Famous People Born In 1961

Discover the most famous people born in 1961. The list includes people like Barack Obama, Michael J. Fox, Laurence Fishburne, Forest Whitaker, George Clooney and many more. This list of celebrities is loosely sorted by popularity. People featured on this list, include political leaders, football players, journalists and directors born in 1961. This list includes people from United States, United Kingdom, Canada & Australia and many more countries.
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 1 
Barack Obama
(44th President of the United States (2009-2017))
Barack Obama
351
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 4th August
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

Former President of the United States, Barack Obama, has the distinction of being the first African-American president of the nation. A civil rights attorney and an academic, he has been credited with bringing about a significant improvement in America’s reputation abroad. His efforts to strengthen international diplomacy was recognized with the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

 2 
Princess Diana
(First Wife of Charles, Prince of Wales)
Princess Diana
146
Birthdate: 1st July
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Norfolk, England, United Kingdom
Died: August 31, 1997

The first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, Princess Diana was a member of the British royal family. As a princess, she became known for her unconventional approach to charity work. She was celebrated as a style icon and fashionista as well. She divorced Charles in 1996 and died in a tragic car accident the following year.

 3 
Eddie Murphy
(Actor, )
Eddie Murphy
80
Birthdate: 3rd April
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Actor and comedian, Eddie Murphy, is one of the highest-grossing actors in the United States. Beginning his career as a comedian on the TV show Saturday Night Live, he went on to become a bankable movie actor. Also a singer, he has released many studio albums. He has been awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

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 4 
Michael J. Fox
(Retired Actor, Activist & Philanthropist)
Michael J. Fox
51
Birthdate: 9th June
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Edmonton, Canada

Beginning his career as a child star, actor Michael J. Fox went on to play more mature roles as a young adult and established himself firmly in Hollywood. His thriving career suffered a setback when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at just 29. Despite his health issues, he continues to act and advocates for Parkinson's disease research.

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 5 
George Clooney
(Actor Best Known for His TV Series 'ER' and Films: 'Syriana' and 'Ocean's Eleven' Trilogy)
George Clooney
116
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 6th May
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lexington, Kentucky, United States
Multiple award winning actor, producer, writer and director, George Clooney rose to fame with a medical drama ER and has since then established himself as a bigtime star with movies like Syriana, Good Night, and Good Luck and Ocean's Eleven trilogy. The living legend is also known for his humanitarian work and support to numerous social and political causes.
 6 
Woody Harrelson
(Actor and Playwright)
Woody Harrelson
56
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: 23rd July
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Midland, Texas, United States

Actor Woody Harrelson has been active in the entertainment world for over 40 years now. The son of a convicted hit-man, he had a difficult childhood and grew up in poverty. However, he was determined to build a good life for himself and earned a BFA in theater before venturing into acting. He is a vegan and an environmental activist.

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 7 
Wayne Gretzky
(One of the Greatest Ice Hockey Players in the History of the National Hockey League)
Wayne Gretzky
55
Birthdate: 26th January
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brantford, Canada
Nicknamed "The Great One,” Wayne Gretzky is a four-time Stanley Cup Champion and a six-time All-Star record-breaker. The Hockey Hall of Fame inductee played for four NHL teams from 1979 to 1999, was the leading scorer in NHL history, and served as the head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes.
 8 
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
(Actress and Comedian Known for Her Work in 'Saturday Night Live' and the TV Sitcom 'Seinfeld')
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
63
Birthdate: 13th January
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City, United States

An actress and comedian, Julia Louis-Dreyfus has won more Screen Actors Guild Awards and more Emmy Awards than any other artist in American television history. In 2016, she was named in Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world list. In 2018, she was presented with America's highest comedy honor - The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

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 9 
Jennifer Coolidge
(Actress and Comedian Best Known for Role as ‘Jeanine Stifler’ in ‘American Pie’ Film Series)
Jennifer Coolidge
58
Birthdate: 28th August
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Jennifer Coolidge is an American actress. She is known for playing Jeanine Stifler in the sex comedy film series American Pie. Also known for her charity work, Coolidge has had a major impact working with organizations that support animal rights and AIDS assistance. Thanks to her performance in Legally Blonde, her voice has been the subject of a famous impression.

 10 
Ralph Macchio
(Known for His Performance in ‘Karate Kid’ Films and ‘Cobra Kai’ TV Series)
Ralph Macchio
27
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 4th November
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Huntington, New York, United States

Ralph Macchio is best known for his role in three Karate Kid films and Cobra Kai, a sequel television series. The Outsiders, Eight Is Enough, My Cousin Vinny, Crossroads, Ugly Betty and Hitchcock are some of his other notable films. He’s also been part of some TV projects and took part in the reality television show Dancing with the Stars.

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 11 
Ricky Gervais
(British Comedian, Actor and Director)
Ricky Gervais
34
Birthdate: 25th June
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Whitley, Reading, England

Ricky Gervais is one of the best known comedians in the world. He attained fame after starring in the British television series The Office. Later, he ventured into a successful stand-up comedy career. He has performed at many shows and has also acted in several films. However, his dark comedy has often been called insensitive and offensive by several critics.

 12 
James Gandolfini
(Best Known for His Role as ‘Tony Soprano’ in the TV Series ‘The Sopranos’)
James Gandolfini
27
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 18th September
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Westwood, New Jersey, United States
Died: June 19, 2013

James Gandolfini was an American actor who achieved the rare feat of being identified more as the character he performed rather than as himself. Years of immaculately performing the role of a powerful crime boss for the TV series, The Sopranos, defined Gandolfini’s legacy forever as a character actor, a legacy he gracefully carried over to the big screen.

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 13 
Laurence Fishburne
24
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 30th July
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Augusta, Georgia, United States

Known for his portrayal of domineering and aggressive characters in his films, Laurence Fishburne began his stint on screen as a child actor in projects such as Apocalypse Now. The play Two Trains Running won him multiple theater awards. However, fans remember him best as Morpheus from The Matrix.

 14 
Meg Ryan
(One of the Top Actresses of 1990s & Early 2000s)
Meg Ryan
65
Listed In: Actresses
Birthdate: 19th November
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States

The Queen of American romantic comedy movies in 1990s, Meg Ryan is best recognised for her role in When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail, all of which earned her prestigious award nominations. After proving her mettle in romantic comedies Meg Ryan showed her versatility as actress by acting in other genre movies. She made her directorial debut with Ithaca.

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 15 
Billy Ray Cyrus
(American singer-songwriter)
Billy Ray Cyrus
56
Listed In: Country Singers
Birthdate: 25th August
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Flatwoods, Kentucky, United States

Billy Ray Cyrus’s song Achy Breaky Heart was the first triple-platinum single in Australia. Its music video made the line dance a trend. Billy has eight top-10 Billboard Hot Country charters. His debut album, Some Gave All, spent the longest time by any debut artist on Billboard 200.

 16 
Forest Whitaker
(Best Known for His Role in 'The Last King of Scotland')
Forest Whitaker
22
Birthdate: 15th July
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Longview, Texas, United States
Forest Whitaker is best known for his Academy Award-winning performance as real-life dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland. Fans also loved him in Rogue One and Ghost Dog. He is an advocate of the UN’s Global Goals and supports peace-building initiatives and programs that help war victims.
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 17 
Heather Locklear
(Best Known for Her Role as ‘Amanda Woodward’ in the TV Series ‘Melrose Place’)
Heather Locklear
32
Listed In: Actresses
Birthdate: 25th September
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Heather Locklear is best known for her four-time Golden Globe-nominated performance as Amanda Woodward in Melrose Place. Fans also loved her as Sammy Jo Carrington in the soap Dynasty. Some of her other notable projects are Spin City, Hot in Cleveland, T. J. Hooker, and the film The Perfect Man
 18 
Peter Jackson
(Director, Writer and Producer of the 'Lord of the Rings' Trilogy & the 'Hobbit' Trilogy)
Peter Jackson
26
Birthdate: 31st October
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Pukerua Bay, New Zealand

New Zealand director/producer Peter Jackson is best known for his three-time Academy Award-winning work in The Return of the King, the third part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The third-highest-grossing director ever, he is also the man behind The Hobbit trilogy and the 2005 film King Kong

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 19 
Stephen Hillenburg
(American Creator of the Nickelodeon Animated TV Series ‘Spongebob Squarepants')
Stephen Hillenburg
30
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 21st August
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Fort Sill, Oklahoma, United States
Died: November 26, 2018
Stephen Hillenburg is best known as the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants, the fifth-longest-running animated series in the U.S, which earned him two Emmys and six Annie Awards. He was initially a marine biologist and an instructor at the Orange County Marine Institute. He died of ALS, a neurodegenerative disease.
 20 
Lea Thompson
(Actress Best Known for Her Roles in the 'Back to the Future' Film Trilogy & 'Howard the Duck')
Lea Thompson
32
Birthdate: 31st May
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rochester, Minnesota, United States

Initially a ballerina, Lea Thompson later deviated to acting, after being told she didn’t have the perfect body to pursue ballet. She then modeled for Burger King and eventually bagged a role in Jaws 3-D. She later gained fame with Caroline in the City and the Back to the Future trilogy.

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 21 
Christopher Meloni
(Best Known for His Role as ‘Elliot Stapler’ in the TV Series ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’)
Christopher Meloni
16
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 2nd April
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

Christopher Meloni is an American actor known for contributing to the success of TV series, such as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. An ardent supporter of the LGBT community, Meloni was honored by the Human Rights Campaign with the Equality Award in 2006. Meloni also donates to various non-profit organizations like Feed the Children and Smile Train.

 22 
Susan Boyle
(Scottish Singer Best Known for Her Album ‘I Dreamed a Dream’)
Susan Boyle
29
Listed In: Pop Singers
Birthdate: 1st April
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Blackburn, West Lothian, Scotland
Susan Boyle shot to fame with her rendition of I Dreamed a Dream from Les Misérables in an audition for Britain's Got Talent. Her first album, I Dreamed a Dream, was the best-selling debut album in U.K. history. She has also performed at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Pageant.
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 23 
Dennis Rodman
(Former Professional Basketball Player Who was Arguably the Best Rebounding Forward in NBA History)
Dennis Rodman
55
Birthdate: 13th May
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Trenton, New Jersey, United States

Former professional basketball player, Dennis Rodman came to prominence in the 1980s as a power forward known for his defensive and rebounding abilities. Hailed as "arguably the best rebounding forward in NBA history," he earned NBA All-Defensive First Team honors seven times. He has a media presence as well and has appeared in many TV shows.

 24 
Dylan McDermott
(Actor known for his role as lawyer and law firm head Bobby Donnell on the legal drama series The Practice)
Dylan McDermott
6
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 26th October
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Waterbury, Connecticut, United States
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 25 
Dan Marino
(Former American Football Player and One of the Greatest Quarterbacks in NFL History)
Dan Marino
25
Birthdate: 15th September
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Quarterback Dan Marino had a successful stint with the Miami Dolphins, leading them to 10 playoffs and the Super Bowl XIX. However, he never won a title. Named to Pro Bowl nine times, he was also the 1984 NFL MVP and part of the 2019 NFL 100 All-Time Team.
 26 
Nancy Travis
(Best Known for Her Role as ‘Sylvia Bennington’ in the Film ‘Three Men and a Baby’)
Nancy Travis
19
Birthdate: 21st September
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

Nancy Travis is an American actress known for her contribution across all the three major acting mediums. A founding member of Naked Angels, an Off-Broadway theater company, Nancy Travis started acting on Off-Broadway theater before establishing herself in the film and TV industry.

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 27 
Steve Young
(American football player)
Steve Young
17
Birthdate: 11th October
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
 28 
George Lopez
(Actor Known for Starring in His Self-Produced 'ABC Sitcom')
George Lopez
16
Birthdate: 23rd April
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

George Lopez is an American actor and comedian. Lopez is best known for discussing race and ethnic relations in his stand-up comedy routine. His contributions to the Latino community have earned him several awards. In 2005, he was named in Time magazine's The 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America list. Also a humanitarian, George Lopez heads his own charity.

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 29 
John Corbett
(Actor and Country Music Singer)
John Corbett
16
Birthdate: 9th May
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wheeling, West Virginia, United States

John Corbett is an American actor. Widely recognized for his distinctive hairstyle, Corbett himself is a licensed hairstylist as he attended hairdressing classes before becoming an actor. Apart from being an actor, John Corbett is also a successful singer whose debut self-titled album peaked at number 45 on Top Country Albums chart.

 30 
Enya
(Irish Singer and Musician Known for Pioneering Modern 'Celtic' and 'New-Age' Music)
Enya
18
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: 17th May
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Gweedore, County Donegal, Ireland

Known for her unique blend of Celtic and folk tunes, Irish singer Enya has been dubbed the Queen of New Age. The Academy Award-nominated singer is also a 4-time Grammy winner and soared to fame with tracks such as Only Time and Orinoco Flow. She is the best-selling Irish solo artist ever.

 31 
Elizabeth McGovern
(American film actor)
Elizabeth McGovern
14
Listed In: Actresses
Birthdate: 18th July
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Evanston, Illinois, United States
 32 
Tim Roth
(Actor)
Tim Roth
15
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 14th May
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom

Tim Roth is an English actor who achieved popularity after appearing in several Hollywood films, including Tarantino's movies like Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. He was part of the popular Brit Pack group of the late-1980s, thanks to his success in Hollywood. Also known for his direction skills, Roth debuted as a director with the 1999 film The War Zone.

 33 
Marco Pierre White
(British Chef, Restaurateur and Television Personality)
Marco Pierre White
19
Listed In: Chefs
Birthdate: 11th December
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Leeds, England
Marco Pierre White is known as the world’s first celebrity chef and became the youngest and the first British chef to win three Michelin stars. He has trained chefs Gordon Ramsay and Mario Batali, and has appeared on culinary shows such as Hell's Kitchen and Marco Pierre White's Kitchen Wars.
 34 
Bonnie Hunt
(Actress, comedian whose roles include Rain Man, Beethoven, Beethoven's 2nd, Jumanji, Jerry Maguire, The Green Mile, Cheaper by the Dozen)
Bonnie Hunt
11
Birthdate: 22nd September
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
 35 
Virginia Madsen
(Actress Best Known for Her Roles in Films: 'Candyman', 'Sideways' and the Mystery Series 'Monk')
Virginia Madsen
13
Birthdate: 11th September
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Virginia Madsen is an American actress. Over the years, Madsen has contributed to the success of several films and TV series, such as Fire with Fire, Modern Girls, Moonlighting, and American Dreams. She is also credited with establishing Title IX Productions, a film production company which she started in 2008.

 36 
Eugenio Derbez
(Mexican Actor and Comedian Best Known for His Films: 'Instructions Not Included' and 'CODA')
Eugenio Derbez
20
Birthdate: 2nd September
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Villa Milpa Alta, Mexico

Eugenio Derbez is a Mexican actor and filmmaker best known for co-creating and starring in the family sitcom La familia P. Luche. After establishing himself in the Mexican film industry, he ventured into American films and TV series as well. His feature film Instructions Not Included became the most successful Spanish-language film in US. 

 37 
Jane Leeves
(Actress)
Jane Leeves
12
Listed In: Actresses
Birthdate: 18th April
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ilford, Essex
Jane Leeves is best known for her Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated portrayal of Daphne Moon in Frasier. Fans also loved her as Joy Scroggs in the series Hot in Cleveland and as Alberta Leonard in the movie Miracle on 34th Street. Leeves has also campaigned for the LGBT community.
 38 
Nadia Comaneci
(Romanian Retired Gymnast and a Five-Time Olympic Gold Medalist)
Nadia Comaneci
59
Listed In: Gymnasts
Birthdate: 12th November
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Onești, Romania

Nadia Comaneci is a Romanian former gymnast. One of the best-known gymnasts in the world, Comaneci has five Olympic gold medals under her belt. Credited with popularizing gymnastics around the world, Nadia Comaneci was honored by the Laureus World Sports Academy by including her in their Athletes of the 20th Century list in 2000.

 39 
Toby Keith
(Country Music Singer Known for His Rousing Anthems to the U.S. Soldiers Serving in the Middle East)
Toby Keith
18
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: 8th July
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Clinton, Oklahoma, United States

Toby Keith is a record producer, country music singer, songwriter, and actor. He is credited with founding a record label named Show Dog Nashville which was renamed Show Dog-Universal Music in 2009 after merging with Universal South Records. Also a philanthropist, Keith supports many non-profit organizations like Ally's House. In 2021, he was honored with the National Medal of Arts.

 40 
Julia Gillard
(27th Prime Minister of Australia (2010 - 2013))
Julia Gillard
44
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 29th September
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Barry, Wales
Julia Gillard was the Australian prime minister from 2010 to 2013. She became the first lady prime minister, deputy prime minister, and leader of a political party in Australia. She has also held other significant positions, such as the minister of education. She has now devoted her life to academics.
 41 
Peri Gilpin
(Best Known for Her Roles in the TV Series: ‘Frasier’ and ‘Make It or Break It’)
Peri Gilpin
9
Listed In: Actresses
Birthdate: 27th May
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Waco, Texas, United States

Peri Gilpin soared to fame with her roles as Roz Doyle in Frasier and Kim Keeler in Make It or Break It. She also voiced Jane Proudfoot in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. She began supporting cancer research after her mother’s death due to a form of muscle tumor.

 42 
Carl Lewis
(American Track-and-Field Athlete Who Won Nine Olympic Gold Medals During the 1980s and 1990s)
Carl Lewis
14
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: 1st July
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Birmingham, Alabama, United States

A dominant sprinter and long jumper, Carl Lewis has won ten Olympic medals, nine of them gold. From 1981 to 1991, he topped the world rankings in the 100 m, 200 m and long jump events, slowly starting to lose his dominance thereafter, eventually retiring in 1997. Currently a businessperson, he has also appeared in films and television productions.

 43 
Carey Lowell
(Actress)
Carey Lowell
11
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: 11th February
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Huntington, New York, United States

Carey Lowell is an American actress best known for playing Bond girl Pam Bouvier in the 1989 James Bond film Licence to Kill. From 2014 to 2016, Carey Lowell was involved in highly contested divorce proceedings after separating from actor Richard Gere whom she had married in 2002.

 44 
Robert Carlyle
(Actor)
Robert Carlyle
17
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 14th April
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Maryhill

Emmy-nominated and BAFTA-winning Australian actor Robert Carlyle is best known for his performances in films such as Trainspotting and The Full Monty. Raised singlehandedly by his father after his mother left them, he had initially quit school to become a painter like his father. He deviated to drama at age 21.

 45 
Graham McTavish
(Scottish Actor and Writer)
Graham McTavish
13
Birthdate: 4th January
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
 46 
Iain Glen
(Best Known for His Role as ‘Dr. Alexander Isaacs’ in ‘Resident Evil’ Film Series)
Iain Glen
22
Listed In: Actors
Birthdate: 24th June
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
One of the British theatre's preeminent men, Iain Glen is best-known for featuring in Resident Evil film series and Game of Thrones. Though he has a catalogue of splendid work but his works flew under the radar. He bagged in a Silver Bear for Best Actor for his phenomenal performance in Silent Screen at the 40th Berlin International Film Festival.
 47 
Joko Widodo
(President of Indonesia)
Joko Widodo
25
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 21st June
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Surakarta
Joko Widodo, the current president of Indonesia, has previously been the mayor of Surakarta and the governor of Jakarta. He initially owned a furniture business and later joined the Democratic Party of Struggle. He introduced universal healthcare as Jakarta’s governor. Fortune named him one of "The World's 50 Greatest Leaders."
 48 
Doc Rivers
(Former Professional Basketball Player and Head Coach of the Philadelphia 76ers')
Doc Rivers
13
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: 13th October
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Doc Rivers is a former American basketball player, who in his thirteen seasons played primarily for Atlanta Hawks and was known for his defence. After retirement, he picked up coaching responsibilities for Orlando Magic and in his first year was awarded NBA Coach of the Year. Later, he led Boston Celtics to NBA championship. He is currently the coach of Philadelphia 76ers.

 49 
Vince Neil
(The Lead Vocalist & Occasional Rhythm Guitarist of Heavy Metal Band 'Mötley Crüe')
Vince Neil
16
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: 8th February
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Vince Neil, lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Mötley Crüe, had a successful solo career too, with albums such as Tattoos & Tequila. He owns several businesses, including a tattoo parlor and a vineyard. He was imprisoned for vehicular manslaughter in the death of Hanoi Rocks drummer Razzle.

 50 
Tom Ford
(Fashion Designer & Founder of His Eponymous Luxury Brand 'Tom Ford')
Tom Ford
72
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: 27th August
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Austin, Texas, United States

Tom Ford is an American fashion designer. During his time as the creative director at Gucci, Ford saved the fashion house from near bankruptcy and turned it into a powerhouse. In 2006, he established his eponymous luxury brand and has since been referred to as a style icon and fashion icon; he was named in All-TIME 100 Fashion Icons list.