2 February


1650

 Nell Gwynne
Nell Gwynne (2 February 1650 – 14 November 1687) was a long-time mistress of King Charles II of England and Scotland. Called “pretty, witty Nell” by Samuel Pepys, she has been regarded as a living embodiment of the spirit of Restoration England and has come to be considered a folk heroine, with a story echoing the rags-to-royalty tale of Cinderella. She was the most famous Restoration actress and possessed a prodigious comic talent. Gwyn had two sons by King Charles: Charles Beauclerk (1670-1726); and James Beauclerk (1671-1680). Born Eleanor Gwyn in St Martin in the Fields, London. (d. 1687)

1754

 Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord
Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord (2 February 1754 – 17 May 1838), 1st Prince of Benevento, then 1st Prince of Talleyrand, was a laicized French bishop, politician, and diplomat. He worked at the highest levels of successive French governments, most commonly as foreign minister or in some other diplomatic capacity. His career spanned the regimes of Louis XVI, the years of the French Revolution, Napoleon, Louis XVIII, and Louis-Philippe. Born in Paris, France. (d. 1838)

1861

 Solomon R Guggenheim
Solomon R. Guggenheim (February 2, 1861 – November 3, 1949) was an American businessman and art collector. He is best known for establishing the Guggenheim Foundation and the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Guggenheim founded the Yukon Gold Company in Alaska. He began collecting art in the 1890s. He had created an important collection by the 1930s and opened his first museum in 1939. Born Solomon Robert Guggenheim in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (d. 1949)

1882

 James Joyce
James Joyce (2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941) was an Irish novelist, short story writer, and poet. He contributed to the modernist avant-garde and is regarded as one of the most influential and important authors of the 20th century. Joyce is best known for Ulysses (1922). Other well-known works are the short-story collection Dubliners (1914), and the novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Finnegans Wake (1939). Born James Augustine Aloysius Joyce in Rathgar, Dublin, Ireland. (d. 1941)

1883

 S. Z. Sakall
Szőke Szakáll (2 February 1883 – 12 February 1955), known as S.Z. Sakall, was a Hungarian film character actor. He was in many films including In the Good Old Summertime, Lullaby of Broadway, Christmas in Connecticut and Casablanca in which he played Carl, the head waiter. Chubby-jowled Sakall played numerous supporting roles in Hollywood musicals and comedies in the 1940s and 1950s. His rotund cuteness caused studio head Jack Warner to bestow on Sakall the nickname “Cuddles”. Warner asked that he be billed as S.Z. “Cuddles” Sakall in his later films, though he was never happy with the name. Born Gerő Jenő in Budapest, Hungary. (d. 1955)

1897

 Howard Johnson
Howard Johnson (February 2, 1897 – June 20, 1972) was an American entrepreneur, businessman, and the founder of an American chain of restaurants and motels under one company of the same name, Howard Johnson’s. Born Howard Deering Johnson in Boston, Massachusetts. (d. 1972)

1901

 Jascha Heifetz
Jascha Heifetz (2 February 1901 – 10 December 1987) was a Lithuanian-born Russian violinist. Many consider him to be the greatest violinist of all time. Heifetz owned the 1714 Dolphin Stradivarius, the 1731 “Piel” Stradivarius, the 1736 Carlo Tononi, and the 1742 ex David Guarneri del Gesù, the last of which he preferred and kept until his death. Born in Vilna, Russian Empire. (d. 1987)

1905

 Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand (February 2 1905 – March 6, 1982) was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright and screenwriter. She is known for her two best-selling novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism. Born Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum in St Petersburg, Russian Empire. (d. 1982)

1920

 Hughie Green
Hughie Green (2 February 1920 – 3 May 1997) was the host of numerous British television shows. Green became a household name in 1955, with the ITV quiz show Double Your Money. Green’s most successful show format was his self-developed long-running talent show, Opportunity Knocks. Born Hugh Hughes Green in Marylebone, London, England. (d. 1997)

1925

 Elaine Stritch
Elaine Stritch (February 2, 1925 – July 17, 2014) was an American actress and singer, best known for her work on Broadway. She appeared in numerous stage plays and musicals, feature films, and many television programs. She starred with Donald Sinden in the ITV sitcom Two’s Company, which ran from 1975 to 1979 and earned her a BAFTA TV Award nomination. She won an Emmy Award in 1993 for her guest role on Law & Order and another in 2004 for the television documentary of her one woman show. From 2007 to 2012, she had a recurring role as Jack Donaghy’s mother, Colleen, on NBC’s 30 Rock, a role that won her a third Emmy in 2008. She was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1995. Born in Detroit, Michigan. (d. 2014)
 Fanny Carby
Fanny Carby was born on February 2, 1925 in Sutton, Surrey, England. She is known for her work on The Elephant Man (1980), A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (1972) and Mrs Dalloway (1997). (d. 2002)

1926

 Valéry Giscard d’Estaing
Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (born 2 February 1926) is a French author and elder statesman who served as President of the French Republic from 1974 to 1981 and is now a member of the Constitutional Council of France. Born Valéry Marie René Georges Giscard d’Estaing in Koblenz, French-occupied Germany.

1927

 Stan Getz
Stan Getz (born February 2, 1927 – June 6, 1991) was an American jazz saxophonist. Playing primarily the tenor saxophone, Getz came to prominence in the late 1940s with Woody Herman’s big band. He popularized bossa nova in America with the hit single “The Girl from Ipanema” (1964). Born Stanley Gayetski in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (d. 1991)

1931

 Les Dawson
Les Dawson (2 February 1931 – 10 June 1993) was an English comedian, actor, writer, and presenter, who is best remembered for his deadpan style, curmudgeonly persona and jokes about his mother-in-law and wife. Dawson starred in Listen to Les on BBC Radio 2 in the 1970s and 1980s. Television series in which he appeared included Sez Les, The Les Dawson Show, Dawson’s Weekly, Jokers Wild (1969-73) and the quiz show Blankety Blank, which he presented from 1984 until its cancellation in 1990. Born Leslie Dawson Jr in Collyhurst, Manchester, Lancashire, England. (d. 1993)
 Glynn Edwards
Glynn Edwards (born 2 February 1931) is a British actor. He is best known for his role as Dave ‘the barman’ Harris, owner of the Winchester Club in 10 series of ITV drama Minder. His most notable film appearances were in Robbery, Zulu and Get Carter. Born in Malaya.

1937

 Tom Smothers
Tom Smothers (born February 2, 1937) is an American comedian, composer and musician, best known as half of the musical comedy duo the Smothers Brothers, alongside his younger brother Dick. Born Thomas Bolyn Smothers III in New York City, New York.

1940

 David Jason
Sir David Jason, OBE (born 2 February 1940) is an English actor and comedian. He portrayed Derek “Del Boy” Trotter in the BBC comedy series Only Fools and Horses, and Detective Inspector Jack Frost in the ITV crime drama A Touch of Frost. Other high-profile television roles were as Granville in the sitcom Open All Hours, and Pop Larkin in the comedy drama The Darling Buds of May as well as the voices of Mr. Toad in The Wind in the Willows, Danger Mouse, and Count Duckula. In September 2006 Jason topped the poll to find TV’s 50 Greatest Stars, as part of ITV’s 50th anniversary celebrations. Born David John White in Edmonton, Middlesex, England.

1941

 Terry Biddlecombe
Terry Biddlecombe (2 February 1941 – 2 January 2014) was an English National Hunt racing jockey in the 1960s and 1970s. He was Champion Jockey in 1965, 1966 and 1969. Born in Gloucester. (d. 2014)

1942

 Graham Nash
Graham Nash, OBE (born 2 February 1942) is a British-American singer-songwriter and musician. Nash is known for his light tenor voice and for his songwriting contributions as a member of the English pop/rock group the Hollies and the folk-rock supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1997 and as a member of the Hollies in 2010. Born Graham William Nash in Blackpool, Lancashire, England.

1943

 Susan Hanson
Susan Hanson (born 2 February 1943, in Preston, Lancashire) is an English actress who played the part of Diane Lawton aka Diane Parker aka Diane Hunter in the long-running British soap opera Crossroads from 1966-87, when her character was controversially killed off. She also had a brief role in the film Catch Us If You Can (1965) starring The Dave Clark Five. Born in Preston, Lancashire, England.

1944

 Andrew Davis
Sir Andrew Davis CBE (born 2 February 1944) is an English conductor. He is currently music director and principal conductor of Lyric Opera of Chicago, chief conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and conductor laureate of both the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Born Andrew Frank Davis in Ashridge, Hertfordshire.
 Geoffrey Hughes
Geoffrey Hughes DL (2 February 1944 – 27 July 2012) was an English actor. Hughes provided the voice of Paul McCartney in the 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine, and rose to fame for portraying much-loved binman Eddie Yeats in the popular long-running British soap opera Coronation Street. He went on to appear in two popular British television sitcoms during the 1990s, playing loveable slob Onslow in Roy Clarke’s Keeping Up Appearances (1990-95) followed by Twiggy in Craig Cash and Caroline Aherne’s The Royle Family (1998-2000). From 2001-05 he played Vernon Scripps, conman and loveable rogue, on the ITV police drama Heartbeat. Born in Wallasey, Cheshire, England. (d. 2012)

1947

 Farrah Fawcett
Farrah Fawcett (February 2, 1947 – June 25, 2009) was an American actress, model, and artist. A four-time Emmy Award nominee and six-time Golden Globe Award nominee, Fawcett rose to international fame when she posed for her iconic red swimsuit poster – which became the best selling pin-up poster in history – and starred as private investigator Jill Munroe in the first season of the television series Charlie’s Angels (1976-1977). Born Ferrah Leni Fawcett in Corpus Christi, Texas. (d. 2009)

1949

 Duncan Bannatyne
Duncan Bannatyne, OBE (born 2 February 1949), is a Scottish entrepreneur, philanthropist and author. His business interests include hotels, health clubs, spas, media, TV, stage schools, property and transport. He is most famous for his appearance as a business angel on the BBC programme Dragons’ Den. Born Duncan Walker Bannatyne in Clydebank, Scotland.
 Brent Spiner
Brent Spiner (born February 2, 1949) is an American actor, comedian, and singer best known for his portrayal of the android Lieutenant Commander Data in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and four subsequent films. In 1997, he won the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Data in Star Trek: First Contact, and was nominated in the same category for portraying Dr. Brackish Okun in Independence Day. Born Brent Jay Spiner in Houston, Texas.

1951

 Ken Bruce
Ken Bruce (born 2 February 1951) is a British broadcaster who hosts the The Ken Bruce Show on BBC Radio 2. Born Kenneth Robertson Bruce in Glasgow, Scotland.

1952

 Carol Ann Susi
Carol Ann Susi (February 2, 1952 – November 11, 2014) was an American actress best known for providing the voice of recurring unseen character Mrs. Wolowitz on the television series The Big Bang Theory. Born in Brooklyn, New York. (d. 2014)

1954

 Christie Brinkley
Christie Brinkley (born February 2, 1954) is an American model, actress and businesswoman. Brinkley gained worldwide fame beginning in the late 1970s with three consecutive Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue covers through 1981. Brinkley has been married four times, most notably to musician Billy Joel, several of whose music videos she appeared in. Born Christine Lee Hudson in Monroe, Michigan.

1955

 Virginia Leng
Virginia Leng MBE ( born 2 February 1955) is a British equestrian competitor who competed in eventing. She is the 1986 World Champion and three-time Individual European Champion (1985, 1987, 1989). She also won two World team golds (1982 and 1986) and four European team golds (1981, 1985-89). A four-tme Olympic medallist, she won Individual bronze and team silver in both 1984 and 1988. Born Virginia Helen Antoinette Holgate in Malta.
 Louisa Rix
Louisa Rix (born 2 February 1955) is a British film and television actress. The daughter of the farce actor Sir Brian Rix and actress Elspet Gray, she played the character of ‘Kevin’s Mum’ (with Harry Enfield’s Kevin) on television and in the film Kevin & Perry Go Large (2000). Rix also played Mel Smith’s girlfriend in the British sitcom Colin’s Sandwich (1988-90).

1963

 Eva Cassidy
Eva Cassidy (February 2, 1963 – November 2, 1996) was an American singer and guitarist known for her interpretations of jazz and blues.Two years after her death, Cassidy’s music was brought to the attention of British audiences, when her versions of “Fields of Gold” and “Over the Rainbow” were played on BBC Radio 2. Born Eva Marie Cassidy in Washington, DC. (d. 1996)

1977

 Shakira
Shakira ( born 2 February 1977) is a Colombian singer, songwriter, and dancer. Shakira entered the English-language market with her fifth album, Laundry Service. Its lead single, “Whenever, Wherever”, became one of the most successful singles of 2002. Shakira has received numerous awards, including 5 MTV Video Music Awards, 3 Grammy Awards, 12 Latin Grammy Awards, 7 Billboard Music Awards, 33 Billboard Latin Music Awards and has been Golden Globe-nominated. Born Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll in Barranquilla, Atlántico, Colombia.

1979

 Christine Lampard
Christine Lampard (born 2 February 1979) is a Northern Irish broadcaster, best known for her current television work with ITV. Born Christine Louise Bleakley in Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland.

1986

 Gemma Arterton
Gemma Arterton (born 2 February 1986) is an English actress. She is best known for her roles in St Trinian’s (2007), Quantum of Solace (2008), Clash of the Titans (2010), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010), and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013). Born Gemma Christina Arterton in Gravesend, Kent.

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