Despite what Wikipedia says, this is the birthday of the great British Shakespearean actor Edmund Kean. Since he died in 1833, I know him only from the writings of William Hazlitt. But he made quite an impression on Hazlitt and that’s good enough for me. In addition, Kean lived quite a colorful and scandalous life, so that works in his favor.
I suppose I should also mention Mikhail Vrubel who was born on this date back in 1856. I am not a big fan, but there is no doubt that he was a great painter. Nat King Cole was born in 1919. He was only 45 when he died of lung cancer. I’m not a big fan, but when I was a kid, I thought “The Little Boy Who Santa Claus Forgot” was deeply affecting. And Michael Been of The Call was born in 1950.
But no day would be complete without a serial killer. John Wayne Gacy—or as Michele Bachmann refers to him, John Wayne—was born back in 1942. He is one of the most creepy of the serial killers. Dontcha just love the picture of him with Rosalynn Carter!
Now on to the birthdays. Kurt Russell is 62. Gary Sinise, the guy who seems to be in a lot of Ron Howard movies but maybe just two, is 58. Earl and Mooch creator Patrick McDonnell is 57. Rob Lowe is 49. And when you’ve reached Rob Lowe, you’ve reached the bottom of the barrel.
The day belongs to William Gibson who turns 65 today. He is probably best known as the author of Neuromancer, but as always, I recommend that you read Fragments of a Hologram Rose. As I’ve discussed before, Gibson is one of the inventors of cyberpunk. He used to have a blog that was really good, but I guess he’s just too big to be bothered anymore. Regardless, happy birthday old man! What are you going to do in your retirement?