Five Famous People Born on March 17
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Are you wearing your green today? Be careful. You might get pinched if you're not!
St. Patrick's Day is an international religious and cultural celebration of the patron saint of Ireland. In the 5th century A.D., the Roman Catholic Church sent St. Patrick as a missionary to Ireland. He reportedly used a shamrock (three-leafed clover) to explain the doctrine of the Trinity to the Irish people. That is how the color green became associated with his day.
People who were born on March 17 can celebrate by watching parades and can drink green-dyed beer with their birthday cake. So, who are some famous people who were born on this day?
Samuel Horwitz was born on March 17, 1895 in Brooklyn. He was the son of Lithuanian Jewish immigrants. He is, of course, best known for his acting role on The Three Stooges serial short films. He was the original third stooge until 1932, along with his brother, Moe Howard (born Moses Harry Horwitz) and Larry Fine (born Louis Feinberg).
In the early 1930s, Shemp left the act because of a personality conflict with frontman Ted Healy. He pursued a solo career for a while and did reasonably well. He returned to the act in 1946 when brother Curly (Jerome Lester Howard) died from a stroke. This time, he stayed with the act until his own death in 1955.
Although The Three Stooges continued their act, they were never quite the same after the deaths of the two Howard brothers. Fortunately, the films are still being shown on syndicated television, so we can see the great stooges anytime we want.
Nat King Cole
Nathaniel Adams Coles (better known as Nat King Cole) was born on March 17, 1919 in Montgomery, Alabama. His family moved to Chicago, Illinois when he was four years old, and that's where he was inspired to begin his musical career when he was still a teenager in the mid-1930s.
He started out as just a piano player for a band he formed with his brother, Eddie. He was also a guest pianist for several prominent jazz musicians in both Chicago and Los Angeles, where he moved in 1937 after he married dancer Nadine Robinson. He divorced Nadine in 1948 and, six days later, married Maria Hawkins Ellington.
He had his first hit recording in 1943, with "Straighten Up and Fly Right." Over the next 22 years, Cole had a number of hit songs, including the absolutely gorgeous "When I Fall in Love" and "Unforgettable." He died in 1965 of lung cancer.
Actor Kurt Russell was born on March 17, 1951. Russell had one starring role and a number of small roles in television shows and movies during the 1950s and 1960s. Then he signed a 10-year contract with the Walt Disney studios, and his career really took off.
In 1968, he had a role, alongside future long-term partner Goldie Hawn, in Disney's The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band. That was the first time the two acted together. Later Kurt Russell/Goldie Hawn team-ups included Swing Shift and (my personal favorite) Overboard in the 1980s.
And though Kurt Russell has shown himself to be a very versatile actor, playing everything from Elvis Presley to Captain Ron, he is probably best known as an action film star because of his starring roles in films like Escape from L.A. and Backdraft. His latest film, Touchback, is in the post-production stage.
80s teen heartthrob Rob Lowe was born on March 17, 1964. He is perhaps best known for his roles in The Outsiders and St. Elmo's Fire. His role in these films cemented his position in the 80s "Brat Pack" that included the infamous Charlie Sheen's brother, Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, and Ally Sheedy.
Lowe is also well known for his on again-off again relationship with Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert. The two split for good in 1988, and shortly afterwards, Gilbert married her first husband, Bo Brinkman.
Lowe went on to have several memorable supporting roles in hit comedies like Wayne's World, Tommy Boy, and the Austin Powers movies in the 1990s.
From 1999-2006, he got serious and played Sam Seaborn in the hit television series The West Wing. That's probably one of my favorite Rob Lowe roles of all time. He currently has a recurring role in the Showtime series Californication. He also is currently filming one movie and has another in post-production.
Retired U.S. women's soccer star Mia Hamm was born on March 17, 1972 in Selma, Alabama.
She began playing soccer at a very young age and joined the U.S. women's national team when she was only 15. To date, she is still the youngest woman to ever become a member of that team. And during her career as forward, she has scored more international goals than any other player of either gender. Hamm retired from playing in 2004.
Three years later, she gave birth to twin girls - Grace Isabella and Ava Caroline. And, in January 2012, she and husband Nomar Garciaparra welcomed a little boy, Garrett Anthony, into the world.
Even though Hamm is retired from the game, she still has a lot of advice to give young players regarding soccer and overall health. That is one the main focuses of the interview in the following video clip.
And Now I Leave You With An Irish Blessing
This quote is excerpted from a traditional Irish blessing that is usually read at wedding ceremonies, but I thought it fit here:
"May green be the grass you walk on, may blue be the skies above you, may pure be the joys that surround you, may true be the hearts that love you."
And, if this is your birthday, may you have a very happy birthday today and in the years to come. Happy St. Patrick's Day!