Born in 1961

Jan 1 Sam Backo an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 1980s who has been named as one of the greatest Aboriginal players of the 20th century. He represented Australia and Queensland, and played club football in the New South Wales Rugby League premiership for the Canberra Raiders and Brisbane Broncos, primarily as a prop forward. Backo was the first Australian forward to score tries in all three Tests of an Ashes series and since his retirement was named in an Indigenous Australian team of the century
Jan 1 Sam Palahnuk an American computer game designer and founder of the game development company, Brother Wolf. He is best known as the original designer of groundbreaking computer games such as Star Trek - Strategic Operations Simulator, Wolf and Disney's The Animation Studio
Jan 1 Vyacheslav Sukristov a former Soviet and Lithuanian footballer and a current manager.
Jan 1 Abdelhamid Sadmi an Algerian international football defender who played for Algeria in the 1986 FIFA World Cup, as well as the 1984 African Cup of Nations and the 1986 African Cup of Nations. At the club level, he spent his entire senior career with JS Kabylie with whom he won the African Cup of Champions Clubs twice in 1981 and 1990
Jan 1 Sven Regener a German musician and writer living in Berlin. In 1982 he recorded his first LP with the band Zatopek and in 1984 he joined Neue Liebe. In 1985 he founded the Berlin band Element of Crime together with Jakob Friderichs. He writes almost all their lyrics as well as playing trumpet
Jan 1 Boris Koretsky a Soviet fencer. He won a gold medal in the team foil event at the 1988 Summer Olympics
Jan 1 Leonid Dzapshba a former Interior Minister of Abkhazia and former head of the Abkhazian Football Federation.
Jan 1 Sergey Glazyev a Russian politician and economist, Full Member of Russian Academy of Science since 2008. He was a minister in 1993, a member of the State Duma in 1993-2007, and ran for President of Russia in 2004. Glazyev was a co-founder of the Rodina party
Jan 1 Ihar Hermianchuk a famous Belarusian journalist and political activist.
Jan 1 Cerdas Barus an Indonesian chess Grandmaster.
Jan 1 Viktor Pasulko a retired ex-USSR footballer of Ukrainian origin. He most recently served as head coach of Orlandina in Italy's Serie D
Jan 1 Fiona Phillips an English journalist, broadcaster and television presenter, best known for her presenting roles with the ITV Breakfast programme GMTV.
Jan 1 Sergei Babayan an Armenian-American concert pianist.
Jan 2 Todd Haynes an American independent film director and screenwriter. He is best known for his feature films Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, Poison, Velvet Goldmine, Safe, and the Academy Award-nominated Far from Heaven and I'm Not There
Jan 2 Aram Sargsyan an Armenian political figure. He was Prime Minister of Armenia from 3 November 1999, to 2 May 2000
Jan 2 Hitoshi Saito a retired judoka who won two consecutive gold medals at the Olympic games.
Jan 2 Gabrielle Carteris an American actress known for her role as Andrea Zuckerman on the early seasons of the 1990s television series Beverly Hills, 90210.
Jan 2 Craig James (American football) a former American sports commentator on the ABC and ESPN television networks.
Jan 2 Robert Wexler the president of the Washington-based Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace.
Jan 2 IJsbrand Chardon a Dutch equestrian and multiple World Champion at the World Equestrian Games.
Jan 3 Dominique Bijotat a former professional French football midfielder from France, who obtained eight international caps for the French national team during the 1980s.
Jan 3 Vladimir Potanin a Russian billionaire entrepreneur and oligarch. He acquired his wealth notably through the controversial loans-for-shares program in Russia. He is one of the wealthiest men in Russia, with an estimated net worth of $12.7 billion. His long-term business partner was Mikhail Prokhorov until they decided to split in 2008. Subsequently, they put their mutual assets in a holding company, Folletina Trading, until their asset division was agreed upon
Jan 4 Eija Hyytiäinen a former Finnish cross country skier who competed during the 1980s. She won a bronze medal in the 4 x 5 km relay at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo
Jan 4 Oh Se-hoon the Mayor of Seoul between 2006 and August 26, 2011. On June 3, 2010, Oh was reelected as the Mayor of Seoul but resigned after losing a referendum on the Seoul Free Lunch Referendum. Oh is a member of the Saenuri Party
Jan 4 Graham McTavish a Scottish television and film actor and voice actor.
Jan 4 Cliff Levingston a retired American basketball player who played in the NBA. Levingston starred at Wichita State University before being drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 1982. After two seasons with the Pistons, he was traded to the Atlanta Hawks, with whom he would spend the prime of his career
Jan 4 David DeFeis an American singer, keyboard player, songwriter and producer. He is the main composer and leader of the heavy metal band Virgin Steele
Jan 4 Sidney Green (basketball) an American retired basketball player and former coach. He played college basketball for the UNLV Runnin' Rebels and was drafted into the National Basketball Association by the Chicago Bulls in 1983. After a ten-year career in the NBA he went into college coaching. He now works as a Chicago Bulls team ambassador
Jan 4 Lee Curreri an American actor and musician. He was born in The Bronx, New York
Jan 5 Iris DeMent an American singer and songwriter. DeMent's musical style includes elements of the country and folk music genres
Jan 6 Linas Antanas Linkevičius a Lithuanian politician of the Social Democratic Party.
Jan 6 Dražen Bošnjaković a Croatian politician, member of the centre-right Croatian Democratic Union, and former Justice Minister.
Jan 6 Georges Jobé a five-time FIM motocross world champion from Belgium. In addition, Jobé also won several Belgian national motocross championships in a professional motocross career that spanned from 1979 to 1992
Jan 7 John Thune the junior United States Senator from South Dakota and a member of the Republican Party. He previously served as a United States Representative for South Dakota's at-large congressional district. He will become South Dakota's Senior senator with the retirement of Tim Johnson
Jan 7 Andrew Thomson (Australian politician) a former Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives representing the Division of Wentworth in New South Wales.
Jan 7 Supriya Pathak an Indian actress.
Jan 8 Wu Mingqian a Chinese female chess player who holds the WGM title, which she received in 1985.
Jan 8 Calvin Smith a former sprint track and field athlete from the United States. He is a former World Record holder in the 100 metre sprint with 9.93 secs in 1983, and was twice World Champion over 200 metres, in 1983 and 1987. He also won an Olympic gold medal in the 4 x 100 metres relay in 1984. He was born in Bolton, Mississippi
Jan 8 Keith Arkell an English chess Grandmaster.
Jan 9 Yannick Stopyra a French retired footballer who played as a striker.
Jan 9 Al Jean an American screenwriter and producer. Jean is well known for his work on The Simpsons. He was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and graduated from Harvard University in 1981. Jean began his writing career in the 1980s with fellow Harvard alum Mike Reiss. Together, they worked as writers and producers on television shows such as The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, ALF and It's Garry Shandling's Show
Jan 9 Candi Milo an American voice actress and singer.
Jan 9 Oliver Goldstick an American television screenwriter and producer.
Jan 10 Evan Handler an American actor who is best known for playing Charlie Runkle, Hank Moody's comically bumbling friend and agent, on Californication and Harry Goldenblatt, a divorce attorney and later husband of Charlotte York on Sex and the City.
Jan 10 Wu Jingui a Chinese football manager. He was most recently the technical director and interim head coach of Shandong Luneng Taishan F.C
Jan 10 Poghos Galstyan a former Armenian football midfielder and current manager who works as an assistant manager with FC Ural Sverdlovsk Oblast. He has participated in 1 international match for the Armenia national team on 16 July 1994 in a home friendly match against Malta. He is the father of Artush Galstyan
Jan 10 Andrey Vavilov a Russian politician and businessman, senator and a former first deputy finance minister of Russia, and the former Russian secretary of state.
Jan 10 William Ayache a retired French association football defender.
Jan 10 Janet Jones an American actress. She is married to former ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky
Jan 10 Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg an American classical violinist and teacher.