successful single, “Hey Schoolgirl,” in 1957.  The two began recording under their own names in the 1960s, and after a false start or two, emerged as one of the most successful acts of the late 1960s, with three #1 hits on the Hot 100, including this one:

Simon & Garfunkel broke up in 1970, although they have had periodic reunions, most notably for a 1981 concert in Central Park.  As a solo performer, Simon had three very successful albums, and several Top Ten singles, in the 1970s, and then the enormously successful album Graceland in 1986.  He continues to record and perform; his most recent album, Stranger to Stranger, reached #3 on the Billboard top 200.

Comedian and actor Sacha Baron Cohen turns 45 today.  He first drew notice with his fictional comic character Ali G, initially on British television’s Channel 4, on The 11 O’Clock Show.  The character then got his own show, Da Ali G Show, which aired first on Channel 4, and then was imported by HBO into the US in 2003:

Baron Cohen had further success with two additional comic personalities.  Borat Sagdiyev was featured in the 2006 film Borat, which brought Baron Cohen a Golden Globe for Best Actor—Musical or Comedy and an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.  He then created the character of Admiral General Aladeen in his 2012 film The Dictator.  He also has played Signor Adolfo Pirelli in the film version of Sweeney Todd and M. Thenardier in the bigscreen adaptation of Les Misérables.

Kelly Preston, who celebrates her 54th, has had major roles in films such as Twins, Jerry Maguire and For Love of the Game, and won a Razzie for Battlefield EarthKate Walsh, who turns 49, is best know for playing Dr. Addison Montgomery on Grey’s Anatomy and its spinoff series, Private PracticeMatt Walsh (no relation to Kate that I know of) is 52 today; he was an Emmy nominee for Veep and starred in the disaster film Into the StormT’Keyah Crystal Keymáh, who turns 54, was an original cast member of In Living Color, and starred on Cosby and That’s So RavenTisha Campbell-Martin, who currently stars on ABC’s Dr. Ken, turns 48.  Melinda Dillon, who turns 77 today, worked in film and television for over 40 years and was a two-time Oscar nominee, for Close Encounters of the Third Kind and for Absence of Malice.

R&B singer Ashanti, who is turning 36, began her career with a pair of #1 albums (the first a Grammy-winner), which begat four Top Ten singles between them, including the #1 hit “Foolish.”  Bailey Noble, who celebrates her 26th, played Adilyn Bellefleur on True Blood and starred in this year’s remake of the French-Canadian horror film MartyrsKiele Sanchez, who turns 39 today, currently stars on the Audience Network’s Kingdom and previously starred on The GladesKatia Winter, who starred on Sleepy Hollow as Katrina Crane for two seasons, turns 33.

Greek-born singer Nana Mouskouri, who turns 82 today, is estimated to have recorded some 200 albums, in 10 different languages, in a career lasting nearly sixty years.  Marie Osmond, who celebrates her 57th birthday, is a member of one of the best-known musical families in the US.  Sammy Hagar, who is turning 69, has worked with many different groups and as a solo performer, with his best-known period probably being when he replaced David Lee Roth as the lead singer of Van Halen.

In sports, Jerry Rice turns 54 today.  Rice, who spent most of his career with the San Francisco 49ers, holds over 100 NFL records and is considered the greatest wide receiver in the history of the sport.  Paul Pierce, who is 39 today, is a ten-time NBA All-Star who led the Boston Celtics to the 2008 NBA title.  Nancy Kerrigan, who is 47 today, won two Olympic medals in figure skating, but may always be remembered more for the infamous attack on her at the 1994 US Championships which was “masterminded” by Jeff Gillooly, the ex-husband of Kerrigan’s rival Tonya Harding.  Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe, who won nine Olympic medals and eleven World Championship gold medals in his career, turns 34.  Baseball Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews (1931-2001) hit 512 home runs in his career and is ranked among the best third basemen of all time.

During his long career, Italian-French actor Yves Montand (1921-1991) starred in Henri-Georges Clouzot’s classic thriller The Wages of Fear, and also had a major role in Claude Berri’s duology, Jean de Florette and Manon of the SpringLaraine Day (1920-2007) was an MGM contract player who appeared in seven Dr. Kildare films as the title character’s fiancee, while also being loaned out by MGM to make films like Alfred Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent.  Like Day, Robert Walker (1918-1951) is best remembered for a Hitchcock film—he played the psychopath Bruno Anthony, one of the screen’s most chilling villains, in the director’s Strangers on a TrainCornel Wilde (1912-1989) qualified for the US Olympic fencing team in 1936, a skill he put to good use as a leading man for Fox in a number of swashbucklers; he was also an Oscar nominee for A Song to RememberJack MacGowran (1918-1973) was best know as a stage actor, with the Abbey Players in Dublin and later with the Royal Shakespeare Company.  In film he had noteworthy roles in The Quiet Man and The Exorcist, among others.

Lenny Bruce (1925-1966) was known for his hard-edged comedy, laced with biting social commentary, and also for a variety of legal troubles.  Nipsey Russell (1918-2005) was a comedian who was also the first African-American to be a regular panelist on TV game shows (which used to be a very big deal).

If today is your birthday, congratulations on sharing your big day with these notable names.  Birthday wishes to everyone celebrating a big day today.  Come back tomorrow for more celebrity birthdays.

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Posted on October 13, 2016, in Celebrity Birthdays and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. As a kid, I remember my teachers treating Simon and Garfunkel with this reverence. The seemed to regard their music as an almost religious experience. I had to admit, they recorded some pretty great songs. And I enjoyed Simon’s solo stuff too. The video for You Can Call Me Al was endlessly entertaining to me back in the day. I heard the song just yesterday and stopped what I was doing so I could fully enjoy it.

    Not being an HBO subscriber, I missed the boat on Da Ali G Show. But I laughed myself silly at Borat. Since then, Sacha Baron Cohen has worked best for me in small doses. He’s an undeniable talent who can be hysterically funny but can also do dramatic roles.

    I always thought Kelly Preston was just stunningly beautiful and wondered why she wasn’t a bigger movie star than she was. It might have something to do with her marriage to Travolta. Then again, it could be argued Travolta kept her from fading into obscurity.

    As I have said before, the TV was closely monitored when I was a kid. A lot of shows were off limits, but the Donny and Marie show was a staple. My mom loved those crazy kids and their antics. How funny that Sammy Hagar’s birthday so closely follows Diamond Dave.

    Nancy Kerrigan, oh man. Lately, all the 90’s scandals like OJ and Jon Benet have been resurfacing. How long before we get a new take on Tonya Harding?

    I remember Nipsey Russell from all those 70’s shows. Like everyone else on those panels, I wondered what he was actually famous for. He was funnier than a lot of the other Hollywood Squares.

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  2. Meanwhile, in other interesting news today, Bob Dylan wins the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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    • Congrats to Bob. I actually got to work security when he played at my college in the early 90’s. It was during the Traveling Wilburys stage of his career. I’m sure that factored heavily in the decision making process. 😉

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    • Yeah, I heard that, and also that some people though Paul Simon should’ve won (I think Bob Dylan is deserving, but I don’t really understand the Nobel process at all). Well, at least he has his birthday.

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  3. I kind of thought Kelly Preston was lightweight at first, but she’s grown on me a little over the years. Then again, she’s not in many projects or appears very long most of the time, so she’s still somewhat tough to figure for me.
    I viewed a few episode of Kate Walsh’s NBC show “Bad Judge” last year. Boy, that didn’t work out. I liked her character, but overall the show didn’t do it for me.
    One show that did do it for me was “Dexter”, and I know Katia Winter from her role as an imported (trafficked) exotic dancer named Nadia during the 7th season.
    I mentioned Sammy Hagar the other day when it was David Lee Roth’s birthday, but I heard both of those guys rotate touring with the band here and there.
    I think Nancy Kerrigan bothered a lot of people back in the day when she was overheard saying how corny it was to be in that Disney parade she was in, but still, her getting whacked in the leg was messed up. My first ever television crush, Heather Langenkamp, played the role of Kerrigan in a TV movie.
    Jerry Rice was a ridiculously great Pro Football player, and I don’t think many of his records will be broken, since the guy was great for like 18 seasons. His numbers are pretty unbelievable.
    I remember when Marie & Donny Osmond had the talk show in the 1990’s. When there were off days from school I caught it a few times, and thought it was decent.

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