Today is "Mama Cass" Elliott's birthday, the great singer from the Mamas and the Papas, who died very young. Known for being fat in an era where Twiggy was the ideal fashion model, Cass Elliott had a smooth, beautiful voice that was, to me, wasted on the pop songs she sang -- she could have been a great singer of jazz standards. Here she is with one of the Mamas and the Papas biggest hits. No one else in the group can touch her, and they owed her their careers.
Cass Elliott, amazingly, would have been 70 today.
It's also Jeremy Irons' 63rd birthday. Irons is one of our great actors, a strange, haunting, almost Ichabod Crane-like presence on stage and in film. He's probably best at vaguely spooky roles, but my favorite is still the first thing he would have been seen in in America, his role in Brideshead Revisited, which is still probably the best British mini-series ever: