Famous & Infamous a Births & Deaths 11th May

Person associated with psychological and behavioural condition feigning illness and subject of a couple of films, Hieronymous Karl Frederich von Münchausen starts today’s posting as he was unable to lie about his birthdate from 1720. Siam born,(hence Siamese twins), Americanised conjoined twins Chang and Eng Bunker, started sharing birthdays from 1811. Excessive writer of songs for films and shows, Israel Isidore Baline, (changing it to the slightly more catchy Irving Berlin), found his birthday wasn’t always in April seeing as he was born this day in 1888. Wobbly chinned actress Margaret Rutherford found the curtain, or rather sheet, came up in 1892. Known for his alternative sketches and waxed moustache, artist Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Doménech, Marqués de Dalí de Pubol, or just Salvador Dali, saw daylight for the first time in 1904. Fast talking bespectacled comedian, probably best known for playing Sgt. Phil(ip) Silver(s) wasn’t top banana in the family given he was the youngest of eight children being born in 1911. Pakistani scribbler of short stories, Saadt Hasan Manto wasn’t pardey ke peechhy (behind the curtains) after 1912. The best inquisitor and host of University Challenge, Jeremy Paxman will be asking himself, (hopefully numerous times), how he came to be 66 today. Ex-husband to Liza Minelli, plastic surgery enthusiast and reality television contestant who was found dead in a London (England) hotel room last month, David Alan Gest thought he was ‘simply the Gest’ in 1953. One of, (if not the best), disc jockey who sadly had his hours cut back at the BBC, Alexander Norman Charles ‘Alex’ Lester aka The Dark Lord, will hopefully be celebrating his 60th birthday spouting all sorts of nonsense. Part of acting dynasty family that’s been mentioned over the past few months, daughter of Vanessa Redgrave, Natasha Richardson made her debut in 1963. Hijacker of United flight 93, deluded religious nutter Ziad Jarrah dropped by in 1975. German pedal pusher Marcel Kittel wobbled into life back in 1988.

As for deaths it’s another pretty quiet day, but we start with British Prime Minister William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, who adjourned for good in 1778. Spencer Percival took the honour of being the only British Prime Minister to be assassinated in 1812. Actor known for playing Tarzan of the Apes, Alexander Crichlow Barker Jr., abbreviated to Lex Barker, swopped the loin cloth for a death shroud in 1973. Dead Norwegian of the day goes to chemist who was also a Nobel Laureate Odd Hassel found death a hassle in 1981. Also not making it through that year is Jamaican ‘tobacco’ smoker Robert Nesta ‘Bob’ Marley didn’t get up or stand up. Traitor and defector to the red team, Harald Adrian Russell ‘Kim’ Philby put his hammer and sickle down in 1988. Author of science fiction (yawn) book ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, Douglas Noel
Adams had his last chance to see anything in 2001. One half of singing duo McFedden & Whitehead, John Whitehead found there was something stoppin’ him now in 2004. Actress Shanthi Lekha had her ultimate death scene in 2009. Finally, co-founder of overpriced stationery business Staples Inc, Leo Khan was stationary in 2011.

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