The following have/will be celebrating their big day today, starting with: King Denis (now there’s a regal name if ever there was one), of Portugal and the Algarves, (also known as the Farmer King and the Poet King), started to plough his furrow from 1261. Pierre I de Lusignan or King Peter I of Cyprus, King of Jerusalem and Latin King of Armenia had to make do starting off as the Count of Tripoli in 1328. Overdressed King of France, Charles X found himself somewhat underdressed in 1757. (Legal) drug dealer throughout America, Charles Rudolph Walgreen took the easy way out in 1873. Inventor of the bendy straw Joseph B. Friedman was quite flexible himself when delivered in 1900. Also born that year, character actor who liked dressing up in ladies clothes and was mentioned in August when the curtain fell on his career, Alastair George Bell Sim gets another go given he didn’t suffer from stage fright. Frederick Donald Coggan, who went onto become Archbishop of Canterbury, found himself in Highgate in 1909 before moving to the Kent countryside in 1974. American character actor, Edward Andrews had the unguarded moment in 1914. Norwegian of the day is writer Jens Bjørnboe who came into the world without a stitch on in 1920. Act tor of stage, film, television and radio, Donald Alfred Sinden had a day to remember from 1923. Dad to Mrs B. Liar as well as being a star of ‘Till Death Us Do Part’, Anthony George Booth left the pit of darkness in 1931. Big bearded, booming voiced actor who also bites through umbilical cords in public parks, Brian Joseph Blessed found his voice in 1936. Iconic singer/songwriter with the beard, pebble glasses and Japanese second wife, not to mention being a champion of world peace, (and look where it got him) – John Winston Lennon’s parents wanted him to give peace a chance from 1940. Bass player/singer and songwriter with The Who, John Alec Entwistle found himself released from the squeezebox in 1943. Wife of trembling rocker with the long hair and pebble glasses, Ozzy, and now reinstated judge on dire popster’s programme The X Factor, Sharon Rachel Osbourne (née Levy) wasn’t heavy when born in 1952. Ex-British Prime Minister who gambled everything on the electorate on staying in the EU, and losing, Cameron Minor, had his first experience of the dispatch box in 1966. Singer Polly Jean (P.J) Harvey had the good fortune to be born in 1969. Having mentioned his dad above, it must have been an easy, (not to mention expensive), day to remember birthdays in the Lennon household given lanky haired singer Sean Taro Ono Lennon was born in 1975.
We also celebrate the lives of the following, kicking off with Pope Clement II given the conclave convened in his honour back in 1047. Another Italian, this one an anatomist who riled the Vatican over his stance on condoms, Gabriele Falloppio found his life capped in 1562. Jan Heemskerk Prime Minister of the Netherlands was unable to tip toe through the tulips from 1897. Excessive medal wearer on his tunic, Alexander ‘the Unifier’ I, King of Yugoslavia found the bullet with his name on it in 1934. Not wanting to be outdone, French Prime Minister Louis Barthou also took one for team in 1943. Side kick to Laurel & Hardy, James Henderson ‘Jimmy’ Finlayson didn’t get the last laugh in 1953. Another Pope, this one Pope Pius XII didn’t get to put his velvet slippers back on after 1958. Getting his second mention this year, revolutionary Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara started appearing on t-shirts and posters from 1967. Lesser known revolutionary Pierre Mulele didn’t start appearing on t-shirts and posters from 1968. Actress who hated Bette Davis, Ellen Miriam Hopkins, lost the design for living in 1972. Subject of a Steven Spielberg film, (back in 1993!), German industrialist, spy and Nazi Party member, Oskar Schindler didn’t get to spy his demise in 1974. Fellow countryman who was mentioned on 13th August when he cranked into life, Felix Wankel ran out of juice in 1988. Another ex-Prime Minister of Great Britain, Alexander Frederick ‘Alec’ Douglas-Home, slipped off the front benches in 1995. Finally, gangster who liked to cut bits off people before settling down as a writer, Mark ‘Chopper’ Read breathed his last in 2013.