Happy 72nd Birthday, Ringo Starr

Richard StarkeyMBE (born 7 July 1940), better known by his stage name Ringo Starr, is an English musician and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for the Beatles.

When the band formed in 1960, Starr was a member of another Liverpool band, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. He joined the Beatles in August 1962, taking the place of Pete Best. In addition to his drumming, Starr is featured on lead vocals on a number of successful Beatles songs (in particular, “With a Little Help from My Friends“, “Yellow Submarine“, and the Beatles version of “Act Naturally“). He is credited as a co-writer of the songs “What Goes On” and “Flying“, and as the writer of “Don’t Pass Me By” and “Octopus’s Garden“.

As drummer for the Beatles, Starr was musically creative, and his contribution to the band’s music has received high praise from notable drummers in more recent times.

Starr described himself as “your basic offbeat drummer with funny fills”. Journey drummer Steve Smith said that Starr’s popularity “brought forth a new paradigm” where “we started to see the drummer as an equal participant in the compositional aspect” and that Starr “composed unique, stylistic drum parts for The Beatles songs”. In 2011, Starr was picked as the fifth-best drummer of all-time by Rolling Stone readers.

Starr is the most documented and critically acclaimed actor among the Beatles, playing a central role in several of their films, and appearing in numerous other films, both during and after his career with the Beatles. After the Beatles’ break-up in 1970, Starr achieved solo musical success with several singles and albums, and recorded with each of his fellow ex-Beatles as they too developed their post-Beatle musical careers. He has also been featured in a number of TV documentaries, hosted TV shows, narrated the first two series of the children’s television series Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends and portrayed “Mr. Conductor” during the first season of the PBS children’s television series Shining Time Station. Since 1989, Starr has toured with twelve variations of Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band.

Personal life

Starr married Maureen Cox on 11 February 1965 and they had three children: Zak (born 13 September 1965), Jason (born 19 August 1967) and Lee (born 11 November 1970). The couple divorced in 1975, and Cox died in 1994. In 1980, on the set of the film Caveman, he met actress Barbara Bach, well known for her role as Major Anya Amasova (female lead and main ‘Bond girl‘) in The Spy Who Loved Me. They were married on 27 April 1981, just a few weeks after the release of Caveman. In 1985, Starr was the first of the Beatles to become a grandfather upon the birth of Zak’s daughter, Tatia Jayne Starkey.

Zak Starkey is also a drummer, who until August 2008 was a semi-official member of Oasis—one of the many bands influenced by the Beatles. Starr arranged for Zak to receive drumming instruction from Zak’s idol, the Who‘s drummerKeith Moon, who was Zak’s godfather and a close friend of Starr’s. Zak also performs with the Who live (such as during the Super Bowl XLIV Halftime show in 2010) and sometimes in the studio. Zak has performed with his father during some All-Starr Band tours.

Like fellow ex-Beatle McCartney, Starr is a vegetarian, albeit for different reasons. McCartney is vegetarian for ethical reasons, but in Starr’s case it is because of stomach problems he had in the past. As a child, Starr was left-handed until he became ambidextrous when his grandmother forced him to write with his right hand because she thought it was a witch spell for people to be left handed.

In the Sunday Times Rich List 2011 Starr was listed at number 56 with an estimated personal wealth of £150m. Starr and Bach split their time between homes in Cranleigh, SurreyLos Angeles; and Monte Carlo.


Aside from the Beatles’ films A Hard Day’s Night (1964), Help! (1965), Magical Mystery Tour (1967), Yellow Submarine (1968), Let It Be (1970), Starr has acted in several films such as Candy (1968), The Magic Christian (1969) (alongside Peter Sellers), Blindman (1971), Son of Dracula (1974) and Caveman (1981). Starr directed and appeared in Born to Boogie (1972), a concert film featuring Marc Bolan and T.Rex. For the 1979 documentary film on the Who,The Kids Are Alright, Starr appeared in interview segments with fellow drummer Keith Moon. He starred as Larry the Dwarf in Frank Zappa‘s 200 Motels (1971). His voice is also featured in Harry Nilsson‘s animated film The Point!(1971). He appeared in The Last Waltz, the Martin Scorsese film about the 1976 farewell concert of the Band, a favourite of the Beatles. He co-starred in That’ll Be the Day (1973) as a Teddy Boy. He played ‘The Pope’ in Ken Russell‘s Lisztomania (1975), and a fictionalised version of himself in the Paul McCartney-penned Give My Regards to Broad Street in 1984.

Awards and recognition

In the Queen’s Birthday Honours of 12 June 1965, Starr and the three other Beatles were appointed Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE); they received their insignia from Queen Elizabeth II on 26 October.

He and the other Beatles were cumulatively nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Newcomer for their performances in the 1964 film A Hard Day’s Night. The Beatles won the Academy Award for ‘Best Original Song Score’ for the 1970 film Let It Be. Each Beatle received an Oscar statuette.

The minor planet 4150 Starr, discovered on 31 August 1984 by Brian A. Skiff at the Anderson Mesa Station of the Lowell Observatory, was named in his honor. Starr was nominated for a 1989 Daytime Emmy Award for ‘Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series’ for his role as Mr. Conductor in the television series Shining Time Station.

All four of the Beatles were elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when the group was inducted in 1988. Since then, Lennon (1994), McCartney (1999) and Harrison (2004) have been inducted for their solo careers as well. Starr remains the only Beatle not inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his solo career. However, it was announced on 5 September 2007 that Starr would be on the ballot for membership in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist.

During the 50th Grammy Awards, Starr, George Martin and Giles Martin accepted the Best Compilation Soundtrack award for Love.

On 9 November 2008, Starr accepted a Diamond Award on behalf of the Beatles during the 2008 World Music Awards ceremony in Monaco.

On 8 February 2010, Starr was honoured with the 2,401st star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. It is located at 1750 North Vine Street, in front of the Capitol Records building, as are the stars for Lennon, McCartney and Harrison.

Go to Ringo Starr’s official website. Also visit The Beatles.


  • Sentimental Journey (1970)
  • Beaucoups of Blues (1970)
  • Ringo (1973)
  • Goodnight Vienna (1974)
  • Ringo’s Rotogravure (1976)
  • Ringo the 4th (1977)
  • Bad Boy (1978)
  • Stop and Smell the Roses (1981)
  • Old Wave (1983)
  • Time Takes Time (1992)
  • Vertical Man (1998)
  • I Wanna Be Santa Claus (1999)
  • Ringo Rama (2003)
  • Choose Love (2005)
  • Liverpool 8 (2008)
  • Y Not (2010)
  • Ringo 2012 (2012)


  • The Beatles Come to Town (1963) (short subject) – with the Beatles
  • A Hard Day’s Night (1964) – with the Beatles
  • Help! (1965) – with the Beatles
  • Reflections On Love (1966) (short subject)
  • Magical Mystery Tour (1967) – with the Beatles
  • The Beatles Mod Odyssey (1968) (short subject) – with the Beatles
  • Yellow Submarine (1968)- with the Beatles
  • Candy (1968)
  • The Magic Christian (1969)
  • Let It Be (1970) (documentary) – with the Beatles
  • Music! (1971) (documentary)
  • 200 Motels (1971)
  • Blindman (1971)
  • The Point! (1971) (Narrator on Home Video release)
  • Did Somebody Drop His Mouse? (1972) (short subject)
  • The Concert for Bangladesh (1972) (documentary)
  • Born to Boogie (1972) (documentary) (also director)
  • That’ll Be the Day (1973)
  • Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1973) (documentary)
  • Son of Dracula (1974)
  • Lisztomania (1975)
  • The Day the Music Died (1977) (documentary)
  • The Beatles and Beyond (1977) (documentary)
  • Sextette (1978)
  • Ringo (1978) TV film
  • The Last Waltz (1978) (documentary)
  • The Kids Are Alright (1979) (documentary)
  • Caveman (1981)
  • The Cooler (1982) (short subject)
  • Princess Daisy (1983) (TV Movie) W/Barbara Bach (Robin and Vanessa Valerian)
  • Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984)
  • Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends (1984–1986) (U.K. & U.S. Narrator: Series 1-2)
  • Water (1985) (Cameo)
  • Alice in Wonderland (1985)
  • Sun City/The Making of Sun City (1986) (documentary)
  • Queen: The Magic Years (1987) (documentary)
  • Walking After Midnight (1988) (documentary)
  • The Return of Bruno (1988)
  • Shining Time Station (1989) (Mr. Conductor)
  • “The Simpsons” (1991)
  • The Beatles Anthology (1995) (documentary) – with the Beatles
  • Concert for George (2003) (documentary)
  • Oh My God (2009) (documentary)
  • George Harrison: Living in the Material World (2011) (documentary)

Post taken from Wikipedia.