Today we take a moment to wish some of the 20th century’s biggest stars a very happy birthday. Songs have been written about them, they’ve been held up as the Hollywood standard of handsomeness and beauty and no one can dispute their talent. Sound incredible? They were.
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Born April 5th, 1916, Gregory Peck was one of the most popular movie stars from the ‘40s to the ‘60s. The California native was best known for his role as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (for which he received an Academy Award). He was named one of The American Film Institute’s “Greatest Male Stars of All Time” and was named to the “International Best Dressed List”. Honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his humanitarian work, Peck was definitely more than just a handsome face.
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With her famous eyes, contentious demeanor and incredible career, Bette Davis is one of American cinema’s most celebrated leading ladies. With more than 100 films, television and theater credits attributed to her at the time of her death, it’s easy to overlook the strides she made for women’s equality in Hollywood. Co-founder of the Hollywood Canteen (for which she received a Distinguished Civilian Medal from the United States Department of Defense) Bette was also the first female president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. She won two Academy Awards, was the first actress to accrue ten nominations for acting and was the first woman to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. No wonder this incredible woman is often imitated! Born today in 1908, she is widely considered to be one of the greatest female stars of all time.
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With 75 films under his belt and widely acclaimed by his peers, Spencer Tracy is one of Hollywood’s most beloved stars. Nominated for nine Academy Awards, he received consecutive Oscars in 1937 and ’38. In 1942 he appeared with Katherine Hepburn in Woman of the Year, sparking a popular partnership that produced nine movies and launched their long-term love affair. He has been ranked one the “Ten Greatest Hollywood Legends” by the American Film Institute and his work continues to wow film scholars today.