2015 is here, the world keeps spinning, and people who were once young are gettin’ older. Here are some celebrities who turn 75 this year.
» Gary Burghoff. The diminutive and unfingered star of M*A*S*H was born in Bristol, Connecticut (not Ottumwa, Iowa).
» Patrick Stewart. Wait, Captain Picard is the same age as Radar O’Reilly? Yes. Yes he is.
» Alex Trebek. The erudite host just marked 30 years behind the Jeopardy! podium in 2014.
» Bugs Bunny. The erudite joker from Warner Brothers animation made his debut as a star in the 1940 short A Wild Hare.
» The Joker. Perhaps the most famous of all superhero villains, he appeared in Batman #1 in 1940. (Batman himself had appeared as a side character in another Detective Comic in 1939.)
» Roberta Flack. She was 33 when “Killing Me Softly” became her biggest hit in 1973.
» Jim Bakker. He’s only 75? The disgraced televangelist is back from prison, he’s bearded, and he’s still begging for money.
» Sadaharu Oh. Still the worldwide home run king, with 868 (steroid-free!) homers in 31 years in Japan’s major league.
» Nancy Pelosi. The first woman ever to become Speaker of the House was born in Baltimore in 1940.
» Chuck Norris. Now that he’s 75, perhaps we can finally cross him.
Not everybody born in 1940 made it to 2015, of course. Here are seven people who would have turned 75 this year if they hadn’t moved on.
» John Lennon. He was only 40 when he was shot to death in New York City in 1980.
» Bruce Lee. Still a martial arts icon even though he died of a brain edema in 1973.
» Wangari Maathai. The tree-planting activist won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, then died of cancer in 2011.
» Frank Zappa. He somehow seemed older in his heyday, but he would only turn 75 this year.
» Wilma Rudolph. She sprinted to fame at age 20 in the 1960 Summer Olympics, and died one year after Zappa, in 1994.
» Mary Jo Kopechne. A life cut short at 29. She died in the Chappaquiddick car crash with Senator Ted Kennedy behind the wheel.
» Richard Pryor. A heart attack got the groundbreaking comedian in 2005, but his star is still rising.
A fond salute to them all (except maybe for Jim Bakker). And here’s to the unknown movers and shakers being born this year who’ll turn 75 in 2090!