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Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Famous & 65

Look who's turning 65 this month

Find out which celebrities are turning 65 this month!

Image Source: Wikipedia

May 3  Sandi Toksvig, comedian and presenter 

A Danish-born Brit, Sandi Toksvig is known to Americans largely for her stint as a presenter on mega-hit The Great British Baking Show. What you probably never knew is her slew of other achievements, including writing musicals, plays, and more than 20 fiction and nonfiction books for children and adults. 

A political activist for women’s rights, Toksvig co-founded the British Women’s Equality Party in 2015. She also hosted the BBC quiz show QI after appearing as a guest many times, and hosted The News Quiz, also on BBC, for 10 years. No intellectual slouch, the comedian attended Girton College at Cambridge where she read law, archaeology, and anthropology, receiving two esteemed prizes. 

Toksvig braved criticism and was dropped as a spokesperson for Save the Children in 1994 after she came out as gay, although the charity later apologized. She has fought against sexual harassment at the BBC and revealed that she was only being paid 40% of that of her male predecessor as host of QI, saying it was “absurd”. Toksvig continues working while living on a houseboat in England.

Image Source: Wikipedia

May 20  Ronald Prescott Reagan Jr., TV host and presidential son 

Unlike his conservative father, Ron Reagan Jr. is an outspoken liberal (although not a Democrat) who has had stints as a political commentator and broadcaster. It was clear from the time he was 12 and refused to attend church services anymore that Reagan marched to his own drummer. He was expelled from The Webb School of California because the administration “thought I was a bad influence on other kids.”

He dropped out of Yale after only one semester to pursue his dream career and joined the Joffrey II Dancers ballet troupe. Time reported in 1980 that his parents “have not managed to see a single ballet performance of their son, who is clearly very good, having been selected to the Joffrey second company, and is their son nonetheless. Ron talks of his parents with much affection. But these absences are strange and go back a ways.” When his dad finally did make it to a show in May of 1981, he recorded in his diary that Ron was “darnn good.” The younger Reagan was 22 and married when his father moved into the White House. He never lived there and dismissed his protective detail from the Secret Service after 18 months. 

Reagan hosted talk show The Ron Reagan Show, served on the Creative Coalition, and advocates for the arts, public education and first amendment rights. He supported embryonic cell research in 2004, which he believed would lead to new treatment for Alzheimer’s, the disease that killed his father. His views were echoed by his mother, Nancy Reagan. He wrote My Father at 100: A Memoir. 

Reagan’s first wife died from neuromuscular disease after 34 years of marriage. He remarried and the couple lives in Seattle.

Image Source: Wikipedia

May 23  Drew Carey, actor and comedian 

Sure, you know Drew Carey from The Drew Carey Show and Whose Line Is It Anyway?, but did you know that the actor served six years in the US Marine Corps as a field radio operator right after leaving Kent State University, where he was twice expelled for bad grades?

Carey began his career, like so many before and after, as a stand-up comedian after reading a book on how to tell jokes. Six years later, he was a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and the rest is history. Carey appeared in every episode of The Drew Carey Show, starting at $60,000 per episode and finishing at a cool $750,000. Not bad for a kid who didn’t finish college.

Carey started hosting game shows in 2007 with The Price Is Right. On replacing longtime host Bob Barker, Carey said, “You can't replace Bob Barker. I don't compare myself to anybody... It's only about what you're doing and supposed to do, and I feel like I'm supposed to be doing this.” Carey retained animal activist Barker’s closing comments about spaying and neutering pets. 

Image Source: Wikipedia

May 23  Mitch Albom, writer

If you haven’t read a book by Mitch Albom, you don’t know what you’re missing. An award-winning sports journalist, Albom hit it out of the park when he penned Tuesdays with Morrie, a memoir centered on conversations he had with his dying former professor. The book spent several years on The New York Times bestseller list.

It was followed with The Five People You Meet in Heaven, which was turned into the most-watched TV movie of 2004. For One More Day garnered fame as the first book sold by Starbuck’s Book Break program and was also a New York Times bestseller. Read any of these to gain insight into what is meaningful in life, something we are all too prone to pass by in our busy lives. Albom’s books (there are several more) could be a starting point for examining the last chapter of our lives, retirement, and what we want to achieve. 

Image Source: Wikipedia

May 29  Annette Bening, actress

Annette Bening has won two Golden Globe Awards and been nominated for a pair of Tony Awards and four Academy Awards. Not bad for a kid from Topeka, Kansas. You may remember her roles in The Grifters, American Beauty, Being Julia and The Kids Are All Right

Bening’s career began in junior high when she starred in The Sound of Music. After high school, she took a gap year as a cook on a charter boat in the Pacific. She continued acting in stage productions, starting in Colorado, then moved on to films in 1990. Bening has been married to icon Warren Beatty since March 1992. They have four children.



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