Gene Simmons, the fire-breathing, blood-spitting, bass-playing co-founder of KISS turns 70 today (Sunday).

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Simmons was born Chaim Witz in Israel on August 25th, 1949. He immigrated to the U.S. with his mother when he was eight.

The New York City schoolteacher who had changed his name to Gene Klein formed KISS with Paul Stanley after leaving a band called Wicked Lester. Beyond music, Simmons is businessman, reality TV star, author and actor. He lives in Beverly Hills, California with his wife, former Playboy model Shannon Tweed. They have two grown children --Nicholas and Sophie.

He'll be off for his birthday.

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