Five People Born on Earth Day, April 22


Today is April 22, 2010 and the 112th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar.  There are 253 days left in the year 2010. According the Mayan calendar, there are 974 days till the end of the current cycle.  On this date, in 1970, Earth Day is celebrated for the first time.  Here are five people born on this day.

Jack Nicholson (Born 1937)
Jack is one of the most prominent American motion-picture actors of his generation, especially noted for his versatile portrayals of unconventional, alienated outsiders.  Nicholson, whose father abandoned his family, grew up believing that his grandmother was his mother and that his mother was his older sister; it was not until he had attained fame that Nicholson himself learned the truth.  He met B-film king Roger Corman in 1958, where he was cast into the lead role in the movie, The Cry Baby Killer.  Nicholson’s big break finally came with Easy Rider (1969), a seminal counterculture film starring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper as drifting, drug-dealing bikers and Nicholson in a scene-stealing, Oscar-nominated supporting performance as an alcoholic lawyer. Nicholson’s newfound stardom was secured with his leading role in Five Easy Pieces (1970), an episodic, existentialist drama and a major entry in Hollywood’s “art film” movement of the early 1970s. Nicholson’s portrayal of a man alienated from his family, friends, career, and lovers garnered him an Oscar nomination for best actor. His next successful film, director Mike Nichols’s Carnal Knowledge (1971), was a darkly humorous condemnation of male sexual mores; it was perhaps mainstream Hollywood’s most sexually explicit film to date. Nicholson’s performance as an emotionally empty, predatory chauvinist showcased his talent for interjecting humour into serious situations as a means to underscore inherent irony—typically, his darkest characters are wickedly funny.  He received his first Oscar win, for One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), in which his iconoclastic, free-spirited characterization of mental institution inmate R.P. McMurphy serves as a metaphor for the hopelessness of rebellion against established authority. Other notable Nicholson films from this period include Michelangelo Antonioni’s Professione: reporter (1975; The Passenger), in which Nicholson portrays a depressed reporter who assumes a dead man’s identity, and Tommy (1975), director Ken Russell’s garish production of the Who’s rock opera, featuring Nicholson in a supporting singing role as the title character’s doctor.  Nicholson met the next decade making such classics as:  The Shining (1980), Terms of Endearment (1983), Prizzi’s Honor (1985), and Batman (1989).  Although Nicholson’s widely imitated trademarks of a devilish smile and a slow, detached speaking style remained constant throughout the years, his screen persona mellowed in its metamorphosis from iconoclastic leading man to mainstream character actor, and his characters of later years reflect in many ways the maturation of his generation.

Other Actors Born On This Day:
Eddie Albert (1906-2005), Green Acres, The Longest Day
Charlotte Rae (Born 1926), The Facts of Life
Marilyn Chambers (1952-2009), pornographic actress
Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Born 1966), The Watchmen
Sheryl Lee (Born 1967), Twin Peaks, One Tree Hill
Amber Heard (Born 1986), Pineapple Express, Zombieland


Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924)
This founder of the Russian Communist Party and leader of the Russian Revolution was born, Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov in Simbirsk, Russia.  Born to a middle-class family, he was strongly influenced by his eldest brother, Aleksandr, who was hanged in 1887 for conspiring to assassinate the tsar. He studied law and became a Marxist in 1889 while practicing law. He was arrested as a subversive in 1895 and exiled to Siberia.  At the 1903 meeting in London of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers’ Party, he emerged as the leader of the Bolshevik faction. In several revolutionary newspapers that he founded and edited, he put forth his theory of the party as the vanguard of the proletariat, a centralized body organized around a core of professional revolutionaries; his ideas, later known as Leninism, would be joined with Karl Marx’s theories to form Marxism-Leninism, which became the communist worldview. With the outbreak of the Russian Revolution of 1905, he returned to Russia, but he resumed his exile in 1907 and continued his energetic agitation for the next 10 years. He saw World War I as an opportunity to turn a war of nations into a war of classes, and he returned to Russia with the Russian Revolution of 1917 to lead the Bolshevik coup that overthrew the provisional government of Aleksandr Kerensky.   As revolutionary leader of the Soviet state, he signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany (1918) and repulsed counter-revolutionary threats in the Russian Civil War.  He founded the Comintern in 1919. His policy of War Communism prevailed until 1921, and to forestall economic disaster he launched the New Economic Policy. In ill health from 1922, he died of a stroke in 1924.

Other World Leaders Born On This Day:

Isabella I of Castile (1451-1504), Queen who funded Columbus’ voyage to the New World
Pope Alexander VIII (1610-1691)
Princess Margaret of Prussia (1872-1954), Queen of Finland

Peter Frampton (Born 1950)
English singer, songwriter, and guitarist.  Frampton was a musical prodigy, teaching himself to play the guitar at age seven. Within the next few years, he mastered complex jazz, blues, and rock riffs.  Frampton spent his pre-teen years performing with bands like The Little Ravens, The Trubeats, and George & The Dragons (a group that included fellow up-and-coming musician David Bowie). Eventually, Frampton caught the attention of The Rolling Stones’ manager, Bill Wyman, who recruited him to join The Preachers, an overtly commercial English band.  In 1967, under the tutelage of Wyman, the 16-year-old Frampton became the lead guitarist and singer for the pop-oriented group The Herd. In 1969, after achieving the adoration of teenaged fans with hit singles like “From the Underworld” and “I Don’t Want Our Loving to Die,” Frampton opted to leave The Herd. Later that year, he and Steve Marriott fronted the blues-based rock band Humble Pie. In 1971, despite positive response for the albums Town And Country (1969) and Rock On (1970), Frampton decided to strike out on his own.  Frampton contributed to George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass and Nilsson’s Son of Schmilsson, before launching his solo career with the debut album Wind Of Change (1972). He toured extensively over the next few years, promoting the albums Frampton’s Camel (1973), Somethin’s Happening (1974), and Frampton (1975).  The popularity of these albums coupled with Frampton’s captivating live performances culminated in the 1976 live double recording Frampton Comes Alive! Selling over 10 million copies, the LP held the notable distinction of being the bestselling live rock album in history, while the singles “Baby I Love Your Way,” “Do You Feel Like I Do?” and “Show Me the Way” dominated the American charts. Considered the crowning achievement of Frampton’s career, the album influenced both Billboard and Rolling Stone magazines to name him Artist of the Year.  By the end of the 1970s, Frampton’s status began to decline. With musical talents like the BeeGees, Aerosmith, and Earth, Wind & Fire, he made his cinematic debut as Billy Shears in the disastrous rock musical Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978). After a near-fatal automobile accident, Frampton was forced to temporarily shelve his music career. He recorded sporadically throughout the 1980s, most notably Breaking All The Rules (1981), The Art of Control (1982), and Premonition (1986). The following year, his reentered the public spotlight and began touring as a lead guitarist with longtime friend David Bowie.  With the successful release of his 1994 self-titled album followed by Frampton Comes Alive II (1995), he re-embraced his old fans while also attracting a new generation of rock enthusiasts. In 2001, the 25th anniversary recording of the legendary Frampton Comes Alive! celebrated 16 million albums sold.

Other Musicians Born On This Day:
Giuseppe Torelli (1658-1709), Italian Composer
Charles Mingus (1922-1979), American Jazz Musician
Glen Campbell (Born 1936), Singer/songwriter Witchita Lineman, Rhinestone Cowboy
Mel Carter (Born 1939), Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me
Larry Groce (Born 1948), Novelty songwriter, Junk Food Junkie
Fletcher Dragge (Born 1966), Guitarist for Pennywise
Aaron Fink (Born 1977), Guitarist for Breaking Benjamin
Jason Stollsteimer (Born 1978), Singer for the Bon Vondies
Daniel Johns (Born 1979), Frontman for Silverchair

Steve Fossett (1944-2008)
American adventurer who made his fortune trading futures and options on Chicago markets with his brokerage companies Lakota Trading, Inc. and Marathon Securities, Inc. He became famous for pouring his fabulous wealth into more than 100 attempts and successes in setting records in sailing, ballooning, gliders, jets, boats and other daredevil exploits.  His round-the-world balloon attempts in August 1998 and August 2001 were the longest solo flights in a balloon for distance and duration, and, in fact, by any type of aircraft. He made the first balloon crossings of Asia, Africa, Europe and South America, as well as the South Atlantic, South Pacific and Indian Oceans. He also made the first solo flight across the Pacific Ocean.   In July 2002, Fossett was the first person to circumnavigate the globe alone in an unmotorized balloon. The Spirit of Freedom balloon launched from Northam, Australia, and the journey lasted 13 1/2 days. It was Fossett’s sixth attempt.  He was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in July 2007, telling a crowd gathered at the Dayton Convention Center in Ohio that he would continue flying.”I’m hoping you didn’t give me this award because you think my career is complete, because I’m not done,” Fossett said.  But in September of 2007, Fossett disappeared during a pleasure flight over the Sierra Nevadas. He did not have a parachute, nor did he take a watch that had a transponder and could have sent out a distress signal. There was a transponder aboard but no signal was received.  Fossett’s disappearance prompted a search that ultimately included thousands of volunteers, hundreds of officials and dozens of aircraft poring over an area more than twice the size of New Jersey. The search was eventually called off.  n November 26, 2007, Fossett’s wife asked a court to declare her husband legally dead. Her lawyer said while the request was painful for Peggy Fossett, it was necessary to begin to resolve her husband’s vast estate, which surpasses “eight figures in liquid assets, various entities and real estate.” A Chicago probate court judge declared Fossett dead on February 15, 2008.

Other Pioneers Born On This Day:
Eleazar Wheelock (1711-1779), Founder of Dartmouth College
Vernon Johns (1892-1965), Civil rights activist
Donald J. Cram (1919-2001), Nobel Prize winning chemist
Wolf V. Vishniac (1922-1973), Microbiologist who sought life on Mars

Bettie Page (Born 1923-2008)
This pinup model was born in Nashville, Tennessee and was the second of six children, Paige was frequently placed in an orphanage with her sisters while her single mother worked to save money. A hard-working student, Paige graduated at the top of her high school class and graduated from Peabody College. She married Billy Neal in 1943, and the couple moved to San Francisco, where Paige launched her modeling career.After divorcing Billy in 1947 and moving to New York, Paige worked with a photographer to produce the first of many pinup calendars. Within months, she was posing for national magazines, including the centerfold of January 1955’s Playboy. With her deep blue eyes and raven black hair with signature short bangs, Paige soon became more than a model, she was a living legend. She dabbled in acting, but her success was primarily in modeling. She moved to Florida to work with several influential photographers and married her second husband, Armond Walterson, in 1958. A third marriage to Harry Lear would also end in divorce.In the 1960s, Page mysteriously disappeared from the limelight and was said to have suffered from severe mental problems. Two films have been created about her life, 2004’s Bettie Page: Dark Angel starring Paige Richards and 2005’s The Notorious Bettie Page with Gretchen Mol. Though she has retreated from the public eye to live a private life with her family, Paige’s legend remains as strong as ever.

Other Off-The-Wall People Born On This Day:
Julius Sterling Morton (1832-1902), Founder of Arbor Day
Tom Griswold (Born 1953), Radio show host of The Bob and Tom Show
Jeff “Yak” Minter (Born 1962), Game designer/programmer, helped build Xbox 360.
Daisuke Enomoto (Born 1971), Japanese Space Tourist
Natalie White (Born 1983), Winner of Survivor: Samoa