"No performer should attempt to bite off red-hot iron unless he has a good set of teeth."
Happy Birthday, Harry Houdini!
Harry Houdini (March 24, 1874 – October 31, 1926) was an American magician and performer famous for his amazing escape stunts. Originally born in Budapest as Erik Weisz, he was taken to America by his parents and grew up in Wisconsin and New York City. Houdini changed his name as an homage to two performers he respected; Harry Kellar and Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin. Houdini made his public debut at the young age of nine, when he performed as a trapeze artist in New York. Over the course of his career he performed many successful, but often close, escape acts. His most famous included the Daily Mirror handcuff challenge in London, the Milk Can escape, the Chinese Water Torture Cell, the Overboard box escape and the Buried Alive stunt. Houdini was also the creator and star of several movies and was awarded a Hollywood Star. Houdini served as the President of Martinka & Co. and the Society of American Magicians and was highly respected in the world of illusion.
"I always pet a dog with my left hand because if he bit me I'd still have my right hand to paint with."
Happy Birthday, Juan Gris!
José Victoriano (Carmelo Carlos) González-Pérez (March 23, 1887 – May 11, 1927) was a Spanish painter and sculptor. Although born in Madrid, Gonzalez spent most of his life working in France. Gonzalez adopted the name Juan Gris in 1905 to try to sound more distinctive. Along with his countrymen and friends Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Fernand Léger and Pablo Picasso, he helped to create Cubism.
Happy birthday Ruth Page!
Ruth Page (22 March 1899 – 7 April 1991) was an American ballerina and choreographer who rose to international prominence after establishing herself as a formidable dancer in Chicago. She made her professional debut on Broadway and danced with Anna Pavlova in South America, then settled in Chicago as the lead dancer of the Ravinia Opera. Page founded the Chicago Opera Ballet and later opened the Ruth Page Foundation for Dance, dedicated to fostering young talent in the performing arts. It is now known as the Ruth Page Center for the Arts.
"There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself."
Happy Birthday, Johann Sebastian Bach!
Johann Sebastian Bach (March 21, 1685 – 28 July, 1750) was a German composer, organist and violinist of the Baroque period. Bach was born into a large musical family, from whom he learned much about the art form. The music of Bach is revered for its beauty, complexity and technical prowess. In the 17th Century the world still measured time under the old Julian calendar. Until the current Gregorian calender was put into effect, the birthday of Bach would have been celebrated on the 21st of March but today, would technically fall on March 31st. Bach's contributions to music made him one of the world's most legendary classical musicians.
Happy birthday Gualtiero Marchesi!
Gualtiero Marchesi (March 19, 1930) is a master of Italian cuisine and the first non-French chef ever to be awarded three Michelin stars. Marchesi gained his culinary expertise by working his way through several hotel kitchens throughout Europe, eventually opening a small hotel in Milan. His first restaurant was Via Bonvesin de la Riva in Milan, where he earned his Michelin stars. Marchesi has since opened several other restaurants and established the Euro-Toques International, the European Community of chefs. In 2011, Marchesi became the first celebrity chef to design a hamburger for McDonald's.
Happy birthday Joseph Csáky!
Joseph Csáky (March 18, 1888 – May 1, 1971) was a Hungarian artist and sculptor closely associated with the avant-garde movement, as well as the De Stijl neoplasticism movement. During World War II, he fought alongside the French and was a member of the French resistance, and later became a French citizen. Csáky also experimented in the styles of Purism and Cubism, and designed several pieces of furniture for Jacques Doucet. His work has been exhibited throughout Europe, and despite a shift to more representational sculptures in his later life, Csáky is still regarded as one of the forefathers of Cubist sculpture.
Happy birthday Nat King Cole!
Nathaniel Adam Coles (March 17, 1919 – February 15, 1965) was an American singer and musician who first became known for his skills as a jazz pianist. Cole was one of the first African Americans ever to host a variety show, The Nat King Cole Show. Although Cole stated that he considered himself an entertainer and not an activist, his position as a public figure thrust him into the civil rights movement. As a television personality, his presence in people's homes helped lessen some of the country's racial tensions. Cole was close friends with contemporary heavyweights such as Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald. Cole's most popular songs included "Unforgettable", "Mona Lisa", "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons", among others.
"I've had great success being a total idiot."
Happy Birthday, Jerry Lewis!
Jerry Lewis (born March 16, 1926) is an American comedian, actor and singer. Lewis grew to fame in comedy duo Lewis and Martin, where Dean Martin performed the straight man to Lewis's slapstick humor. The two would perform together in clubs, on the radio, on live television and in many films. After the duo went their separate ways, Lewis continued to star in films and eventually directed them too. Later in his life, Lewis taught directing classes at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles where his students included Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Lewis has numerous awards and two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is best known for his roles in The Bellboy (1960), Cinderfella (1960), The Nutty Professor (1963) and The King of Comedy (1983).
"Hopkins is the embodiment of the jazz-and-poetry spirit, representing its ancient form in the single creator whose words and music are one act" - Robert "Mack" McCormick
Happy Birthday, Lightnin' Hopkins!
Sam John Hopkins (March 15, 1912 – January 30, 1982), better known for his stage name Lightnin' Hopkins, was an African American country blues singer and songwriter from Texas. Hopkins was listed on Rolling Stone's 100 greatest guitarists of all time list and he recorded up to 1000 songs over the course of his career. He is best known for his records Country Blues (1960), Blues in my Bottle (1961), The Roots of Lightnin' Hopkins (1965) and more.
"When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity."
Happy birthday Albert Einstein!
Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879–April 18, 1955) was the 20th century German physicist who developed the special and general theories of relativity.
His formula for mass–energy equivalence, E = mc2 is often referred to as "the world's most famous equation." In 1921, he was honored with the Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect," which was later integral in establishing quantum theory. Einstein developed much of his work while employed at the Swiss Patent Office and he went on to teach theoretical physics at a number of universities. In Februrary 1933, Einstein was visiting the United States when he decided not to return to Germany as a result of the rapidly increasing power of the Nazis. Einstein and his wife traveled to Belgium and renounced their German citizenship, and Einstein returned the US in October 1933 to settle permanently. In the summer of 1939, just before the onset of WWII, Einstein wrote a pivotal letter to President Roosevelt alerting him of Germany's likely interest in developing atomic weapons, and recommeding that the US take a similar course of action. This letter resulted in Roosevelt initiating the Manhattan Project, of which Einstein was a key member.
"It's fun to draw for me and explore what's there." To create a drawing and see it "come alive, (that) you've caught something, something unique."
Happy Birthday, Joe Ranft!
Joe Ranft (March 13th, 1960 - August 16, 2005) was an American screenwriter, voice actor and animator most known for his work with Disney and Pixar. Ranft was inspired by art, magic and comedy from a very young age. His success with art both in school then in college led him to pursue it as a career. Ranft was lifelong friends with Pixar creative officer John Lasseter and his brother Jerome Ranft also worked at Pixar. Ranft's best known films include Oliver and Company, The Rescuers Down Under, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Beauty and the Beast, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Lion King, and Fantasia 2000. Ranft appeared as a voice actor in Finding Nemo where he played French shrimp Jacques and also in A Bug's Life where he played Heimlich the caterpillar. Ranft died in a car accident in 2005 but his name and memory lives on in the stories of now classic Disney and Pixar films.
"My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them."
Happy birthday Jack Kerouac!
Jack Kerouac (March 12, 1922 – October 21, 1969) was an American novelist, journalist, and poet who was a seminal member of the Beat Generation, along with fellow authors and close friends Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs. Kerouac's work is particularly recognized for its stream-of-consciousness style, and the wide range of topics addressed. All of his books remain in print, and his best-known works include On the Road and The Dharma Bums, Big Sur, and others.