Look Who’s Turning 65
October 7 – Vladimir Putin
The former spy with the Mona Lisa smile has held a vice grip on power in Russia for the last 18 years. He emerged as Prime Minister in 1999, then became President of Russia from 2000 to 2008. Putin again served as Prime Minister from 2008 to 2012, and then President once starting in 2012 to the present.
How does he maintain his power? Legally (and Putin first trained as an attorney), no one in Russia can serve as president three times in a row. But you can be president as many times as you want, as long as it’s not more than twice in a row, per the Constitution of Russia. In a more practical sense, Putin has created a network of oligarchs allied to him, and insures that the wealth of the state is funneled their way.
Interestingly, many of Putin’s foes seem to wind up dead. Whether poisoned, shot in the back, beaten to death in police custody or found with a noose around their neck, a number of journalists, attorneys, former friends and activists critical of Putin will never make it to age 65. Putin’s government consistently denies knowledge of the incidents.
After his work in East Germany with the KGB, Lenin returned to his old stomping grounds and birthplace, Leningrad. In June of 1990 he was employed in the International Affairs section of Leningrad State University, and a year later he was appointed head of the international committee of the Saint Petersburg mayor’s office, where his job was to promote international relations and foreign investments, still under the umbrella of the spy agency.
Putin came to Moscow in 1996, where he served in a variety of positions in the government of Boris Yeltsin. He headed the FSB (a modern version of the KGB) from 1998 to 1999, and then became Secretary of the Security Council before serving as Prime Minister.
Most recently, Putin has been connected with the Russian bombing of Syrian hospitals. Another notable feature are state photos of the bare-chested commander on vacation. He’s a member of the Russian Orthodox Church, and has two daughters from a previous marriage.
October 7 – Ludmilla Tourischeva
You couldn’t watch gymnastics in the late 60’s and early 70’s without seeing Ludmilla Tourischeva, the pride of the Soviet Union. She won the gold medal at the 1968 Summer Olympics just after turning 16. Two years later, she became the leader of the Soviet team and dominated almost every major international competition from 1970 to 1974.
Tourischeva won the World Championships all-around in 1970 and 1974, and the European Championships in 1971 and 1973. She also brought home the all-around gold medal at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, but at age 20 she couldn’t compete with her up-and-coming teammate, Olga Korbut, for popularity.
Already old for a gymnast at nearly 23, Tourischeva placed third in the 1975 European Championships but rebounded to sweep the World Cup later that year. Struggling to recover from a back injury, Tourischeva competed in her third and final Olympics in 1976 in Montreal. The veteran led the Soviets to a team gold, winning silver medals on vault and floor exercise in the event finals.
Tourischeva was known for both her calm demeanor and extreme focus. She “never had the cheek of some of her rivals,” wrote British journalist David Hunn, “but for serenity, she was supreme.”
This was proven when a broken hook holding the support cables for the uneven bars caused them to fall apart and hit the ground just as the gymnast landed her dismount at the 1975 World Cup finals. Saluting the judges, Tourischeva didn’t even turn around as she exited the podium. She went on to win the all-around and all four event finals.
Many years later, she said the only thing she was thinking at the time was she had to stick her landing. “Ludmilla would fight to the death in any situation,” said her coach, Rastorotsky.
The gymnast displayed a large measure of grace as well as grit. At the 1976 Olympics, Tourischeva walked around the winners’ podium to congratulate Romanian rival Nadia Comaneci before accepting her own medal.
In 1977, Tourischeva married Olympic sprinter Valeriy Borzov. She became a coach and international gymnastics judge, as well as an official of the Ukrainian gymnastics federation. In 1998, she was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
October 9 – Sharon Osbourne
With homes in London and Malibu, Sharon Osbourne is doing well. The former Sharon Rachel Levy has made a name for herself as an English television host, media personality, television talent competition judge, author, music manager, modern impresario, businesswoman and promoter. Oh, and she’s also the wife of heavy metal (and heavily tattooed) singer-songwriter Ozzy Osbourne.
Fans shot her into prominence after seeing her in The Osbournes. Among the first reality shows that featured a famous family, it often captured one of their dogs peeing and pooping on rugs, carpets, or pretty much anywhere in their house. The honesty of the show won Osbourne fans, and she parlayed her fame into stints judging television talent shows such as America’s Got Talent, where she doled out opinions from 2007 to 2012.
Osbourne is credited with reviving her husband’s career by founding the summer Ozzfest tour. She’s also a co-host of the daytime series The Talk, and she does the occasional spot on the British Loose Women, where she discusses relevant issues ranging from politics to current affairs, and even celebrity gossip.
All that work has made her a rich woman. Her net worth is estimated at $220 million.
Osbourne’s fabulous good looks aren’t due to daily facials and a weekly massage. She’s been open about the numerous plastic surgeries in her past because she has said she didn’t want other women to have unrealistic ideas about their own appearance. But she’s vowed not to have any more procedures. “There’s only so much the human body can take!” she says.
October 13 – Michael Richard Clifford
“Rich” Clifford is a retired United States Army officer and NASA astronaut with more than 3,400 flying hours under his belt. Clifford graduated from West Point in 1974 and served a tour of duty in Fort Carson, Colorado. He graduated at the top of his class at the U.S. Army Aviation School two years later. In 1982, he completed a Master of Science degree from Georgia Tech and returned to West Point as an instructor.
In 1986, Clifford graduated from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and earned his experimental test pilot designation. He retired from the U.S. Army in 1995 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
In 1994, Clifford was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, but only his commander knew about it. The diagnosis was the reason that Clifford quit the space program two years later, uncertain how fast his case would progress. His struggle with the disease was detailed in a documentary, An Astronaut’s Secret.
Clifford began work at the Johnson Space Center in 1987 as a space shuttle vehicle integration engineer. His flights as an astronaut included a 1992 launch of the space shuttle Discovery, the 1994 launch of the space shuttle Endeavour, and a mission to Russian space station Mir aboard the space shuttle Atlantis. Clifford performed a spacewalk more than six hours long to mount experiment packages on the Mir docking module.
Clifford left NASA in January 1997 to accept the position of Space Station Flight Operations Manager for Boeing's Defense and Space Group.
October 22 – Jeff Goldblum
Who hasn’t seen The Big Chill? The 1983 social satire and Boomer nostalgia flick is where many children of the 50’s were introduced to Jeff Goldblum, an American actor whose work includes such classics as Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Independence Day, and The Fly.
Nominated for an Oscar, an Emmy, a Genie and a Drama Desk Award, Goldblum’s career has thrived. His more recent films include:
The Tall Guy (1989), Deep Cover (1992), Powder (1995), The Prince of Egypt (1998), Cats & Dogs (2001), Igby Goes Down (2002), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), Adam Resurrected (2008), Le Week-End (2013) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). He has been cast as Grandmaster in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Thor: Ragnarok. He also starred in several TV series including the eighth and ninth seasons of Law & Order: Criminal Intent as Zack Nichols.
Goldblum’s first marriage was to Patricia Gaul, his co-star in Silverado. Their union lasted from 1980 to 1986. In 1987, he tied the knot with actress Geena Davis. In three years together, they headlined Transylvania 6-5000, The Fly and Earth Girls Are Easy.
Goldblum spent the next 24 years as a single man. In 2014 he became engaged to Canadian Olympic gymnast Emilie Livingston, 30 years his junior. Their first son, Charlie Ocean, was born on the 4th of July in 2015. A second child, River Joe, came into the world on April 7, 2017.
“Here are 10 critics of Vladimir Putin who died violently or in suspicious ways,” The Washington Post.
“Bare-chested Putin photos released by Russian state media,” The Washington Post.
“East Aleppo’s last hospital destroyed by airstrikes,” The Guardian.
FAMOUS & 65 is a featured article in the Senior Spirit newsletter.
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