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Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Famous & 65

Look who's turning 65 this month

Find out which celebrities are turning 65 this month!

Image Source: Wikipedia

February 13 - Denise Austin, fitness instructor, author

With magnificent teeth, blonde hair, and a tan that never fades, Denise Austin was made for the spotlight. This California girl started gymnastics at age 12 and wound up being nationally ranked on the balance beam (ninth). She had plenty of brains to go with that flexible body and graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a minor in exercise physiology.

She immediately began teaching fitness classes, creating a burgeoning business with videos and TV shows, writing columns and books to expand her reach. Austin was a huge success and served on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under George W. Bush during both of his terms in office. 

This savvy entrepreneur was also the initial spokesperson for the Reebok Freestyle sneaker, the first shoe created just for women. “I absolutely loved this time in my career,” she says. “I was the first spokesperson for the very first aerobic shoe.” She is also known for staying away from fad diets, preferring portion control at meals. Austin also prefers to eat butter and sugar instead of margarine and artificial sweeteners, but she uses very little of those and integrates yoga, Pilates, cross-training, and aerobic exercise into her workouts.

She married a fellow fitness buff, former tennis player Jeff Austin, brother to U.S. Open champion Tracy Austin. They have two daughters, Kelly and Katie, the latter of whom is a fitness teacher like her mom.

Image Source: Wikipedia

February 16 - LeVar Burton, actor

You may well remember LeVar Burton in his role as the young Kunta Kinte in the groundbreaking miniseries Roots, or as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation, or perhaps you or your kids have seen him on the PBS educational show Reading Rainbow, which he hosted for more than 23 years. A phenomenal actor and producer, LeVar has also taken roles in a broad range of movies, and won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album.

Burton was raised Roman Catholic and he joined the seminary with the intention of becoming a priest as a teen. He began to question his faith at 17 and turned his sights toward acting. At the still-tender age of 19, he was awarded the role on Roots that would catapult him to fame and for which he got an Emmy nomination. 

In 1983, Burton began hosting and executive producing Reading Rainbow for PBS. He and a partner successfully reimagined the show for the iPad, anticipating the massive move to online education. But Burton had yet another iconic role in Star Trek: The Next Generation, where his character is blind but obtains sight with the use of a “VISOR” worn over his eyes. In fact, his character became better known in the U.S. than that of the starship commander, played by Patrick Stewart. 

You can catch Burton on his podcast, LeVar Burton Reads, where each episode features him narrating a short story. He is married with two children and resides in Sherman Oaks, California.


Image Source: Wikipedia

February 18 - Vanna White, TV host

Who listed her Beverly Hills home in 2017 for $47.5 million? Pat Sajak’s sidekick on Wheel of Fortune, Vanna White. There’s evidently plenty of money in letter-turning! 

White was raised by a single mom and attended The Atlanta School of Fashion and Design, working as a model on the side and competing for Miss Georgia USA in 1978 before deciding to head to the West Coast to try a career in acting. She returned to her home in South Carolina shortly afterward, however, after learning that her mother was dying of ovarian cancer. 

In 1982, White began her storied tenure on the Wheel of Fortune, where she has encouraged each and every contestant, clapping an average of 606 times per show. The clapping won her a Guinness World Record certificate for most frequent clapper on May 24, 2013, when it was estimated she had clapped a minimum of 3,480,864 times! 

Another fun fact: White loves to crochet when she has downtime on the set. It’s a skill her grandmother originally taught her, and that she took up again when a pregnant hairdresser was crocheting a baby blanket. White asked if the hairdresser would refresh her memory on the art of crocheting, and she’s been making good use of her spare time ever since. Another hobby that earns the host a little more money is real estate. White invests in apartment buildings and also enjoys flipping houses.

White is married with two children who have been frequent visitors to Wheel of Fortune. Her daughter Gigi (Giovanna) has often appeared with her mom on the show. White is a Baptist and philanthropist, donating more than $1 million to St. Jude’s Research Hospital. 


Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors