People Born on Saint Patrick’s Day

Today is March 17, 2010 and the 76th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar.  There are 288 days left in the year 2010. According the Mayan calendar, there are 1010 days till the end of the current cycle.  It’s Saint Patrick’s Day and it was first celebrated in the U.S. in 1762.    Here are five people that share a birthday on this day:

Gary Sinise (Born 1955)
This actor, director and producer was born in Blue Island, Illinois and started acting in high school.  While still in school, he cofounded Chicago’s acclaimed Steppenwolf Theater Company. The then 18-year-old Sinise, along with Terry Kinney and Jeff Perry, started the ambitious enterprise in a local church basement, launching the careers of such talents as John Malkovich and Laurie Metcalf.   Sinise began his film and television career in the director’s chair on such series as Crime Story and thirtysomething and the feature film Miles From Home. In 1992, he directed, produced and starred in a remake of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.  In 1994, Sinise became familiar to mainstream audiences as Lt. Dan in the blockbuster film Forrest Gump with Tom Hanks. His performance as the physically crippled and emotionally shattered veteran earned him an Oscar nomination. He re-teamed with Hanks for Apollo 13 in 1995 and starred in the television biopics Truman in 1995 (for which he won a Golden Globe) and George Wallace in 1997 (for which he won an Emmy). In 2000, he appeared in the drama Mission to Mars and the thriller Imposter. Sinise returned to the small screen in 2004 to star in the crime series CSI: New York.

Patrick Duffy (Born 1949)
Actor, most famous for his role of Bobby Ewing on television’s Dallas.  He grew up in a small town where his parents ran a tavern and struggled to make ends meet. After high school, Duffy went to the drama program at University of Washington, graduating in 1971.  Eventually moving to Los Angeles, Duffy spent several years trying to make it as an actor. His big break came in 1976 when he landed the lead in the science fiction series, Man From Atlantis.  On the show, Duffy played Mark Harris, a being from the lost continent of Atlantis who discovered unconscious on a beach by a research scientist. While he looked human, Harris had webbed hands and feet. He could only spend a certain amount of time out of the water before returning to breathe. The show only lasted a season, airing from the fall of 1977 to the following spring.  Right after Man From Atlantis, Duffy quickly assumed his trademark role of good guy Bobby Ewing on Dallas, a drama centered on a wealthy family. Jim Davis and Barbara Bel Geddes played the Ewing family patriarch and matriarch Jock and Miss Ellie. Larry Hagman played his ruthless older brother J. R. and Linda Gray played J. R.’s long suffering wife Sue Ellen. In addition to the sibling rivalry, the show also featured the ups and downs of Bobby Ewing’s relationship with his wife Pamela played by Victoria Principal.  While not an immediate hit, Dallas eventually one of primetime’s top shows. It became a pop culture sensation, especially at the end of the 1979-1980 season when all of America wondered “Who Shot J. R.?” By 1985, however, Duffy had tired of always playing nice and even publicly described his character as “boring.” He left the series, wanting more adventurous lead parts. At the end of that season, his character Bobby was killed off. Or so viewers thought.  After Duffy’s departure, Dallas took a dive in the ratings. He was convinced to return to the show, and the series writers negated Bobby’s earlier death as being only a dream. While this tactic was not popular with everyone, it has become a noted part of television history. Not long after returning to Dallas, Duffy suffered a great personal tragedy. His parents, Terrence and Babe, were killed during a robbery attempt at their tavern in Boulder, Montana. Out of respect for his parents, production on Dallas was stopped briefly.  Dallas finally wrapped up in 1991 after ten seasons. Without skipping a beat, Duffy moved on to the situation comedy Step by Step. He co-starred with Suzanne Somers in this domestic comedy about a blended family. The polar opposite characters each had three children from previous relationships. While it was fairly light fare, the show proved to be popular, lasting for seven years.  Since that time, Duffy has made guest appearances on numerous television series, such as Touched by an Angel and Reba. In 2006, he began a recurring role on the daytime drama The Bold and the Beautiful.

Rob Lowe (Born 1964)
This actor grew up in Southern California and attended Santa Monica High School where his classmates included actors Charlie Sheen and Sean Penn.  Lowe rose to fame on the big screen in the early ’80s as a member of the Brat Pack, along with other young actors like Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald and Judd Nelson. He appeared in The Outsiders and Class in 1983, St. Elmo’s Fire in 1985, and About Last Night … in 1986. These roles made him one of the hottest teenage heartthrobs of the 1980s.  In 1988, Lowe made headlines with a scandal that involved a video camera and a female minor, and was slow to make a comeback.  Subsequent films included Wayne’s World in 1992, Contact in 1997, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me in 1999 and The Specials in 2000.  Following the incident, Lowe took a couple of years off and retreated to Santa Barbara, California, where he overcame a drug and alcohol problem and concentrated on being a family man.  Lowe’s true comeback as an actor and star came in 1999 when he returned to the small screen to appear alongside Martin Sheen in the well-reviewed TV drama series The West Wing. Lowe was cast in the ongoing role of Sam Seaborn, Deputy Communications Director.  In 2002, he announced he would leave the hit show as a result of stalled salary negotiations.  In 2003, he signed on to star in NBC’s failed drama Lyon’s Den, playing an up-and-coming attorney struggling to distance himself from his well-known senator father.  In 2004, he tried again with Dr. Vegas but it also was quickly canceled.  In 2006, he joined the cast of ABC’s Brothers & Sisters.

Kurt Russell (Born 1951)
This child actor was born in Springfield, Massachusetts.  A child performer, he appeared in a number of television and film roles before deciding to play professional baseball.  Some of his movies included the Disney classics: Follow Me Boys! (1966), The Computer That Wore Tennis Shoes (1969), and The Strongest Man in the World (1975).  After an injury he returned to the screen in a television film Elvis (1979), and had his first feature role in Escape From New York (1981). Later films include Backdraft (1991), Stargate (1994), Soldier (1998), Dark Blue (2003), and Poseidon (2006).

Billy Corgan (Born 1967)
Billy Corgan is a musician with the band Smashing Pumpkins.  The young Corgan played music in high school and formed his first band, The Marked, in 1985. Even after relocating to Florida, the band never hit its stride, and a few years later Corgan found himself back in Chicago, working in a record store and scheming his next musical venture. With guitarist James Iha, bassist D’Arcy Wretzky and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, Corgan founded Smashing Pumpkins in 1989. The band’s psychedelic alternative rock—and Corgan’s ripping guitar solos and lead vocals—soon gained a loyal following in the Chicago club scene. Smashing Pumpkins signed with Caroline Records in 1990, and their debut album, Gish, was released the following year.  Throughout the 1990s, Smashing Pumpkins rose in popularity to become one of the top alternative rock bands of the decade. Notable albums include the hit 1993 sophomore effort Siamese Dream and 1995’s double album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, which was certified platinum nine times in the United States. The prolific band also contributed to such movie soundtracks as Singles, Batman & Robin and Ransom.  In 2000, following a struggle with Chamberlin’s heroin addiction, the Pumpkins parted ways, after which Corgan and Chamberlin founded the short-lived band Zwan. After its demise, Corgan released his solo debut, TheFutureEmbrace, in June 2005. Smashing Pumpkins reunited in 2006, with Ginger Reyes on bass and Jeff Schroeder on guitar replacing Wretzky and Iha. The band played its first show in May 2007 and released Zeitgeist later that summer.