I decided to note some people turning 70 each month in 2023. But the list of those that caught my fancy in April was not all that long, whereas there are eight in May. I decided to add a nonagenarian to the mix.
Rick Moranis (18th) was one of the last regular cast members added to the great SCTV (Second City Television), not joining until 1980 and appearing in about 50 episodes. He won an Emmy for the show with 17 other writers, including six acting colleagues.
One of his regular bits was Bob McKenzie with his brother Doug (Dave Thomas) from the Great White North, which generated an LP I own. It features Take Off with Geddy Lee and their take on Twelve Days of Christmas (“five golden toques.”)
He’s best known for the movies Ghostbusters and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
Eric Bogosian (24th) has always impressed me as an intense guy. Indeed, his IMDb bio notes, “Between 1976 and 1982, Bogosian wrote, directed and/or starred in over sixteen productions Off-Off-Broadway… In the early 1980s, Eric Bogosian became well-known in New York for his intense one-man theater pieces, winning the Obie Award three times and the Drama Desk Award.”
Yet, I know him best for being in five dozen episodes as captain Danny Ross on Law and Order: Criminal Intent.
The Red-Headed Stranger
Willie Nelson is turning 90 on April 30. I’ve been voting for him on the fan ballot for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since the voting began. While he started in fourth place, behind George Michael, Cyndi Lauper, and Warren Zevon, he slipped to sixth, behind Iron Maiden and Soundgarden.
I’ve been hearing some people say that he’s not “rock and roll.” But he surely has a rock and roll attitude. As musician Michael Eck, who has an actual ballot, noted: “He is… like Richard Thompson, that rare quadruple threat— equal parts brilliant songwriter, exquisite singer, guitar picker extraordinaire, and sensitive interpreter.”
I was playing Eric Clapton and Friends’ The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale recently, and I had forgotten that there were TWO Willie vocals, Songbird and Starbound.
Indeed, Willie has said he’s sung with half of everybody. Checking his discography, he may be right. Who else has sung with Julio lglesias and Merle Haggard?
Woody Harrelson was interviewed for CBS Sunday Morning, which aired on February 25. The actor talked about giving up cannabis. “His longtime pal and fellow toker Willie Nelson brought that experiment to an end at one of their regular poker games: ‘Willie would always act like he didn’t know that I quit. I’m saying for, like, the fifth time that day, ‘I quit, you know?’ And he’s like, ‘Oh, oh.’ I win a big hand. He hands it right to me, and I just grab it, and I take a big toke, and he goes, ‘Welcome home, son!'”
Back in 2018, Willie made the cover of AARP The Magazine. The piece noted that he’s appeared in over 40 films, organized Farm Aid, and so much more. He said he’ll never retire, and he’s still doing a half dozen shows a month.
BTW, he looks so different without the long hair and beard. Here’s my Willie post from five years ago.