Today marks the 26th birthday of pop sensation Lady Gaga.
Born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta in New York City, she was raised on the city's affluent Upper West Side. She briefly attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts before leaving to pursue a music career.
Gaga subsequently began performing in downtown bars and was quickly signed to Streamline records in 2007. She worked primarily as a songwriter until singer Akon took notice of her voice and signed her to his label as a performer.
By 2008, she was at the top of the charts with hits like "Just Dance" and "Poker Face." Her next album, The Fame Monster, spawned more hits such as "Bad Romance" and "Telephone." Her latest project, 2011's Born This Way, sold 1.1 million copies in its first week.
With only three albums under her belt, Lady Gaga has become one of the best-selling music artists of all time. She has been named Billboard's Artist of the Year, and is considered one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine.
Happy birthday, Lady Gaga!
Today is the 27th birthday of Into the Wild actor Emile Hirsch.
Born in Topanga, California, the young thespian was raised in Los Angeles and Sante Fe. He was a promising baseball player, but he eventually left it behind to pursue acting.
Hirsch first began his professional career as a child, landing minor roles on television shows such as Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, NYPD Blue, and ER.
In 2002, he made his feature film debut in Jodie Foster's The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, alongside Kieran Culkin. That same year, he starred opposite Kevin Kline in The Emperor's Club.
The actor gained wider fame two years later in the teen comedy The Girl Next Door. He then starred with Heath Ledger in Lords of Dogtown, and earned critical praise for his role as skateboarder Jay Adams.
In 2007, he was featured in Sean Penn's well-received film Into the Wild, which was based on the true story of a young outdoorsman named Christopher McCandless. He lost 40 pounds for the role and critics lauded him as a possible Academy Award contender.
Since then he has starred in Speed Racer, Gus Van Sant's Milk, Taking Woodstock, and The Darkest Hour. Hirsch will next be seen in Oliver Stone's Savages.
Happy birthday, Emile!
Today marks the 66th birthday of iconic singer and actress Liza Minnelli.
Born in Hollywood to legendary film star Judy Garland and director Vincente Minnelli, she first began performing professionally at the age of 17. Two years later she became the youngest woman to ever win a Tony Award, which she earned for her role in 1965's Flora the Red Menace.
She was praised by critics for her dramatic performances in 1969's The Sterile Cuckoo and Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon. She then became a household name for her turn as Sally Bowles in the movie-musical Cabaret, and took home an Academy Award for Best Actress.
In only a few years, Minnelli became an established star of the stage and screen, and made her mark on the music charts with albums such as Liza! Liza!, Come Saturday Morning, and Tropical Nights.
She continued to appear in TV and films through the 80's and 90's, and also returned to Broadway in 1997 to rave reviews in Victor/Victoria.
In 2000, a serious case of viral encephalitis left her in a wheelchair and barely able to speak. Doctors predicted that she would not recover, but the hard-working star managed to return to form with the help of daily dance classes and vocal lessons.
The next year she was well enough to take the stage with Michael Jackson for a special at Madison Square Garden, and in 2002, she starred in her own special, Liza's Back.
Since then she has appeared on Arrested Development as Lucille Austero, the love interest of awkward Buster Bluth, and made guest appearances on shows such as Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Saturday Night Live.
She is one of the few celebrities to have earned the EGOT: an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award. Minnelli also happens to be the only Academy Award winner whose parents also won Oscars.
Happy birthday, Liza!