Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 14th April

We begin today’s posting with Philip III King of Spain, Portugal and the other Habsburg territories may have been a miserable monarch, but hopefully he perked up this day every year from 1578. Long haired British Prime Minister William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland was a titch in his field back in 1738. Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom, (not the odd looking daughter of Andy & Fergie), but stern faced Queen Victoria’s youngest child (also with a stern face), got to see the jewels from 1857. Original luvvie John Gielgud entered stage right in 1904. Dictator, sorry President, of Haiti François Duvalier also known as ‘Papa Doc’ suffered his only fall in life in 1907. Five time married actor Rodney Stephen ‘Rod’ Steiger was born in the heat of the night in 1925. Creator of Thunderbirds, Stingray as well as Captain Scarlett and the Mysterons, Gerald Alexander Abrahams but better known as Gerry Anderson, found he had his cord cut in 1929. Awkward dancer/ex-political journalist John Sergeant is celebrating being 72 today, though hopefully he’ll refrain from doing the conga. Long serving (since 1998) Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi has been trying since 1945 to pronounce his name properly. Great but disgraced comedian Christopher ‘Chris’ Langham was in the thick of it in 1949. Brother of funny faced Andrew, cellist Julian Lloyd Webber severed the string in 1951. Current Dr. Who (yawn), Peter Dougan Capaldi started time travelling in 1958. Great actor Robert Carlyle wasn’t marooned in 1961. Living Norwegian of the day is editor/ author Vebjørn Selbekk who dared to print a cartoon of Mohammed, took his first risk in 1969. Star of dull television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sarah Michelle Prinze (née Gellar), was an angel in 1977.

There are a few more deaths to report today, and we start with Mstislav I Vladimirovich the Great, Prince of Kiev eased off on the garlic from 1132. Previous neighbour of Jimi Hendrix, composer George Frederic Handel (born Georg Friedrich Händel), didn’t get to play his organ again after 1759. Hungarian astronomer Maximilian Hell hopefully didn’t end up there in 1792. Husband of Edith Nesbitt and a founding member of the Fabian Society, Hubert Bland had anything but a bland life before keeling over in 1914. Creator of incomprehensible language Esperanto, Ludwik Lazarus Zamenhof was mortintoj from 1917. Indian philosopher Sri Ramana Maharshi found the meaning of life ran out in 1950. Convicted murderers and subject of Truman Capote book, Richard Eugene ‘Dick’ Hickock and Perry Edward Smith, didn’t hang about after 1965. Bass player and founding member of The Pretenders, Peter Granville ‘Pete’ Farndon, stopped playing his guitar after being sacked from the band in 1983 and took a massive dose of heroin in a bathtub to celebrate. Computer programmer responsible for the Zip file format, Philip Walter Katz successfully managed to compress himself in 2000. Oliver Martin ‘Ollie’ Johnson Jr. one of Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men, working on Pinocchio, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia and Bambi, found himself on the cutting room floor in 2008. Excellent actor Trevor Bannister, or Mr Lucas from Are You Being Served? hung up his tape measure for good in 2011. Finally, Armando Villanueva Del Campo Prime Minister of Peru, was granted his ultimate amnesty in 2013.


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