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Saturday, August 6, 2022

Famous & 65

Look who's turning 65 this month

Find out which celebrities are turning 65 this month!

Image Source: Wikipedia

August 9 - Melanie Griffith, actress and film producer

The daughter of an actress mother and child actor father, Melanie Griffith was practically predestined to become an actress herself. She was a film extra and all of 14 years old in 1973 when she met 22-year-old Don Johnson and began dating him. The pair married three years later; it lasted six months. 

Griffith’s film career had considerably greater longevity, although it was a roller coaster of ups and downs. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and won a Golden Globe for 1988’s Working Girl and garnered a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress for her work in 1992’s Shining Through. Her best work may have been in the ‘80s when she won critical acclaim for her roles in Body Double, Something Wild, and the aforementioned Working Girl.

Interestingly, Griffith appeared with her mother in 1981 in a movie, Roar, which was one of the most dangerous productions ever filmed. Directed by her then stepfather, the film’s plot features a pair of animal keepers and their daughter when the animals turn on them. Griffith was mauled by a lion and had to have facial surgery to repair the damage. If you want proof, the mauling damage is shown in the movie.

Griffith admits to having had a cocaine and liquor problem after splitting from her second husband, actor Steven Bauer, in 1989. “What I did was drink myself to sleep at night,” she said. “If I wasn’t with someone, I was an unhappy girl.” She soon reunited with Johnson and had a second go at marriage to him. This time around, it lasted seven years. She was with Antonio Banderas before the divorce was final and sustained a 19-year marriage with the actor. Griffith has three children, including actress Dakota Johnson.


Image Source: Wikipedia

August 19 - Darby Hinton, actor

Hinton and his sisters were actors from childhood, and he appeared on (hold on to your nostalgia hats!) Mister Ed, Route 66, Wagon Train, and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. But he is best known for playing Israel Boone on Daniel Boone. 

The crazy thing was that getting the role was a total fluke. His busy mom dropped him off at 20th-Century Fox and told him to go stand in line. He had a good voice, and she thought he would be great in a role for The Sound of Music, which was auditioning for the Trapp family parts. She sped off to park the car, and young Hinton got in the wrong line. He auditioned for Israel in Daniel Boone and impressed the casting department to such an extent that they changed the role to that of a younger boy so he could play the part, which he did from 1964 to 1970.

It turned out to be the perfect part. Hinton’s father had died when he was just a year old, and Fess Parker, who played Boone, took the boy under his wing and served as a father figure to the boy. 

Hinton continued acting sporadically. His last role was in 2015, as David Burnet in Texas Rising, shown on the History channel. He married twice and has four children.

Image Source: Wikipedia

August 26 - Rick Hansen, Paralympian

Some people rise above their circumstances and remind us that so much in life is our mental attitude. One such person is Canada’s Rick Hansen. He grew up in British Columbia, an outdoorsy kid who loved to fish with his father and grandfather when he wasn’t playing volleyball, baseball, softball, or basketball. When he was 15, he and a friend were riding in the bed of a pickup when the driver veered off the road and crashed. Hansen flew through the air and landed hard, sustaining a spinal injury that paralyzed him below the waist.

He wasn’t down long. Enduring rigorous rehabilitation, Hansen finished high school and went on to get a degree in Physical Education from the University of British Columbia, the first disabled person to ever do that. Then he won national championships playing on wheelchair volleyball and basketball teams. Next, he pushed himself to compete on the global stage in wheelchair marathons, winning three gold, two silver, and a bronze medal in wheelchair racing at the 1980 and 1984 Summer Paralympics. He also won 19 international wheelchair marathons (26 miles!), three of which were world championships. And he found time to coach basketball and volleyball at the local high school.

Holy smokes, Batman! Most people would rest on their laurels at that point, but not Hansen. Inspired by fellow Canadian Terry Fox, who had lost a leg to bone cancer and set out to run across Canada to raise awareness for cancer research but had to quit midway when the cancer returned, Hansen created the Man in Motion World Tour. He was going to circle the globe in his wheelchair. 

Few paid attention when he set out on March 21, 1985 in Vancouver. But he began to attract press as he continued his 26-month odyssey across four continents, averaging eight hours of wheeling every day. When he finally arrived back in Vancouver to cheering crowds of thousands of admirers, he had raised $26 million for research on spinal cords and initiatives to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.

Hansen continues the work he started, advocating for those with disabilities. He has also honored those days fishing with family members. He contributed money from his book Tale of the Great White Fish to the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society and he also donates to the Pacific Salmon Endowment Fund. Hansen and his wife of 35 years have three children.


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