Shirley MacLaine Turns 85 Today– Still Making Films, Writing Books, and Loving Life

On this day 30 years ago, the famed Hubble Space Telescope was launched into low Earth orbit by the Space Shuttle Discovery. Built by NASA with help from the European Space Agency, Hubble is still in operation today, as one of the largest and most versatile of its kind.

LOOK: Glimpse of God? The Hubble Telescope’s 12 Best Photos

The only space telescope designed to be maintained in space by astronauts, Hubble’s orbit is outside the distortion of Earth’s atmosphere which allows it to capture extremely high-resolution images with substantially lower background light than ground-based telescopes.

A vital research tool that opens a deep view into space, many of Hubble’s observations have led to breakthroughs in astrophysics, such as determining the age of the universe. What else have we learned from Hubble? WATCH a 30th anniversary video… (1990)

MORE Good News on this Day:

  • The first newspaper in the United States, the New-Letter, was published in Boston, Massachusetts (1704)
  • The first reporter, William Price from the Washington Star, was assigned to cover the White House (1897)
  • Happy Birthday to Barbra Streisand, who turns 78—watch her ‘Carpool Karaoke’ with James Corden from last year (1942)
  • Winston Churchill was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II (1953)
  • A television signal was bounced off a satellite for the first time at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1962)
  • Paul McCartney said there was no truth to the rumors he is dead (1969)
  • Ray Charles’ 1960 version of the Hoagy Carmichael song Georgia On My Mind was proclaimed the state song 19 years after the Georgia native recorded it on his album The Genius Hits the Road (1979)
  • The Palestine Liberation Organization assembly voted to revoke its pledge that called for an armed struggle to destroy Israel (1996)
  • Bill Shoemaker won his 8,000th horse race—2000 more than any other jockey (1981)
  • The United States lifts economic sanctions on Libya after 18 years, following its cooperation in eliminating weapons of mass destruction (2004)

On this day in 1800, the Library of Congress was established by the US Congress in Washington, DC, which provided $5,000 for the purchase of books and maps. Interestingly, after most of the original collection was destroyed by the British in the War of 1812, Thomas Jefferson restored its shelves, selling to the Library his entire personal collection of 6,487 books.

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The Great Hall, Library of Congress

Happy 86th Birthday to Shirley MacLaine, the esteemed dancer, actress, writer, and spiritual seeker. A 6-time Academy Award nominee, MacLaine received a nomination for Best Documentary Feature for A China Memoir, and Best Actress nominations for Some Came Running (Frank Sinatra, 1958), The Apartment and Irma la Douce (with Jack Lemmon 1960-63), and The Turning Point (1977), before winning Best Actress for Terms of Endearment in 1983. She’s also won and Emmy, seven Golden Globe awards, the AFI and Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award, and has written 15 best-selling books. Her latest release, “Out on a Leash: How Terry’s Death Gave Me New Life,” focuses on her relationship with one of her beloved rescue dogs. CHECK OUT her new Christmas film and hear how she’s loving life at 85… (1934)

In recent years, she’s appeared in (among others) The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Downton Abbey, and The Last Word, a 2017 film about a powerful, but unloved, senior who sets out to rewrite her inevitable obituary. Look for Shirley in the upcoming Disney holiday film Noelle, starring Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader, in which Santa Claus’ daughter must take over the family business.

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Publicity Photo Released for The Last Word, 2017

MacLaine has a daughter and two grandchildren, and she treasures her relationship with actor Warren Beatty, the famous younger brother who grew up with her in Virginia.

“When you get to the point, as I am now, that you are the maker of your own creativity and your own life, it becomes very pleasant, comfortable and peaceful.”

Taking two acting jobs a year and regularly flying to see shows in New York, she describes her life in the mountains with her dogs as very full. “It’s the best I’ve ever been,” she says. (Keep up with her activities at

WATCH Meryl Streep below presenting her AFI Life Achievement Award—and Shirley’s acceptance speech—a tribute to the women in her life, and her male co-stars. (See her amazing dance sequence with Gene Kelly (and those long legs) in the campy film, What a Way To Go! which also co-starred Paul Newman, Robert Mitchum, Dean Martin, and Dick Van Dyke.

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