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Monday, May 18, 2020

Famous and 65

Look who's turning 65 this month

Find out which celebrities are turning 65 this month!

Image Source: Wikipedia

May 2 - Donatella Versace, fashion designer

The dyed blonde hair, the face that has been snipped and stitched a time or two: haute couture maven Versace is instantly recognizable in any photo, usually standing next to young models sporting her iconic brand. The fashion icon was born in Italy to a salesman father and a seamstress mother - great prep for a life in the fashion industry. 

Her older brother Gianni was the first to study knitwear design. Donatella thought she could help with public relations, but she wound up serving as his “muse and critic” (her words). It was a good partnership; Gianni promoted a perfume created in her honor, Blonde, and bestowed her with her own label, Versus

Giani died in 1997 (he was famously murdered), and a year later found his sister continuing his custom of mounting the runway over the pool at their haute couture show in the Hotel Ritz Paris. Her collection was well received, and she proved a PR powerhouse as she brought in names such as Madonna, Lady Gaga and Jennifer Love to promote her line. Her fame popped with the design of Jennifer Lopez’ green “jungle dress” for the 2000 Grammy Awards. 

Versace has kicked a heavy smoking and drug habit from the mid-nineties and has made multiple cameo appearances as herself. If imitation is the best form of flattery, Versace has a bevy of sycophants. She is still active on the social scene.

Image Source: Google

May 16 - Debra Winger, actress

You’ll remember Winger from her roles in An Officer and a Gentleman, Terms of Endearment and other iconic film roles. Today, you can catch her on Netflix in The Ranch. Hard to believe she started life as an Orthodox Jew in Ohio. Her decision to become an actor was made in the long hours she spent in a hospital bed recovering from a fearsome auto accident that left her blind and partially paralyzed for nearly a year. 

Winger took the traditional route and moved to L.A. Her role in Urban Cowboy opposite John Travolta in 1980 propelled her to fame. But by 1995 Winger was tired of show biz. “I wanted out for years. I got sick of hearing myself say I wanted to quit,” she remembers. “ It’s like opening an interview with ‘I hate interviews!’” 

She returned six years later to star in a film written by her husband, and also to begin producing films. Winger has diverged from film for projects such as a television musical performance that benefitted the Children’s Defense Fund. Winger is currently married to actor/director Arliss Howard.

Image Source: Wikipedia

May 16 - Olga Korbut, Soviet gymnast

The 4’ 11” “Sparrow from Minsk” revolutionized women’s gymnastics with her performance at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games. Previously a somewhat staid sport with an emphasis on ballet and precision, the tiny17-year-old showed off riskier feats of daring that required a honed athleticism not previously seen. 

Korbut’s charm played a role in catapulting the sport into one of the most popular at the Games. She started training at age 8, and quickly moved to a Belarusian sports school at the age of 9 to concentrate on the sport. Her coach there found her “lazy and capricious” at times, but with a supple spine and charisma to flare. 

A favorite for the all-around after wowing crowds at the Munich Olympics, Korbut lost to teammate Ludmilla Tourischeva after missing her mount on the uneven bars three times. Nevertheless, she became ABC’s Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year. Four years later at the Montreal Summer Olympics, Korbut was tapped to best Romanian prodigy Nadia Comaneci, but she was injured and didn’t perform well.

Today, Korbut lives in Scottsdale Arizona, where she teaches private pupils and does motivational speaking. 

Image Source: Wikipedia

May 24 - Rosanne Cash, Country singer

The oldest daughter of country music legend Johnny Cash, Rosanne draws on a variety of genres for her writing, recording, and performing career. She has been a prolific artist with 11 No. 1 country hit singles and a multitude of Top 40 hits. She also transitioned into a writing career, with three books and essays published in The New York Times and Rolling Stone to her credit.

You may remember her album The River & the Thread, which won three Grammys in 2015. Born in Memphis, her family moved to California just a few years before her mother and Cash divorced. Raised by her mom, Cash toured with her father’s road show for a couple of years after high school before studying at Vanderbilt. 

Cash got a contract with Columbia Records in 1978 and released Right or Wrong in 1980. It produced three Top 25 singles, including No Memories Hangin’ Around. Cash has been a huge commercial success while managing to raise a family. In 1990, she released a “brutally dark take on intimate relationships” with the immensely personal Interiors. A year later, she moved to New York City and divorced. 

Cash remarried, became pregnant, and found out she had a polyp on her vocal cords. Since she couldn’t sing, she wrote a children’s book, Penelope Jane: A Fairy’s Tale. Cash had brain surgery in 2007 and has since fully recovered. She supports a range of charitable organizations, and is often a guest teacher at several institutions, including New York University.