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February 11: Happy Birthday Burt Reynolds and Leslie Nielsen


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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February 11: Happy Birthday Jennifer Aniston and Sheryl Crow


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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