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Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Famous & 65

Look who's turning 65 this month

Find out which celebrities are turning 65 this month!

Image Source: Wikipedia

April 12 - Vince Gill, country singer

Not only does Vince Gill have a great tenor voice, but he can play guitar, bass, mandolin, Dobro guitar, and fiddle. Gill is currently a member of the Eagles, but he may be best known for his solo career and time with country rock band Pure Prairie League. He’s landed more than 40 singles on the US Billboard charts and sold over 26 million albums during his career. The crooner has won 22 Grammy Awards, which puts him ahead of every other male country music artist.

Vince Gill became a household name when he signed with MCA Records and put out several top-selling albums, including When I Call Your Name, Pocket Full of Gold, and I Still Believe In You. The success of these albums and collaborations with artists like Carrie Underwood earned Gill the Irving Waugh award for excellence in country music at the 48th annual CMA Awards. Pretty impressive when you consider that the only other performer deemed worthy of its prestige was the legendary Johnny Cash. 

Gill’s the kind of guy who can be counted on in a pinch. When LeAnn Rimes canceled the day before she was booked to perform for the opening night at the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center, Gill answered the call and drove up from Nashville with nothing but his guitar. The audience was so grateful that he got repeated standing ovations.

Gill was 11 when his half brother was in a severe car wreck that left him in a coma for three months and with severe brain damage. After years of struggles related to his injury, he died in 1993 and Gill penned the song, “It Won’t Be the Same This Year” in his memory. Currently, Gill is married to longtime love and Christian music artist Amy Grant, with whom he has a daughter, Corrina.

Image Source: Wikipedia

April 15 - Evelyn Ashford, Olympic runner

One of the telling signs of an exceptional athlete is their ability to win year after year after year. Such is the case with track and field competitor Evelyn Ashford, who overcame injuries for a career that spanned a decade and left her with nine Olympic gold medals and one silver. She was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1997 as one of the greatest runners of all time. 

After competing in the 1976 Summer Olympics and placing fifth in the 100 meter event, Ashford won the initial Broderick Award (now known as the Honda Sports Award) as the best female college track and field athlete in the country. In 1979 and 1981, she was ranked No. 1 in the world by Track & Field News for the 100 meter event and again in 1981 for the 200 meter distance. In both 1981 and 1984, Ashford was dubbed “Athlete of the Year” by the same publication.

Ashford still holds the No. 8 individual fastest 100 meter time of 10.76 seconds, which she achieved in 1984. Chosen to be the flag bearer at the 1988 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony, Ashford was beat in her signature race by Florence Griffith Joyner. The pair ran the last two legs of the Olympic 4 x100 meter relay and brought home the gold.

Four years later, Ashford competed in her final Olympics, winning her third straight gold on the women’s 4 x 100 meter relay. Oh, and did we mention that she took time out in 1985 to have her daughter, Raina Ashley Washington? Ashford is truly a track and field legend.


Image Source: Wikipedia

April 21 - Edward Leslie (aka Brutus Beefcake), professional wrestler

You may not find Leslie by searching for his given name, but type in Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake and you’ll find this man of many aliases. Leslie performed both for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and later for World Championship Wrestling (WCW).

Leslie held nine titles during a career that lasted from 1977 to 2000 with a sprinkling of celebrity bouts in later years. His accolades include World Tag Team Champion and headliner at the Starrcade 1994 pay-per-view in a match against WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan, who inducted Leslie into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2019.

Leslie became “Brutus Beefcake” in 1984, appearing as a vain character who wore crazy outfits. The moniker “The Barber” came from a stunt Leslie used from 1987 to 1990 when he would hop in the ring with a pair of grass cutters (or sometimes an electric shaver) to shear off the locks of his vanquished foes, tossing the hair into the air to play up to his fans.

In July of 1990, Leslie suffered a horrible parasailing accident that left him with 100 feet of wire and 32 screws holding his face together. He had to bow out of wrestling for nearly two years, and he played a masked character when he first returned. He then hosted an interview short on WWF Prime Time Wrestling called “The Barber Shop.” Leslie finally returned to the ring in early 1993. 

Image Source: Wikipedia

April 29 - Daniel Day-Lewis, actor

The only actor to ever receive three Academy Awards for Best Actor, Daniel Day-Lewis also received a knighthood in 2014 for services to drama. The recipient of a slew of other acting awards, it is remarkable that Day-Lewis could accomplish all this while sometimes taking years off between roles. He has only accepted six film appearances since 1998, and he retired in 2017.

The former actor is renowned for plunging into character for the duration of each of his roles. When he played a man with cerebral palsy who could only control one foot in My Left Foot, he insisted on using the wheelchair continuously while on set, and crew members, who were required to spoon-feed him, would curse at having to lift him over cables. For his lead role in The Last of the Mohicans, Day-Lewis lived off the land, inhabiting the forest and learning to camp, hunt, and fish, keeping his long-rifle on hand throughout filming. He also expanded on his love of woodworking by learning how to make a wooden canoe.

Tapped to play Abraham Lincoln in the film Lincoln, Day-Lewis requested and received a year to prepare for the role before filming. During that time, he read more than 100 books about the famous president. The London native also told crew members from the UK not to speak with him during filming so he could focus on speaking only with an American accent. 

Married since 1996, Day-Lewis and playwright Arthur Miller’s daughter, Rebecca, have two sons together. Day-Lewis is famously protective of his and his family’s privacy. He rarely grants interviews and seldom appears in public. Although he “loves London very much,” he splits his time between homes in Ireland and Manhattan.


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