Some folks have all the luck. Such as anyone born on Halloween. Cake, candy, and costumes — all in one night!
The festive holiday dates back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, in which people lit bonfires and wore costumes to ward off ghosts. In the 8th century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as All Saints Day and incorporated some of the same traditions. The evening before the celebration was known as All Hallows Eve, eventually adopting the name ‘Halloween.’
Okay, with that history lesson out of the way, here’s our select list of guys and ghouls hatched on Halloween.
10. Annabella Lwin
Born in 1966 in Rangoon, Burma, Lwin is best known as the lead singer of the English New Wave band Bow Wow Wow. Former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren first assembled the group in 1980 after poaching three members from Adam and the Ants. Next, McLaren hired then-13-year-old Lwin, who was discovered singing to the radio while working at a dry cleaner in north London. The group also briefly featured another talented troubadour named George Alan O’Dowd, who later achieved global superstardom as “Boy George.”
Fuelled by Lwin’s infectious high energy and creativity, Bow Wow Wow burst onto the U.K. music scene with a unique mix of pop melodies and Burundi ritual-influenced tom-tom beats. Fittingly, the 1982 release of “I Want Candy” became the band’s biggest hit single, which also benefited from heavy rotation on MTV. Lwin later embarked on a solo career before re-joining her former band in various changing lineups. Today, she continues to perform on nostalgia tours, billed as “Annabella Lwin of the original Bow Wow Wow.”
9. Peter Jackson
The New Zealand director/writer/producer managed to turn ‘Middle Earth’ into a billion-dollar empire with his Lord of the Rings and Hobbit franchises. This vast fortune includes money Jackson earns from merchandise sales, such as Halloween costumes worn by his legion of fans.
Not surprisingly, the Kiwi also owns an impressive collection of gold statues. For The Return of the King, Jackson took home the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture. In addition to the adapted works of Tolkien, Jackson’s 2005 remake of King Kong earned a chest-thumping $500 million at the box office.
Other accolades include a knighthood in 2010 for services to the arts. Sir Peter Jackson has also been appointed a Member of the Order of New Zealand — the nation’s highest civilian honor.
8. Adam Horovitz
As a founding member of the seminal rap-rock trio Beastie Boys, Horovitz (aka Ad-Rock) knows a thing or two about partying. The band’s debut album, Licensed to Ill, featured the hit song “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!).”
After leaving his punk band “The Young And The Useless,” Horovitz teamed up with Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “MCA” Yauch to form Beastie Boys in 1981 in New York City. They eventually released nine albums, including seven consecutive platinum records. In 2012, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Horowitz has also appeared in several movies, including Lost Angels, A Kiss Before Dying, and While We’re Young. In 2006, he married Riot Grrrl singer and feminist activist Kathleen Hanna.
7. Johnny Marr
In 1982, Marr, along with Andy Rourke and Morrissey, formed The Smiths. The prolific Manchester-born guitarist and songwriter would later collaborate with a slew of other notable artists, such as The Cribs, Pet Shop Boys, The Pretenders, Modest Mouse, and Bryan Ferry.
Marr’s trademark jangly guitar sound draws from several influences, ranging from Jimi Hendrix to African Highlife. Eschewing typical rock and roll power chords and exaggerated solos, Marr favors arpeggio melodies and unusual open-string chord progressions.
In a 2015 interview, Marr explained how he first crafted his iconic style: “100% of my focus was on providing interesting guitar hooks and putting some kind of space-age twist on the guitarist’s role. The pop guitarist crossed with the mad professor. That’s how I thought of myself.”
6. Stephen Rea
The veteran Irish actor has appeared in over 70 films while also steadily working on the stage. In 1992, he achieved international acclaim for his role as Fergus in Neil Jordan’s thriller The Crying Game, which earned Rea an Academy Award nomination for best actor.
Born in Belfast in 1946, Rea later trained at the prestigious Abbey Theatre School in Dublin. He made his film debut in 1970, playing a villager in the Vincent Price horror movie, Cry of the Banshee. Throughout his career, he’s frequently collaborated with Jordan, including Breakfast on Pluto, Michael Collins, and Interview with the Vampire.
5. Dan Rather
From the fall of Saigon to the rise of wannabe dictators, this longtime CBS newsman delivered top stories to households across America. For his efforts, Rather received seven Peabody Awards for excellence in broadcasting.
Rather began his career as a reporter for the Associated Press after graduating from Sam Houston State University with a degree in journalism. He also worked as a play-by-play announcer for the minor league baseball team, Houston Buffs.
The native Texan spent 24 years as an anchorman, the longest tenure in American television history. During that span, he also contributed as a correspondent for the network’s weekly news magazine, 60 Minutes.
4. Rob Schneider
This popular stand-up comic worked as a writer and performer on Saturday Night Live from 1988 to 1994. His portrayal of “The Richmeister,” an annoying office worker, became one of his signature characters on the long-running sketch comedy series.
Schneider has appeared in films such as Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, Grown Ups, and the 2020 Netflix release, Hubie Halloween. He also recently directed, produced, and starred in Daddy Daughter Trip, which features his real-life daughter, Miranda Scarlett Schneider.
3. John Candy
If you’re a fan of classic comedies from the 1980s and ’90s, there’s a good chance John Candy (yes, his real name) appeared in one of them — or 10. The beloved comedian first rose to fame as a cast member of the Second City Television series alongside fellow Canadians Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, and Rick Moranis.
The heavy set character actor then steadily built an impressive body of work in films like The Blues Brothers, Vacation, Splash, Uncle Buck, Stripes, Home Alone, Uncle Buck, Cool Runnings, Spaceballs, and Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
Candy was also co-owner of the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts. Sadly, while filming Wagons East in Mexico in 1994, he died of a heart attack. He was 43.
2. John Keats
Here’s a tricky question for all erudite English-lit lovers: What Halloween-born poet was also a contemporary of Frankenstein’s author? If you answered John Keats, give yourself some extra treats.
Along with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, Keats emerged as one of the most revered later Romantic era figures. Shelley’s wife Mary, who famously wrote the Gothic novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, completes this hearty circle.
Before his death from tuberculosis in 1821 at the age of 25, Keats wrote several acclaimed works such as “Ode to a Nightingale”, and “Sleep and Poetry.” Tragically, both Byron and PB Shelley would also die young, forever sealing their immortality.
1. Christopher Columbus
He discovered the “New World” in 1492. Until he didn’t. Although Italian by birth, the Age of Discovery’s most famous explorer sailed under the flag of a Spanish monarch. Huh? Exactly. However, one thing remains perfectly clear about Christopher Columbus: his legacy lies shrouded in controversy — even his birthday.
Born Cristofero Columbo (Columbus is the anglicized spelling) in Genoa in 1451, historians have placed his birth sometime between August and late October. No matter. His monumental impact on western civilization warrants the top slot on our list.
Although the Vikings set foot in North America in the early 6th century, Columbus and his crew became the first Europeans to reach the Caribbean, landing on a small island in the present-day Bahamas. But his arrival there was purely accidental. With financing from Queen Isabella of Castile, Columbus had hoped to find a western passage to South Asia and cash in on the lucrative spice trade. Let’s just say he missed the mark. Nonetheless, he insisted the voyage had taken him to India — and mistakenly called the local natives “Indians.”
Columbus, however, is rightly credited with kicking off colonization in the Americas and subsequently introducing genocide, slavery, and deadly diseases among indigenous people. Today, an annual federal holiday is held in his honor, replete with parades, and bargain white sales offering huge savings! His name also inspired the District of Columbia, British Columbia, and the country of Colombia.