Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 17th July

Today’s posting starts with American frontiersman and folk hero, (with his hat), David ‘Davy’ Crockett was unable to brag about his birthdate from 1786. Emperor of Ethiopia Sahle Maryam but known as Menelik II started his expansion plans from 1844. Sex symbol not averse to using double entendres, Mary Jane ‘Mae’ West gave her parents no sleep night after night from 1893. Singer/actress Maureen O’Hara fell into the parent trap back in 1920. Having mentioned gaudy blazer and eye patch wearing jazz musician Alan George Heywood Melly on 5th July when he suffered his demise, here he is again, (minus the above), given he found his voice in 1926. Poet/children’s writer and husband to Sylvia Plath, Edward James ‘Ted’ Hughes, had to write birthday letters a few years after 1930. Film star with the spot who’s played everything from a Mafia member to a paranoid grandfather, Robert Anthony De Niro had a bloody mama in 1943. Also born that year is Welsh waffler on BBC Radio 4 as well as knowing all the answers on Mastermind, (given he asks the questions), Desmond John Humphries was all the news in his family. Fourth and sixth Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Patrick Augustus Mervyn Manning started to soak up the sunshine in 1946. Writer of well received period drama Downtown Abbey, now seen snoozing in the House of Lords, Julian Alexander Kitchener-Fellowes was more ‘downstairs’ in 1949. Ex-Reigate resident now living in Littlehampton, middleweight boxing champion of the world Alan Minter will probably have some halibut mornay and a drink or three in celebration of his 65th birthday, lovely, lovely, lovely! Three time F1 champion without managing to kill himself, Nelson Piquet Souto Maior left his first skid marks in 1952. Dungaree/dress wearing lead singer with 1980’s band Dexys Midnight Runners, Kevin Anthony Rowland didn’t resort to ‘Plan B’ in 1953. Tight trouser and frilly shirt wearer who bagged a gold medal at the 1980 Winter Olympics, Robin Cousins wobbled onto the scene in 1957. Member of 80’s girl group The Go-Go’s, Belinda Carlisle had her parents leave a light on from 1958. Another person born that year is disgraced ex-head honcho of Royal Bank of Scotland who handed his gong back to Liz, Frederick Anderson ‘Fred’ Goodwin started to count his blessings. Vernon Wayne Howell, or David Koresh leader of the Branch Davidians religious sect prophesied his arrival in 1959. Having mentioned his ex-Mrs only yesterday, Hollywood actor who spouted his somewhat skewed views on the Falkland Islands, Sean Justin Penn began climbing the tree of life from 1960. One hit wonder and subsequent lower chart botherer Maria McKee was the sweetest child from 1964. Tennis player James Spencer ‘Jim’ Courier Jr. took a drop shot in 1970. Ball kicker and diver for Arsenal before going onto plug small French cars Thierry Daniel Henry started dribbling in 1977. First of three Norwegians to feature, Goth metal shouter Vibeke Stene saw life beyond the veil in 1978. Then, in 1980, Lena Marlin found out where she was headed.

Death wise there aren’t a great deal to report on today, but we begin with the rather rude sounding 89th Emperor of Japan Go Fukakusa who took his robes off for the last time in 1304. Admiral Robert Blake weighed anchor in 1657. Dead Norwegian of the day goes to violin screecher Ole Bornemann Bull who didn’t get another fiddle after 1880. Singer Paul Williams wasn’t tempted to stay alive after 1973. Older bro to George – Israel, or Ira Gershwin as he was also known, certainly couldn’t get started again after 1983. Another person getting their second mention this year is amateur pilot and ex-resident of both the Tower of London and Spandau Prison, senior Nazi Rudolph Walter Richard Heß (Hess) actually bent his arm in 1987. Sixth President of Pakistan Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq stopped wearing his grey overcoat in 1988. Eighth President of Italy Francesco Cossiga didn’t get to finish his pizza in 2010. Finally, owner of French drink company bearing his name, Patrick Ricard was toasted in more ways than one in 2012.

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