Sometimes, I wish this list would come out earlier in the month so we could celebrate these celebrities’ birthdays on the actual day. But they don’t, so we get to “look back” each month. Holy cow — look who turned 65 in February! It’s almost hard to believe!
February 10- Mark Andrew Spitz set new world records in all seven swimming events in which he competed in 1972, a record that still stands. In the process, he won seven gold medals at the Summer Olympics in Munich, an achievement surpassed only by Michael Phelps in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Since the year 1900, no other swimmer has ever gained so great a percentage of all the medals awarded for Olympic events held in a single Games as Spitz did. Between 1968 and 1972, Spitz won nine Olympic golds plus a silver and a bronze, five Pan American golds, 31 Amateur Athletic Union titles, and eight National Collegiate Athletic Association titles. During those years, he set 33 official world records. In 1999 Spitz ranked No. 33 on ESPN SportsCentury 50 Greatest Athletes, the only aquatic athlete to make the list. In 1972, Spitz landed several lucrative corporate endorsement contracts and earned about $7 million in a two-year period. A poster featuring Spitz wearing his swimsuit and seven gold medals made him the hottest pin-up since Betty Grable. After his retirement from competitive swimming at age 22, he made a few TV appearances; appeared in several commercials, including for the California Milk Advisory Board; and went to work for ABC Sports in 1976. More recently Spitz has focused on his real estate company in Beverly Hills and other business ventures. As a swimmer, Spitz achieved some notoriety for his moustache in an era when other swimmers, male and female, were shaving body hair. When asked why he initially grew one, he stated, “I grew the moustache because a coach in college said I couldn’t grow one.” During the Olympics, he was quoted as saying, “I had some fun with a Russian coach who asked me if my moustache slowed me down. I said, ‘No, as a matter of fact, it deflects water away from my mouth, allows my rear end to rise and make me bullet-shaped in the water, and that’s what had allowed me to swim so great.’ He’s translating as fast as he can for the other coaches, and the following year every Russian male swimmer had a moustache.”
February 13- Peter Gabriel is an English singer-songwriter, musician and humanitarian activist who rose to fame as the lead vocalist and flautist of the progressive rock band Genesis. After leaving Genesis, Gabriel went on to a successful solo career. His 1986 album, So, is his most commercially successful and a certified triple platinum in the United Kingdom and five times platinum in the United States. The album’s biggest hit, “Sledgehammer,” won a record nine MTV Awards at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards. “Sledgehammer” remains the most played music video in the history of MTV. Gabriel has been a champion of world music for much of his career. In 1982, he co-founded the WOMAD international arts festival and has continued to focus on producing and promoting world music through his Real World Records label. He has also pioneered digital distribution methods for music, co-founding OD2, one of the first online music download services. Gabriel has won numerous music awards throughout his career, including six Grammy Awards and 13 MTV Video Music Awards. AllMusic has described Gabriel as “one of rock’s most ambitious, innovative musicians, as well as one of its most political.” In 2010, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis, followed by his induction as a solo artist in 2014. Gabriel has been involved in numerous humanitarian efforts and co-founded the WITNESS human rights organization in 1992. In collaboration with entrepreneur Richard Branson, Gabriel developed The Elders, which was launched by Nelson Mandela in 2007. In recognition of his many years of human rights activism, he received the Man of Peace award from the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in 2006, and in 2008 TIME magazine named Gabriel one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
February 18 – Cybill Shepherd is known for her starring roles in The Last Picture Show (1971), The Heartbreak Kid (1972), Taxi Driver (1976), Moonlighting (1985–1989), Cybill (1995–1998), The L Word (2007–2009) and Psych (2008–2013). A successful model, her picture on the cover of Glamour magazine in 1970 caught the eye of film director Peter Bogdanovich, who cast her as Jacy in The Last Picture Show. The film became a critical and box office hit, earning several Academy Awards and nominations. After a series of less-successful roles, including The Lady Vanishes, Shepherd moved back to her home town of Memphis to work in regional theatre.Back in Hollywood, Shepherd won the central role in the TV drama, The Yellow Rose (1983), opposite Sam Elliott. A year later she was cast as Maddie Hayes in ABC’s Moonlighting with Bruce Willis, which became the role that defined her career. A lighthearted combination of mystery and comedy, the series won Shepherd two Golden Globe awards. In 1990, she reprised her role as Jacy in Texasville, the sequel to The Last Picture Show. In 1997 she won her third Golden Globe award for CBS’s Cybill, a television sitcom in which the title character was loosely modeled on herself.In 2000 Shepherd’s bestselling autobiography was published, titled Cybill Disobedience: How I Survived Beauty Pageants, Elvis, Sex, Bruce Willis, Lies, Marriage, Motherhood, Hollywood, and the Irrepressible Urge to Say What I Think. She has played Martha Stewart in two television films: Martha, Inc.: The Story of Martha Stewart (2003) and Martha: Behind Bars (2005). In 2012 Shepherd became a regular on the TV series based on the film The Client List. In July 2012 she made her Broadway debut in the revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man. Throughout her career, Shepherd has been an outspoken activist for issues such as gay rights and abortion rights. Although she previously described herself as “a goddess-worshipping Christian Pagan Buddhist,” in October 2014, as part of the publicity for Do You Believe?, a Christian-themed film, she revealed that she had returned to her Christian faith. “I was born a Christian, sang in the choir. Then I lost touch with my savior Jesus Christ. . . . Then I just started talking to Jesus and I started to feel really good, and I got the offer to do this film.”
February 22 – Julius Erving II, commonly known by the nickname Dr. J, helped launch a modern style of basketball that emphasizes leaping and play above the rim. His signature “slam” dunk has since been incorporated into the vernacular and basic skill set of the game. Erving helped legitimize the American Basketball Association (ABA), and was the best-known player in that league when it merged with the National Basketball Association (NBA) after the 1975–76 season.Erving won three championships, four Most Valuable Player Awards and three scoring titles with the ABA’s Virginia Squires and New York Nets (now the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets) and the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers. He is the fifth-highest scorer in ABA/NBA history with 30,026 points (NBA and ABA combined). He was well known for slam dunking from the free throw line in Slam Dunk Contests and was the only player voted Most Valuable Player in both the ABA and NBA. In 1993 Erving was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and was also named to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time team. In 1994, Sports Illustrated named him one of the 40 most important athletes of all time. He was ranked by ESPN as one of the greatest athletes of the 20th Century. After his basketball career ended, he became a businessman, obtaining ownership of a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Philadelphia and doing work as a television analyst. In 1997, he joined the front office of the Orlando Magic. From 1998 to 2000, he co-fielded a NASCAR Busch Series team, becoming the first ever NASCAR racing team owned completely by minorities. Source: www.wikipedia.com