by Tasha Vincent
What do Malia Obama, Ann Landers, Neil Simon, Gina Lollobrigida, Calvin Coolidge, and Louis B. Mayer have in common? Apart from being recognizable figures in American popular culture and history, they share a birthday with our country: all were born on the Fourth of July.
Despite their patriotic birthdays, some of these folks weren't even born in the United States. Gina Lollobrigida was born in Subiaco, Italy, and made several Italian films before launching her career as a star in American movies in the 1950s.
Movie executive Louis B. Mayer was born in Russia and personified the American dream as he worked his way to the top of the movie industry through industrious labor and a timely merger with Samuel Goldwyn's company to form Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He revolutionized the industry with his introduction of the "studio system," which placed big-name stars under contract with a particular studio and lent each production studio its own distinct reputation for the types of films it turned out.
Michelle and Barack Obama's daughter, Malia Ann Obama, was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1998.
Other entertainment personalities were born right here in the US, including Bronx-born playwright Neil Simon, known for comedies such as Barefoot in the Park (1963), The Odd Couple (1964), Plaza Suite (1968), and Biloxi Blues (1984), which were also made into films. He also wrote a number of screenplays not based on existing works, including The Goodbye Girl (1977), California Suite (1978), and The Marrying Man (1991).
Actress Eva Marie Saint was born a little further south of Simon, in Newark, New Jersey. She is perhaps best known for her role opposite Cary Grant in Hitchcock's North by Northwest (1959), one of the American Film Institute's recently announced picks for the top 100 films.
But the prize for the person born on July 4 holding highest public office goes to Calvin Coolidge, born in Plymouth, Vermont on July 4, 1872. Perhaps not surprisingly, he is the only president born on July 4; however, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe all died on the Fourth of July, as did modern-day lover of bucolic Americana, Charles Kuralt.