Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 31st August

We start today’s posting way, way back in 31 AD when Roman emperor Caligula (born Gaius Julius Caeser Germanicus), started out, though it was a few years before he started building straight roads. Not to be outdone, Commodus, fellow Roman emperor arrived in 161 and carried on the tradition. Alternative teacher Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori taught her parents a thing or two from 1870. Queen of the Kingdom of the Netherlands – Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Maria, took a few years to get to the throne after 1880. Seventh President of the Republic of the Philippines Ramon del Fierro Magsaysay was able to say say today was his birthday from 1907. Actor from Knight Rider (among other roles), John Richard Baseheart didn’t get a repeat performance having been born in 1914. Ex-Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila with the rather unfortunate surname, Cardinal Jaime Lachica Sin, never repented over entering the world in 1928. Tap dancing, trumpet playing and secondary inhaler of nicotine, Roy Castle hit the right note being delivered in 1932. Known equally for his war reporting as for wearing the same suit throughout his stint as an MP, Martin Bell got through a lot more linen back in 1938. Miserablist Belfast born singer George Ivan ‘Van’ Morrison was a beautiful vision, (to his parents), in 1945. Conspiracy theorist Jerome Robert Corsi unearthed the truth about his birth in 1946. White suited 26th President of Thailand with the red sash and medals, Somchai Wongsawat started his service in 1947. Member of German hard rock band The Scorpions, Rudolf Schenker felt the wind of change in more ways than one from 1948. Favourite American actor for ladies of a certain age, (but not hamsters, or was it gerbils?), Richard Tiffany Gere was breathless in 1949. Singer/songwriter with Squeeze, Glenn Martin Tilbrook was more than tempted given he was born in 1957. ‘Flippin’ heck Tucker, Todd Jennings/Carter made his debut in 1963. Norwegian of the day is cross country skier Anita Moen Bonden who went for the classic kick and glide method of being born in 1967. Serial killer, (Gianni Versace being but one of his victims), Andrew Philip Cunanan started out in his quest to enter the ’27 Club’ in 1969. Big hat wearing singer from the 80’s, Deborah Ann ‘Debbie’ Gibson arrived out of the blue in 1970. Champion divot maker Pádraig P. Harrington left the bunker in 1971. Overpaid ball kicker and diver, Rolando Jorge Pires da Fonseca went into overtime during his birth in 1985.

As for deaths, odd looking bald King Henry V of England rolled over in 1442, without ending up in a council run car park. Danish physician Olaus Wormius or Ole Worm found he actually became worm food in 1654. Composer Gottfried Finger pointed west from this day in 1730. Teller of tall tales and sharpshooter/showman William Frank ‘Doc’ Carver was unable to expand on his life in 1927. Heavyweight boxing champion Rocco Francis Marchegiano, who was known as Rocky Marciano started shadow boxing in 1969. 29th Prime Minister of New Zealand Norman Eric Kirk beamed himself up in 1974. Keeping with the political theme, second President of Rhodesia John James Wrathall, died in 1978 and would be spinning in his grave if he knew what TIM, (That Idiot Mugabe), had done to a once lovely country. Eighth President of Finland Urho Kekkonen didn’t find himself in another cabinet, rather a coffin from 1986. Also not making it through that year, semi abstract sculptor Henry Moore had his body contorted into a box. Ex-wife to Chas and mum to Bill & Harry, ‘The Queen of People’s Hearts’ who some would say was a media manipulator, Princess Diana (Died In A Nasty Accident) and Dodi (Died On Dashboard Instrument),Fayed didn’t make it back to their Paris hotel in 1997. Having mentioned Todd Carty (above), here’s one of his co-stars from Grange Hill, Maurice Bronson or to give his real name, Michael Sheard started another life in 2005. Stalwart entertainer Walter William Bygraves, but went by the name Max Bygraves, found himself in a grave in 2012. Sometime comedian, sometime serious interviewer and journo David Frost lost his seafaring legs in 2013. Finally, Mexican actress María Eugenia Llamas Andresco left the Marachi band playing in 2014.

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 30th August

Founder of brewery named after him, (and producer of weak gassy beer), Samuel Whitbread was the seventh of eight ‘bombers’ and appeared in 1720. Writer of goth horror story Frankenstein, Mary Wollstoncraft Shelley, (née Godwin), didn’t scare her parents when born in 1797. Leading Hindi pensmith Bhagwati Charan Verma wrote himself into the plot back in 1903. Useless bushy eye browed British politician and friend of the International Monetary Fund Denis Winston Healey managed to get something right by being born in 1917. Given today seems to be a writer’s day, Charmian Clift started her autobiography in 1923. Lead member of group The Mamas & the Papas, John Edmund Andrew Phillips started going where he wanted to go about a year after his birth in 1935. Bruce McLaren the one the F1 team and overpriced sports cars are named after began his first lap in 1937. Actress Elizabeth Ashley has been one of the cake eaters this day since 1939. Also born that year is great DJ who found numerous bands during his time on radio and is now honoured with a stage at mudfest called Glastonbury, John Robert Parker Ravenscroft (or just John Peel), got his mum in a spin. Actress and ex-Mrs Q. Jones, Margaret Ann ‘Peggy’ Lipton started to learn her true identity from 1946. Sculptor known the world over (apparently) who’s known for his rusty version of Christ the Redeemer in Gateshead, Anthony Mark David Gormley roughed it out in 1950. Actor with the rather unfortunate surname, Timothy Bottoms took part in ‘Operation Daybreak’ in 1951. Another DJ, this one made his name playing trance and associated crap music in nightclubs, Paul Mark Oakenfold found his tempo in 1963. Actress who apparently looks better in pictures than real life, thanks to Photoshop – Cameron Michelle Diaz found she was the one in 1972. Ten years later in 1982, tennis player Andrew Stephen ‘Andy’ Roddick had his first buggy whip. Actress known for her role in Game of Thrones, (not too sure what that’s about, but am pretty certain it’s not like musical chairs, but with thrones), Jessica Yu Li
Henwick was in the thick of it back in 1992.

Deathwise, there don’t appear to be that many to report on but we do start with another King of France called Louis, this one was the tenth to hold the title and became even more prudent from 1483. Having mentioned his son, Max Factor Jr. a mere 12 days ago here’s his old man, Maksymilian Faktorowicz or Max Factor Snr, who didn’t get to see how good his products looked on him in 1938. English cricketer who was a fast bowler despite being called Arthur Fielder reached 72 all out in 1949. Actor Charles Douville Coburn found the long wait over in 1961. Cambridge graduate who turned out to be a top spy for the red team, Guy Francis de Moncy Burgess stopped mentioning secrets in 1963. Actor from the Perry Mason series, William Whitney Talman Jr., entered tombstone territory in 1968. Dancer/actress who worked with Fred A, Gene K and Danny K, Vera-Ellen Westmeier Rohe who dropped her last two names, was lost for words (and music) from 1981. Having mentioned various dead (and alive) Presidents of the United States of America, along with other Presidents, Prime Ministers etc from different countries around the world, it seems only right to give a final shout out to second President of Iran, Mohammad – Ali Rajai found he also ran out of life in 1981. Charles Dennis Buchinsky, or Charles Bronson obviously had a death wish in 2003. Not the odd singer who was mentioned yesterday, but real ale aficionado with the same name, Michael Jackson called last orders in 2007. Just when you thought there wasn’t a Norwegian of the day, here’s nasal droner and vague weather forecaster Vidar Leif Theisen who blew himself out in 2012. Finally, film director of mainly western films Andrew Victor McLaglen has been the quiet man since 2014.

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 29th August

People who have/are receiving a piece of overpriced card with a corny caption on it include, among others, founder of American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as well as Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Henry Bergh obviously didn’t factor in the pain caused to his mum during birth in 1911. Andrew Fisher, (not the grumpy ex-landlord from The Skimmington Cadyle on Reigate Heath), but fifth Prime Minister from the land of Oz had a high satisfaction rating in 1862. Star of over 100 films spanning 50 years, Barry Sullivan may have thought he was the immortal in 1912. Known for her role in Casablanca, Ingrid Bergman found it was only a matter of time before her debut in 1915. Having mentioned gap toothed luvvie and older brother to David five days ago when he died, here’s Richard Attenborough again as he staged his great escape in 1923. Singer born Ruth Lee Jones, but known as Dinah Washington, thought, (wrongly), ‘I’ll never be free’ given she arrived in 1923. Donald Marshall Gray, who changed his first name to Charles and is probably better known as Blofeld in the James Bond film, ‘Diamonds Are Forever’, had the heart of a child in 1928. Leading singer of Laikó, Stelianos ‘Stelios’ Kazantzidis, (who’s not featured in my record collection, funnily enough), found he woke his parents from this day in 1931. F1 shunter born in Belmont, Surrey, who got a mention on 15th June when he got the black flag, James Hunt gets another go seeing as he swerved his way through in 1947. Having started his career on a stage version of The Black and White Minstrel Show before taking on a slightly more challenging role in Othello, (via Tiswas), Lenworth George Henry, or just Lenny Henry was alive and kicking in 1958. Also born that year is monkey, (and allegedly young boys) liking, spangly glove wearing, black turned white, moonwalking, pill popping singer Michael Jackson. American celebrity chef, (we have a few of them here, however, being on one cooking programme doesn’t make you a ‘celebrity’), William Todd English battered his way through in 1960. Dirge singer with group the Cocteau Twins, Elizabeth (Liz) Davidson Fraser had both the milk and the kisses in 1963. One of the few German rugby union players, Alexander Hug got exactly that from his mum in 1984.

As for deaths, we have a dead Norwegian Royal as Eystein Magnusson Etstein I of, (guess where), Norway, hand his crown on to Sigurd in 1123. Not wanting to be outdone by previous Popes, Pope Pius VI joined his ‘brothers’ in 1799. Brigham Young, second president of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, (or Mormons), got bored of banging doors, (and having them slammed in his face), in 1877. Holder of US patent 59,915 for a pedal cycle, Pierre Lallement went downhill in 1891. Other co-founder of label Abercrombie & Fitch, David Thomas Abercrombie obviously got too cold standing about in his underpants outside his store in 1931. Adolphus Busch III brewer of gassy American lager went flat in 1946. Third President of Ireland Éamon de Valera, or George de Valero swigged his last pint of the black stuff in 1975. Having mentioned Ingrid Bergman, (above), she’s one of those unfortunate people who left the world the same day she was born, in 1982. First President of Egypt, Muhammad Naguib left the camel rides to someone else from 1984. Actor Lee Marvin didn’t need to die a thousand times, given he succeeded in 1987. Finally, French Prime Minister Pierre Joseph Auguste Messmer has been a long time dead, given he rolled over in 2007.

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 28th August

We start today’s posting with the 24th Prime Minister from the land of sheep and Kiwi’s, Peter Fraser emerged from not quite middle earth in 1884. Honoured with a statue at St Pancras Station, Poet before being promoted to Poet Laureate, John Betjeman felt a nip in the air from 1906. Fantasy (yawn), science fiction (double yawn), writer who gave Terry Pratchett a run for his money, John Holbrook ‘Jack’ Valance started the story of his life in 1916. Actress from The Beverley Hillbillies, Nancy Janes Kulp found you’re never too young from 1921. Ustad Vilayat Khan, the other sitar player plucked his way through in 1928. Having mentioned Don Estelle, his singing partner and co-star in second rate sit-com ‘It Ain’t Half Hot Mum’ a couple of weeks ago, here’s waxed moustached, gap toothed actor Windsor Davies who didn’t shuuuutt uuuuuppp in 1930. Known for playing Starsky (or was it Hutch?), and for crooning a few songs in the late 1970’s, marriage enthusiast David Richard Soul(berg) came into the world with his eyes wide open in 1943. One fourth of original white toothed family barber quartet, Melvin Wayne Osmond, (who dropped the Wayne bit as it obviously wasn’t going to sell records), found he couldn’t stop being born in 1951. Third President of Croatia Ivo Josipović got the towels first in 1957. Also born that year, actor Rick Rossovich, known for playing Ron ‘Slider’ Kerner in Top Gun found himself a slider back then. Country pop queen, (who’s somehow managed to sell over 85 million records), Eileen Regina Edwards or Shania Twain, found it only hurts when you breath in 1965. Large actor who’s part of the ‘Frat Pack’, Thomas Jacob ‘Jack’ Black must have had the nickname ‘Johnny Skidmarks’ after being born in 1969. Another Country music star, Margaret LeAnn Rimes Cibrian who abbreviated that by missing off her first and last name, obviously had nothing better to do than be born in 1982. Australian Rules football player Ashley Hansen kicked off life in 1983, complete with bloke in a white coat giving odd hand signals. Also born that year, heptathlete Lilli Schwarzkopf leapt at the chance of being born. Arty ginger singer, (minus her machine), Florence Leontine Mary Welch’s mum shook it out in 1986. Prince Nikolai William Alexander Frederik of Denmark, Count of Monpezat has fallen down the line of succession since being born in 1999.

As for deaths, the following had their date with the reaper granted – Magnus Maximus found his toga surplus to requirements from 388. First permanent resident of the great city that is Chicago, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable managed to get the cemetery plot he’d had his eyes on in 1818. Olympic medal winning Austrian fencing cyclist Adolf Schmal peddled into the sunset back in 1919. Another Olympic medalist, this one for shooting, Karl Röderer discharged himself in 1928. Child actress Mary Anissa Jones kept the funeral a family affair in 1976. One of the greatest cartoonists Ronald Carl Giles missed his deadline in 1995. Mutton chopped British politician Rhodes Boyson who held various ministers hips in the 1970’s/80’s left the red box alone from 2012. Finally, South African/Australian actor William Henry ‘Bill’ Kerr didn’t get the last laugh in 2014.

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 27th August

Once again we seem to have quite a few births to get through today, so without any further ado here’s another philosopher mentioned in Eric Idle’s ditty – Georg Wilhelm Freidrich Hegel found he started to contemplate things from 1770. Car maker to the stars, royalty, footballers and nouveau riche, Charles Stewart Rolls began the motion process in 1877. George, Crown Prince of Serbia – the one who seemed to have a lot of medals at such a young age probably got his first for being born in 1887. Writer of books about Horatio Hornblower, Cecil Louis Troughton Smith, or to give him his pen name, Cecil Scott ‘C.S.’ Lewis couldn’t solve the bedchamber mystery from 1899. For those few who read Wisden, you’ll know the best test batsman Donald George ‘Don’ Bradman had his first opener in 1908. Also born that year is 36th incumbent of the White House Washington, as Lyndon Baines Johnson joined the great society. Prime Minister of the Netherlands Jelle Zijlstra was unable to be economical with the truth over his age from 1918. Actress Patricia Doreen ‘Pat’ Coombs who was mentioned on the 25th May when the curtain dropped, gets another mention given the curtain lifted in 1926. Also born that year is Norwegian of the day the computer programming language pioneer Kristen Nygaard who started babbling in his own language. Having mentioned his wife on the 8th May, it seems only right to mention the other half of Captain & Toenail, (sorry Tennille), Daryl Frank Dragon’s mum probably said, ‘don’t do that to me one more time’ to his dad in 1942. Edam munching, clog wearing inventor of a data compression technique named after him, Romke Jan Bernhard Sloot compressed himself enough to get out in 1945. Ex-Bond girl and Mrs Ringo Starr, Barbara Bach wasn’t the unseen from 1947. Champion divot maker from Germany, Bernhard Langer had a loosened grip in 1957. Austrian driver who went round, (repeat at least another 200 times), various F1 tracks around the world, Gerhard Berger took pole position in 1959. Ex-creative director at bling label Chanel, and not so bling label Yves Saint Laurent before launching his own label and whilst not doing that directing films, Thomas Carlyle ‘Tom’ Ford wasn’t an oversized baby in 1961. Bass player Tony Ashwin Kanal had no doubt he’d be born in 1970. Headlock specialist whilst throwing people around theatrically Dalip Singh Ranah, or, as the old biddies sat ringside know him, ‘The Great Khali’, wasn’t a bump in his mum’s stomach from 1972. Someone else born that year, heptathlete Denise Lewis jumped to it. Another person who arrived the same year is founder and main song writer of the Bloodhound Gang, James Moyer Franks or Jimmy Pop, thought, ‘Hooray for boobies’. Professional racing driver, (including a stint as a F1 driver), Mark Alan Webber didn’t have a false start in 1976.

Having had the deficit of Norwegians rectified (above), we also find a couple of Popes featuring here – first up in 827 is Pope Eugene II who found a place colder than the Vatican in winter. Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio who went by his street name of Titian didn’t get to paint any more murals after 1577. Next up is Pope Sixtus V who found an even quieter life with even more time for contemplation from 1590. Wife to George Burns – Grace Ethel Cecile Rosalie ‘Gracie’ Allen, said ‘Good Night Gracie’ for the last time in 1965. I bet Brian Epstein shouted, ‘Help’ in 1967 as that way he may have lived a bit longer. Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark entered the Royal burial ground in 1968. Tafari Makonnen Woldemikael or Rasta’s favourite Haile Selassie I let them all down by not living forever and dying in 1975. Indian singer Mukesh (Chand Mathur), left the voice warmups to someone else from 1976. Prince Chas’s favourite uncle Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma found his boat had some extra power, but not in the way it should have given the IRA blew it, (and him), up in 1979. Actor with what has to be the easiest job in the world – standing in the pub drinking beer in Constipation Street, Stan Ogden or to give him his real name Bernard Youens lifted his last pint in 1984. Stephen ‘Stevie’, Ray Vaughan found how to stop in 1990. Known for his role in Mission: Impossible Francis Gregory Alan ‘Greg’ Morris entered the twilight zone in 1996. Finally, dead Norwegian of the day, singer, (surprisingly enough not with a death metal band), Jan Leonard Groth must have had his Christian rock band mates play at his funeral in 2014.

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 26th August

 

Today’s quite a busy one on the births front, so without any further ado we’ll begin with first Prime Minister of Great Britain, (well before they got embroiled in political sleaze scandals, entered illegal wars and became so delusional they believe they’re a higher deity) – Robert Walpole entered the cut and thrust of the world back in 1676, (as the 5th of 16 children). Co-inventor of hot air balloon bearing his name, Joseph-Michel Montgolfier was full of wind in 1740, (and he was the 12th child of 16). Person who named both oxygen and hydrogen along with helping construct the metric system, (so he’s the one to blame!), Antoine Lavoisier started breathing in 1743. Queen Vicki’s favourite person, (named after a rather painful sounding piercing procedure), Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha started following people about in 1819. DIY, (and non DIY), enthusiasts have inventor and patent holder of the electric drill – Arthur James Arnot to thank for making drilling holes into pipes a lot easier and he found a way out himself in 1865. Developer of the oral polio vaccine, Albert Bruce Sabin slipped out in 1906. Known for playing Jock Ewing in dull 80’s soap opera Dallas, Marlin ‘Jim’ Davis had his mum on standby for action in 1909. Princess Diana’s favourite nun who liked to wear a tea towel on her head whilst helping the disadvantaged, Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu or Mother Teresa as she’s better known, didn’t quite have the immaculate conception in 1910. Stern looking Prime Minister of Thailand Prem Tinsulanonda had his first coup, being born in 1920. Having mentioned Nikolas Ashford a mere four days ago when his warming up exercises failed, here’s his wife – Valerie Simpson who’s stayed free since 1943. BBC Radio 2 presenter and ‘jolly chappy’ who likes the sound of his own voice, Stephen Richard ‘Steve’ Wright had his first shout out in 1954. One hit wonder and subsequent lower chart botherer Alban Nwapa, or self styled Dr Alban came to be a long time ago, (in 1957 to be precise). Scouse born cyclist who took his stabilisers off to bag a gold at the 1992 Olympics along with wearing three yellow jerseys from his time peddling round France, Christopher Miles ‘Chris’ Boardman descended quickly in 1968. Russian rambler who won a silver medal for walking 20 kilometres, (or all of 12 miles 752.27 yards), in the 2004 Athens Olympics, Olimpiada Ivanova initially set out in 1970. Son of great English cricketer Ian, Liam Botham who couldn’t decide whether to be a cricketer or rugby player had the dummy passed to him in 1977. ‘Friend’ of monkey owning, spangly glove wearing, moon walking and pill popping Michael Jackson, child actor who made his name in the Home Alone series of films and is now to be found plugging some price comparison site with Meerkats, Macaulay Carson Culkin found his family waiting for him in 1980. Youngest person to sail around the world unaided, (in 1999 to save you looking it up), Jesse Martin breezed into the world in 1981.

As for deaths, we mourn the loss of Queen Consort of Sweden, wife to King Gustav I, Margaret Leijonhufvud who found she didn’t need to put her hair up after 1551. 44 years later in 1595 when Portugal had a proper royal family, António Prior of Cato or King António I of Portgual and the Algarves, (although this was disputed apparently), didn’t really need to worry about his title given he was no longer entitled to it as he was dead. Continuing the ancient royal theme, King Louis Philippe I of France decided today in 1850 was a good day to hang his red trousers and blue tunic up for good. Three time Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Hungary Sándor Wekerle lost his appetite permanently in 1921. Star of the original silent films Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera, Leonidas Frank ‘Lon’ Chaney went quietly in 1930. Dorking, Surrey, resident (with a statue outside Dorking Halls to prove it), composer Ralph Vaughan Williams had his last movement in 1958. Known for flying from New York to France non-Stop, Charles Augustus Lindbergh had his wings clipped in 1974. The man who’s name appeared at the end of virtually every classic MGM & Warner Bros. cartoon, Frederick Bean ‘Tex’ Avery erased himself in 1980. Warbler to her best known hit, ‘Gloria’, Laura Ann Brannigan lost her self control in 2004. Finally, actor in numerous Hindi films, Avtar Kishan (A.K.) Hangal had his best death scene in 2012.

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 25th August

We kick proceedings off today with Ivan IV Vasilyevich Tsar of all the Russias as well as being Grand Prince of Moscow he was also known as Ivan the Terrible, probably because he was an awful child from 1530. King of Spain, (for all of seven months), Louis I started picking up titles seven months after his birth in 1707. Painter of horses, George Stubbs saddled up for life in 1724. Second President of Ireland Seán T. O’Kelly could have been born in Dublin back in 1882, but then again it could have been anywhere in Ireland. Inventor of the Elo system, (not a rating system of Jeff Lynn songs, but calculating skill levels of competitor against competitor in chess), Arpad Elo used the escape square in 1903. Actress/singer and Mrs Al Jolson, Ethel Ruby Keeler was ready, willing and able to be born in 1910. Builder of the Berlin Wall and top spy on his own people, (or rather those he didn’t have shot), Erich Honecker joined his brothers, (and sisters) in 1912. Matinee idol from Hollywood’s golden days, Charles Van Dell Johnson, or just Van Johnson – saw more than 3 men in white this day in 1916. Known for waving his arms about in front of a few musicians, Leonard Bernstein composed himself enough to be born in 1918. Canadian game show host Monte Halparin, or Monty Hall to his agent, let himself make a deal to celebrate his birthday from 1921. Committed Scottish independence supporter from the Bahamas, Thomas Sean Connery didn’t have Dr. No deliver him in 1930. Old age pensioner who likes to hog the television screens in America, (and has got a Guinness World Record to prove it), Regis Francis Xavier Philbin will probably get a birthday show in honour of his 85th birthday, thereby racking up another hour on the box. Extensive writer from the 1970’s and 80’s, Frederick McCarthy Forsyth didn’t have any comeback after arriving in 1938. Ex-jail bird and newspaper publisher Conrad Moffat Black can’t falsify the figures showing he’s 72 today. Wiry haired fan of excessive makeup Chaim Witz or Gene Simmons had his first kiss in 1949. Declan Patrick MacManus, or Elvis Costello as he’s known these days, couldn’t stand up for falling down for a couple of years after 1954. Ex-partner of Helena Bonham Carter, gothic (not to mention dull) film director Timothy Walter ‘Tim’ Burton set off on his big adventure in 1958. One hit wonder, (thankfully), with his Country song and dad to Miley, ex-mullet head William ‘Billy’ Ray Cyrus was someone new in 1961. Also born that year, actress Joanne Whalley left her parents shattered with all those sleepless nights. Ex-model who now owns her own clothing label, (must save a fortune on those frocks), Claudia Schiffer entered the limelight in 1970. Winner of the X Factor, (yawn), Alexandra Imelda Cecelia Ewen Burke’s parents had their ‘hallelujah’ moment in 1988. Daughter to singer Simon and model Yasmin, err, model Amber Rose Tamara Le Bon nearly started strutting her stuff in 1989.

People at the other end of their life to feature here start with emperor and aggressive conquerer Genghis Khan was stopped in his tracks from 1227. King of Denmark and Norway, Christian V gave up having his hair permed from 1699. Another of Eric Idle’s favourite philosophers – David Hume, (who could still out consume Schopenhauer and Heigel), found out the meaning of death first hand in 1776. Scottish inventor, James Watt rather ironically ran out of steam himself in 1819. Astronomer Frederick William Herschel saw his star in the descendent back in 1822. Scientist who specialised in electromagnetism and came up with an early version of a Bunsen burner, Michael Faraday only had to wait 130 years after his death in 1867 to get on the back of a British £20 note. Two time Prime Minister of Greece, Zinovios Zafirios I. Valvis probably wished he’d taken a pension before croaking in 1886. Another philosopher mentioned in the above song, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche certainly couldn’t raise his wrist from 1900. The rather aptly named Stanley Melbourne Bruce, eighth Prime Minister from the land of Bruce & Sheila, got to leave Canberra permanently in 1967. Also dying that year, George Lincoln Rockwell – founder of the American Nazi Party who had more than a stiff arm to contend with. Known for writing ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’, Truman Streckfus Persons, or Truman Garcia Capote didn’t have to worry about Big Brother given he pegged it in 1984. Credited with being the first man to walk on the moon, Neil Alden Armstrong stopped walking on this planet in 2012. Finally, professional poker player Bobby ‘The Wizard’ Hoff gave nothing away on his death bed in 2013.

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 24th August

We begin today’s posting with Alexander II King of Scotland, (unfortunately it’s not Alex Salmond as he’d have had his time ruining, (sorry running) Scotland), seeing as he arrived in 1198. Having mentioned William Wilberforce on 29th July when he died, here he is again given he broke free in 1759. Willem Frederik, Prince of Orange-Nassau, First King of the Netherlands as well as being the Grand Duke of Luxembourg had to wait a few more years from 1772 until he added Duke of Limburg to the list. Explorer with the greased back hair and fine moustache who joined forces with Henry Stanley on his Congo trip, Dragutin Lerman had his first foray into the world back in 1863. Television host (Homer) Durwood Kirby smiled at his first camera in 1911. Norwegian of the day, canoeist Ivar Iversen cast off in 1914. Oversized scarf wearer and fatigues fan not to mention being head of the PLO, Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa, who picked two names out of that to end up being known as Yasser Arafat, managed to liberate himself in 1929. Kenneth George ‘Kenny’ Baker or R2-D2, who just failed to reach his birthday started wombling free from 1934. Astronaut with a memorial on The Strand, Hermosa Beach CA, Gregory Bruce Jarvis had his parents count down to his birth in 1944. Oscar winning actress Anne Archer didn’t take any short cuts being born in 1947. Known for having fireworks and lasers going off during his concerts, (to drown out the music and distract the fans), Jean-Michel André Jarre began breathing oxygen in 1948. Pioneering back sliding (moonwalking) singer, Jeffrey Glen Daniels who’s lost the Glen and the ‘s’ from his surname, gave his parents a night to remember in 1955. Also born that year is barrel chested wonky nosed national treasure who knows loads of things, Stephen John Fry was probably quite interested in being delivered. Star of various film franchises, including the pretty dire Police Academy one, Steven Robert Guttenberg had two parents with a baby from 1958. Actor Jared Francis Harris was a bit blue in the face back in 1961. Given I am not interested in anything to do with Harry Potter, all I will say is his sidekick Rupert Alexander Lloyd Grint started off with thunderpants in 1988.

Deaths are again a bit sparse today, but we begin with dead Norwegian of the day – Magnus Olafsson or Magnus Barefoot or even King Magnus III of Norway who stopped eating elk and herrings from 1103. Mountaineer Albert Frederick Mummery suffered more than altitude sickness in 1895. Thomas Noakes who went onto become known as Tom Norman manager of ‘The Elephant Man’, found the show didn’t go on after 1930. First person shot whilst trying to cross the Berlin Wall Günter Litfin didn’t dodge the bullet in 1961. Given I mentioned Yootha Joyce a mere four days ago in honour of her birth, here she is again as she must have taken the meaning of her first name quite literally in 1980 and downed a few too many brandies. Jamal Said/Mullah Dadullah/ Maulana Mohammad Jamal found out today he was the ex-head of the Pakistani Taliban in 2012. Finally, luvvie and darlings favourite, gap toothed Richard Samuel Attenborough, Baron Attenborough folded his directors chair for the last time in 2014.

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 23rd August

Today, the 23rd August sees Louis-Auguste, or Louis Capet who went onto become Louis XVI King of France and Navarre arrive in the Palace of Versailles back in 1754. Canadian newspaper publisher, William Southam got his circulation going from 1843. President of Columbia Clíamaco Reyes marched forth in 1852. Writer Aleksander Stepanovich Grinevsky, or just Arthur Grin was all smiles after birth in 1880. Norwegian of the day is earlier version of Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards, Birger Ruud launched himself into the world back in 1911. Star of Singin’ in the Rain, Eugene Curran ‘Gene’ Kelly inherited the wind in 1932. Actress from the Psycho films, Vera Miles reached the outer limits in either 1929 or 1930. Prime Minister whilst womanising President François Mitterrand was at the helm, Michel Rochard resigned himself to being born in 1930. Wild drummer with Mod rockers The Who, Keith John Moon wondered what the fuss was about in 1946. Dramatist William ‘Willy’ Russell had his first day out in 1947. Second Norwegian of the day, guitarist/composer Terje Rypdal has jazzed things up a bit from 1947. Also born that year is Palestine Liberation Organisation ex-head of intelligence, Atef Bseiso who started taking everything in. Professional Highland Games participant and Strongest Man winner, Geoffrey Lewis ‘Geoff’ Capes, grew to be a 26 stone (360lb or 170kg), 6ft 5.5in (1.97m to those who can’t work that one out), from a mere baby in 1949. Epsom, Surrey, born quarter of Eurovision winning group Bucks Fizz, Robert Alan Gubby who rather wisely abbreviated that to Bobby G, made his mind up to arrive in 1953. Singer and bestie to St. Vitus’ dance sufferer Bez, Shaun William George Ryder didn’t quite twist his melon, rather his umbilical cord in 1964. Dull actor who ‘bonded’ with Ewan McGregor over motorbikes, but seems to have made a better living as a travel documentarist, Charley Boorman found it was a long way down in 1966. Actor with the alternative name and brother to Rain, Joaquín and Summer, River Jude Bottom, but subsequently changed his surname to Phoenix had a silent tongue in 1970. Retired (!) basketball player Kobe Bean Bryant didn’t bump the cutter in 1978. Also born that year is lead singer with The Strokes Julian Casablancas wondered is this it.

There don’t appear to be many deaths today, yet we start with Radagaisus, King of the Goths who stopped moping about the place whilst wearing makeup and black clothes. Not a Pope or Archbishop of Canterbury and not wanting a fatwa against me, all I’ll say is Ali ibn Mûsa al-Rezā or abu al-Hasan, a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammad and eighth Iman of Twelve Shia Islam died in 818. Subject of film about him, Sir William Wallace obviously didn’t have a braveheart given it gave up on him in 1305. Not the toothy character from Frozen, but King of Denmark as Olaf II Haakonsson and King of Norway as Olav IV failed to also rule Sweden given he dropped his crown in 1387. First ever President of Brazil who was mentioned on the 5th August, Deodoro da Fonseca gave up collecting medals in 1892. Second Prime Minister of Japan Kuroda Kiyotaka found he stopped drinking saké and munching raw fish wrapped in rice from 1900. Actor with the rather long name – Rodolfo Alfonso Raffaello Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina d’Antonguella or just Rudolph Valentino got to meet the four horsemen of the apocalypse in 1926. Co-writer of various musicals, Oscar Greeley Clendenning Hammerstein II said that’s it from me in 1960. Aussie Rules player/coach John Raymond ‘Jack’ Dyer Sr., heard his final siren in 2003. Finally, dead Norwegian of the day singer/actress Inga Juuso, let her voice go in 2014.

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 22nd August

We start today’s posting with inventor of the steam digester forerunner to the steam engine and pressure cooker, Denis Papin released the pressure in his mum stomach from 1647. I’d take deep breath before trying to say, Annibale Francesco Clemente Melchiore Girolamo Nicola Sermattei della Genga, but turned into the slightly easier to say Pope Leo XI arrived on the scene in 1760. Composer Claude-Achille Debussy made the right impression when born in 1862. Fan of a little grey suit, red book and hair dye, Chairman of the Central Advisory Commission of the Communist Party of China, Deng Xiaoping was equal with the rest of the country in 1904. Known for his photo journalism Henri Cartier-Bresson was fully developed in 1908. Great blues guitarist/singer John Lee Hooker was born in Mississippi (in 1917), and raised in Tennessee. Ex-Bond girl who went onto star in The Avengers, Honor Blackman had her breakaway moment in 1925. Leader of coalition troops during Operation Desert Storm Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf invaded the world himself in 1934. Champion coloured ball dropper (in the right order), Steve Davis had his first flagrant foul in 1957. Co-founder of Tears for Fears, Roland Orzabal found out what a mad world it was in 1961. Also born that year, Deborah Mary ‘Debbi’ Peterson saw a different light. Another singer, Myra Ellen Amos or Tori Amos as she’s better known sparked into life back in 1963. Actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje had his best laid plans realised in 1967.

Death wise, poor old Pope Gregory IX gave way (after the white smoke) to Pope Celestine IV in 1241. The next one to stop wafting incense about and talk Latin from a balcony in 1280 is Pope Nicholas III. King of France, Philip VI wasn’t terribly fortunate this day in 1350. Isabella of France, but Queen of England decided to follow eight years later by calling it a day in 1358. Continuing the old royal theme, occupier of a car park in Coventry, (without getting a ticket), Richard III found his time was up during the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. Prime Minister of the United Kingdom with more hair on his face than his head, Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury fell out of his chair in 1903. Subject of a film about his life, self confessed member of the IRA Michael Collins found the bullet with his name on it in 1922. 21st President of Brazil Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira left his sash hanging from 1976. First President of Kenya Jomo Kenyatta gave up going on safari from 1978. Founder of aeroplane manufacturer bearing his name, James Smith ‘Mac’ McDonnell found himself permanently grounded from 1980. Co-founder of the Black Panther Party, Huey Percy Newton found the party was over in 1989. Premier of Tasmania Sir Walter Angus Bethune, got a good view over the Tasman Sea from 2004. One half of husband and wife song writing duo Ashford & Simpson, Nickolas Ashford didn’t get one more try given he rolled over in 2011. Finally, also breathing his last that year was Jerome ‘Jerry’ Lieber, (the composer not the lyricist), that was the other one.