Happy 60th Birthday to actress Allison Janney, who is as talented as she is tall. The 6-foot firecracker has won an Academy Award, 7 Emmys, a BAFTA, and a Golden Globe. After years of minor film and TV appearances, Janney’s breakthrough came playing the White House press secretary on The West Wing (1999–2006), for which she received four Emmys. Her snappy-smart portrayal of C. J. Cregg was widely recognized as one of the greatest female characters on American television.
Starting in 2013, she’s polished her comedy chops as a cynical recovering addict in the CBS sitcom Mom. That role has earned her 5 consecutive Emmy nominations, with two wins. The seventh season of Mom premiered in September—the catalogue is also available to stream on Hulu.
Other notable films include Primary Colors, Juno, The Help, and a 2019 remake of The Addams Family. Her performance as the figure skater Tonya Harding’s acid-tongued mom in I, Tonya won her the 2017 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. (1959)
MORE Good News on this Date:
- Alfred Lord Tennyson became Poet Laureate and remained so for 42 years (1850)
- President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address at a military cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, considered one of the greatest speeches in American history, yet only 300 words spoken in under three minutes (1863)
- Egyptian President Anwar Sadat became the first Arab leader to officially visit Israel, when he met with Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and spoke before the Knesset in Jerusalem, seeking a permanent peace settlement (1977)
- The Nintendo Wii game console first went on sale with a remote handheld controller that could detect movement in three dimensions, providing a lively new form of player interaction (2006)
- Amazon.com introduced the Kindle, an electronic book-reading device (2007)
And, on this day, in 1985, US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev met for the first time.
The Geneva Summit in Switzerland was the first step toward a thawing of Cold War tensions, as Reagan and Gorbachev talked about all topics and got to know each other’s positions. The new relationship led to the signing two years later of the INF Treaty to eliminate intermediate range nuclear weapons.
Happy 77th Birthday to Calvin Klein, the American fashion designer whose iconic red-carpet gowns and suits are noted for their clean lines.
In the mid-1970s, he started the designer-jeans craze by putting his name on the back pocket, and featured Brooke Shields in ads photographed by Richard Avedon. He next made a fortune inventing the boxer-brief and putting his name and styling on mens underwear, which garnering a scene in the film Back to the Future. (1942) –Photo by David Shankbone, CC
And, Happy 81st birthday to American media mogul and philanthropist Ted Turner. He founded CNN at a time when no one believed anyone needed a 24-hour cable news channel. He founded WTBS, which pioneered the superstation concept in cable television.
As a philanthropist, he is known for his $1 billion gift to support the United Nations, which created the United Nations Foundation, a public charity to support environmental and human rights initiatives. Additionally, in 2001, Turner co-founded the Nuclear Threat Initiative with US Senator Sam Nunn.
Although Mr. Turner has enjoyed many personal successes, including experiencing a World Series win with his Atlanta Braves, he says of his billion-dollar UN donation, “I’ve never been happier or more pleased with myself than I am today—it’s the joy of giving.” (1938)