PHOTO BY: Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic
Nov. 2: k.d. lang, 60
Hailing from the Canadian prairie, the “Constant Craving” singer and four-time Grammy winner is best known for her androgynous “cowpunk” aesthetic and a soulful mezzo-soprano that sounds equally at home performing country, pop or jazz. After coming out as gay in 1992, lang faced criticism from the country-music industry and fans, but she has since emerged as one of her nation’s most-respected artists. Before the pandemic, she went on a world tour dedicated to the 25th anniversary of her groundbreaking album Ingénue, and while she considers herself “semi-retired” from music, she remains a tireless advocate for LGBT, animal and Tibetan human rights.
PHOTO BY: Matt Winkelmeyer/2021 MTV Movie and TV Awards/Getty Images for MTV/ViacomCBS
Nov. 4: Ralph Macchio, 60
A tap dancer since the age of 3, the Karate Kid star has relied on fancy footwork throughout his career, whether he was mastering the crane kick with Mr. Miyagi, starring in the U.S. tour of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, or placing fourth on Dancing With the Stars. After nearly three decades, Macchio returned to the dojo with the sweetly nostalgic Karate Kid follow-up series Cobra Kai in 2018. Back for its fourth season this December, the Netflix show explores the rekindled rivalry between Daniel LaRusso (Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka, 56).
PHOTO BY: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage
Nov. 5: Art Garfunkel, 80
The words “Simon” and “Garfunkel” go together like peanut butter and jelly. And while it’s true that the classmates–turned–folk legends made beautiful music together, with hits like “The Sound of Silence” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” Garfunkel had a robust career after the duo officially broke up in 1970. He has released 10 solo studio albums and a book of prose poetry, and starred in such films as Bad Timing and Carnal Knowledge, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination. After releasing his memoir What Is It All but Luminous: Notes from an Underground Man in 2017, Garfunkel is back out on the road, with tour dates set for America and Europe over the next year.
PHOTO BY: Sheri Determan/Alamy Stock Photo
Nov. 8: Leif Garrett, 60
Ranking 29th on VH1’s Greatest Teen Stars list, the ’70s Tiger Beat mainstay was a triple threat: He acted on projects as diverse as The Odd Couple and Thunder Alley, he recorded pop tracks (like the top 10 single “I Was Made for Dancin’”), and — let’s face it — he had really excellent hair. Throughout his career, Garrett battled addiction issues, eventually appearing on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, and in 2019, he released the memoir Idol Truth, in which he revealed some shocking secrets. For instance, another singer was brought in to record some of his tracks, and he even sang from behind a curtain at certain live shows, like the pop version of The Wizard of Oz.
PHOTO BY: Marijan Murat/picture alliance via Getty Images
Nov. 9: Lou Ferrigno, 70
After a series of childhood ear infections left Ferrigno about 80 percent deaf, he began reading comic books and vowed to become stronger to defend himself from bullies — effort that definitely paid off. As a pro bodybuilder, he went on to be named Mr. Universe twice and appeared in the documentary Pumping Iron, before taking on his most iconic role as CBS’s The Hulk. More recently, he appeared on The Celebrity Apprentice, and Ferrigno will recur as Lenny Montana, the actor who played hitman Luca Brasi in the upcoming Paramount+ miniseries The Offer, about the making of The Godfather.
PHOTO BY: Amanda Edwards/Getty Images
Nov. 15: Beverly D’Angelo, 70
After early stints as a Hanna-Barbera animator and a backup singer for the musical group that would eventually become The Band, D’Angelo turned to acting full time, earning a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of Patsy Cline in Coal Miner’s Daughter. Despite lauded performances in films like a made-for-TV A Streetcar Named Desire, she’ll always be best remembered as mom Ellen Griswold in the National Lampoon’s Vacation series. This September, her latest film, The Good House — in which she plays the best friend of a realtor dealing with alcoholism (Sigourney Weaver) — premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.
PHOTO BY: Amy Sussman/Getty Images
Nov. 19: Meg Ryan, 60
With her easy charm and contagious smile, Meg Ryan emerged as the queen of the romantic-comedy genre in the 1990s, thanks to starring roles in When Harry Met Sally…, Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail. Her infamous “performance” scene in Katz’s Deli is so iconic that the restaurant has a sign up that says: “Where Harry met Sally…hope you have what she had! Enjoy!” While she has widely stepped away from Hollywood in recent years, Ryan’s most recent film project was a particularly meaningful one: In 2016, she made her directorial debut with the film Ithaca, which co-starred both her son Jack Quaid and her frequent collaborator Tom Hanks.
PHOTO BY: Rob Kim/Getty Images for Amazon
Nov. 22: Mariel Hemingway, 60
An Oscar nominee for her role in Manhattan, Mariel Hemingway takes her name from the Cuban port where her Nobel Prize-winning grandfather used to fish. She made her acting debut in 1976’s Lipstick, alongside her sister Margaux, who died by suicide in 1996. In 2013, Mariel detailed her family’s struggles with addiction and mental illness in the documentary Running from Crazy, and she released a moving memoir, Out Came the Sun, two years later. Hemingway most recently appeared in this year’s Grace and Grit as an energy therapist — not a far-fetched role for someone who dedicates much of her time to yoga and Transcendental Meditation.
PHOTO BY: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Critics Choice Association
Nov. 25: Christina Applegate, 50
After playing ditzy teenager Kelly Bundy on Married… with Children for 259 episodes, Applegate went and did the unthinkable: Rather than fade into obscurity (or worse) like some of her ’90s TV teen-star peers, she became a sitcom mainstay, starring on Jesse, Samantha Who?, Up All Night, and most recently Dead to Me, for which she has received three Emmy nominations as an actress and producer. A Tony nominee for Sweet Charity and star of such comedies as Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy and Bad Moms, the breast cancer survivor revealed this August that she’s been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. “It’s been a tough road,” she wrote on Twitter. “But as we all know, the road keeps going. Unless some a–hole blocks it.”
PHOTO BY: Todd Wawrychuk via Getty Images
Nov. 29: Kim Delaney, 60
Best known for her Emmy-winning turn as Detective Diane Russell on NYPD Blue, the Philadelphia-born actress has been a television mainstay for decades, starring in Steven Bochco’s short-lived legal drama Philly and later on six seasons of Lifetime’s Army Wives. Delaney, who appeared on All My Children throughout the early 1980s, returned to her soap-opera roots last year, with an ongoing turn on General Hospital as tough reporter Jackie Templeton — a role originated by Demi Moore.
Nicholas DeRenzo is a contributing writer who covers entertainment and travel. Previously he was executive editor of United Airlines’ Hemispheres magazine and his work has appeared in the New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, Sunset and New York magazine.
Original posted at www.aarp.org