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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Famous & 65

Look who's turning 65 this month

Find out which celebrities are turning 65 this month!

Image Source: Wikipedia

December 6 - Andrew Cuomo, politician and governor of New York

Born into a political family, Cuomo’s father was a three-term governor of New York, and his first wife was a member of the famous Kennedy clan. Andrew Cuomo became an attorney and was campaign manager for his father’s 1982 gubernatorial run before working as an assistant New York City district attorney. He ran for governor in 2002 but failed to win the primary before succeeding in getting elected in 2010. 

A Democrat, Cuomo signed the Marriage Equality Act for same-sex marriage, the Compassionate Care Act to legalize marijuana for medical use, and oversaw a slew of infrastructure improvements, including the reconstruction of LaGuardia airport. He also signed a restive gun control act after the devastating shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. Cuomo expanded Medicaid, lowered taxes on the middle class, and instituted 12-week paid family leave. 

He was riding high for his adept handling of the COVID-19 crisis until it was discovered that his administration had withheld information regarding the number of deaths among nursing home residents. Late in 2020, he faced allegations of sexual harassment amid the MeToo movement which eventually led to President Biden requesting his resignation. 

Cuomo may not be done with public office. In his initial public appearance after his resignation, he hinted at a comeback after lamenting his fall from grace. "The press roasted me, my colleagues were ridiculed, my brother was fired,” he declared. “It was ugly. It was probably the toughest time of my life." But in a church setting he also stated, "Contrary to what my political opponents would have you believe, nothing I did violated the law or the regulation."

Image Source: Wikipedia

December 9 - Donny Osmond, singer

Remember Tiger Beat magazine? Donny Osmond was one of its top “cover boys” back in the early 1970s after his first solo hit, “Sweet and Innocent,” hit No. 7 in the US. As one of the Osmond Brothers, a family with a genetic inclination toward great teeth and hair, he burst into stardom at age five singing “You Are My Sunshine” on The Andy Williams Show along with his male siblings.

A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Osmond always had a squeaky-clean image. It served him well early on when his major appeal was to younger viewers, but for his solo career in the 1980s he needed to appeal to a more adult audience to improve his “unhip image.” A publicist famously suggested that his best move would be to get arrested for drug possession on purpose, but that didn’t prove necessary as Osmond gradually improved his pop persona and went No. 2 on the charts with “Soldier of Love” in 1989.

Osmond paired up with sister Marie from 1976 to 1979 for a popular variety series called Donny & Marie. The pair scored with a string of top ten hits and gold albums, then reprised their television partnership with a syndicated talk show in the late 1990s. They also headlined at the Flamingo Las Vegas in an 11-year run from 2008 to 2019. 

No bio of Osmond would be complete without mentioning his winning ways on Season 9 of Dancing with the Stars, or his runner-up status on the initial season of The Masked Singer. The star has done a multitude of other projects, including a Broadway run in the 1990s in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Osmond is married to his first and only wife, with five sons and 13 grandchildren.

Image Source: Wikipedia

December 21 - Ray Romano, actor

A standup comedian and screenwriter as well as an actor, Ray Romano will always be best known for his starring role as Ray Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond. The series made him a household name (and earned the actor several Emmy Awards), and it also made him rich. In 2004 Romano became the highest-paid television actor ever, and the show had the highest-grossing revenue of $3.9 billion. 

Romano began his career on the comedy circuit, culminating with an appearance on CBSs’ Late Show with David Letterman. Romano also performed the opening monologue for the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in 1998. He was a creator and star of the TNT comedy drama Men of a Certain Age and was often seen portraying Hank Rizzoli in Parenthood.

If you want a real-life look at the actor, check out the documentary film 95 Miles to Go. Released in 2010, it follows Raymond on a road trip across the southern US.


Image Source: Wikipedia

December 30 - Matt Lauer, TV host and newsman

Before his dethroning over allegations of sexual abuse, Matt Lauer was the quintessential American news broadcast interviewer and host. He not only anchored the news and then hosted The Today Show, but he was co-host of Today for 20 years. Adding to his aura of respectability and apple-pie American, Lauer hosted the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and shared hosting duties for several Olympics opening ceremonies. 

Lauer got his career start on the East Coast with talk programs and informational shows. He began gaining national prominence in the 1980s and wound up in New York City in 1989 to host 9 Broadcast Plaza. The show, a series of 3-hour live interviews, honed his skills and eventually led to him joining NBC in 1992. Lauer interviewed a wide variety of celebrities and elite power players from British princes to American presidents, as well as commenting on world events. His 2016 contract reportedly guaranteed him a salary of $20 million per year.

Everything changed in November of 2017 when Lauer was accused of inappropriate conduct. The network cited a report involving “a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace” that they had “reason to believe” was not an isolated incident. Lauer was fired immediately. He later admitted that "some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed.”


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