Five People Born on March 1

ron-howardToday is March 1, 2010 and the 60th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar.  There are 304 days left in the year 2010. According the Mayan calendar, there are 1026 days till the end of the current cycle.  On this date, in 1692, the Salem Witch Trials begin and in 1803, Ohio was made a state.  Here are five people that share a birthday on this day:


number1  Ron Howard (Born 1954)
Ron Howard is a beloved child actor and award-winning director who was born in Duncan, Oklahoma.  He began his acting career at the age of 18 months in the film, Frontier Woman (1956).   He also appeared in stage and television productions throughout his toddler years, sometimes starring with actors like Yul Brenner, Deborah Kerr, and Jason Robards, when he caught the eye of producer, Sheldon Leonard who was putting on a new comedy, called The Andy Griffith Show.  Howard would land the role of Opie Taylor, the son of Andy Griffith.  The show lasted between 1960-1968, and Howard performed in several movies during the off-season, including The Music Man (1962) and The Courtship of Eddie’s Father (1963).  It was in high school that Howard began his love for film making.  He enrolled in the University of Southern California’s Film School, but was unable to complete due to his own acting career.  He ended up in the film, American Graffiti (1973), directed by George Lucas, which helped to revive an enthusiasm in the 1950’s era. This led to Howard’s next big role as Richie Cunningham in the hit series Happy Days.  The role elevated Howard to superstardom.  It was about this time that Howard directed his first major film, Grand Theft Auto (1977) with the help of movie director Roger Corman.  While not a smash hit, it did lead to him getting the opportunity to direct some television shows for NBC, the same company that was hosting Happy Days.  Soon afterward, Howard hit his stride as a director coming out with comedies, Night Shift (1982), which starred his cast-mate Henry Winkler and Splash (1984) with Darryl Hannah.  The latter established him as a director and he went on to direct 1985’s Academy-Award winning film, Cocoon.  He would go on to win the Best Director Oscar’s in A Beautiful Mind (2002) and Frost/Nixon (2008). 


number2Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)
Polish-French composer, who was born Fryderyk Franciszek Szopen, to middle-class French parents in Poland.  He published his first composition at age seven and began performing in aristocratic salons at eight. He moved to Paris in 1831, and his first Paris concert the next year thrust him into the realm of celebrity. Renowned as a piano teacher, he spent his time in the highest society. He contracted tuberculosis apparently in the 1830s. In 1837 he began a 10-year liaison with the writer George Sand; she left him in 1847, and a rapid decline led to his death two years later. Chopin stands not only as Poland’s greatest composer but perhaps as the most significant composer in the history of the piano; he exhaustively exploited the instrument’s capacities for charm, excitement, variety, and timbral beauty. His innovations in fingering, his use of the pedals, and his general treatment of the keyboard were hightly influential. Apart from two piano concertos (both 1830) and four other works for piano and orchestra, virtually all his compositions are for solo piano; they include some 60 mazurkas, 27 études, 26 preludes, 21 nocturnes, some 20 waltzes, 16 polonaises, 4 ballades, 4 scherzos, and 3 sonatas.


number3Roger Daltrey (Born 1944)
The lead singer of the Rock ‘n Roll band, the Who,  this London-born singer has been the front man for the Who for more than four decades.  He grew up in a working-class neighborhood in London and attended school with future bandmates Pete Townshend and John Entwistle.  These three, along with drummer, Keith Moon, formed one of the best bands in the history of rock.  They scored their first UK top ten single in 1965 with “I Can’t Explain” and made their debut on the American charts in 1967 with “Happy Jack.”  As the Who’s lead singer, Daltrey has brought many of Townshend’s deftly crafted songs to life. He has shown great range as a performer, tackling rock anthems such as “My Generation” and more contemplative ballads such as “Behind Blue Eyes.”  One of the band’s biggest successes was the rock opera Tommy (1969), which tells the story of a boy who is deaf, blind, and mute. Through the songs on the recording, he evolves from an expert at pinball (“Pinball Wizard”) to a messianic figure who regains his sight, hearing, and ability to speak (“I’m Free”). Daltrey went on to play this character in the 1975 film version of the opera.  Over the years, Daltrey has also released several solo albums. His first album, 1973’s Daltrey, featured such hit songs as “The Show Must Go On.” Subsequent efforts, Ride a Rock Horse (1975) and One of the Boys (1977), failed to attract as much notice as his debut solo album. One of his later recordings, Under a Raging Moon (1985), was a modest success, featuring such hits as “After the Fire,” which was written by Townshend.  Now more than 60 years old, Daltrey shows no signs of slowing down. He served as a producer for the 2007 television documentary Amazing Journey: The Story of the Who. In 2008, the Who was the focus of a special tribute concert, which later aired on television as VH1 Rock Honors: The Who. Daltrey and Townshend, along with their supporting musicians, performed that night, proving to the crowd that they still know how to rock.  The Who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.


number4Alan Thicke (Born 1947)
Born Alan Willis Jeffrey in Ontario, Canada, Thicke is an actor, director, producer, and composer.  During the mid-1980s to early 1990s, Alan Thicke played one of television’s most beloved sitcom dads, psychiatrist Jason Seaver on Growing Pains.  He got his start in show business as a writer for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.   He received his first Emmy Award nomination for his work on The Barry Manilow Special in 1977.  Thicke was also a talented composer, creating the theme songs for such shows as The Wheel of Fortune, The Facts of Life, and Diff’rent Strokes.  It was in 1985, Thicke took on one of his most memorable roles as the sensitve, caring dad Jason Seaver on Growing Pains. With Joanna Kerns co-starring as his journalist wife, Thicke played work-from-home dad to his three on-screen children, Mike (Kirk Cameron), the troublemaking teenager; Carol (Tracey Gold), an academically gifted teenager, and Ben (Jeremy Miller), the youngest son. A fourth child, Chrissy, was added in a later season. Much of the show’s comedy was derived from the kids’ misadventures growing up.  Since the show ended in 1992, Thicke as appeared as a guest star on many television sitcoms.


number5Pete Rozelle (Born 1929)
U.S. sports executive and commissioner of the National Football League (NFL), Rozelle was born Alvin Ray Rozelle in South Gate, California. He graduated from the University of San Francisco and initially worked in public relations. Named commissioner in 1960, he doubled the league’s size, helped create the Super Bowl, and negotiated lucrative television deals with the networks. In 1966 Rozelle secured an agreement to merge the NFL with the rival American Football League. In 1970 he persuaded ABC to broadcast Monday Night Football, which proved a huge success. NFL attendance more than tripled during his tenure, which lasted until 1989..


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