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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Famous and 65

Look who's turning 65 this month

Find out which celebrities are turning 65 this month!

Image Source: Wikipedia

January 1 - Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank

Lagarde’s career trajectory is legendary, having served as chair of an international law firm, then French minister three times, including as the first woman finance minister of a G8 economy, and then the first female head of both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and currently the European Central Bank. 

Lagarde was born to a family of teachers, and spent a year in the U.S. as an intern at the Capitol before returning to Paris to earn not one, not two, but three master’s degrees in English, labor law and social law, as well as a fourth master’s in political studies from a prestigious university in southern France. As trade minister, she worked to open international markets.

Lagarde chaired the IMF from 2011 to 2016, at the height of the debt crisis. Although she started off staunchly pro-austerity for Greece, by 2015 she called for an enormous debt relief package to save the country from ruin. As ECB president, she is upholding an accommodative policy and believes the institution has a part to play in combatting climate change.

Image Source: Wikipedia

January 3 - Mel Gibson, actor

Gibson is a native New Yorker, but after his father (who was the heir to a tobacco fortune) was awarded $145,000 for an on-the-job injury, the family moved to his grandmother’s native Australia, in part to shield his older brother from being drafted into the Vietnam War. 

Early on, the young actor made a big splash with film critics, as Vincent Canby wrote “Mr. Gibson recalls the young Steve McQueen …. I can’t define ‘star quality,’ but whatever it is, Mr. Gibson has it.” Roles in Mad Max, Galipoli and Lethal Weapon put Gibson’s name at the top of the marquee in the 80s and 90s, and by the 90s he had tried his hand at directing and producing, including on the megahit Braveheart and 2002’s The Passion of the Christ, which became the highest-grossing R-rated film ever made. Gibson also holds the distinction of being the first to be dubbed “Sexiest Man Alive” by People, in 1985.

With no shortage of parts, Gibson worked nonstop on the big screen and in stage roles, occasionally taking off long periods to live on his Australian cattle station (ranch). In 2000, he earned a record $25 million to appear in The Patriot, and was wildly popular with the public when, in 2002, he announced he had tired of stardom and would only act in films he considered extraordinary. 

Image Source: Wikipedia

January 20 - Bill Maher, comedian

In 2010, Bill Maher got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His career is still going strong as he hosts Real Time with Bill Maher, a staple political talk show since 2003. You may also remember him on late-night show Politically Incorrect, or even from earlier years at Comedy Central

The man makes his living by expressing his opinions, and he is anything but subtle. Maher thrives on sociopolitical commentary, often targeting religion, political correctness, and cannabis. In 2008 he made a documentary called Religulous, and before the advent of COVID-19, spent considerable time hosting live shows throughout the country. 

As for politics, Maher eschews traditional labels and instead calls himself “practical.” However, his adherents come largely from the left side of the aisle. He supports Medicare for all, legalizing marijuana, and is an environmentalist. Maher’s willingness to cross traditional party boundaries is part of his appeal. He is a gun owner who slams the Second Amendment, and is pro death penalty while championing People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. 

Image Source: Wikipedia

January 31 - John Lydon (Johnny Rotten), singer

Although Lydon would become famous as a singer in the punk band The Sex Pistols, his childhood was anything but promising. Growing up as the son of impoverished Irish immigrants and the eldest of four brothers, Lydon was often called upon to watch over his siblings during his mother’s numerous bouts of illness (she died when he was 22). He was “very shy” and nervous, and he hated school, where he would get caned as punishment. 

When he was seven years old, he got spinal meningitis and spent a year in the hospital, where he endured periods of coma, hallucinations, and memory loss. Treatment involved removing fluid out of his spinal cord, which resulted in a permanent curvature of his spinal column. This experience was “the first step that put me on the road to Rotten,” he said. 

Rebelling against his oft-absent father, he dyed his hair bright green at 15 and was kicked out of a school after an altercation with a teacher. He went back to school on and off and worked a variety of jobs, when he impressed band members searching for a singer with his ragged look and unique style, capturing the job as front man. In 1977, the Sex Pistols released “God Save the Queen” during the monarch’s Silver Jubilee.

There was tension in the band from the beginning. It didn’t abate when bassist Glen Matlock quit and was replaced by Lydon’s school friend, who took the stage name Sid Vicious. The band broke up, but a documentary, The Filth and the Fury, made years later lives on after several short revivals. Lydon went on to form Public Image, perhaps the first post-rock band.

A rebel throughout his life, it’s notable that Lydon has been married since 1979, and insisted on becoming legal guardian with his wife of her daughter’s twin boys, who were nearly unmanageable at the time. He said, “I suggested they came to us because I wasn't having them abandoned. They gave us hell, but I loved having kids around.”

Click below for the other articles in the January 2021 Senior Spirit

Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions


Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors