Famous People Who Were Born On Christmas

Christmas is one of "the most wonderful times of the year" as the famous song suggests. From festive lights to ornament-trimmed firs, hot cocoa decked out with whipped cream and candy canes to spicy gingerbread cookies, this holiday tantalizes the senses. And who can forget about the presents?

Of course, too much of a good thing poses a problem, too. Especially for people who celebrate their birthday on December 25. Sure, it's got to be thrilling to share a birthday with Jesus Christ. (That said, most scholars now agree that the love-proclaiming rabbi actually came into the world between April 1 and September 30, per Live Science). But a Yuletide birthday comes with plenty of cons, too. For one, friends and family may feel tempted to let gifts do double duty, rolling Christmas and birthday into the same package.

And as for having a special day all to yourself, think again! The same goes for throwing a birthday party. After all, who's going to attend your celebration in the thick of Christmas? Nevertheless, a surprising number of celebrities have dealt with this dilemma. Find out more about the famous people born on Christmas Day and how they've handled the holiday hot seat.

Jimmy Buffet

Every day's a party for rock star turned restaurant mogul Jimmy Buffett, famed singer of "Margaritaville," according to his official website. Not only did the song become an instant success when it debuted in 1977, but it also ushered in a new way of life that Buffet's been espousing and promoting ever since through restaurants, merchandise, and even resorts. Nevertheless, he enjoyed a surprisingly sheltered life growing up as an attendee of the Catholic school system in Mobile, Alabama, as reported by Mark Humphrey in "The Jimmy Buffet Scrapbook."

Humphrey suggests Buffett shouldered an extra burden by sharing his birthday with Jesus and growing up in a strict religious background. While this may or may not be accurate, Buffet has said this of his childhood, "After I finished school, I had to bust out and taste the many things that had been denied me while I was growing up." Tropical islands proved the perfect escape as he transformed into the ultimate beach bum.

According to Humphrey, Buffet made salt life permanent on his 40th birthday when he and his wife relocated to Key West, Florida. In keeping with the destination, he declared himself "A Pirate Looking at Forty." Although Buffet claims that "Margaritaville" is a state of mind rather than an actual geographic location, many of his fans have concluded that Key West is just about as close as you'll ever get, which means perpetually sunny birthdays for this winter-born Capricorn.

Sissy Spacek

Another talented winter baby is the actress Sissy Spacek, born in 1949 in Quitman, Texas. As she writes in her autobiography "My Extraordinary Ordinary Life," "On Christmas Day, 1949, my mother got a silver soup ladle — and me. I had green eyes and red hair, and completely ruined the holiday for my brothers." Despite putting a kibosh on her siblings' holidays, Spacek enjoyed a charmed childhood and grew up to welcome fame and acclaim on the silver screen.

Best known for her lead role in the classic horror film "Carrie," the Stephen King flick earned her an Academy Award nomination (via Biography). But it would be her role in 1980's "Coal Miner's Daughter" as Loretta Lynn that would clinch her an Oscar, per Britannica. In 2019, she turned 70 years old, but that hasn't slowed this Hollywood legend down one bit, according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

She's won more recent attention for co-starring with Robert Redford in 2018's "The Old Man and the Gun," and she's also reunited with Stephen King on "Castle Rock," a Hulu series that explores a heroine losing her mind. Despite these great successes, Spacek's Christmas birthday has often meant she had to sacrifice her big day. In her autobiography, she recalls producers Helen Bartlett and Tony Bill throwing her the biggest and best birthday party ever, a unique experience she had grown accustomed to forgoing as a "Christmas baby."

Dido

In the early 2000s, Dido rose to the top of the charts as Britain's hottest new singer-songwriter, and she's never looked back, according to her official website. It takes an exceptional individual to rock a one-word name, and Dido's among the sweet few, along with Cher, Madonna, Beyonce, and Rihanna, who's a card-carrying member of the club.

Christened Florian Cloud De Bounevialle Armstrong, her parents preferred to call her Dido, after the ill-fated Queen of Carthage in Virgil's "Aeneid." But this grandiose and tragic name came with serious baggage as a kid. As she related in an interview with The Guardian, "I thought it was cruel to call me Dido and then expect me to just deal with it."

Another thing the diva had to contend with was her nativity on December 25. It meant a veritable rock and a hard place situation when it came to celebrating her special day and receiving birthday gifts. But she's managed a clever way around it. Taking a cue from Paddington Bear, the singer has declared June 25 her other "official" birthday (via Smooth Radio).

Annie Lennox

Annie Lennox is a Scottish singer-songwriter known for her work with the Eurythmics and a successful solo career (via All Music). She made her first appearance in this world in 1954 while Santa filled stockings with toys and treats. Like the other celebrities on this list, she has contended with the pros and cons of a December 25 birthday. But she's taken it all in good stride.

Lennox heartily embraces the holiday spirit. She even included a handful of well-known Christmas carols on her fifth solo album, including "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," "In the Bleak Midwinter," and "Silent Night." She also added to the Christmas carol genre with a new work, "Universal Child."

What's more, she's not one to lament her birthday getting lost in the Christmas season. In an interview with the Daily Record, she noted, "As a child, I used to wait all year for my birthday, so I'd have birthday presents and Christmas presents at the same time. That's all I've ever known, so funny when you think about it."

Justin Trudeau

Christmas Day can feel mighty chilly in Canada, but that didn't stop the three-term prime minister Justin Trudeau from making his entrance in 1971 in Ottawa (via Britannica). This grand introduction into the world suited the future prime minister who grew up in the public eye as the oldest son of Pierre Trudeau, prime minister of Canada for four terms, as reported by Biography. President Richard Nixon once predicted the infant's future rise to power, declaring, "I'd like to toast to the future prime minister of Canada: To Justin Pierre Trudeau."

Remarkably, his younger brother Alexandre (a.k.a. "Sacha") was also born on Christmas Day, quite a feat considering December 25 is the rarest birthday after February 29 (via the Montreal Gazette). Not surprisingly, the "Trudeau Christmas babies" celebrate their special days together (along with a healthy helping of holiday cheer.)

Despite so much potential for celebratory excitement, Prime Minister Trudeau's secretary says the family likes to keep things simple. "I can tell you that the Prime Minister celebrates his birthday with family on Christmas Day with a cake along with his brother." There's something to be said for keeping it quiet and traditional.

Helena Christensen

Along with Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, and Kate Moss, Helena Christensen became a part of the 1990's supermodel phenomenon, per Vogue. Born on Christmas Day in 1968 in Copenhagen, Denmark, Christensen's mother is Peruvian and her father Danish. By the age of nine, she started modeling. But fame didn't come until her appearance in what MTV has termed one of the "sexiest videos of all time," Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game."

To say the talented model has led a charmed life is an understatement. In 1993, she started dating "Walking Dead" hunk Norman Reedus, and they married five years later. Although the couple divorced in 2003, they maintain an amicable relationship and have co-parented their son Mingus Lucien Reedus into adulthood. 

As a Christmas baby, Christensen's a Capricorn, which comes with a fascinating admixture of down-to-earth sensibility and innovative creativity, per Nylon. Speaking to The Sunday Times in 2009, Christensen described her talent this way, "My work is 40% modeling, 40% photography, and 20% all kinds of strange, interesting, [and] weird stuff" (via Vogue). 

Humphrey Bogart

Iconic mid-century actor and star of "Casablanca," Humphrey Bogart (a.k.a. "Bogie") was born in New York City, New York, in 1899 on a cold Christmas night, per Biography. Later fame would eclipse his early childhood. But he first gained attention as an infant when his mother, Maud Humphrey, artistic director at the women's fashion magazine "The Delineator," drew his portrait. The portrait became central to a Mellin's baby food advertising campaign, plastering his face across national publications. Bogart's father, Belmont DeForest Bogart, also enjoyed renown as a celebrated Manhattan heart surgeon. 

Besides "Casablanca," Bogart earned a reputation as a detective of the film noir genre. And he also played breakaway roles like 1951's "The African Queen," starring opposite Katharine Hepburn. He would win an Academy Award for his depiction of the scrappy riverboat captain. Other films that clinched his fame include 1954's "The Caine Mutiny" and "Sabrina." All told, he would perform in more than 80 films, according to his posthumous official website

According to Stephen Humphrey Bogart's book "Bogart: In Search of My Father," Humphrey Bogart didn't care much for his birthday or Christmas. He disliked the expectation of gift giving so much that he would wait until after major holidays to break out the presents. Stephen Humphrey Bogart also remembers his dad urging him to enjoy his special day, remarking, "I got cheated out of a birthday." 

Cab Calloway

Born on Christmas Day in 1907, Cab Calloway became a celebrated star at the Cotton Club (via Biography). He gained fame with hit songs like 1931's "Minnie the Moocher," becoming one of the hottest tickets in the 1930s and 1940s. That's quite a feat in the Big Band era of Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, and Duke Ellington, as reported by Masterclass

Like other performers and bandleaders of his day, Calloway devoted himself to keeping up troop morale during World War II. This involved everything from performances to photoshoots and lots of touring. However, despite his great fame and many achievements, the specter of racism remained. One of his most memorable birthdays, albeit in a bad way, got off to a bad start on December 22, 1945, when he went to see a friend, Lionel Hampton, lead his big band, according to Alyn Shipton's "Hi-de-ho: The Life of Cab Calloway." 

Calloway and a friend named Felix H. Payne arrived at the Pla-Mor Ballroom in Kansas City for the show. Moments later, a police officer named William Todd confronted the two men to kick them out of the establishment due to their skin color. Payne became infuriated, and Calloway pushed Todd to the ground. After scrambling to his feet, Todd repeatedly smashed Calloway over the head with his revolver. Calloway would spend the days leading up to his birthday getting treated for lacerations to the head and appearing in court to face charges of resisting arrest and public drunkenness. 

Barbara Mandrell

After her discovery by Joe Maphis and Chet Atkins at the age of 11, Mandrell became a County Music sensation (via Biography). By the age of 12, she toured on steel guitar with Johnny Cash, and by age 13, she headlined for Patsy Cline. Her family provided backup, traveling with her as the Mandrell Family Band. Few musical attributes alluded the Capricorn born on the Yuletide in 1948 in Houston, Texas. Not only did she rock the steel guitar, but she could sing up a storm and play just about any instrument put in front of her, according to the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN).

Not one to shy away from working on her birthday, Mandrell and her sisters hosted Christmas specials in the early 1980s, featuring sing-alongs with her parents (via YouTube). Such television programs gave Mandrell a chance to highlight her father, Irby, who remained her "biggest fan and musical mentor" throughout his life.

Besides Christmas programs, Mandrell also released a seasonal album, "Christmas at Our House," in 1984. The album showcased a smattering of Christmas classics like "Winter Wonderland" and "I'll Be Home for Christmas." It also debuted "It Must Have Been the Mistletoe (Our First Christmas)," which has become a Country Christmas standard.

Karl Rove

The author, political consultant, and architect of two highly publicized campaigns for president, Karl Rove, was born on December 25, 1950, in Denver, Colorado, according to Britannica. The future politico always had an affinity for expressing his beliefs. He recalls plastering his bicycle with Richard Nixon stickers as a ten-year-old boy. And he started volunteering for campaigns while still in high school. 

But it would be his involvement in Texas politics as an adult that would put him in the national spotlight. Rising through the ranks, he would eventually align himself with the Bush family, earning the nickname "Bush's Brain" in reference to George W. Bush. According to his official website, he's authored a handful of books and acted as a Wall Street Journal columnist and Fox News contributor. But he also became a polarizing figure, involved in various scandals, contributing to his resignation in 2007. 

Political posturing aside, Rove has remained narrowly focused on politics throughout much of his life. According to "Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential" by co-authors James Moore and Wayne Slater, Rove can't remember a time when he wasn't politically minded. A journalist once asked Rove when he first started thinking about running a presidential campaign. He replied, "December 25, 1950."

Rod Serling

Rod Serling put sci-fi on the fast track with his pioneering, fantastical series "The Twilight Zone" (via Biography). Every aspect of the project exuded his talents, including essays, screenplays, and his spoken words as the host. The tremendous success enjoyed by the show belied his dual roles as a modern-day moralist and writer. 

Throughout his career, Serling created an impressive 252 scripts, and he garnered six Emmys for his endeavors. In the late 1960s, he was even involved in penning the TV screenplay for the "Planet of the Apes." 

According to Coming Soon, his Christmas Day birthday is still celebrated by loyal fans. For example, the folks at The Royal Cinema host an annual Rod Serling Birthday Bash. The Royal Cinema remains dedicated to promoting all things fantasy and science fiction. That said, organizers of the event realize that expecting a crowd on December 25 isn't realistic. So, they typically schedule the event in mid-December to attract optimal crowds. 

Sir Isaac Newton

It's hard to quantify how much the discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton have changed the way we perceive the natural world (via Biography). From his articulation of the laws of motion to universal gravitation, Newton has left a mark on calculus, physics, and many other aspects of science and math. 

Born on Christmas Day in 1642, Newton came into the world early. No one thought the weak and wan infant would survive past a week. But he proved everyone wrong. That said, there's some controversy about Newton's actual birthday because of discrepancies about the calendar used. It remained common to use the Julian calendar during his lifetime, which would place his birthday on December 25. Today, we use the Gregorian calendar, which situates the big day on January 4. (Does this technically mean he has two birthdays?)

People continue to celebrate his birthday today. In 2010, Google created a doodle of an apple plummeting to the ground in commemoration of the event that sparked the idea for gravity, per The Guardian. This doodle proved unique at the time because it boasted a photographic quality and included the action of the falling apple. What's more, some diehard fans have taken to calling Christmas Newtonmas, as reported by Wired

Jess and Lisa Origliasso of The Veronicas

When identical twins Jessica (Jess) and Lisa Origliasso of Australia are in the spotlight, they're either accepting music awards (hello, ARIAs) or basking in star-studded controversy, per 7 News. Drama over the years has included everything from appearing topless on TV with strategically placed sequins to exchanging heated words with Qantas Airlines after getting ejected from a flight.

In other words, the Origliassos regularly make Santa's "Naughty List." But even if the pop duo known as The Veronicas consistently get coal in their stockings, that's fine. They can count on a treasure trove of birthday gifts thanks to their Christmas Day arrival. Ironically, the twins' December 25 birth date makes them Capricorns, a sign known for being hardworking and responsible (via Astrology). Sure, that's far from the reputation cultivated by most mayhem-chasing rockers. But astrology may also make the Origliassos highly independent and goal-driven, essential qualities for success in the competitive music world.

Their December birthday also indicates a tendency towards stubbornness, which may explain the 18-month estrangement between the sisters. Nevertheless, they made up Kardashian-style during 2019's MTV reality series "The Veronicas: Blood is for Life" (via MTV). Although originally slated to be born around Valentine's Day, the Origliassos came five weeks prematurely. According to The Guardian, Jess Origliasso has cheekily stated, "We wanted to share our birthday with Jesus. We thought that was a little bit cooler than a Hallmark Day." Fair enough, because there's nothing Hallmark about The Veronicas.

Jeremy Strong

Love and accolades have been rolling in for American actor Jeremy Strong since taking on the role of Kendall Roy in the top-rated series "Succession." The show began in 2018 and features an A-list cast, including the likes of Matthew Macfadyen, Kieran Culkin, Alan Ruck, and Alexander Skarsgård. Strong's character is the son of a media mogul who's vying for control over the family empire. In 2020, he won an Emmy for Best Actor in a Drama for his convincing portrayal (via Variety).

A recent episode focused on Kendall's over-the-top birthday party, according to Entertainment Tonight. The party becomes a hollow and superficial tribute to a man whose life and future appear on the decline. As a result, some viewers found the episode haunting. Strong agrees with this interpretation, providing context for Kendall's audacious celebration: "He thinks it's going to be this pinnacle moment of his life, but it turns into, as you say, one of the most empty — it turns into the nadir of his life" (as quoted by Variety).

Fortunately, Strong's real-life birthday has little to do with this fiction. Born on December 25 (per IMDb), his fans rally around his birthday each year by donating to the Child Mind Institute. To commemorate his 2021 birthday, they also created a book of his best moments titled "The Jeremy Strong Birthday Project," as reported on Instagram. Thanks to Strong's breakout role, his loyal fanbase will celebrate a lot more than the Yuletide this year.

Robert Ripley

Robert Ripley remains one of the most fascinating and bizarre characters of the 20th century, having launched a media empire and museum network still thriving today, per PBS. Not surprisingly, Ripley's life proved just as colorful and unbelievable as the brand he forged. According to "A Curious Man: The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert 'Believe It Or Not' Ripley" by Neal Thompson, the man who based his renown on getting to the ultimate truth behind strange facts nonetheless carefully guarded the details of his own personal life. 

Take, for example, the facts surrounding his birth. Born LeRoy Robert Ripley, throughout his life, he repeatedly claimed to have arrived on the scene on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Moreover, the journalist and world traveler's passport applications (there were many) and other documents corroborate this birthday. Yet he listed various different birth years, ranging from 1891 to 1894. As a result, his authentic birthday and year remain a frustrating mystery.

Why the obfuscation? Because a scandal permeated Ripley's birth, one that required date-rigging. Ripley's parents, Isaac Davis Ripley and Lillie Belle Yocka, married on October 3, 1889. Five months later, the new Mrs. Ripley delivered their firstborn son, LeRoy Robert Ripley. The 19th century didn't look favorably on premarital pregnancy. To avoid getting swept up in a scandal, Robert Ripley adjusted the month, day, and year of his nativity, opting for an unforgettable birthday fit for a one-of-a-kind celeb.

C.C.H. Pounder

The Guyanese actress Carol Christine Hilaria Pounder (C.C.H. Pounder) is a recognizable Hollywood face, and for good reason, according to IMDb. Her four-decade-long career has been distinguished by more than 100 acting credits and four Emmy nominations (via The Root). Like the other celebs on this list, she was born on Christmas Day, but she may have the most interesting background, having grown up in rural Guyana on a sugar cane plantation.

She's worked in everything from popular series like "The Shield" and "ER" to films like "Avatar" and "RoboCop 3." Pounder also remains a powerful advocate for African culture and art. Her collection tops 500 pieces, fueled by African Diaspora artists. And her passion for the visual arts has inspired forays into that world as a philanthropist, patron, and curator, per ArtNet.

To celebrate her 2021 birthday, she asked her fans to donate to the African Millennium Foundation (AMF), per Instagram. Pounder is an ambassador for the organization, which is committed to empowering children on the African continent. The foundation achieves this through school programs, student service trips, and fundraising drives.

Emma Slater

A professional dancer and choreographer who achieved fame on "Dancing With the Stars," Emma Slater was born in the West Midlands of England (via IMDb). She famously worked with Meryl Streep on Universal Picture's "Mamma Mia!" as well as performed in the film.

Apart from Slater's incredible choreography and performances on the silver screen, she also made headlines with a highly publicized engagement in 2016, per People. Fellow professional dancer Sasha Farber got down on one knee during a live taping of "Dancing With the Stars" following the couple's performance of "Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars. The rest is history — but sadly, so is their relationship. Despite the splashy and memorable engagement and wedding two years later, the couple called it quits in 2022 after four years of marriage.

Like Jess and Lisa Origliasso of The Veronicas, Emma Slater has a twin, fashion designer Kelly Slater, and they light the birthday candles on Christmas Day. In a 2019 Instagram shoutout, Emma Slater announced to fans that she was celebrating her birthday with her fraternal twin and "better half" in an all-smiles post of the photogenic sisters.