Wasn’t it just yesterday that Winona Ryder was playing a teenager in Beetlejuice? Now she’s the mom of a teenager on Stanger Things? Time is relentless. In addition to those great roles, she’s shined in Reality Bites, Mermaids, Little Women, and Edward Scissorhands. She brings heart, depth, and courage to every character. I love her best, though, in Heathers. She is so “very”. Happy 50th, Winona!
A little ditty about John Mellencamp…well actually just a post. I’ll leave the songwriting to him. The musician turns 70 today and over the years he has cranked out hits like “Jack & Diane”, “Hurts So Good”, and “Pink Houses”. He’s a true American rocker. Happy Birthday, Cougs!
And, Fannie Flagg!! That’s how I hear her name in my head. Fannie sat in the last panelist seat on The Match Game, so she was always announced as the “and”. From 1973 to 1982, she was a semi-regular on the game show, cracking jokes next to Richard Dawson. Beyond Match Game, Fanny appeared in several roles on TV and film while also putting out comedy albums. Her biggest accomplishment was writing the beloved novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. The book would later be turned into a hit movie, garnering the author an Oscar nomination for adapting it. Fannie continues to write and released her latest novel in 2020. Today she celebrates her 77th birthday. Happy Birthday Fannie…and many more!!
Bee Gees frontman Barry Gibbb turned 75 yesterday. Along with his brothers, Maurice & Robin, he blew up the disco world in the 70s. They created huge chart topping hits, most notably for the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. When disco fell out of favor in the 80s, they continued to write songs for other artists. Luckily, a new appreciation for the genre years later brought the group back into the spotlight. Maurice and Robin have sadly passed away, but Barry continues to record and perform. His famous falsetto lives on.
I Dream of Jeannie star, Barbara Eden, turns 90 today. Of course we know her best from the hit sitcom, but before and after that she appeared in several movies & TV shows, recorded albums, and wrote a memoir. She has enjoyed a long magical career. Happy Birthday, Barbara!
Actor & filmmaker, Robert Redford, turns 85 today. Redford started in the theater before transitioning to TV work (guest starring in a great Twilight Zone episode) and then made the move to films. His incredible good looks got him noticed, but his talent was even better. I particularly enjoyed him in All thePresident’s Men and The Way We Were. When he moved behind the camera he won Oscars for his debut, Ordinary People. Later on he created the Sundance Film Festival, a place to showcase independent films. Redford has definitely left his mark on the industry.
Soap opera queen Erika Slezak celebrates her 75th birthday today. For 41 years she amazed us as Viki Lord on One Life to Live, winning six Emmys. She honestly could have won six more. She brought so much warmth, dignity, and passion to the role. I need Erika and OLTL back on my TV screen!
The incredible Darlene Love celebrates her 80th birthday today. The award winning singer has had a prolific career in the music industry and continues to tour today. Her signature song is the classic “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”.
Enya celebrates her 60th birthday today. The Irish artist has a very distinct voice and musical style. When you hear it, you know it’s her. In the 80s and 90s she seemed to be everywhere; from commercials, to movies, to your doctor’s office. She sold millions of records and became the best-selling solo artist in Ireland. I particularly like her contributions to the LA Story soundtrack. It’s beautiful and transcendental.
Luther Vandross would have turned 70 today. We lost the phenomenal singer/songwriter too soon, but his velvet voice lives on. This year also marks the 40th Anniversary of his solo debut, Never Too Much. The album gave us the instantly recognizable title track and his cover of Dionne Warwick’s “A House is Not a Home”, which completely lives up to the original. I believe in the power of Luther.