People born in December 1953

The fourth of My Three Sons

Here are some people born in December 1953. this is the final installment of people born in 1953. I won’t do this for 1954 because I was born in 1953. One person I’ll skip because I will mention them separately.

Tom Hulce (5th): he played Pinto Kroger in Animal House (1978). He was also the wayward son, Larry, of Gil (Steve Martin) and Karen (Mary Steenburgen) Buckman in Parenthood (1989). But he is best known as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Amadeus (1984), for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Oscar as Best Actor, losing out to his co-star F. Murray Abraham, who played Mozart’s rival Antonio Salieri. These are the only three films I’ve seen featuring Hulce, all at the cinema.

I never really related to the humor of Sam Kinison (8th). But I understood it better after I read about his growing up. His father was a Pentecostal preacher. “At the age of three years, Kinison was hit by a truck, which left him with brain damage… His parents divorced when Kinison was 11, after which his brother Bill went to live with his father while Kinison stayed with the rest of the family, against his protestations.” For a brief time, Sam was also a fire and brimstone preacher. He was killed in an automobile accident with an intoxicated driver on April 10, 1992.


I’ve seen John Malkovich (9th) in a few movies (Places in the Heart (1984), Dangerous Liaisons (1988)), his Emmy-winning performance in Death of a Salesman (1985), and a couple of hosting gigs on Saturday Night Live. My favorite has to be the bizarre movie Being John Malkovich (1999).

Bess Armstrong (11th) was in the movies The Four Seasons (1981) and Nothing in Common (1986); the TV shows On Our Own (1977) and My So-Called Life (1995). I’ve seen her in all these plus three episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and other television appearances.

Bill Pullman (17th) is an upstate New York kid born in Hornell and attending SUNY Oneonta. While I’ve seen him in several movies, including A League of Their Own (1992) and Sleepless in Seattle (1997), I’ve never watched either Liebestraum (1991, filmed in Binghamton, NY) or Independence Day (1996).

Barry Livingston (17th): I am so seeped in the history of the TV show My Three Sons, I remember this. “In 1963, he joined the cast of the ABC [then CBS] sitcom My Three Sons as next-door neighbor Ernie Thompson. His older brother, Stanley Livingston, was already a series regular as Chip Douglas. After Tim Considine left the series two years later, Livingston joined the cast permanently (his character was adopted into the family, keeping the show’s title intact) and remained with the series until its end in 1972.” He’s still a working actor, and I’ve even seen him in films such as The Social Network (2010) and Argo (2012).

Echoes of Joy

Betty Wright (21st): I mostly know her for one song, Clean Up Woman, but she had more hits and a complicated personal life. She grew up singing with the Echoes of Joy, a gospel group, from age two(!) to 11. Betty “died from cancer, on May 10, 2020, at her home in Miami, aged 66.”

Meredith Vieira (30th): I first noticed her on CBS News. “Vieira joined 60 Minutes in 1989, following the birth of her first child. Don Hewitt, executive producer of 60 Minutes, allowed her to work part-time for two seasons so she could care for her child. After that, it was arranged that she would work full-time. But after two years, she became pregnant again and asked to continue the part-time arrangement. Hewitt declined her request, firing her, and deciding instead to hire someone who would work full-time.” I didn’t often watch The View (1997-2006), the syndicated Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (2002-2013), or Today (2006-2011), but I’d see her occasionally, covering the Olympics, appearing on 30 Rock, et al.

People born in November 1953

Hof linebacker for the NYG

I’m listing some people born in November 1953 because I was born in 1953. But I’m MUCH older.

Kate Capshaw (3rd) is a painter. I found this quote on Instagram: “As a painter, #Outwin2019 artist Kate Capshaw is deeply committed to revealing the crisis of homelessness as it affects young people. The alla prima painting sessions were in collaboration with the subjects, who were welcomed as guests to participate in this cycle of the series.”

Oh, yeah, she was an actor, appearing in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. She had been married to marketing manager Robert Capshaw (1976-1980); her given surname was Nail. She married the Temple of Doom director Steven Spielberg in 1991.

Kevin Nealon (18th) was a mainstay on Saturday Night Live from 1986 to 1995, anchoring Weekend Update for three years. Dana Carvey and Nealon would “Pump… you up” as Hans and Franz.

Alan Moore (18th): I probably read his work before remembering because I was picking up some Marvelman/Miracleman. The Encyclopedia Britannica describes a “British writer whose works included some of the most influential books in comics history.” It claims, probably correctly, how Watchman defined the term “graphic novel” for many readers. Still, I’m a sucker for the Moore/Steve Bissette/John Totleben Saga of the Swamp Thing, which I have in a box set.

Tina Brown (23rd): I read several publications when she was editing them, including Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and The Daily Beast.

Someone I once knew

Darlanne Fluegel (25th): In 2010, Kelly wrote about Battle Beyond the Stars, a 1980 movie I’ve never seen, and he noted how cute Darlanne was. Months later, I posted a page from a Binghamton Central High School yearbook. I didn’t know her well, as I was more friends with her sister. Still, I was very sad to hear she suffered from early-onset Alzheimer’s at 56. She died from the disease in 2017 at the age of 64

Harry Carson (26th) was a linebacker for my favorite team, the New York Giants. “Later in his career, when he was joined by outside linebackers Lawrence Taylor and Carl Banks, there was no better linebacker trio in the NFL.” He was selected for 9 Pro Bowls in 13 seasons. Carson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

Steve Bannon (27th): His poison resonates far too often. The Washington Post noted in mid-October 2023 that conservative media stars like Bannon helped fuel the GOP Speaker chaos. Here’s a 2022 BBC story about his downfall.

Lyle Mays (27th): He was a great jazz pianist who often played with jazz guitar great Pat Metheny. I associate both with Joni Mitchell’s live Shadows and Light album from 1980. He died in February 2020 from a recurring illness.

Michael Chertoff (28th) was the second Secretary of Homeland Security under George W. Bush. He was a co-author of the dreadful USA PATRIOT Act. Still, “In a July 2020 op-ed in The New York Times, Chertoff claimed” djt’s administration “was hijacking the DHS for political purposes.”

Shuggie Otis (30th) is the son of Johnny Otis, a legendary musician I wrote about in 2008. One of Shuggie’s albums features his composition Strawberry Letter #23, successfully covered by the Brothers Johnson.

Folks born in October 1953

a J5 connection

Before I turn to folks born in October 1953, I should note that I missed September altogether.

Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs (S 4) played Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington on the sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter. He was also in Roots and played the father Joe Jackson in The Jacksons: An American Dream.

Amy Irving (S 10) I saw in several movies, including Honeysuckle Rose, Yentl, and likely others. But I also HEARD her singing voice as Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Rita Rudner (S 17): “Beginning her career as a Broadway dancer, Rudner noticed the lack of female comedians in New York City and turned to stand-up comedy, where she has flourished for over three decades.”

This exercise is for one year only. It mentions people born the same year as I was.

The month in question

Christopher Norris (O 7). “She is probably best known for her portrayal of nurse Gloria “Ripples” Brancusi in the television series Trapper John, M.D.” I watched the show, although the linkage to MASH was tenuous at best.

Tony Shalhoub (O 9). I know him mainly from the TV series Wings. I’ve seen him in Barton Fink, Primary Colors, and other films. But the little I’ve seen of Monk and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel makes me think I should start watching them.

David Morse (O 11) When I first started watching St. Elsewhere in 1982, I thought Morse’s character, Dr. Jack “Boomer” Morrison, was the star because he had many of the early scenes. I soon learned it was more of an ensemble show. Since then, I’ve seen him in many TV and theatrical films.

Greg Evigan (O 14). I never saw an episode of B.J. and the Bear. But I did see a few episodes of My Two Dads. He had previously appeared on Broadway in Jesus Christ Superstar and Grease.

Also in The Jacksons

Toriano Adaryll “Tito” Jackson (O 15) is the third child and second son of Joe and Katherine. He and four of his brothers were the Jackson Five. Although a guitarist, he wasn’t allowed to play on Motown sessions. “His guitar work did not debut until he and the Jacksons left Motown for CBS Records in 1976.” He’s primarily a blues musician these days.

“In 2016, he had his first commercially successful solo single on the Billboard charts with “Get It Baby”, featuring Big Daddy Kane from his album Tito Time, becoming the ninth and final Jackson family sibling to place a solo single on the charts.”

Bill Nunn (O 20): I saw him as Radio Raheem in Spike Lee’s film Do the Right Thing and Robbie Robertson in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man film trilogy. He died on September 24, 2016, from leukemia.  

That Star Trek guy

Robert Picardo (pictured – O 27): He was Coach Cutlip on The Wonder Years and Captain Dick Richard on the ABC series China Beach, for three seasons simultaneously. He’s best known as the Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager.

Desmond Child (O 28): Born John Charles Barrett, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

“His list of accolades includes Grammy awards, 70 Top 40 singles, and songs that have sold over 300 million albums worldwide.

“Child’s career has been highlighted by a stunning array of diversity. His collaborations run the gamut… from Bon Jovi & Aerosmith to Ricky Martin… from KISS to Kelly Clarkson… from Cher to Alice Cooper.”

You Give Love A Bad Name – Bon Jovi

Angel – Aerosmith

Living La Vida Loca – Ricky Martin

Love on a Rooftop – Desmond Child

People born in July 1953

Take Off!

Here’s a list of folks who were born in July 1953. I’m only doing this in 2023 since it’s the year I turned 70.

Nancy Griffith (6th) – I have two of her albums and probably should have more. Per NPR,  she was “a Texas-born singer-songwriter celebrated in folk and country-music circles for her crystalline voice and storytelling skill… Griffith was known for her skills as a story-telling songwriter, producing memorable songs like Late Night Grand Hotel and It’s A Hard Life Wherever You Go. Her songs also proved successful for other singers: Kathy Mattea scored a country Top 5 hit with Love at the Five and Dime, while Suzy Bogguss cracked the country Top 10 with Outbound Plane, written by Griffith with Tom Russell… She survived bouts with breast cancer in 1996 and thyroid cancer in 1998,” but no cause of her death in 2021 was announced.

Anna Quindlen (8th) – I used to read her column in Newsweek. She recently wrote an article for the Saturday Evening Post on Why Writing Is for Everyone.

The boxer

Leon Spinks (11th). There was a time that I could name every heavyweight boxing champion. I remember Leon because he won the title by being Muhammad Ali in 1978 in a split decision, a massive sports upset. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer, the disease that killed my father. Spinks died on February 5, 2021, at the age of 67.

Thomas Carter (17th) is a prolific television director. He started as an actor, most notably on the TV series The White Shadow.

Claire McCaskill (24th) was a two-term Democratic US Senator from Missouri (2007-2019). She was moderately conservative. In 2018, she lost to the odious Josh Hawley. She shows up as a talking head on MSNBC. The most interesting thing I read about her was that she was a contestant on the game show High Rollers, hosted by Alex Trebek. She was champion for four days and “later sold several of her prizes to pay off her student loan debt.”

Thomas Friedman (20th) – I read his column regularly, even though I disagree with him about half the time. For every forward-thinking on the environment, he’ll follow it with It’s Time for Biden to Out-Trump Trump on Immigration.


Walter Payton (25th) was a great football player, a running back who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993.

However, the “Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award isn’t just an athletic award. It “recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field. The award was established in 1970. It was renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back, Walter Payton. Each team nominates one player who has had a significant positive impact on his community.”

“In early 1999, Payton revealed he had primary sclerosing cholangitis, a condition in which the bile ducts are blocked. He died on November 1 of that year of cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer), but not before helping to raise awareness of the rare disease.

“The football great was survived by his wife, Connie, and two children, Jarrett and Brittney. His charitable organization became the Walter and Connie Payton Foundation, with his wife taking over the foundation’s mission of helping children and veterans.”

Geddy Lee (29th) is the lead singer of the Canadian trio Rush, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. Alas, I have no Rush unless it’s on a compilation I’m not remembering. The only Geddy Lee vocal I have in my collection is Take Off by Bob & Doug McKenzie.

There’s one more birthday, about whom I’ll write later in the month.

It’s Bev’s birthday Sunday Stealing

Where’s my secret treasure?

Bev's birthdayThe Sunday Stealing proprietor was a year older yesterday. So in honor of Bev’s birthday – the big 8-0; and thinking of mine next month- though I’m a decade younger – some natal day questions.
1. What is the best thing about your birthday?
For years, when I was working, I’d take off the day. If my birthday were on a Saturday, I’d take off  Friday; if it was on Sunday, then Monday.
I’ve had a hearts game at home, most years for a decade. It is held on the weekend before or after my natal day. Two years ago, we jerry-rigged something online. And last year, I didn’t hold it because of the resurgence of COVID. But this year, for sure. I let the players know six months ahead of time.

2. What is your favorite thing to do for your birthday?

On my birthday, I’ve gone to the movies, then out to eat.
3. What’s one thing you learned in the past year?
I hate ZOOM, mainly when it involves more than nine people. I knew that before, but it’s become codified irritation.
4. What do you wish for in the next year?
It’s already happened, which is that next year, I won’t be in charge of something I was ostensibly in charge of for at least the past dozen years. I am HAPPY.
5. What’s the best thing about turning a year older?
Mostly, at this point, it’s better than the alternative.
‘Til my daddy takes my Tbird away
6. What was the most fun thing you did in the last year?
I saw a lot of plays, musicals, and movies, which I did not attend nearly as often the previous year, if at all, because of COVID. I’ve already seen more films in cinemas during 2023 thus far than in all 2021 and 2022 combined.
7. If you could understand any animal, which would it be?
Cats. Specifically my cats.
8. What is something that used to be hard but is now easy?
I’m much better at expressing my opinion. The blog helps. Getting older and cantankerous is helpful too.

9. If you could only keep one thing in your room, what would it be?

It’s a metal box with a lot of genealogical material.
10. Which person makes you laugh the most? Why?
My daughter, because she’s very witty.
11. If you could go back in time, when and where would you go?
Nah. Every era has its problems.
12. If you were to bury a secret treasure, where would you bury it?
If I had a secret treasure and told you where it was, then that would be a very poor secret.
From Cats
13. What is your favorite memory?
OY! So many. I liked playing racquetball from 1983 to 2010 at the Albany YMCA two to five days a week with Don, Tom, Jennifer, Norm, Fred, Mike, Alan, Dan, Charlie, Tyrone, Ward (who cheated), and others.
14. How have you helped others lately?
I helped my collegiate daughter with a homework assignment.
Here’s something I’m doing today. My wife is serving communion today at church. This entails preparing the sacrament and cleaning up afterward.   But she’s ALSO scheduled to count the money after church with another person. So I said I’d help with the communion cleanup with her communion partner.
Groundhog Day
15. If you had to repeat a day over and over, how you’d want it to go?
Breakfast of oatmeal and various fruits (banana, strawberries, blueberries, et al.) Work on Wordle and my blog. Snack on grapes. Get a massage. Lunch of eggs (prepared by someone else), toast, and cottage cheese. Read, eat an apple. Take a nap. Dinner, probably chicken, broccoli, mashed potatoes, and spinach.  Attend choir rehearsal. Come home and eat apple pie a la mode while watching JEOPARDY and the news.
It doesn’t sound exciting, but playing Wordle, for instance, involves me posting my score on a Facebook page and having various online conversations with friends. Working on my blog involves reading what KellyArthur, and fillyjonk are thinking and probably stealing their ideas. And naps are good!
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