Look Who’s Turning 65
April 5—Mitch Pileggi
The actor is best known for his role as Walter Skinner on The X-Files. Pileggi began acting while he was a high school student in Turkey, where his father was a defense contractor. Later he performed in local theaters in Austin, Texas, and continued his acting career with small roles in B-movies and guest roles in television shows such as Dallas, China Beach, Code of Vengeance and Walker, Texas Ranger.
In the 1980s, Pileggi starred in several films, including Three O'Clock High and Shocker. He appeared as the villain in the 1991 television film, Knight Rider 2000, a sequel to the original television series. His most notable role was as the FBI's Assistant Director Walter Skinner on The X-Files, on which he remained until the show’s end in 2002. Pileggi played the same character in the 1998 X-Files film and in the 2008 film The X-Files: I Want to Believe. He also reprised the role in the 2016 miniseries.
Starting in 2005, Pileggi played the recurring role of character Colonel Steven Caldwell, commander of the Earth Battlecruiser, Daedalus, in the second and subsequent seasons of the television series Stargate Atlantis. In 2006, he had a regular guest role on Day Break as a robbery/homicide detective. Starting in 2008, Pileggi played the head of a white supremacist gang in the critically acclaimed FX drama Sons of Anarchy.
Pileggi has also done some voice acting, including in the video game Planescape: Torment and Commissioner James Gordon on the Kids WB! animated show The Batman. He also played the recurring role of Sam and Dean Winchester's maternal grandfather, Samuel Campbell, in the TV series Supernatural. Pileggi also starred in the TNT drama series Dallas as Harris Ryland.
April 6—Marilu Henner
The actress, producer, radio host and author is best known for her role as Elaine O'Connor Nardo on the sitcom Taxi from 1978 to 1983. As a student at the University of Chicago, Henner originated the role of Marty in the 1971 production of Grease. When the show moved to Broadway, she played in the national touring company alongside John Travolta. Additional Broadway credits include Pal Joey, Chicago and Over Here!, also with Travolta. Her first film appearance was in the 1977 sleeper-hit Between the Lines, co-starring then-unknowns Jeff Goldblum, Lindsay Crouse, John Heard and Jill Eikenberry. Her second role was opposite Richard Gere in the 1978 film Bloodbrothers.
Henner came to prominence in Taxi, which focused on the everyday lives of a handful of New York City taxi drivers and their abusive dispatcher. The popular series won 18 Emmy Awards, including three for Outstanding Comedy Series. In 1982, she was the leading lady in the 1982 film Hammett starring her first husband Frederic Forrest. In 1983, Henner first starred opposite Burt Reynolds in The Man Who Loved Women and then again later that year in Cannonball Run II, along with Shirley MacLaine and Dom DeLuise. She was the leading lady in the 1984 film Johnny Dangerously, playing Michael Keaton’s love interest.
In 1991, Henner appeared opposite Steve Martin in L.A. Story as Trudi, a role for which she received a nomination for an American Comedy Award as the Funniest Supporting Female in a Motion Picture. She also appeared in Noises Off (1992) and in Man on the Moon (1999), a film about her Taxi co-star Andy Kaufman. In 2006 and 2007, Henner hosted the television series America's Ballroom Challenge and later FitTV and The Discovery Channel's Shape Up Your Life, which was based on her books about diet and health.
Henner, who has highly superior autobiographical memory, was a consultant for the CBS drama Unforgettable, about a woman with the same ability. She has been a guest on several shows that focused on her hyperthymesia (she can remember specific details of virtually every day of her life since she was a small child), including the CBS News program 60 Minutes (2010), NBC's The Today Show and ABC's The View. Her ninth book (2012), Total Memory Makeover: Uncover Your Past, Take Charge of Your Future offers instruction on how people might access their own autobiographical memories. She currently hosts The Marilu Henner Show, a weekday morning radio show.
April 27—George Gervin
Nicknamed “The Iceman,” Gervin played in both the American Basketball Association (ABA) and National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Virginia Squires, San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls. He averaged at least 14 points per game in all 14 of his ABA and NBA seasons, and finished with an NBA career average of 26.2 points per game. Gervin is widely regarded as one of the greatest shooting guards in NBA history.
Nicknamed "Iceman" for his cool demeanor on the court, Gervin was primarily known for his scoring talents. He also received the nickname because of his rare ability to play the game of basketball at a high level without sweating. His trademark move was the finger roll, a shot in which one rolls the basketball along his or her fingertips. While others mimicked this style when shooting layups, Gervin was known to “finger roll” from as far as the free throw line.
After his last season, 1985–86, with the Chicago Bulls, Gervin left the NBA and played for several years in Europe. In 1996, he was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and was named to the NBA's 50 Greatest Players. At the time of his trade to the Bulls, he held nearly every significant scoring record in Spurs history. Gervin retired with the most blocks by any guard in NBA history.
Gervin remains active in the San Antonio, Texas community with seven organizations designed specifically for underprivileged kids, including the George Gervin Youth Center.
April 29—Nora Dunn
The actress and comedian is known for her work on the NBC sketch variety TV series Saturday Night Live. Dunn joined SNL in 1985 with the return of Lorne Michaels as executive producer. Dunn's characters included half of "The Sweeney Sisters" lounge act alongside Jan Hooks, talk show host Pat Stevens (which became a popular recurring role), melodramatic French hooker Babette, and film buff Ashley Ashley from the "Actors on Film" sketch during the 1985–1986 season. Her impressions included Ann Landers, Imelda Marcos, Liza Minnelli, Tyne Daly, Joan Baez, Martina Navratilova and Cokie Roberts. Dunn made headlines in 1990 when she, along with original musical guest Sinéad O'Connor, boycotted an episode hosted by comedian Andrew Dice Clay, because they found his misogynistic humor offensive.
Dunn appeared in recurring roles on Sisters (1993–1996) and The Nanny (1998–1999), as well as a guest-starring role in a 2-part episode of The X-Files in 1998. She also appeared on LOL in 2012. Her film work includes Working Girl (1988), Miami Blues (1990), I Love Trouble (1994), Three Kings (1999), Zoolander (2001), Bruce Almighty (2003), Runaway Jury (2003), Pineapple Express (2008), My Suicide (2009) and Entourage (2015).
In 2014, Dunn began appearing in a series of commercials for Clorox. She has also been a storytelling contributor to Chicago's Under the Gun Theater.
FAMOUS & 65 is a featured article in the Senior Spirit newsletter.
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