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.