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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Famous & 65

Look who's turning 65 this month

Find out which celebrities are turning 65 this month!

Image Source: Wikipedia

February 16 - Ice-T [Tracy Marrow], rapper and actor

Rapper, songwriter, actor, and producer Ice-T was in the third grade when his mother died of a heart attack. His father raised him for the next four years until he, too, had a heart attack and died. Marrow was shuttled off to an aunt and shared a bedroom with her son who was an avid fan of rock music, sparking an interest in heavy metal music in the thirteen-year-old.

As a high schooler, Marrow stayed away from alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. He started memorizing passages from books by an author named Iceberg Slim, and he’d recite them at school to the delight of his friends. They’d say, “Yo, kick some more of that by Ice, T,” which was the inspiration for his moniker. 

The next stage of his life was marked by cannabis sales, theft, and pimping before he began learning how to use a turntable and rap. But he simultaneously began a career as a bank robber, only avoiding prison time later because the statute of limitations had run out. However, Ice-T admonished young people that "street credibility has nothing to do with going to jail, it has everything to do with staying out.”

Ice-T began recording in earnest in 1983, starting with hip-hop before moving on to rapping in later songs, and particularly gangsta rap in his 1991 album, O.G. Original Gangster, which helped define the genre. A plethora of successful music followed, intertwined with acting stints that included a role as drug dealer Danny Court on the TV show New York Undercover which earned him the 1996 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. 

With successes too numerous to detail here, Ice-T influenced acts from the Beastie Boys to Run-DMC. He is married to Nicole “Coco” Austin, with whom he has a daughter. He’s an expert at Brazilian jiu-jitsu and lives in New Jersey.

Image Source: Wikipedia

February 16 - Lisa Loring, actress 

You likely remember Lisa Loring as the child star who played Wednesday in the original 1964-66 sitcom, The Addams Family. She was also on the CBS soap opera As the World Turns as Cricket Montgomery in the early 80s, followed by roles in the slasher films Blood Frenzy and Iced

In common with many child actors, Loring’s personal life has been rocky. Her parents divorced after she was born, and she was raised by her mother, who died from alcoholism when she was just 34. Loring married at the incredibly young age of 15 and had a daughter, but the union only lasted a year. Three more marriages followed, the last one ending in 2014. 

The Addams Family franchise has perhaps fared a bit better. Originally a cartoon in The New Yorker, it’s been made into a film twice, most recently in 2019.

Image Source: Wikipedia

February 21 - Mary Chapin Carpenter, country-pop singer-songwriter

Born in New Jersey to a singer-songwriter mom, Mary-Chapin Carpenter moved to Tokyo for two years when she was 12 and her father was tasked with starting up an Asian edition of Life magazine. She got a degree in American civilization from Brown University, at the same time performing in local, Washington D.C. venues. 

Starting with cover songs, she quickly progressed to using her own material and soon signed on with Columbia. Her most vaunted album was the quadruple-platinum Come On Come On released in 1992. It produced seven singles, including “I Feel Lucky,” “The Hard Way,” “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her” and “I Take My Chances,” among others. In 1994, Carpenter released “Shut Up and Kiss Me” that became her only song to top the Hot Country Songs.

Carpenter’s career has lasted through Covid, when she streamed acoustic presentations online for her fans and received a Grammy nomination, her 18th, for an album of acoustic songs performed without an audience called “One Night Only.” Her current tour features material from her 2020 album The Dirt and the Stars.

Image Source: Wikipedia

February 26 - Susan J. Helms, retired astronaut

Americans can be extremely proud of Susan J. Helms, retired NASA astronaut and United States Air Force lieutenant general. Before leaving working life in 2014, Helms crewed four Space Shuttle missions and lived on the International Space Station for more than five months. In 2001, she and fellow astronaut Jim Voss set a record for the world’s longest spacewalk at eight hours and 56 minutes.

Helms has held a slew of top-level positions including commander, Joint Functional Component Command for Space at Vandenberg Air Force Base. She was recently voted into the National Academy of Engineering pursuant to her accomplishments in both civil and military space programs.

She can also lay claim to Top Gun status, having flight tested 30 different types of military aircraft over her long career. Her shuttle missions included Endeavour, Discovery, Columbia, and Atlantis. She was a member of the Return to Flight task group following the tragic Columbia accident. 


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