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15 Couples Who Collaborated

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1. Wayne Allwine and Russi Taylor

They're not household names, but you probably recognize their voices. Disney sound effects editor Wayne Allwine, the voice of Mickey Mouse from 1977 to his death in 2009, met voice actress Russi Taylor when she became the voice of Minnie Mouse in 1986. The two fell in love and married in 1992. No wonder they had so much animated chemistry.

2. Charles and Ray Eames

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It was the beginning of a beautiful aesthetic when architect/instructor Charles Eames met art student Bernice "Ray" Kaiser at Michigan's Cranbook Academy of Art in 1940. They married a year later after Charles proposed with a letter beginning, "I am 34 (almost) years old, singel (again) and broke. I love you very much and would like to marry you very very soon." The couple moved to Los Angeles, where they built the iconic Eames House and designed mid-century modern furniture still coveted today. As if by design, Ray Eames died on August 21, 1988, exactly 10 years after her husband.

3. Gerry Goffin and Carole King

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Songwriting brought Gerry Goffin and Carole King together when they met at Queens College in 1958. They married a year later after 17-year-old King got pregnant and soon joined the Brill Building song publishing firm Aldon Music. With Goffin penning the lyrics and King composing the melody, the couple wrote some of the biggest hits of the '60s, including "The Loco-Motion," "(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman," and "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" The two worked amicably after their divorce in 1968, but King eventually found her own voice with the 1971 album Tapestry. King recorded new songs, along with some of the hits she wrote with her ex, and was the first female solo artist to win Grammys for both Record and Song of the Year.

4. Marina Abramović and Ulay

Serbian performance artist Marina Abramović had just begun making a name for herself when she fell in love with German performance artist Ulay in 1976. The pair collaborated on such pieces as Breathing In/Breathing Out, in which they rested mouth-to-mouth and inhaled each other's breath until they passed out. When they decided to part ways in 1988, they turned their breakup into another work of art. Abramović and Ulay each walked the Great Wall of China from opposite ends, meeting in the middle to say their goodbyes. They didn't see each other until 22 years later, when Ulay surprised Abramović as she silently performed The Artist Is Present at her 2010 MoMA retrospective. Watch what happened when they finally reunited (video NSFW):

5. Pierre and Marie Curie

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The couple that discovers spontaneous radioactivity together, stays together. Physicist Pierre Curie met his chemist wife Marie through a mutual, science-minded friend. When they married in 1895, Marie used a lab at her husband's workplace, Ecole Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie de Paris. The couple explored radioactivity with fellow physicist Henri Becquerel and shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903. (Marie alone received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1911 for the discovery of the elements radium and polonium.) In 1935, their daughter Irène Curie followed in their footsteps and won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry with her own husband.

6. Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner

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Comedian Lily Tomlin met comedy writer Jane Wagner when they developed monologues by Edith Ann, one of Tomlin's most popular Laugh-In characters, into the 1972 comedy album And That's The Truth. It began a lifetime collaboration. Wagner has been the funny woman behind the funny woman ever since, writing a number of movies and TV specials starring Tomlin. But the couple was totally serious when they married on December 31, 2013 after 42 years together.

7. Bob Kersee and Jackie Joyner-Kersee

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It was work at first sight when three-time Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner met Bob Kersee, her track and field coach at UCLA. Under his guidance, Joyner won the 1982 and 1983 NCAA heptathlons and the 1984 Olympic silver medal in the same event during college. (Kersee had quite the track record. He also coached Olympic gold medalist Florence "Flo Jo" Griffith-Joyner, who married Jackie Joyner's Olympic gold medalist brother.) When Joyner graduated, she and Kersee took their relationship to the next level. He continued coaching her and the two married in 1986. Kersee allegedly told Joyner not to hyphenate her name until she broke a world record. She made it happen at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, winning gold in the heptathlon. Her 7291 point score still hasn't been beaten.

8. Henry and Phoebe Ephron

Sometimes writing runs in the family. Henry and Phoebe Ephron married in 1934 and worked as a Hollywood screenwriting team for 20 years. Their most notable work was the film adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel in 1956. But their biggest contribution to the arts is probably their four daughters—Nora, Delia, Hallie, and Amy—who all grew up to be writers.

9. Stan and Jan Berenstain

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The couple behind the beloved Berenstain Bears children's book series met in 1941 on their first day of classes at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art. They used their art skills during World War II—with Stan working as a medical illustrator and Jan drafting designs for the Army Corps of Engineers. In 1946, the future Mr. and Mrs. Berenstain made their weddings rings out of aluminum scraps salvaged from an aircraft factory. The couple's two sons inspired their magazine cartoon "It's All in the Family," as well as illustrated books about pregnancy, child-rearing, and the birds and the bees. In 1962, they switched over to bears with The Big Honey Hunt. The 300+ stories about Pa, Ma, Brother, and Sister Bear became elementary school classics.

10. Robert and Michelle King

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TV writing/life partners Robert and Michelle King co-wrote their first TV show, the legal drama In Justice, in 2006. It was cancelled after just one season. Three years later, they tried it again with a new legal drama inspired in part by the Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal. The Good Wife remains one of most critically-acclaimed shows on TV.

11. Donald and Nancy Featherstone

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Massachusetts artist Donald Featherstone was a single guy when he invented the iconic plastic flamingo back in 1958. When he married wife Nancy in 1978, they embarked on an ongoing project—wearing matching outfits for the last 35 years. Nancy started by sewing matching shirts and soon graduated to pants, sweaters, and even coats. The couple coordinates their outfits every day, no matter the weather, even when they're not together. Their favorite print: flamingos.

12. Jack and Meg White

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Jack and Meg White of the White Stripes were known for doing things a little differently. Their album covers and clothing were strictly limited to the colors red, black, and white, and they recorded music on antiquated equipment. They insisted that they were brother and sister, even after their marriage certificate surfaced on the Internet. (It turns out, they'd been married since 1996 and Jack took Meg's last name.) The creative couple divorced in 2000 and won their first Grammy Award four years later. The White Stripes called it quits in 2011.

13. Ross Bagdasarian, Jr. and Janice Karman

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When singer Janice Karman married film producer Ross Bagdasarian Jr. in 1979, she was marrying into a family business—a very high-pitched family business. Bagdasarian's father created and voiced each member of Alvin and the Chipmunks back in 1958 and won multiple Grammy Awards. "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" was even nominated for Record of the Year in 1959, competing with hits from Perry Como, Peggy Lee, and Frank Sinatra. (Yes, seriously.) Bagdasarian Sr. died in 1972, leaving the legacy of the Chipmunks to his children. Together, his eldest son and the daughter-in-law he never knew revived the act, producing new Alvin and the Chipmunks albums and a TV series from 1983 to 1990. Bagdasarian, Jr. was the voice of Alvin, Simon, and Dave, while Kamran played Theodore and all three of the Chipettes. 

14. Anonymous Canadian Yacht Owners

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What's a wealthy couple to do when they get bored entertaining friends on their yacht? In 1954, one unknown Canadian husband and wife invented a dice rolling game they cleverly called "The Yacht Game." When they asked toy entrepreneur Edwin Lowe to make game sets for their friends, he made them a deal: 1000 Yacht Game sets for the full rights. Lowe renamed the game Yahtzee and sold it to the Milton Bradley Company in 1973. The original inventors never made a dime. Then again, they already had a yacht.

15. Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley

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Who says old married couples start tuning each other out? Singer/guitarist Ira Kaplan and drummer Georgia Hubley married in 1987, three years after forming the New Jersey-based indie rock group Yo La Tengo. Nearly 30 years and 13 studio albums later, they're still rocking.

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© 2017 USPS
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Speedy Delivery: Mister Rogers Will Get His Own Stamp in 2018
© 2017 USPS
© 2017 USPS

USPS 2018 Mister Rogers stamp
© 2017 USPS

After weeks of mailing out this year’s holiday cards, postage might be the last thing you want to think about. But the U.S. Postal Service has just given us a sneak peek at the many iconic people, places, and things that will be commemorated with their own stamps in 2018, and one in particular has us excited to send out a few birthday cards: Mister Rogers.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Fred Rogers’s groundbreaking PBS series that the USPS says “inspired and educated young viewers with warmth, sensitivity, and honesty,” the mail service shared a mockup of what the final stamp may look like. On it, Rogers—decked out in one of his trademark colorful cardigans (all of which were hand-knitted by his mom, by the way)—smiles for the camera alongside King Friday XIII, ruler of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

Though no official release date for Fred’s forever stamp has been given, Mister Rogers is just one of many legendary figures whose visages will grace a piece of postage in 2018. Singer/activist Lena Horne will be the 41st figure to appear as part of the USPS’s Black Heritage series, while former Beatle John Lennon will be the face of the newest Music Icons collection. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, will also be honored.

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15 Surprising Facts About Steve Buscemi
Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival
Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival

With his meme-worthy eyes, tireless work schedule, and penchant for playing lovable losers, Steve Buscemi is arguably the king of character actors. Moving seamlessly between big-budget films and shoestring independent projects, he’s appeared in well over 100 movies in the past 30 years. But if you think he’s anything like the oddballs and villains he regularly plays—well, you don’t know Buscemi. In celebration of the Brooklyn native's 60th birthday, here are 15 things you might not have known about the Golden Globe-winning actor.

1. HE WAS BORN ON A FRIDAY THE 13TH.

It only seems appropriate that Buscemi, who dies on screen so frequently, would be born on such a foreboding date. Growing up in Brooklyn and Valley Stream, New York, Buscemi also experienced plenty of real-life misfortune. As a kid, he was hit by a bus and by a car (in separate incidents). On the plus side, he used the money from the legal settlement following the bus accident to attend the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in New York City.

2. HE WAS A NEW YORK CITY FIREFIGHTER.

As a teenager, Buscemi worked a series of odd jobs: ice cream truck driver, mover, gas station attendant. He even sold newspapers in the toll lane of the Triborough Bridge. When Buscemi turned 18, his father, a sanitation worker, encouraged his son to take the civil service exam and become a New York City firefighter. Four years later, in 1980, the future star became a member of Engine Co. 55, located in New York City's Little Italy district. While he answered emergency calls during the day, at night Buscemi played improv clubs and auditioned for acting roles.

After four years working for the FDNY, Buscemi landed one of the lead roles in Bill Sherwood’s Parting Glances (1986), a drama set during the early days of AIDS in New York. Buscemi took a three-month leave of absence during filming, and afterwards decided not to return.

3. HE FORMED A COMEDY DUO WITH SONS OF ANARCHY’S MARK BOONE, JR.

For a brief while, Buscemi tried his hand at stand-up comedy (he bombed). In 1984, he met fellow aspiring actor Mark Boone, Jr., and the two began performing together. Part improv, part scripted comedy, the two would often carry out power struggles that pitted thin-man Buscemi against the larger Boone. The New York Times called their act “theater in the absurdist vein.”

4. HE DID NOT AUDITION FOR THE ROLE OF GEORGE COSTANZA.

Like any hard-working actor, Buscemi has had his share of failed auditions. His tryout for Alan Parker’s Fame lasted less than 30 seconds. In the late ‘80s, Martin Scorsese brought him in four different times to read for The Last Temptation of Christ. (Buscemi ended up reading every apostle’s part before being turned away.) He also auditioned for the part of Seinfeld’s George Costanza—at least according to numerous sources, including Jason Alexander himself. But it turns out this tidbit—fueled, no doubt, by the thought of a very twitchy, bug-eyed Costanza—isn’t true. On a recent episode of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Buscemi addressed the rumor in his typical good-natured way: “I never did [the audition] and I don’t know how to correct it because I don’t know how the Internet works.”

5. TREES LOUNGE WAS BASICALLY HIS LIFE AT 19.

After gaining momentum with roles in Mystery Train, Reservoir Dogs, Barton Fink, and other films, Buscemi took a turn behind the camera with 1996’s Trees Lounge. The movie, which he also wrote, follows a bumbling layabout named Tommy who spends most of his time at the title bar in the town where he grew up. It’s a classic flick for Buscemi fans and, according to the actor, it was pretty much his life as a teenager living on Long Island. “I was truly directionless, living with my parents,” Buscemi said in an interview. “I was driving an ice-cream truck and working at a gas station… The drinking age was 18 then, so I spent every night hanging out with my friends in bars, drinking.”

6. HE IS FULLY AWARE THAT HIS CHARACTERS OFTEN DIE.

Steve Buscemi in 'Fargo' (1996)
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

He’s been shot numerous times, stabbed with an ice pick, riddled with throwing knives, tossed off a balcony, and fed to a wood chipper. Yes, Buscemi’s characters have died a variety of deaths, and the actor isn’t without a sense of humor about the whole matter. He’ll often joke in interviews that he’s living longer and longer as the years go by. Before the 2005 release of The Island, in which the aforementioned balcony-tossing occurs (and into a glass bar no less), Buscemi said he was happy his character lived almost a third of the way through the movie. Buscemi admitted that he will actually read ahead in any script he receives to see when and how he dies.

7. HE HAS A FAVORITE DEATH—AND IT ISN’T FARGO.

For connoisseurs of Buscemi's movie deaths, the demise of Fargo’s Carl Showalter by way of axe then wood chipper is the crème de la crème. But when asked about his own favorite onscreen death, Buscemi references another Coen brothers film: The Big Lebowski. In that movie his character, Donny Kerabatsos, succumbs to a heart attack. It’s a surprise for viewers, and so out-of-the-blue that Buscemi can’t help but be tickled at the randomness of it. “They thought, ‘Well, Buscemi’s in it, so we’ve gotta kill him,'" the actor said in an appearance on The Daily Show.

8. HIS CHARACTER IN CON AIR WAS WRITTEN SPECIFICALLY FOR HIM.

In Con Air, the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced action movie filled with muscled-up prisoners, Buscemi played the most dangerous con of them all. His Garland Greene—a serial killer whose exploits “make the Manson family look like the Partridge family,” according to one character—enters the film strapped to a chair, Hannibal Lecter mask affixed to his face. Screenwriter Scott Rosenberg, a friend of Buscemi’s, wrote the part with him in mind, and was tickled when Buscemi accepted the role. To this day, fans will still serenade the actor with “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.”

9. HIS CHARACTER IN DESPERADO IS NAMED AFTER HIM.

Steve Buscemi in Desperado
Columbia Pictures

Although he inevitably dies (courtesy of Danny Trejo’s throwing knives), Buscemi commands the opening of Desperado, Robert Rodriguez’s stylish revenge movie, regaling bar patrons with the story of the title gunslinger, played by Antonio Banderas. Because his character’s name is never mentioned, Rodriguez decided to have some fun and name him "Buscemi" in the credits.

10. HE WON’T FIX HIS TEETH.

Buscemi’s crooked smile has helped him portray lowlifes and losers throughout his career. Dentists have offered to fix the actor’s teeth, but he always turns them down, knowing how valuable those chompers are to the Buscemi brand. In a guest starring role on The Simpsons, Buscemi poked fun at the matter after a dentist offers to straighten his character’s teeth: “You’re going to kill my livelihood if you do that!”

11. THERE’S SOME CONFUSION OVER HOW TO PRONOUNCE HIS LAST NAME.

Many people pronounce his last name “Boo-shemmy,” but it turns out Buscemi himself pronounces it “Boo-semmy.” In interviews, Buscemi says he’s following his father’s pronunciation, and says he doesn’t begrudge anyone who says it differently. It turns out, though, that his fans have it right—or at least mostly right. On a trip to Sicily to visit family, Buscemi recounted recently on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, he noticed everyone saying “Boo-SHAY-me.”

12. HE GOT STABBED IN A BAR FIGHT.

Steve Buscemi in 'Trees Lounge' (1996)
Live Entertainment

On April 12th, 2001, while filming Domestic Disturbance in Wilmington, North Carolina, Buscemi, co-star Vince Vaughn, and screenwriter Scott Rosenberg went out for late night drinks at the Firebelly Lounge. After Vaughn traded insults with another patron (whose girlfriend had apparently been flirting with Vaughn), the two stepped outside, and a brief scuffle ensued before the two were separated. Buscemi, who was among the crowd that had gathered, was then confronted by a man who, after a brief exchange, attacked the actor with a pocketknife. Buscemi suffered stab wounds to his face, throat, and hands, and had to return to New York to recuperate. His attacker, Timothy Fogerty, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon. In typical good-guy fashion, Buscemi declined to press additional charges and instead insisted Fogerty enter a substance abuse program.

13. HE REJOINED HIS FIRE ENGINE IN THE WAKE OF 9/11.

After the horrific attack on New York City’s Twin Towers on September 11, Buscemi—like many Americans—was desperate to help. Although it had been nearly 20 years since he had strapped on his fireman’s gear, the actor reunited with his Engine 55 brethren and for days scoured the towers’ debris for survivors. Buscemi didn’t want his actions publicized; when people asked to take his picture, he declined. It took more than 10 years, in fact, before word got out, thanks to a Facebook post from Engine 55. “Brother Steve worked 12-hour shifts alongside other firefighters digging and sifting through the rubble,” the post read. “This guy is a badass!”

14. HE NARRATES THE AUDIO TOUR AT EASTERN STATE PENITENTIARY.

People who take a tour of the historic Philadelphia prison may notice a familiar voice coming through their listening device. So how did Buscemi end up lending his talents to such a seemingly obscure place? It turns out Eastern State is a popular location for film and photo shoots. Scenes from Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys were filmed there, as were album covers for artists like Tina Turner. In 2000, Buscemi scouted the penitentiary for a film project. The location didn’t work out, but the actor fell in love with the history and grand architecture of the 190-year-old prison. When officials asked for his help to celebrate the prison’s tenth year running tours, he agreed.

15. HE DIDN’T BELIEVE TERENCE WINTER WHEN HE OFFERED HIM THE LEAD IN BOARDWALK EMPIRE.


HBO

After years of playing disposable villains and losers on the periphery, Buscemi had grown accustomed to being passed over for leading roles. So when Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter offered him the part of corrupt politician Enoch “Nucky” Thompson in the award-winning HBO series, Buscemi offered his usual reply. “When Terry did call me and he said that he and Marty [Scorsese] wanted me to play this role, my response was, ‘Terry, I know you’re looking at other actors, and I just appreciate that my name is being thrown in,’" Buscemi recalled. "He said, ‘No, Steve, I just said we want you.’ It still didn’t sink in.” Eventually, of course, reality did sink in, and Buscemi went on to win a Golden Globe and Emmy Award across the show’s five seasons.

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