Three GeekDad icons share a birthday today!
Stan Lee, born Stanley Martin Lieber on December 28, 1922, is the creator of Spider-Man and former head of Marvel Comics. Lee is almost as well-known as his famous comic book heroes, making cameo appearances in movies of The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, The Fantastic Four and Iron Man, and reportedly in the upcoming Thor. GeekDad has written often about the man, including a one-on-one interview. We’re glad to hear that the Broadway musical production of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has resumed after the latest special effects snafu left an actor injured and hope that the show manages to turn itself around enough to become another feather in Lee’s well-worn cap.
Nichelle Nichols was born Grace Nichols on December 28, 1932. As the Enterprise’s communications officer Lieutenant Uhura on the original Star Trek series, Nichols became a hero to girls and African Americans looking for role models to emulate in their quest for geekdom. And as I realized watching the DVD set of ST:TOS which my kids got my husband and me for Christmas, as corny as the sets and the special effects on may appear today, Uhura still looks stunning.
Dame Margaret Natalie Smith Cross, DBE, otherwise known as Maggie Smith, was born December 28, 1934. If the character of Minerva McGonagall, professor of transfiguration and Deputy Headmistress of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, was not written with Smith in mind, it would be impossible to imagine anyone else in the role. As McGonagall Smith brings authority to the character simply because of the many roles we have seen her play over the years (most notably in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, in which she was a young boarding school teacher known for her strictness). Harry Potter fans eagerly await the final movie in the much-loved series, and our last glimpse of Professor McGonagall, the witches’ witch.