It’s Paula Deen’s birthday, y’all! We’ve posted clips on TBR before of the ridiculously fatty, high-caloric cooking that made Deen famous, but we’ve never really explored the background of this Queen Mum of the Carbohydrate, so here goes. Born in Albany, Georgia, Deen’s parents both died when she was 23, and as a result of their deaths she developed extreme agoraphobia. It was during this period that Deen began to focus her energies on cooking because it was something she could do from the comfort of her own home. She started a cooking business which she ran out of her home, but by 1996 it had grown so popular that she decided to open her own restaurant called The Lady & Sons. In 1997, she self-published the first of five cookbooks (to date), and her crazy cooking began to earn her more and more fame. By 2008 she had opened another restaurant, published several more books, and made countless talk show appearances. She also frequently appears on the Food Network, and last year was one of the judges on Top Chef. Paula Deen has also made a brief foray into movies, playing the aunt of Orlando Bloom’s character in Elizabethtown, in which her cooking was also featured. On January 17, 2012, Deen announced that she has had Type 2 diabetes for the past three years (surprising no one, given the nature of her cuisine), and recieved much criticism for hiding her condition while simultaneously promoting her own unheathly meals. But we’re not here to judge, we’re here to celebrate! I would probably never eat an entire portion of a Paula Deen meal, but I must admit to extreme curiousity over the taste of a deep-fried cheesecake. Paula Deen turns 65 today, y’all!