"Well, I play Jews and parrots. Parrots are how I've branched out." -Gilbert Gottfried
Happy birthday Gilbert Gottfried!
Gilbert Gottfried (February 28, 1955) is an American comedian and voice actor who is known for his stage persona which involves a grating speaking voice and squinting. His particular stage voice is perhaps best remembered as the voice of Iago, the parrot in Disney's Aladdin. Gottfried was a cast member of Saturday Night Live between 1980 and 1981, during which he was not known to use his now trademark screeching voice. Gottfried appeared in the Problem Child movies as Mr. Peabody and has done considerable voiceover acting for children's television and film.
Happy Birthday Marian Anderson!
Marian Anderson (February 27, 1897 – April 8, 1993) was an American contralto and one of the most important figures of the 20th century. In 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution barred the singer from performing for an integrated audience in Constitution Hall. In response, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt arranged for Anderson to sing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, in an open-air concert on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939.
From there, Marian went on to break several important barriers faced by black artists. She was also the first black performer, American or otherwise, to sing at the Metropolitan Opera. Her career would be spent performing all over the world and acting as a goodwill ambassador for the United States.
"The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues." – Elizabeth Taylor
Happy birthday Elizabeth Taylor!
Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor (February 27, 1932 – March 23, 2011) was a British-American actress who rose to prominence during the Golden Age of Hollywood. Taylor gained international fame not only as an actress, but as a socialite and a glamorous beauty. Taylor is well-remembered for her violet eyes and an extra layer of eyelashes which made her face incredibly distinctive. Her notable films include National Velvet (1944), A Place in the Sun (1951), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), and BUtterfield 8 (1960). She is perhaps best remembered for her starring role as Cleopatra in 1963, opposite Richard Burton as Mark Antony. The costars married, and their high-profile romance remains one of the most closely followed love stories in Hollywood.
"I love to go to the studio and stay there 10 or 12 hours a day. I love it. What is it? I don't know. It's life."
Happy Birthday, Johnny Cash!
Johnny Cash (26th February, 1932 - 12th September, 2003) was an American singer and songwriter. Cash was one of the most influential musicians of his time, playing music in the genres of rockabilly, rock and roll, blues, folk and gospel and especially country. Cash felt much sympathy for prisoners and played free concerts in many prisons, some of which were recorded as live albums. Cash was a devout Christian and explored his faith through several forms. Cash also experienced some brief run-ins with the law and struggled with drug addiction for much of his life. Cash was the youngest living inductee into the historical Country Music Hall of Fame and earned many awards for his music, including over fifteen Grammys. Cash died in 2003 after a long life of achievements and serves as a strong influential force in American music to this day.
Readers are plentiful; thinkers are rare. – Anthony Burgess
John Anthony Burgess Wilson (February 25, 1917 – November 22, 1993) was an English writer who is perhaps best remembered for his dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange. Stanley Kubrick adapted the novel into a film, starring Malcolm McDowell as Alex, which considerably influenced the popularity of the book. Other notable works by Burgess include Earthly Powers and the Enderby quartet. He was also a longtime literary critic for The Observer and The Guardian, as well as an accomplished musician and linguist who composed over 250 musical works, including three symphonies.
An escalator can never break: it can only become stairs. You should never see an Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order sign, just Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience. – Mitch Hedberg
Mitch Hedberg (February 24, 1968 – March 29, 2005) was an American comedian whose signature style of joke writing and comedic delivery gained him a cult following. News of Hedberg's untimely death by drug overdose at the age of 37, was received with shock by his friends and fans, although he was a known drug user. Hedberg's command of surreal humor and non sequiturs has been cited as a major influence for comedians such as Mike Birbiglia, Demetri Martin, and Aziz Ansari.
“There is little room in my life for sentiment and soft words”
Happy Birthday, Victor Fleming!
Victor Lonzo Fleming (February 23, 1889 – January 6, 1949) was an American film director and cinematographer. He is best remembered for his two most successful films, The Wizard of Oz (1939) and Gone with the Wind (1939) as well as a string of other MGM classics such as Treasure Island (1934), Captains Courageous (1937) and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941). Fleming was known for his adventurous action scenes and ability to muster hard-hitting dramatic moments from some of Hollywood's notoriously fussy stars. Fleming showed no hesitation to pursue his love of fast cars, airplanes and newfangled machines. His strong and silent demeanor and love for the outdoors made him an archetype of classic American masculinity. His name sits proudly on the top ten list of AFI's greatest 100 films.
Happy Birthday Frédéric Chopin!
Frédéric François Chopin (22 February 1810 – 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist. Chopin grew up in Warsaw, where he was considered a child prodigy from a young age. He would leave Poland in 1830 to settle in Paris as part of Poland's Great Emigration. Though Chopin did not like to play concerts to large audiences, his work was prized and he is considered to be one of the world's greatest Romantic composers. Chopin suffered from terrible health for all of his life and died from tuberculosis at the age of 39. Chopin wrote most of his work for solo piano, but also wrote two concertos. He made vast innovations to the piano sonata, mazurka, waltz, nocturne, polonaise, étude, impromptu, scherzo and prélude styles. Chopin's sound is best remembered for its light, tender and improvised qualities.
Happy birthday Nina Simone!
Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003), Nina Simone was an American singer who enjoyed success in several genres of music, including jazz, blues, folk, and R&B music. Simone attended Juilliard and intended to pursue a career as a classical pianist, but changed paths when she was turned away from the Curtis Institute of Music. She began performing in clubs, singing American standards, jazz, and blues, and adopted her stage name Nina Simone, after the actress Simone Signoret. Her most popular songs include "I Put A Spell on You", "Lilac Wine", "Feelin' Good", and "Sinnerman". Simone became known as the "High Priestess of Soul".
Ansel Easton Adams (February 20, 1902 – April 22, 1984) was an American photographer and environmentalist who is known for capturing some of the most iconic images of the American west of all time. Adams and portrait photographer Fred Archer formulated the Zone System to optimize the depth and clarity of each photograph.
Happy Birthday Nicolaus Copernicus!
Nicolaus Copernicus (February 19, 1473 – May 24, 1543) was a Russian mathematician and astronomer who first proposed the heliocentric model of the universe, in place of the geocentric model, first posited by Ptolemy and endorsed by the Catholic Church. Before his death, Copernicus published his book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres). The book ignited the Copernican Revolution and contributed heavily to the Scientific Revolution which followed the Renaissance. Although the work of Copernicus was rejected by various religious figures, the Catholic Church did not immediately react to the publication, and the author did not face the same religious backlash as his successor, Galileo Galilei. Still, Copernicus was denounced by the Catholic theologian-astronomer, who claimed, "Nicolaus Copernicus neither read nor understood the arguments of Aristotle the philosopher and Ptolemy the astronomer," and that he was "very deficient in the sciences of physics and logic." Below, a brief history of the man who rearranged the universe.
"I always preferred to hang out with the outcasts, 'cause they were cooler. They had better taste in music."
Happy Birthday, John Hughes!
John Hughes was an American screenwriter and film director, most known for his era-defining teen films and classic comedies. His most celebrated titles include: National Lampoon's Vacation, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Weird Science, The Breakfast Club, Some Kind of Wonderful, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Uncle Buck, Home Alone, and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. John Hughes brought many young and child actors to fame with his empathy, understanding and directing skills. These included but were not limited to Molly Ringwald and Macaulay Culkin. Hughe's films showed the world of high school in a brutally honest light. His audiences responded deeply to that, finally seeing in these films what they knew to be true from their own lives. When Hughes died of a heart attack at age 59, he was mourned by the many actors who he had inspired. His films continue to be popular to this day.