Are you turning 65 in August? If so, you are in very good company!!
August 22- Diana Nyad, first gained national attention in 1975 when she swam around Manhattan (28 miles). In 1979, she swam from the Bahamas to Juno Beach, Fla. (102 miles), setting a distance record for non-stop swimming without a wetsuit, which still stands today. In 2013, on her fifth attempt and at age 64, she became the first person confirmed to swim from Cuba to Florida without the aid of a shark cage, swimming from Havana to Key West (110 miles). Nyad began her swimming career in high school. Shortly after she was introduced to marathon swimming, she set a women’s world record in her first race, a 10-mile swim in Lake Ontario in July 1970.Nyad is also a writer and has authored three books, including Other Shores (1978) about her life and distance swimming. She has also written for The New York Times, NPR’s “All Things Considered,” Newsweek magazine and other publications. She hosted the public radio program “The Savvy Traveler,” was a commentator on the “business of sport” for American Public Media’s public radio program Marketplace business news and was a regular contributor to the CBS News television show Sunday Morning. She co-founded BravaBody, a company aimed at providing online exercise advice to women
August 23 –Shelley Long, is best known for her role as Diane Chambers in Cheers, the popular comedy set in a Boston neighborhood bar, which ran from 1982 to 1993, and for which she received five Emmy nominations, winning in 1983 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. She also won two Golden Globe Awards for the role. Long reprised her role as Diane Chambers in four episodes of the spinoff Frasier, for which she received an additional guest star Emmy nomination. Long’s interest in acting was evident as a member of her high school speech team in Indiana, winning an award in 1967 for original oratory. After studying drama at Northwestern University, she joined The Second City comedy troupe in Chicago. In 1975, she began writing, producing and co-hosting the local NBC television program Sorting It Out, which won three Regional Emmys for Best Entertainment Show. Her first notable role came in the 1979 television movie The Cracker Factory, in which she played opposite Natalie Wood. In 1980 she appeared in her first feature film role in A Small Circle of Friends, followed by roles in both TV shows and movies, including Night Shift (1982) and Losin’ It (1983). While on Cheers, she starred in several movies, including Irreconcilable Differences (1984), for which she was nominated for a Best Leading Actress Golden Globe, The Money Pit and Hello Again. In 1990, Long returned to television for the ABC miniseries Voices Within: The Lives of Truddi Chase. This introduced her to more dramatic roles in TV films, after which she starred in several more throughout the ‘90s. In recent years, she has guest starred in several TV shows, including Boston Legal and Modern Family, and in several TV films such as Honeymoon with Mom, Falling in Love with the Girl Next Door and Holiday Engagement.
August 25 – Gene Simmons, the blood-spouting member of the band Kiss, was born as Chaim Witz in Israel and later changed his name after his mother, a Hungarian immigrant and the only member of her family to survive the Holocaust, immigrated to the United States. As a young boy, he developed an interest in horror and science fiction, but the Beatles phenomenon inspired a stronger urge to become a musician, and he joined a series of bands. In 1973, with fellow musician Paul Stanley, he founded Kiss. By the end of 1975 Kiss had become one of the biggest acts in the country. Nicknamed “the demon,” Simmons took the stage clad in stylized armor and spiked platform boots, with his face elaborately painted in white and black. Bursts of flame and generous amounts of fake blood regularly featured in his performance. In the late 1970s and early 80s, Simmons branched out into other aspects of the entertainment business, including starting his own label (which was unsuccessful), producing and acting, including roles in movies (Runaway, 1984; Never Too Young To Die, 1986) and television (Miami Vice).For most of the ‘80s and ‘90s Kiss remained active, while Simmons kept himself busy in the ‘00s launching a magazine, publishing his autobiography, creating a clothing line and re-establishing his record label. In 2004, he released his second solo album. Simmons advocates for ChildFund International and has traveled to Zambia to visit several of his sponsored children, of whom he has more than 140.
August 31 – Richard Gere, the son of Mayflower descendants, started his acting career in theater. His first big role in movies was in the thriller Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977), followed by the leading role in the 1978 film, Days of Heaven. In 1979 Gere was one of the first big-name Hollywood actors to play a gay character, starring as a homosexual Holocaust victim in the Broadway production of Bent, for which he won a Theatre World Award. In 1980 he became a major star with the film American Gigolo, followed in 1982 by the romantic drama An Officer and a Gentleman with Debra Winger. In the 1980s, Gere had several box office failures but success returned in 1990 with Internal Affairs and Pretty Woman. After that, he starred in several successful films throughout the 1990s, including Sommersby (1993), Primal Fear (1996) and Runaway Bride (1999). In 1999, Gere was named People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive.” In 2002, he won a Golden Globe award for best actor for his role in Chicago. His more recent movies include The Hoax (2006) Amelia (2009) and Arbitrage (2012), which earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination.A Buddhist, Gere is also an advocate for human rights in Tibet, actively supports Survival International, an organization dedicated to protecting the rights and lands of tribal peoples throughout the world, and campaigns for ecological causes and AIDS awareness