19 More Sets of Birthday Twins
Back in 2008, we presented 10 uncanny sets of birthday twins—celebrities born on the same exact day (Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln, George W. Bush and Sylvester Stallone, the actors who played Steven and Elyse Keaton on Family Ties). Well, we decided it was time to name a few more. Witness the following pairs who happened to share the same birthdate and may (or may not) have other things in common.
1. Mikhail Gorbachev and Tom Wolfe (March 2, 1931)
You might think that the founder of glasnost and the founder of new journalism would have little in common"¦ and fair enough, you'd probably be right. Same birthday, though.
2. Andy Griffith and Marilyn Monroe (June 1, 1926)
Like Marlon Brando and Doris Day (see previous list), two more screen icons of the fifties were born on the same day. But while one went to even greater success in the sixties, the other suffered an early death.
3. Sigmund Freud and Robert E. Peary (May 6, 1856)
They both discovered new worlds in the early years of the 20th century, but on this world, the founder of psychoanalysis and the first man to reach the North Pole probably never met.
4. Roger Ebert and Paul McCartney (June 18, 1942)
Ebert is perhaps America's best-known film critic, with many books, a long-running TV show and a Pulitzer Prize to his name. Sir Paul must be green with envy.
5. Elliott Carter and Manoel de Oliviera (December 11, 1908)
The American composer and the Portuguese film director were both born on this date. At time of writing, they are both still active "“ at the age of 101. (Seventy-nine years after his first film, de Oliviera recently walked the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival.)
6. Donald Regan and Kurt Waldheim (December 21, 1918)
The US Treasury secretary and the UN secretary-general had high-flying careers, marred by scandal. Regan was forced to resign for his role in the 1986 "Irangate" affair—right around the time that Waldheim became President of Austria"¦ and was accused of involvement in war crimes.
7. Judy Holliday and Jane Russell (June 21, 1921)
Madonna's two biggest role models? Madonna has said that Holliday (died 1965) was one of her heroes, playing dumb blondes who were actually smarter than anyone else. The highly censored Russell (still with us) was the model for sex symbols for over 50 years.
8. Candy Barr and The Dalai Lama (July 6, 1935)
Let's see those astrologers try to explain this one: The notorious stripper and exotic dancer shared her special day with the revered spiritual leader of Tibet. Yin and yang?
9. Charlie Byrd and B.B. King (September 16, 1925)
The styles of these two guitar greats might have been worlds apart, but their birthplaces (Virginia and Mississippi) were slightly closer, and their births were closer still.
10. Rosemary Clooney and Shirley Temple (April 23, 1928)
Both of them were child stars (though by the time Clooney was starting, Temple was already past her prime). Both were recording stars who sang silly but popular songs. Both later had their own TV shows, and both became politically active in the 1960s (though they might have been at odds there; Clooney was a Democrat, Temple was a Republican).
11. Dame Diana Rigg and Natalie Wood (July 20, 1938)
Well, at least these two had the same job. Actually, back in the sixties, they were the height of fashion chic. In The Avengers TV series, Rigg dressed in tight leather. In Gypsy, Wood dressed in ... well, very little. But apart from that, they were accomplished actors. (Rigg was from the Royal Shakespeare Company; Wood had three Oscar nominations.)
12. Geoffrey Boycott, Frances Fitzgerald, Manfred Mann and Pele (October 21, 1940)
And now for a set of birthday quadruplets "“ which makes sense, because (apart from Fitzgerald, the Vietnam War journalist and author), they are all best-known as team players. Then again, Boycott, a legendary British cricketer, was notorious as a "selfish" player; the great soccer player Pele was so overpowering that people forgot he was part of a team; Mann was a guitarist so popular that his band was named after him. So maybe they weren't team players after all.
13. Jackie Collins and Anne Rice (October 4, 1941)
They were never exactly considered "highbrow," but these two doyennes of American literature have been remarkably popular for decades. One specializes in horror novels; the other specializes in novels that (according to critics) are truly horrific.
14. Danny De Vito and Lauren Hutton (November 17, 1944)
De Vito: short, pudgy and balding, specialized in playing sleazebags. Hutton: tall, stunning supermodel, specialized in playing sirens. Yeah, sure, we see the connection.
15. Farrah Fawcett and Melanie (February 2, 1947)
Almost everyone still recalls that Fawcett, Charlie's Angels star and seventies pin-up, died on on the same day as Michael Jackson in 2009. Fewer people noticed when she was born on the same day as another musical star: folk-pop singer-songwriter Melanie.
16. Edward Norton and Christian Slater (August 18, 1969)
Though both of them are famous for playing dangerous young psychotics, these two are among the most versatile talents of their generation. Off-screen, however, they seem to have nothing in common. Slater has been arrested for numerous offenses. Norton is clean-living, and even refuses to smoke on film.
17. James Baldwin and Carroll O'Connor (August 2, 1924)
An unusual pair: a writer who explored racial identity and prejudice in his novels and plays, and an actor who played America's favourite bigot, Archie Bunker. In real life, O'Connor didn't share Archie's prejudices. Soon after Baldwin's death in 1987, he started playing Sheriff Bill Gillespie in the racially charged TV drama "In the Heat of the Night".
18. George W. Bush and Peter Singer (July 6, 1946)
You might recall from the previous birth twins list that former President Bush shares his birthday with Sylvester Stallone. Strangely, he also shares his special day with Professor Peter Singer, philosopher, committed vegetarian and founder of Animal Liberation. As Bush once explained his dietary preferences by saying "I'm a meat guy," they probably won't have any birthday dinners together. In 2004, Singer wrote The President of Good & Evil, a book about the ethics of President Bush.
19. Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen (June 13, 1986)
OK, this one's cheating. Sorry. Who'd we miss?
Mark Juddery is an author and historian based in Australia. His latest book, Overrated: The 50 Most Overhyped Things in History (Perigree), is already causing a stir. You can order it from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. You can see a slideshow excerpt from the book, and you can argue with Mark's choices (or suggest new ones) on his blog. Mark offers one tip: If you want to say "This book is overrated"... it's been done.