In light of the nod to Harrison Ford's b-day, I feel it is only fair to honor Patrick Stewart, who has reached the 70 year milestone today. I'm sure I am not alone on this board in being a fan of Star Trek: TNG, the show that first introduced most of us to his acting talents. He also did a fine job as Professor X in the X-Men movie series and as Ebenezer Scrooge in what I consider to be one of the best TV renditions of "A Christmas Carol." (He has done far more extensive work in film, TV and voiceover; these are just roles I'm most familiar with)
What many of you may also know (or not) is that he is a classically trained stage actor, and is a renowned honorary member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, which he first joined in 1966. This background led him directly to a relationship with U of M, when he participated as the headlining actor in their most recent residency on campus in 2006. Having been a huge fan of his for many years prior, it was a thrill for me to see him at the Power Center in the title role in Antony and Cleopatra (he also did The Tempest, which I missed), as well as witness him conduct the Michigan Marching Band in a round of "The Victors" at the Ball State game that season. It was certainly a memorable fall season in Ann Arbor, and Mr. Stewart made it that much more special for me. I like to think that it was also a unique experience for him as an accomplished actor.
So, Happy Birthday Sir Patrick, and thanks for the Shakespeare brilliance and Michigan Stadium memories!