Boomer Icons: Still Kicking, After All These Years

As we progressed through our Wonder Years (building strong bodies 12 ways, at the very least), into our teens and on to adulthood, we, like the generation before us, developed our own set of idols, heroes, celebrities and cultural icons. These people became the household words of our generation. Can you imagine, for example, talking about the Boomer Generation without a mention of the Beatles?

What we don’t often think about, however, is that the vast majority of the people we listened and looked up to, watched and were inspired by, were, in fact, not from our generation at all. It makes perfect sense, of course: how many celebrities or personalities could be our age when we ourselves were in our formative years? Most of these folks were part of the Silent Generation: that group of people who were born during the Great Depression on up through the Second World War. It is said that the experiences they lived through — of parental and familial sacrifice — set the stage for the next generation to enjoy the freedoms their parents fought so hard to attain. We certainly embraced these freedoms in our generation, wholeheartedly — and many of these icons were right there encouraging us along with their words, art or political largesse.

As we age, ourselves, countless icons from our youth have passed on … but many are continuing to grow old gracefully, still out there doing the things we loved them for way back when. Here is just a partial list of some well-known boomer icons who are still with us, still doin’ their thing:

Julie Andrews  born October 1, 1935
actor: The Sound of Music, et al

Rod Argent  born June 14, 1945
singer, songwriter, musician: The Zombies, et al

Carol Burnett  born April 26, 1933
comedian, actor and TV personality

Bill Cosby  born July 12, 1937
comedian, actor: I Spy, et al

David Crosby  born August 14, 1941
musician, singer, songwriter: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Dick Clark  born November 30, 1929
TV personality and producer: American Bandstand, et al

Jimmy Carter  born October 1, 1924
39th President of the United States

Roger Daltry  born March 1, 1944
singer, songwriter: The Who

Keir Dullea  born May 30, 1936
actor, 2001: A Space Odyssey

Bob Dylan  born May 24, 1941
singer, songwriter, musician, poet, artist, political activist

Jane Fonda  born December 21, 1937
actor and political activist

John Glenn  born July 18, 1921
one of the Original Seven astronauts, former U.S. Senator

Dustin Hoffman  born August 8, 1937
actor: The Graduate, et al

Mick Jagger  born July 26, 1943
singer: The Rolling Stones

Etta James  born January 25, 1938
singer: At Last!

Tom Jones  born June 7, 1940
singer: It’s Not Unusual, et al

Carol King  born February 9, 1942
singer, songwriter

Mike Love  born March 15, 1941
singer, songwriter, musician: The Beach Boys

Ann-Margret  born April 28, 1941
actor: Viva Las Vegas!, et al

Paul McCartney  born June 18, 1942
singer, songwriter, musician: The Beatles, et al

Bob Newhart  born September 5, 1929
comedian, actor

Smokey Robinson  born February 19, 1940
Motown singer, songwriter, producer

Diana Ross  born March 26, 1944
Motown singer: The Supremes, et al

Ringo Starr  born July 7, 1940
musician, songwriter, singer: The Beatles, et al

Neil Young  born November 12, 1945
musician, singer, songwriter: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, et al

Raquel Welch  born September 5, 1940
actor: One Million Years, B.C., et al

Of course, there are many, many others. Who would you add to this stellar list of living boomer icons?