I'm normally not very fond at all of February, but it's clear that there is some strange magic to that unpromising month, if only based on the extraordinary gifts it seems to have bestowed on what would appear to be a disproportionate number of children born nine months later.
Today, really, is an embarrassment of gorgeousness...
We start with the woman Cecil Beaton described as an "Asian Venus," the extraordinary Princess Fawzia of Egypt. Today she's a little old lady living quietly in Cairo, but in her time she was rather a handful, as well as being the Shah's first wife.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have art-film darling Tilda Swinton, seen here, I believe, doing an al fresco Carrie Nye impression. Or is it Cybill Shepherd?
Joel McCrea ended up a grizzled character player in Westerns, but in his youth he was a gleamingly handsome leading man at the dawn of the Talkies.
Ah, Lady Olivier. Mercurial, brilliant, and capable of inspiring, based on all one reads, almost boundless reserves of affection among friends and loved ones despite infinitely bad behavior, Vivien Leigh never quite recovered from the strain of being married to one of the few people on earth perhaps as lovely as she and yet more able than she to be regarded even more for his acting than his entrancing bone structure.
Speaking of which, bone structure would likely have carried this young man far (or at least further than sleazy Joan Collins TV movies) had not an unkind fate intervened. Somehow one feels there is an element of mercy in Jon-Erik Hexum's having been saved from a future as the David Hasselhoff of the 2020s...
If Hexum's presence here adds a note of the tragic, let's scurry right back to the ridiculous and consider the last of our birthday belles and beaux, the smoldering Miss Elke Sommer. Here we see her in full Scandinavian sexbomb bloom, in a still doubtless drawn from one of the almost endless number of All Star International Productions of the 1960s to which she contributed ... well, not very much at all.
The last I heard of her she was feuding with Zsa-Zsa over who was or was not a bigger has-been, but that was years ago. I'm sure it's still a question she's mulling over, but even so I hope she's having a happy birthday.