Happy Birthday to Brad Pitt who was born 55 years ago today in Shawnee, Oklahoma. In his early days, the actor starred in A River Runs Through It and 12 Monkeys, the sci-fi flick that earned him his first Academy Award nomination. Some of your faves may be Fight Club, the Ocean‘s franchise, Burn After Reading, or Inglourious Basterds, but Pitt received his second and third Oscar nominations for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and  the best baseball movie ever—Moneyball.

He also produced The Departed and 12 Years a Slave, both of which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. He produced The Tree of Life, Moneyball, and The Big Short, as well, which all garnered Best Picture nominations. Find out who he’s teaming up with again, and WATCH his top film clips… (1963)

2017 Photo by Dick Thomas Johnson, CC license

In 2018, it was announced that the philanthropist who has donated many millions to charities will star opposite Leonardo DiCaprio as Cliff Booth, a stunt double, in Quentin Tarantino‘s upcoming film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood about the Manson Family murders.

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Slavery was officially banned in the United States as the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified by two-thirds of states, with Georgia putting it over the top (1865)
  • Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia and although the production was not originally a success, the music and dance enjoy enormous popularity today (1892)
  • Niger‘s Republic Day celebrates becoming autonomous (1958)
  • Dr. Seuss’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” aired for the first time on television (1966)
  • The Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Caves were discovered in France containing the earliest known and best preserved cave paintings and engravings in the world, as well as other evidence of Upper Paleolithic life some 17-20,000 years old. (1994)
  • Scotland was granted its own parliament, its first one in three centuries (1997)
  • Environmental activist Julia ”Butterfly” Hill climbed down the ancient redwood in Humboldt Co., Calif., where the 26-yo lived for 2 years (738 days) to protest logging plans to cut the forest; and the tree is still standing today (1999)
  • The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference, held in Copenhagen, Denmark, closed, with the signing of the Copenhagen Accord (2009)
  • The last US military troops left Iraq after a nine year war (2011)

Happy Birthday to Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, who turns 75 today.

Also, Happy 72nd Birthday to Steven Spielberg, one of the most popular and successful movie producers in film history. Bullied as an Orthodox Jew growing up in Phoenix, Arizona, Spielberg made adventure films with his father’s 8mm movie camera and at 16, wrote and directed his first independent film. (1946)

2016 Photo by Georges Biard, CC license

He’s now the highest-grossing director in history, with revenues from all Spielberg-directed films exceed $9 billion worldwide. He won 2 Oscars for Best Director for Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan, and made blockbuster films like Jaws, E.T., Back to the Future, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Jurassic Park, breaking box office records.

In later years, he co-founded DreamWorks Studios, and began addressing historical issues, in films like The Color Purple (1985), Empire of the Sun (1987), Amistad (1997), Munich (2005), War Horse (2011), Lincoln (2012), and Bridge of Spies (2015). Check out the good news stories about Steven Spielberg on GNN or WATCH a personal guided tour of his movie studios…

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