Like most boys who grew up in the 1970s, I was obsessed with Farrah Fawcett. (The original) Charlie’s Angels was appointment television for me and everyone I knew. I saved up my paper route money and rushed off to Spencer’s Gifts at the Metcalf South mall to purchase the best-selling poster featuring Farrah in that legendary red maillot. I saw Somebody Killed Her Husband on opening night at the Oak Park 6 Theater. (Look it up… it’s a real movie she starred in circa 1978.) I even bought a paperback called “Farrah’s World” at the Nallwood Junior High School book fair. In it, I learned — among other things — that Farrah was born on February 2, 1947. Farrah Fawcett was born on Groundhog Day. I vowed to never forget that and, indeed, I never have. (This obsession came in handy when I later penned a term paper entitled, “Charlie’s Angels: The Boob Tube at its Finest.”)
Fast forward to my freshman year of college when I went to see Billy Joel in concert at the Notre Dame Athletic and Convocation Center on February 2, 1984. Don’t judge… An Innocent Man was a hugely popular album at the time, with hits like “Tell Her About It,” “The Longest Time,” “Leave a Tender Moment Alone” and my fave rave: “Keeping the Faith.” Billy announced that (his then girlfriend) Christie Brinkley was in the audience and that it was her birthday. He led the entire sold out crowd in a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday To You” for his soon-to-be-bride. Then Christie joined Billy on stage and pranced around to “Uptown Girl” just like she did in the music video. It was a little slice of ’80s heaven.
Then it struck me… Farrah Fawcett and Christie Brinkley shared a birthday! The iconic beauty of the ’70s and the iconic beauty of the ’80s were both born on Groundhog Day. What are the odds?
You know who else is celebrating a birthday today? Jennifer Westfeldt — writer/star of Kissing Jessica Stein and Ira & Abby, writer/star/director of the upcoming Friends With Kids. Like Farrah and Christie before her, she, too, is a blonde beauty. Full disclosure: Jennifer has been a good pal of mine for years. But even before we met, Kissing Jessica Stein was one of my absolute favorite movies. In fact, it’s still the go-to DVD I watch most, along with Broadcast News, Working Girl, and Center Stage. But I digress.
When I first found out that Jennifer’s birthday is on February 2nd, I couldn’t contain my excitement in telling her she shared the date with Ms. Fawcett and Ms. Brinkley. I’m not sure if I’ve ever explained to her why I have this knowledge, but now it’s out there. We’re still friends, so I must not have freaked her out too much with that trivia. But before I sign off, I can’t resist throwing out one more! The Colombian singer/songwriter/sensation Shakira was born on this day in 1977. Come on! Hips don’t lie, nor do I. So let us raise a glass to the beautiful women of February 2nd. R.I.P., Farrah. Happy birthday, Christie, Jennifer and Shakira. Happy Groundhog Day, one and all.