Birthday greetings go out to Danica McKellar, who the world fell in love with as Winnie Cooper on “The Wonder Years.” The actress and mathematician, turning 39 on Friday (Jan. 3), has done plenty in her careers and life to be proud of and has easily eclipsed Winnie as the idea life companion.
To celebrate, here are 10 reasons McKellar’s “Wonder Years” counterpart doesn’t hold a candle to her.
1. She’s a child actor made good.
The story of the child actor disaster is too well known. That’s why it’s so refreshing when someone like McKellar comes along, showing that young stars can grow up to become well-adjusted and productive members of society. She’s an actress, college graduate, a mom and all-around awesome.
2. She loves math.
McKellar studied math and even has a physics theorem named after her, along with a professor and fellow student, which they discovered.
3. No, she really loves math.
She has authored four different math books, all with an aim to get young girls interested in the subject. They also have awesome titles like “Math Doesn’t Suck,” “Kiss My Math,” “Hot X: Algebra Exposed” and “Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape.”
4. You really don’t understand how much she loves math.
Did you know McKellar has her own music video entirely dedicated to pi? The video features cameos by Simon Pegg, Felicia Day, Chris Hardwick and more. It’s meant to prepare the internet for her upcoming web series, “Math Bites.”
5. She was in Maxim.
This is one thing Winnie Cooper would never do, if only because Kevin would forbid it. He was sort of the villain on that show. At age 35, McKellar posed for the magazine to further her overall message that smart is sexy and was she ever right.
6. She made Avril Lavigne bearable.
The song “Rock N Roll” is right about what you should expect from an Avril Lavigne track, but McKellar gets edgy for the music video with some very tight clothing, heavy eyeliner and the attitude to match. It’s a brand new look for her and she makes it work.
7. She’s a big fan of palindromes.
If you follow her on Twitter, you know how much McKellar loves palindromes. Those are words or phrases that are spelled the same way forward and backward. In fact, every Thursday she plays a palindrome game with her followers. She gives you a clue, you name that palindrome, everyone wins.
8. Her laugh is just adorable.
Sure, this is pretty subjective, but her laugh really takes the cake. Don’t believe that? Jump to about 1:20 in the video below and hear for yourself.
9. She might just be a huge “Harry Potter” nerd.
Granted, this isn’t confirmed but McKellar is very open about how nerds are cool and her son is named Draco. As in Draco Malfoy, that bratty little blonde kid who always tried to ruin everything. Perhaps this is a little nod a franchise she loves?
10. She’s Winnie Cooper.
On top of all of these awesome things McKellar is, the icing on the cake is that once upon a time she was America’s girlfriend in the late 80s and early 90s. For that and all of the reasons listed above, she deserves your respect and admiration.