Michael Stipe, Victoria Principal, Gene Hackman and other stars celebrate big ones this month
by Susan Wloszczyna, AARP, December 31, 2019|Comments: 0
PHOTO BY: Charley Gallay/WireImage
Jan. 3: Victoria Principal, 70
En español | In 1978 the actress became Pamela Barnes Ewing, wife of Patrick Duffy's Bobby, on Dallas, the CBS primetime soap about an oil-rich Texas clan. She later went on to produce TV films, write self-improvement books (such as 1983's The Body Principal: The Exercise Program for Life) and oversee her Principal Secret natural-beauty skin-care empire.
PHOTO BY: Adam Berry/Getty Images
Jan. 4: Michael Stipe, 60
He was lead singer of R.E.M., the ‘80s alt-rock band out of Athens, Georgia, that hit the big time with huge hits like “The One I Love,” “Stand” and “Losing My Religion.” Stipe recently recorded his first single since 2011, “Your Capricious Soul,” and celebrated the 25th anniversary of the megahit R.E.M. album Monster. Alas, he also has told the Guardian that an R.E.M. reunion “will never happen."
PHOTO BY: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images
Jan. 6: Nigella Lawson, 60
This English celebrity chef wrote about food for such magazines as Vogue, Gourmet and Bon Appetit before she penned a best-selling cookbook, How to Eat (1998). That led to her own cooking series, Nigella Bites. She most recently was a guest judge on Gordon Ramsay's MasterChef on Fox TV.
PHOTO BY: Manny Carabel/WireImage
Jan. 6: Howie Long, 60
Long was an NFL defensive end for 13 seasons starting in 1981 while playing for the Raiders franchise before he was an actor (1998's Firestorm, for one) and product pitchman. A sports analyst and the author of Football for Dummies, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
PHOTO BY: Paul Archuleta/Getty Images
Jan. 16: Debbie Allen, 70
The actress, dancer, TV director and producer continues to be known as teacher Lydia Grant in the 1980 film Fame and its TV incarnation (1982-87). The three-time Emmy winner for choreography (and younger sister of actress Phylicia Rashad) plays urologist Catherine Fox on Grey's Anatomy.
PHOTO BY: EuropaNewswire/Gado/Getty Images
Jan. 20: Buzz Aldrin, 90
He made history as a member of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, when he and Commander Neil Armstrong became the first humans to land on the moon. While revered as an American icon, Aldrin has a down-to-earth sense of humor: “Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon,” he has said. “I am the first man to piss his pants on the moon."
PHOTO BY: Amy Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Jan. 21: Jack Nicklaus, 80
Nicknamed the Golden Bear, this retired pro golfer is considered to be the greatest of all time. He won a record 18 championships over a quarter-century (three more than Tiger Woods), for which he has received a Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal. His iconic 1967 Rolex watch was auctioned off for $1.2 million last month to support his children's health care foundation.
PHOTO BY: Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images
Jan. 30: Gene Hackman, 90
This now-retired actor found fame as outlaw Buck Barrow in 1967's ultraviolent crime drama Bonnie and Clyde, and later won Oscars for his rule-breaking Detective Popeye Dole in 1971's The French Connection and his supporting role in 1992's Unforgiven. Hackman had an uncredited cameo in Clint Eastwood's 2018 film The Mule.
PHOTO BY: Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images
Jan. 31: Minnie Driver, 50
The British actress broke out in her Oscar-nominated role as the girlfriend of Matt Damon’s troubled math genius in 1997’s Good Will Hunting, the same year she costarred with John Cusack in Grosse Point Blank. She just wrapped up her role as the mom of a high school boy with cerebral palsy in the ABC sitcom Speechless, which ran for three seasons.