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February 11: Happy Birthday Burt Reynolds and Leslie Nielsen

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Burt Reynolds is celebrating his 82nd birthday today.  After an injury during his sophomore year of college ended his hopes of a football career, Reynolds was encouraged to go into acting by an English professor.  By the early sixties he was working hard on television, most notably as Quint Asper for three seasons of Gunsmoke.  He also starred on a one-season crime drama on ABC, Dan August.

Reynolds began working in film in the sixties as well, but didn’t become a major film performer until about 1972, when he played the macho Lewis Medlock in Deliverance.  In the next few years he emerged as major box office draw in films like The Longest Yard and W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings.  In 1977 he had a huge success, starring in the biggest hit film of that year not to involve lightsabers.

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Stars Gone Broke

Fame and fortune don’t last forever.  Even the biggest movie stars aren’t immune.  But some celebrities fare worse than others especially where finances are concerned.  This article from the October 2002 issue of Movieline magazine – dubbed “the Money Issue” – examined a few case studies of movie stars who lost their fortunes.

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February 11: Happy Birthday Jennifer Aniston and Sheryl Crow

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Our two headliners today are apparently good friends, and have been photographed together on a few occasions, as at this fundraising event where they are joined by Courtney Cox and OmniPeace founder Mary Fanaro.

Jennifer Aniston celebrates her 48th today.  Both her parents had some acting experience; her father, John Aniston, has had a recurring role on Days of Our Lives for over 30 years.  She began acting after finishing high school, doing some Off-Broadway plays and landing roles in several short-lived television series, including Ferris Bueller (based on the movie), where she played Ferris’s sister Jeannie.

In 1994 her persistence with series television paid off as she landed a role on a new NBC sitcom, playing a runaway bride who moves in with an old friend from high school, and becomes one of a group of Friends.  Aniston played the role of Rachel Green for the show’s ten season run, and received five Primetime Emmy nominations during that time, winning Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 2002; she also won a Golden Globe in 2003.

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Movies of 1997 Bracket Game: Titanic vs Boogie Nights

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Can it possibly have already been 20 years? That’s what I find myself asking when I look at this set of movies. Sure, ten years easy, maybe even fifteen. But 20? My math must be off. That’s what it is.

With the 1987 bracket now in the books, next up is a decade’s move up to the most memorable movies of 1997. We were slap dab in the middle of the Bill Clinton Presidency, the internet was the new hip thing, the Green Bay Packers returned to the top of the American football world, the Teletubbies premiered on BBC, Princess Diana was killed in an auto accident, the U.S. economy was booming, and the world began to slowly come to an end when The Spice Girls and Hanson became top-selling musical artists. Was this an important year for you? How did our movies here reflect that? Come along as we talk about two of them!
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