Magic Johnson, Richard Gere, Shelley Long and other stars celebrate big ones this month
by Susan Wloszczyna, AARP, July 31, 2019|Comments: 0
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Aug. 10: Rosanna Arquette, 60
En español | This actress, who broke out in such ‘80s indie films as Desperately Seeking Susan opposite Madonna, belongs to a dynasty of performers. Her paternal granddad was comic Cliff Arquette, better known as Charley Weaver, who was a regular on the game show The Hollywood Squares. Her siblings Richmond, Patricia and David all are actors, too. A question she hates answering? If the Toto hit “Rosanna” is about her. It is — as is Peter Gabriel's “In Her Eyes.”
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Aug. 14: Marcia Gay Harden, 60
Harden's first big role was in the Coen Brothers’ 1990 film Miller's Crossing; she later won an Oscar as artist Lee Krasner, the long-suffering wife of painter Jackson Pollack, in the 2000 biopic Pollock opposite Ed Harris, as well as a 2009 Tony for her lead role in God of Carnage. The actress recently wrote The Seasons of My Mother: A Memoir of Love, Family, and Flowers, a memoir about caring for her mom, Beverly Bushfield Harden, who has Alzheimer's disease.
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Aug. 14: Magic Johnson, 60
As a point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers for 13 seasons after being drafted in 1979, Johnson helped the basketball team win five championships. But the sports hero made an even bigger impact off the court after revealing in 1991 that he had tested positive for HIV — which helped take the stigma off the disease. Although retired, he played in the 1992 NBA All-Star Game and was part of the U.S. “Dream Team” at the Olympics. In June, he and his longtime rival Larry Bird shared the league's lifetime achievement award — the first two players to do so.
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Aug. 18: Christian Slater, 50
Slater made his TV acting debut at age 8 on ABC's One Life to Live. But he achieved teen idol status in 1988 — alongside Winona Ryder — as a twisted high school rebel who goes on a killing spree against the popular kids in the 1988 cult film Heathers. These days he is best known for his computer hacker on USA Network's Mr. Robot who recruits Rami Malek to join his secret band. He also starred opposite Glenn Close last year as a nosy biographer in The Wife.
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Aug. 19: Matthew Perry, 50
His sarcastic Chandler Bing and the rest of the Friends gang were there for us on the NBC sitcom for 10 seasons starting in 1994. After the series, Perry did several films including Fools Rush In and The Whole Nine Yards. But Perry, who continues to be tabloid bait, has pretty much stuck with the small screen — showing up on Ally McBeal, The West Wing, The Good Wife, The Good Fight and playing slob supreme Oscar Madison in a 2015 CBS revival of The Odd Couple.
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Aug. 21: Loretta Devine, 70
Devine got her start on Broadway in the original 1981 production of Dreamgirls and had a cameo in the 2006 movie version. She moved on to films including 1995's Waiting to Exhale and 1996's The Preacher's Wife, both starring Whitney Houston. She headlined as a high school teacher in the Fox series Boston Public for four seasons and would win an Emmy for her 2011 guest spot on Grey's Anatomy. She has just been cast in the new Starz series P-Valley, about patrons and workers at a strip club in the Mississippi Delta.
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Aug. 23: Shelley Long, 70
While Long had done several high-profile movies in the early ‘80s such as Ron Howard's Night Shift and Losin’ It opposite Tom Cruise, it was her role as snobbish cocktail waitress Diane Chambers on Cheers that made the NBC sitcom's fans know her name. Her big-screen hits include Troop Beverly Hills,The Money Pit , Outrageous Fortune and The Brady Bunch Movie. Lately, she pops up now and again as Ed O'Neill's ex-wife DeDe Pritchett on ABC's Modern Family.
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Aug. 23: Rick Springfield, 70
The Australian-born pop musician had his breakthrough when his 1981 song “Jessie's Girl” reached No. 1 on the charts and won him a Grammy. Springfield also has done his share of acting, including playing Dr. Noah Drake on the daytime soap General Hospital. More recent TV gigs include Season 2 of True Detective, Californication, Supernatural and American Horror Story. And he essentially played his own charming self in the 2015 movie Ricki and the Flash as a guitarist who is in love with Meryl Streep's tough rocker chick.
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Aug. 25: Gene Simmons, 70
The Israeli-born bassist for Kiss has been rocking all night and partying every day for nearly half a century with the band's rhythm guitarist, Paul Stanley. Drummer Peter Criss and lead guitarist Ace Frehley would complete the foursome in the ‘70s. Each sported his own unique makeup on stage, with Simmons in the guise of a demon as he flicked his long tongue. He and Stanley are on an “End of the Road” tour through 2020. As for the group's legacy? Simmons has said, “We give people more bang for their buck … at least give them something for their eyes and ears.”
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Aug. 28: Jack Black, 50
This comedic actor's career took off when he played Barry, an insufferable music snob and record store clerk in 2000's High Fidelity. Leading man status soon followed in School of Rock, Nacho Libre and Bernie. If his big-screen drawing power ever fizzles, the brash funnyman can always fall back on his musical chops as the guitarist and singer for his two-man band Tenacious D. He pairs with Dwayne Johnson again in the sequel Jumanji: The Next Level, in December.
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Aug. 31: Richard Gere, 70
A throwback to the matinee idols of yore, Gere was the gorgeous escort in 1980's American Gigolo and lifted up Debra Winger where she belonged in the 1982 romantic military drama An Officer and a Gentleman. But the hit that solidified his sex-symbol image was 1990's Pretty Woman. Later he showed off his musical ability as a shady singing-and-dancing lawyer in the 2002 movie version of Chicago. Gere had a son with his third wife in February.
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