Look Who’s Turning 65
March 2—Laraine Newman
The comedian, actress, voice artist and writer was part of the original cast of NBC’s Saturday Night Live (SNL). After high school, Newman went to Paris to study mime with Marcel Marceau for a year. On SNL from 1975 through 1980, she originated the characters of Sheri the Valley Girl and Connie Conehead, among others, and became a close friend of co-star Gilda Radner. However, by her own account, she was unhappy for much of her time with the show because she disliked living in New York.
Newman’s post-SNL film career has included both leading and supporting roles, as well as a voice artist on television and features. Among these were Perfect, American Hot Wax, Wholly Moses and Problem Child 2. In 1986, she starred in the syndicated B-movie comedy series The Canned Film Festival, playing the lead role as Laraine the usherette.
Additionally, Newman made appearances on programs including Laverne & Shirley, St. Elsewhere, E.T. and Friends (1983), Steve Martin’s Best Show Ever (1981), Friends, 3rd Rock from the Sun and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Most recently, she appeared in episodes of Entourage and Brothers & Sisters, and provided voice work for WALL-E, Cars, Up!, Finding Nemo, Barnyard, Horton Hears a Who!, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax and others.
Newman also works as a writer and editor. She is a contributing editor for the online magazine One for the Table and an occasional contributor to the Huffington Post. She has written articles for the Los Angeles Times, The Believer and McSweeney’s. Newman and her husband, actor-writer-director Chad Einbinder, have two daughters.
March 22—Bob Costas
The sportscaster has been on the air for NBC Sports television since the early 1980s. He was the prime-time host of twelve Olympic Games, from 1992 until 2016. Costas currently does play-by-play for MLB Network, hosts an interview show called Studio 42 with Bob Costas and serves as an alternate play-by-play announcer for Notre Dame Football on NBC. Costas’ sportscasting career began while attending Syracuse University, and he was 28 when hired by NBC. Over the years, Costas hosted NBC’s National Football League (NFL) and National Basketball Association (NBA) coverage. He also did play-by-play for NBA and Major League Baseball (MLB) coverage.
During the 1980s, Costas anchored NBC’s pre- and post-game shows for NFL broadcasts and the pre- and post-game shows for numerous World Series and MLB All-Star Games. It was not until 1997, when Costas finally got to do play-by-play for a World Series from start to finish, that he won a Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Personality, Play-by-Play. In 1997, Costas began a 3-year stint as the lead play-by-play man for The NBA on NBC. In 2006, Costas returned to NFL studio hosting duties for NBC’s new Sunday Night Football, hosting its pre-game show Football Night in America. Costas hosted NBC’s coverage of the 2008, 2009 and 2010 National Hockey League Winter Classic. From 1988 to 2016, Costas frontlined many Olympics broadcasts for NBC, including Barcelona in 1992, Athens in 2004 and Rio in 2016.
From 1988 until 1994, Costas hosted Later with Bob Costas on NBC, which featured Costas and a single guest conversing for the entire half hour. The program was critically acclaimed and won the Emmy Award for Best Informational Series in 1993. From 2002 to 2007, Costas co-hosted HBO’s long-running series Inside the NFL. In 2005, On the Record with Bob Costas was revamped to become Costas Now, a monthly issue-oriented sports program that occasionally employed a town hall style format. Costas left HBO to sign with MLB Network in February 2009. On February 9, 2017, Costas announced that he had begun the process of stepping down from his main on-air roles at NBC Sports and that he would host Super Bowl LII as his final Super Bowl. He said he still expected to be an occasional special correspondent to the division.
A devoted baseball fan, he wrote Fair Ball: A Fan’s Case for Baseball in 2000. Costas serves as a member of the advisory board of the Baseball Assistance Team, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping former Major League, Minor League and Negro League players through financial and medical difficulties. Costas has two children from his first marriage; he and his present wife reside primarily in New York.
March 23—Rex Tillerson
The energy executive, civil engineer and diplomat is the current U.S. Secretary of State, serving since Feb. 1, 2017. Tillerson began his career as an engineer, joining Exxon in 1975, and by 1989, had become general manager of the Exxon USA central production division. In 1995, he became president of Exxon Yemen Inc. and Esso Exploration and Production Khorat Inc. In 2006, Tillerson was elected chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Exxon, the world’s sixth largest company by revenue, and served as CEO of the company from 2006 to 2016. In 2012, his compensation package was $40.5 million.
Tillerson is a longtime contributor to Republican campaigns, although he did not donate to President Trump’s presidential campaign. Tillerson’s close business ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin have generated controversy. In 2013, Tillerson was awarded the Order of Friendship by Putin for his contribution to developing cooperation in the energy sector. In 2011, on behalf of ExxonMobil, Tillerson signed an agreement with Russia for drilling in the Arctic, which could be valued up to $300 billion. In 2014, Tillerson opposed the sanctions against Russia, although, as of Jan. 3, 2017, he had severed all ties with ExxonMobil “to comply with conflict-of-interest requirements associated with his nomination as secretary of state.”
Tillerson is a longtime volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), and from 2010 to 2012, was their national president. After the end of his term as BSA president, he remained on the organization’s National Executive Board where he played a significant role in the board’s 2013 decision to rescind the long-standing ban on openly gay youth as members. He and wife have four children and reside in Irving, Texas.
FAMOUS & 65 is a featured article in the Senior Spirit newsletter.
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