You Won’t Believe These 25 Icons Are Turning 70 in 2017

2017 marks Reader’s Digest Canada’s 70th anniversary, but we’re not the only ones celebrating this particular milestone. Believe it or not, these celebrities, icons and institutions are all turning 70 in 2017!

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Arnold Schwarzenegger is turning 70 in 2017
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1. Arnold Schwarzenegger

It may be hard to believe, but the iconic Austrian bodybuilder, action movie star and former Governor of California is turning 70 this year. Now, he’s the host of NBC’s The New Celebrity Apprentice—a reminder that he’ll always be back.

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Elton John performing live
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2. Elton John

Elton John has had so many hits that it’s darn near impossible to pick your favourite. Tiny Dancer? Sure, but what about Bennie and the Jets? Or Rocket Man? Turning 70 in 2017, one of the most unique figures in pop music remains as relevant as ever.

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Woman playing with frisbee
Robert Liwanag

3. Frisbee

Are you an Ultimate Frisbee player? Then you have American inventor Fred Morrison to thank. Originally called Pluto Platters, toy company Wham-O bought Morrison’s invention and renamed it the “Frisbee” in 1947. Outdoor play was never the same again.

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Comedian David Letterman
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4. David Letterman

David Letterman has been famous for so long that it’s surprising he’s only turning 70 now.  After his 33 year stint on late-night television, we’re pretty sure the funny man is still loving retirement.

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Bat Out of Hell by Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman

5. Meat Loaf

Known for his energetic live performances, operatic voice and distinctive look, Meat Loaf’s songs are staples of classic rock radio. Not surprising when you consider 1977’s Bat Out of Hell remains one of the best-selling albums of all time.

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Recording studio
Photo: Shutterstock

6. Atlantic Records

Ever heard of Atlantic Records? Chances are some of your favourite music artists were at one point signed there. Now owned by Warner Music Group, the famous record label was once home to the likes of Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Led Zeppelin and Otis Redding. Rock on!

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
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7. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Next time a friend refers to Michael Jordan as the greatest basketball player of all time, remind them that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has an equally impressive resume: he’s the NBA’s all-time leader in points scored (38,387), games played (1,560) and MVP Awards won (six). Abdul-Jabbar’s legendary “skyhook” shot made him an unstoppable force in basketball for nearly two decades.

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Blue paint can
Robert Liwanag

8. Behr

The popular paint brand is turning 70 this year! Founded by Otto Behr, Jr. shortly after the Second World War, Behr started as a father-and-son business that operated out of a garage. Decades later, it’s bigger than ever.

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AC/DC album Back in Black

9. Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson’s high-pitched screech is so synonymous with AC/DC that it’s easy to forget he was the band’s third lead singer. After a successful string of albums that began with 1980’s Back in Black, Johnson quit the band last year due to hearing problems.

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Camilla Parker-Bowles
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10. Camilla Parker-Bowles

For many years, Camilla’s relationship with Prince Charles made her one of the most scrutinized and parodied figures in the United Kingdom. Now, as the Duchess of Cornwall, she’s played an integral role in raising awareness for issues like sexual assault and osteoporosis.

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Carlos Santana
Photo: Anthony Ricci/Shutterstock

11. Carlos Santana

Everyone who’s listened to Black Magic Woman has at one point or another dreamed of playing the guitar like Carlos Santana. The Mexican bluesman is a seminal figure in the music business, and played a key role in bringing Latin American music into the mainstream.

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Anne Frank stamp
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12. The Diary of Anne Frank

Seventy years on, The Diary of Anne Frank remains one of the most important documents of World War II and the Holocaust. Anne Frank’s account of her family’s two-year ordeal hiding from the Nazis is essential reading for young and old alike.

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Actor Sam Neill
Photo: Helga Esteb/Shutterstock

13. Sam Neill

Even though New Zealander Sam Neill has starred in films as varied as Dead CalmThe Hunt for Red October and The Piano, he’ll always be remembered as Dr. Alan Grant in Jurassic Park (and we’re hoping he’s totally okay with that).

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Emmylou Harris performing onstage
Robert Liwanag

14. Emmylou Harris

One of the most influential figures in country music (and one of the greatest interpreters of traditional folk songs), Emmylou Harris has been releasing records since the late 60s. Her impressive career has included collaborations with the likes of Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt, and Dolly Parton.

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Red Ferrari racing car
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15. Ferrari

Although few of us will ever have the opportunity to sit behind the wheel of a Ferrari, everyone knows the iconic brand and its cachet. Founded by Enzo Ferrari in 1939, the renowned car manufacturer built is first sports car in 1947—70 years ago. The rest, as they say, is history.

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Glenn Close
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16. Glenn Close

Widely regarded as one of the finest actresses of her generation, Glenn Close has a versatility unlike any other. Just look at the range between her psychotic (and iconic) performance in 1987’s Fatal Attraction and her rendition of Cruella de Vil in 101 Dalmatians.

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Hillary Clinton
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17. Hillary Clinton

2016 was arguably the most important year of Hillary Clinton’s career; a year in which she was admired and vilified like no other figure in recent American politics (with the exception of her opponent, Donald Trump, perhaps). When Clinton turns 70 this year, we may get a glimpse of what she plans to do next.

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Comedian Larry David
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18. Larry David

When Curb Your Enthusiasm premiered on HBO in 2000, Larry David usurped Woody Allen as America’s most famous curmudgeon. The Seinfeld co-creator and writer is turning 70 this year, and he’ll probably have more than a few words to say about that.

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Vinyl record on turntable
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19. Long-Playing Records

First introduced by Columbia Records, LPs were the standard for the entire record industry for decades. Believe it or not, vinyl records are making a huge comeback: vinyl sales have grown steadily over the past nine years.

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MIck Fleetwood playing the drums
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20. Mick Fleetwood

Ever wondered who that tall, ponytailed man is on the cover of 1977’s Rumours?  Well, that’s none other than Fleetwood Mac member and co-founder Mick Fleetwood. The English drummer has been with the band since its inception in 1967, and turns 70 in 2017.

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Richard Dreyfuss
Photo: Helga Esteb/Shutterstock

21. Richard Dreyfuss

Few actors have had as good of a run as Richard Dreyfuss did in the 1970s. In a five-year span, the actor starred in American GraffitiJawsThe Goodbye Girl and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. This year, the thespian will be turning 70.

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Horror novelist Stephen King
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22. Stephen King

Chances are, several of your favourite horror films started out as Stephen King novels—The ShiningCarrie, to name a few. The prolific writer is turning 70 this year. (That’s several decades older than the life expectancy of most of his characters.)

Check out the 8 Most Terrifying Animals in Film History! (Yes, King’s Cujo made the cut!)

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Actor Ted Danson
Photo: Helga Esteb/Shutterstock

23. Ted Danson

Every week for 11 years, TV audiences tuned into a show about a bar where everybody knew your name. Its hero? Ted Danson as everyman bartender Sam Malone. Although Cheers closed its doors for the last time in 1993, Danson’s character remains one of television’s most memorable creations.

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James Woods
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24. James Woods

Noted character actor James Woods is turning 70 this year. Although Woods has been a staple in Hollywood for decades, it’s his bizarre off-screen behaviour (not to mention his Tweets) that have made him a particularly controversial figure as of late.

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Hamilton sign on Broadway
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25. The Tony Awards

Celebrating the very best achievements of live Broadway theatre productions, the Tony Awards were first handed out in 1947. Playwright Arthur Miller, actress Ingrid Bergman and filmmaker Elia Kazan were among the night’s winners.

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