Feb. 22: Can’t lie about these GenX birthdays
Feb. 22 — I cannot tell a lie about these GenX birthdays …
OK, so George Washington (1732) wasn’t exactly a Generation X’er. But it’s his birthday today, even if he doesn’t have it all to himself anymore. And if he hadn’t been a big enough man to walk away from the absolute power he was promised in the earliest days of our republic, we might never have been the land of opportunity we are today. Cake and candles to you, your grace.
Dr. J was born Julius Erving (1950) was nearly a legend in Milwaukee as their 12th overall draft pick in 1972. Or Atlanta, where he somehow signed a contract draft-be-damned. Meanwhile, he was a member of the ABA’s Virginia Squires. But in a messy three-way court battle, he wound up remaining with the Squires, where he won two ABA titles. He’d join the NBA after the leagues merged in 1976, and won a title there with the 76ers in 1983.
Drew Barrymore (1975) turns 46. After breaking out as a child actor in “E.T.” (1982), she disappeared into a morass of substance abuse before emerging in the ’90s. She hit it big again with “Scream” (1996), “The Wedding Singer” (1998), “50 First Dates” (2004) and more.
Jeri Ryan (1968) is a 10, especially as “7 of 9,” and even at 53. She was born Jeri Zimmerman in Munich, West Germany, to a US Army Master Sergeant. From there, she moved to Paducah, Ky., and went on to win Miss Illinois in 1989, and finish third runner-up in the 1990 Miss America. She translated that into acting, where she made her debut on “Who’s the Boss?” before landing the role of the “Seven of Nine” Borg escapee in “Star Trek: Voyager” (1995–2001) in its fourth season. Shockingly, the year she joined the cast, the show’s ratings shot up 60%. Can’t imagine why.
If your birthday is a downer, Rachel Dratch (1966) can help you out. Now 55, her most memorable character might be Debbie Downer from her tenure on SNL (1999–2006). The diminutive Dratch has made cameos on a number of other shows, including “30 Rock” by her former SNL castmate Tina Fey. She has a 10-year-old son and in 2012 wrote an autobiography, “Girl Walks into a Bar … Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle.”