Birthdays are a wonderful daily occurrence in our lives. It is rare to weave through one’s day without becoming privy to an announcement or celebration of a birthday or two, whether they belong to family, friends, or other eminent figures. Remembering those who have passed each day is, perhaps, just as noteworthy an endeavor, for if their memories are kept alive, one might argue, so too are their spirits.
Here is a sampling of June 15 honorees:
Ice Cube – Born on this date in 1969 in Los Angeles, Ice Cube helped originate gangsta rap, beginning his career as a member of the rap group N.W.A along with group leader Eazy-E. He later launched a successful solo career in music, but didn’t stop there, spreading his wings and taking on a movie career as well. He first appeared in “Boyz N the Hood” in 1991, and later in successful films such as “Friday,” “Next Friday,” “Barber Shop” and “Are We There Yet?”
Courteney Cox – She first lit up the small screen in the 1984 music video for “Dancing in the Dark,” in which she was the girl pulled onstage to dance with Bruce Springsteen. Born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1964, she was only 20 years old at that defining moment, but clearly the best was yet to come. The role of a lifetime occurred in 1994 when “Friends” launched and for the next 10 years, it was a significant part of America’s television landscape. During that time, she also found time to appear in each of three films in the “Scream” series, and marry fellow actor, David Arquette.
Jim Belushi – For many years, he was burdened with the image of being John Belushi’s brother, but Jim Belushi has emerged as one of the busiest entertainers in the country. He’s appeared, whether through voice-over or in person, in a myriad of film and television roles, including 33 episodes of “Saturday Night Live,” and 182 episodes of his own series, “According to Jim.” He’s toured with Dan Aykroyd in a more recent version of the Blues Brothers. Jim Belushi was born in Chicago, Illinois on this day in 1954.
Ella Fitzgerald – The world lost some of its rhythm on this day in 1996 when Ella Fitzgerald passed away at the age of 79. She was the “Queen of Scat” and the “First Lady of Song,” and is beloved as one of the most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th century. Her recording career lasted an incredible 59 years, and during that time she won 13 Grammy Awards. She was also awarded the National Medal of Art by Ronald Reagan and the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George H. W. Bush.
Hume Cronyn – He died in Fairfield, Connecticut in 2003 and his 91 years of life included a 52-year marriage to Jessica Tandy until her death, and an unparalleled acting career that transitioned effortlessly between stage and screen. His career began in “Hipper’s Holiday” on stage in 1934 and endured until 2001. Perhaps his most famous screen role was in Ron Howard’s “Cocoon” in 1985.