First, turning 70 today is Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE, of course better known as Elton John.
And according to some sources, today is also the birthday of one Esteban Maturin y Domanova, better known as Doctor Stephen Maturin – physician, spy (at least in the O’Brian novels and briefly hinted at in the movie), fighting naturalist, natural philosopher, sun-bather, linguist, cellist, and close friend to Captain Jack Aubrey.
So it’s only right that we celebrate Stephen’s birthday as well. I don’t think Sir Elton would mind!
Now in the O’Brian series, Stephen – the illegitimate son of an Irish officer serving in the Spanish Army and a lady of Catalan heritage – is described as being pale (until he’s exposed to the sun, whereupon he becomes dark complexioned); short, barely weighing ‘9 stone’ (126 pounds), and blue-eyed. A French spy who glimpsed the book version in The Surgeon’s Mate wrote: “Five foot six, slight build, black hair, pale eyes, muddy complexion, three nails on the right hand torn out, both hands somewhat crippled…” He’s usually untidy, “even disreputable”. He never spends much on clothing, “preferring an ‘old rusty coat’ unless the occasion calls for dressier clothes.’ (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Maturin).
Which is a bit different from how we see Stephen in his movie portrayal by English actor Paul Bettany. Bettany is better known these days as Tony Stark’s J.A.R.V.I.S. and also Vision from The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War. And if you’re not a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, J.A.R.V.I.S was Stark’s long-suffering, be there when he’s needed computerized assistant, always there in a pinch. Vision is…well…that’s a long story, and this is a Russell Crowe-based site, not a Marvel Cinematic Universe one *bg*).
Anyway, here is Stephen Maturin as played by Paul Bettany. Happy Birthday Stephen!
Okay, so that’s not Stephen, but I couldn’t resist since I did bring up Vision, one of the few individuals who can lift Thor’s hammer! Here’s our Stephen, alone as well as with his best friend Jack Aubrey (as played of course by Russell Crowe):