Today is March 21, 2010 and the 80th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 284 days left in the year 2010. According the Mayan calendar, there are 1006 days till the end of the current cycle. Today is the most common date of the Spring Equinox and typically, the first day of the astrological year. Here are five people that share a birthday on this day:
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
This German composer was born in the Holy Roman Empire city of Eisenach. His father, also a musician, taught the young Bach to play violin and harpsichord. Bach created both secular and religious music during the Baroque Period. Some of his most famous works include: The Brandenburg Concertos, the Well-Tempered Clavier, Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (often played at Halloween), and The Art of Fugue. Of his cantatas, more than 200 survive. Bach, while well-known during his own time period, throughout Europe, as a prolific composer, but did not gather the international recognition as a great composer until a revival of his works and performances spread in the first half of the nineteenth century. Today, he is considered to be the greatest composer of the Baroque period and one of the best composers of all time. He died at the age of 65 from what most historians believe to be a stroke with complications of pneumonia. It is known that he was also blind at the time of his death. Many of his original manuscripts still exist today.
Modest Moussorgsky (1839-1881)
Our second composer born on this day is Modest Moussorgsky, a Russian musician without any classical training who went on to write some of the greatest songs of the nineteenth century. He started writing music in his teens with a group that would eventually call themselves “The Five”. They were five composers dedicated to creating a nationalistic school of Russian music. He held a series of government jobs, but his worsening alcoholism eventually made him unemployable. His personal decline was accompanied by maturity as a composer, and he wrote his major works, including the symphonic poem Night on Bald Mountain (1867), the great opera Boris Godunov (1868), and the famous piano cycle Pictures at an Exhibition (1874). His 65 songs describe vivid scenes of Russian life and realistically reproduce the inflections of the spoken Russian language. After Mussorgsky’s death, his works were published in drastically edited form, purged of their distinctive starkness and unorthodox harmonies; the original versions were made available in 1928.
Gary Oldman (Born 1958)
This prolific English actor and filmmaker was born in London, England and has made his name playing dark and morally corrupt characters. He came to the limelight in such films as Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy (1986), Lee Harvey Oswald in JFK (1991), and Count Dracula in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992). Following the success of the famous vampire film, Oldman found himself being cast as the villain in a series of other popular films including: True Romance (1993), Murder in the First (1995), Air Force One (1997), and The Fifth Element (1997). From these, Oldman went on to expand his acting career, picking up parts in larger films and showing Hollywood that he could portray almost any sort of character. He’s played the part of Sirius Black in the enormous blockbuster series of Harry Potter and is now the part of Commissioner James Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise.
Matthew Broderick (Born 1962)
This actor and director was born in New York City. In the 1980s, he solidified himself as a leading actor when he starred as the computer hacker who nearly starts World War 3 in War Games (1983), and gained commercial success in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986). He earned a Tony award for the Broadway production of the Neil Simon comedy hit Brighton Beach Memoirs (1982–3), and another for the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1995). Later films include Godzilla (1998), Inspector Gadget (1999), You Can Count On Me (2000), The Stepford Wives (2004), and Deck the Halls (2006). He made his directorial debut with Infinity (1996). He returned to the stage in a musical adaptation of the Mel Brook’s cult film The Producers (2001). Broderick is married to Sarah Jessica Parker and the two have a son and twin daughters.
Rosie O’Donnell (Born 1962)
American comedian, talk show host, and actress. Rosie O’Donnell got her start on television’s Star Search as comedian when she was 20 years old. This set the stage for performances on the television sitcom, Gimme A Break! (1986) and as a veejay on VH1, where she hosted Stand Up Spotlight (1988), a show for up and coming comedians. Next, O’Donnell took on the silver screen, being cast in such movies as: A League of Their Own (1992), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), and The Flintstones (1994). She moved back to television in 1996 to host her hugely popular daytime talk show, The Rosie O’ Donnell Show. The show won several Emmys and earned her the title as the “Queen of Nice”. The show lasted until 2002. She has been an advocate of children’s issues in the United States, working with such organizations as For All Kids and Rosie’s Broadway Kids. The two organizations have donated millions of dollars to help children. Rosie has also published several books and her own magazine. In 2002, O’Donnell came out as a lesbian to much controversy. She married her girlfriend, Kelli Carpenter, in 2004 in San Francisco. O’Donnell also appeared as a host on the highly popular daytime talk show, The View, in 2006, replacing Meredith Vieira. Her place on the show has been named the reason Star Jones left the show soon after. Some claim that Rosie’s liberal viewpoint was against Jones’ conservative tendencies. O’Donnell was credited with keeping up the show’s “buzz factor” with her strong opinions. In 2007, People Magazine named her “The Most Annoying Celebrity” in one of its reader’s polls. Her means of making controversy continued with a well-publicized fight with billionaire Donald Trump, which eventually led to her leaving The View. Today, Rosie owns a video blog known as, Jahero and is on Sirius XM Radio with a show called, Rosie Radio, where she discusses news and current events.