07/01/2012 19:26 GMT | Updated 08/01/2012 16:45 GMT

David Bowie Turns 65: Glam Rock Space Oddity Reaches Pension Age (PHOTOS)

The man who sung 'All The Young Dudes' isn't so young anymore - rock star and actor David Bowie turns 65 on Sunday.

Most famous for hits including Ashes To Ashes and Life On Mars, Bowie has enjoyed a four decade-long career as a singer, producer, actor and artist.

Rising to fame in 1969 with the top-five single Space Oddity, Bowie really shot to stardom - and conceptually into the stars - when he returned in 1972 as the glam rock persona Ziggy Stardust.

Bowie debuted the character and his band, the Spiders From Mars in the inauspicious surroundings of the Toby Jug pub in Tolworth, but in the words of his biographer David Buckley the bright makeup and androgynous look of Ziggy Stardust went on to "challenge the core belief of the rock music of its day".

Since that transformation Bowie has undergone numerous Ch-Ch-Changes, and taken on many identities.

"I reinvented my image so many times that I'm in denial," he once said. "I was originally an overweight Korean woman."

With more than 20 albums released and 140 million sold, he has also enjoyed career lows as well as highs, and described his 1987 industrial-influenced album Never Let Me Down as his "nadir".

In 2003 he released his most recent original album, Reality, and although his 2004 tour played to 722,000 people and grossed more than any other that year, his pace has slowed following emergency heart surgery.

Since then Bowie has made only a few live appearances and recorded guest spots on albums from TV On The Radio and Scarlett Johansson, among others.

Bowie's legacy is undimmed, however, and his fans enjoyed a treat before Christmas when the BBC screened footage of the singer, which was thought to have been lost, for the first time in 40 years on a Top of the Pops special.

The archive film of the singer performing number two hit The Jean Genie in January 1973 came to light after it was feared to have been wiped along with appearances by hundreds of other artists on the show.

The Huffington Post celebrates Bowie's life in the slideshow, below: