Births today start with multi medalled King of Prussia and first German emperor – William Frederick Louis of Hohenzollern probably got his first medal in 1797. President of the French Republic, Joseph Athanase Gaston Paul Doumer, who dropped the first three names to be known as Paul Doumer, smelt the garlic from 1857. Oldest sibling of the Marx Brothers, Leonard Marx found it was ‘Chico’ time in 1887. Actor who preceded George Michael by a few decades for his ‘leisure’ activities, Henry Wilfred Brambell was as happy as Larry being born in 1912. Also arriving that year, fellow actor Mladen George Sekulovich, or Karl Malden, found he had no time limit during birth. Probably the most famous person with a white face and black makeup, Marvel Mangel or Marcel Marceau certainly made some noise and wild gesticulations in 1923. Announcer for David Letterman on his nightly show, William Joseph Wenzel Jr., or Bill Wendell had to tell the truth about his birth in 1924. Composer/lyricist Stephen Joseph Sondheim merrily rolled along in 1930. Author Lesley Thomas had his arrival in 1931 and his departure in 2014. Also born that year, actor best known for playing Captain James T. Kirk in sci-fi series Star Trek along with his poor singing, William ‘Bill’ Shatner started going boldly about his business. Whistling folk singer (could there be anything worse?), Roger Whittaker entered the new world in the morning back in 1936. Composer Angelo Badalamenti really was naked in New York this day back in 1937. Singer/songwriter George Benson found the shape of things to come in 1943. A few years later in 1948, funny faced composer Andrew Lloyd Webber found it’s his time. BBC journo best known for his coverage of the Falklands War, Brian Hanrahan’s mum counted all the contractions out and counted them all back in 1949. Toothless darts champion John Thomas ‘Jocky’ Wilson bounced out in 1950. Singer Peter James ‘Pete’ Wylie thought he’d better scream in 1958. Chiselled faced mountain shirking cyclist in gaudy Lycra outfits, Mario Cipollini wasn’t a climber in 1967 either. Swedish one hit wonder (Jon Erik) Andreas Johnson staged his escape in 1970. Fellow singer Beverley Knight has been the prodigal sista since 1973. Actress Laura Jeanne Reece Witherspoon had an overnight delivery in 1976.
Deaths are very thin on the ground today, but we do start with mutton chopped writer of Tom Brown’s School Days, Thomas Hughes came to the last page of his life in 1896. Pioneering brain surgeon Sir William Macewen mapped out his funeral in 1924. Third husband (of seven), of Elizabeth Taylor – theatre/film producer born Avrom Hirsch Goldbogen, died as Michael ‘Mike’ Todd in 1958. Creator of Woody Woodpecker, animator Walter Benjamin Lantz has been tapping on his coffin since 1994. BBC newsreader prone to slurring his words due to the ‘medication’ he was taking – Peter Woods had his outro moment in 1995. One half of classic cartoon duo, William Denby ‘Bill’ Hanna was speechless from 2001. Founder of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Ismail Hassan Yassin was taken out permanently in 2004. Controversial reality television personality Jade Cerisa Lorraine Goody didn’t get to show her ‘kebab’ again after 2009. Actress and wife to Errol Flynn, Patrice Wymore Flynn saw the curtain come down in 2014. Finally, Canadian Mayor of Toronto who liked a line or two of the Colombian marching powder, Robert Bruce ‘Rob’ Ford lost his chain of office in 2016.