Fifty is not so old

December 11, 2012

Tomorrow, it’s the big five-oh for me.

Hey, I could complain about getting old, but so can a lot of other folks. Let’s take a look at some of the more prominent people who were born in 1962, and you can tell me if you think they qualify as ancient.

Perhaps you’ve seen Tom Cruise in a preview for “Jack Reacher,” which was filmed in Pittsburgh and makes its premiere Saturday at SouthSide Works Cinema. The movie’s trailer was released in July, on his 50th birthday. He doesn’t quite look like his “Risky Business” days, but he’s not about to keel over, either.

Speaking of 50th birthdays, Demi Moore celebrated hers last month. The Roswell, N.M., native has been going through a lot, judging by the covers of those tabloids I can’t help reading while standing in line at the supermarket. But no matter what trouble she’s getting into these days, she still takes an impressive photograph.

A bunch of famous musicians turned 50 this year, meaning they’re still just kids compared with the likes of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, who started the Rolling Stones the year these stars were born: Jon Bon Jovi, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow and Paula Abdul; Tommy Lee of Motley Crue; Kirk Hammett of Metallica; Anthony Kiedis and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers; and Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin of Guns N’ Roses.

Some guys who make us laugh reached the half-century mark, including Jim Carrey, Jon Stewart, Craig Ferguson, Jeff Garlin, Bobcat Goldthwait, Mike Judge, Bob Odenkirk and Steve Carell, who actually was 42 when he filmed “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.”

I’ve written about a couple of baseball pitchers, Roger Clemens and Jamie Moyer, who were born in 1962 and still were playing in 2012, at least for one minor-league game in Clemens’ case. Among the athletes the same age, but not so active, are Jerry Rice, Patrick Ewing, John Stockton, Chris Chelios, Evander Holyfield and William “The Refrigerator” Perry. Actually, the Fridge won’t turn 50 until Sunday.

Also closing in on 50 is Bill Self, the highly successful University of Kansas basketball coach, whose birthday is Dec. 27. Way to be younger than I am.

Older than me, by a whole day, is former football player and much-better-known ESPN personality Mike Golic. His 50th is today, so listen for quite the extravaganza on “Mike and Mike in the Morning.”

Tomorrow is the big day for Rex Ryan, head coach of the New York Jets, which means he and I are exactly the same age, give or take a few hours. That’s not going to make me root for the Jets.

I’ve mentioned plenty of well-known Americans (and the occasional Canadian or Scotsman), but I’d also like to acknowledge King Abdullah II of Jordan, who turned 50 in January.

Unlike mostly everyone else on this list, he never had to worry about what he wanted to be when he grew up.

Harry Funk can be reached at



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