Happy Birthday, Donna Summer!
LaDonna Adrian Gaines (December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012) was an American singer and songwriter who is remembered as the "Queen of Disco". Summer is a five-time Grammy Award winner and the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach the top spot in the US Billboard chart. That means, if you think you've never heard a Donna Summer song, you're probably wrong. Some of her most popular songs include "She Works Hard for the Money", "Bad Girls", "Love to Love You Baby" and "Last Dance". In honor of her birthday, here are some interesting facts about the life of the Queen of Disco.
Happy Birthday, June Anderson!
June Anderson (December 30, 1952) is one of the greatest American coloratura sopranos of our time. She became the first non-Italian ever to win the Bellini d'Oro prize. Anderson has also received the Grammy Award for Best Classical Album, for her concert performance of Candide with composer Leonard Bernstein.
Happy Birthday, Mary Tyler Moore!
Mary Tyler Moore (December 29, 1936) is an American actress best known for playing Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, as well as Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show. In addition to her long career as a television actress, Moore appeared in several Broadway plays and films, including a role in Ordinary People, for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress.
Happy Birthday, Chris Ware!
The artist, who has described his own face as "an uncooked ham with glasses". (Via)
Franklin Christenson Ware (December 28, 1967) is an American comic book artist and illustrator best known for his Acme Novelty Library series and the graphic novel Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth. Ware's style employs precise, geometric layouts but he almost exclusively employs manual tools and methods. His work explores themes of social isolation, depression, social commentary, and emotional struggle, and has been praised by fellow illustrators and authors alike, including Dave Eggers, David Sedaris, Matt Groening, Zadie Smith, and others.
Happy Birthday, Thomas Fearnley!
Thomas Fearnley (December 27 1802 – January 16 1842) was a Norwegian romantic painter whose work has become deeply intertwined with the spirit of Norwegian nationalism. Fearnley's work was often commissioned by the royal family of Norway, and later the royal family of Sweden. Fearnley's son, also named Thomas, was a shipping magnate whose business continues to run today.
"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex. Except for salami and eggs. Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced."
Happy Birthday, Alan King!
Iriwn Alan Kniberg (December 26, 1927 – May 9, 2004) was an American comedian and actor best known for his sharp wit and humorous rants. King's comedy and writing career often drew inspiration from his Jewish identity, and much of his autobiographic work pays homage to his culture and his love of Jewish food. As a young man, King worked in Canada in a burlesque house while also boxing professionally. He won twenty straight fights before losing, at which point he decided to leave boxing and focus on comedy. He began working as the doorman at the nightclub Leon and Eddie's while performing comedy under the last name of the boxer who beat him, "King".
Happy Birthday, Simone!
Simone Bittencourt de Oliveira is a Brazilian singer and performer of Música Popular Brasileira, who has recorded more than 31 albums.
Happy Birthday, Johnny Gruelle!
Johnny Gruelle (December 24, 1880 - January 9, 1938) was an American artist, political artist, and children's book author and illustrator. Gruelle was the creator of Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy, around whom Gruelle created a series of children's stories and songs.
Happy Birthday, Chet Baker!
Chet Baker (December 23, 1929 - May 13, 1988) was an American jazz trumpeter, singer, and flugelhorn player. Although he was known as a jazz musician, he gained critical praise for his vocal ability, particularly on his album, Chet Baker Sings.
Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini (December 22, 1858 - November 29, 1924) is remembered as one of the greatest composers of Italian opera to have ever lived. Puccini is known for being one of the leading composers to have worked in the 'realistic' verismo style of opera, and his music remains among the most frequently performed in the standard repertoire. His most notable operas include Madame Butterfly, La bohème, and Tosca.
Happy Birthday, Irene Dunne!
Irene Dunne (December 20, 1898 – September 4, 1990) was an American actress and singer who starred in movies from the 1930s through the early 1950s. Dunne was nominated five times for the Academy Award for Best Actress, for her roles in Cimarron (1931), Theodora Goes Wild (1936), The Awful Truth (1937), Love Affair (1939) and I Remember Mama (1948). She was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1958.
Happy Birthday, Édith Piaf!
Édith Giovanna Gassion (December 19, 1915 – October 11, 1963) was a French singer born in Belleville, Paris to a street acrobat perofrmer, Louis-Alphonse Gassion, and Annetta Giovanna Maillard, a cafe singer. As an adolescent, she spent a short time performing with her father in his acrobatic street performances, but left his act to become a street singer in Pigalle, Ménilmontant. In 1935, she was discovered in the area by nightclub owner Louis Leplée, who nicknamed her La Môme Piaf, "The Little Sparrow". This meeting catapulted the singer to enormous fame, both in France and internationally. Her signature song "La Vie en Rose" was written in 1945 and was given a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1998.