Look Who’s Turning 65
April 1 – Barry Sonnenfield
Would you believe the famous director and producer of such films as “Get Shorty” and “Raising Arizona” started out working on, ahem, “adult” films? True! Sonnenfield was born in New York City, got his undergraduate degree from Hampshire College, then snagged another degree from the famous New York University Film School in 1978. Still, he had to rack up hours working C films before hitting the big time in 1982, when he got the director of photography gig on the Oscar-nominated movie In Our Water.
From there, he went on to contribute to such films as When Harry Met Sally (1989), Misery (1990), and then The Addams Family group of films. Sonnenfield’s specialty was using unusual camera angles and offbeat dialogue to reflect stories about odd people, after Tim Burton and the Coen Brothers.
Sonnenfield directed Men In Black (1997), a huge commercial success which led to a pair of sequels. The director merited an Oscar in 2008 for Pushing Daisies. He lives with his wife and daughter, Chloe, in his hometown.
April 14 – David Buss
Want to find out if the guy next door is interested in a long-term relationship or just a fling? Show him a photo of a woman with her face and torso covered up, then ask if he’d rather see the body or the head. If he chooses the head, he’s a keeper. But if he picks the body, he’s much more likely to want a one night stand.
That’s according to the research done by David Buss, evolutionary psychologist and expert on sex differences in mate selection. Buss earned a PhD in psychology at the liberal bastion of University of California, Berkeley in 1981. After professorships at Harvard and the University of Michigan, he settled into a position at the University of Texas at Austin.
Another interest involves looking at homicide from an evolutionary perspective, leading to his book The Murderer Next Door. More recently, he penned Why Women Have Sex with Cindy Meston, which we might assume is quite a popular read on campus. Further works include The Dangerous Passion: Why Jealousy Is As Necessary As Love and Sex (2000), and 2009’s Why Women Have Sex: Understanding Sexual Motivations from Adventure to Revenge.
April 27 – Ellen Shulman Baker
American Doctor and Astronaut
This high achiever followed both her parents to NASA, joining as a medical officer in 1981. Baker was selected to be an astronaut in May 1984, and was certified by June 1985.
Her first mission was aboard Atlantis in October 1989, when the crew deployed the Galileo probe to Jupiter and conducted numerous scientific and medical experiments during the 1.8 million mile flight through space.
In June and July 1992, Baker joined the crew on board Columbia, where the crew conducted experiments involving crystal growth, fluid physics, biological science and fluid dynamics. The two-week flight included 221 orbits of the Earth, traveling 5.7 million miles.
Baker’s final journey as an astronaut took her aboard space shuttle Atlantis once again three years later. It was the first mission to dock with the Russian space station Mir, completed after the shuttle had been modified to carry a compatible docking system. A Spacelab module in the payload bay enabled the crew to again perform a variety of life sciences experiments during the 4.1 million mile flight.
April 30 – Merrill Osmond
You might not recognize his first name, but take a look at his surname and you can’t help but think of Donny and Marie. What you probably don’t know is that Merrill, the fifth of nine children in the Osmond family, was the lead or co-lead singer on nearly every Osmond song. He also co-wrote (with brother Alan) many of them.
When Donny started to focus on a solo career in the late 70s, Merrill shifted into country music with his other brothers. The new group recorded several hits in the 1980s. In 1987 Merrill performed a hit of his own, a duet with session singer Jessica Boucher titled, “You’re Here to Remember (I’m Here to Forget).
What many people are also unaware of is that two of the original Osmond brood, Merrill’s older brothers Virl and Tom, are deaf. One of Merrill’s four sons, Justin, is also deaf. Justin launched the Olive Osmond (Merrill’s mother’s name) Perpetual Hearing Fund in 2010 and works with a variety of charitable organizations.
FAMOUS & 65 is a featured article in the Senior Spirit newsletter.
Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors