Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 30th November

People who have/will be ripping open their presents on this St. Andrew’s Day, include, among others, 95th Archbishop of Canterbury (the one with the excessive sideburns), Frederick Temple started preaching his ways from 1821. Samuel Langhorne Clemens who went by the pen name Mark Twain, began his own adventures in 1835. Founder of high end Canadian jewellery store bearing his name, Henry Birks was a sparkle in his parents eyes from 1840. Sixth President of Brazil Afonso Augusto Moreira Pena may have been the first to die in office, but he certainly wasn’t born in it back in 1847. The best ever Prime Minister of the United Kingdom who also had a decent sense of humour, Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill started sorting things out from 1874. Sidekick to Danny Kaye – Virginia Clara Jones, or as she was also known Virginia Mayo, wasn’t up in arms about being born in 1920. Having mentioned Allan Sherman a mere ten days ago when he stopped breathing, here he is again given he was a novelty act to his parents in 1924. Film director we have to thank for the first three Rambo films, (among others), Richard Donald Crenna wasn’t marooned in 1926. Easy listening singer Francis Edward ‘Frank’ Ifield started having his mum say, ‘Good morning, dear’ from 1937. Also born that year, older bro to Tony, Ridley Scott was one of the duellists. June Pointer who funnily enough joined family group The Pointer Sisters, (it must have been a cold day when they came up with that name), was so excited at being born in 1953. Punk singer with the distinctly un-punk name of William Michael Albert Broad, now known for his leather jacket, bleached hair and sneer, Billy Idol had a nurse catch his fall in 1955. Crisp seller who rambles on about the off side rule and various other dull football (soccer to my American followers) terms, Gary Winston Lineker had his hospital pass in 1960. Benjamin Edward Meara ‘Ben’ Stiller got to meet the parents in 1965. Late starter in the comedy stakes, John Joseph Bishop has been in a league of his own since 1966. Another Tour de France cyclist implicated in a doping scandal, Laurent Jalabert wasn’t a climber in 1968. Norwegian of the day is chess grandmaster Sven Magnus Øen Carlsen took the critical position in 1990. Having missed a few friends off the list the other year, I’ll mention (in no particular order), Helen Goody, Nicola Day and Lorna Strawn are also blowing an extra candle out this year…

As for deaths, Edmund Ironside (minus the wheelchair) who also went by the name Edmund II handed the baton, or rather sword to Cnut (you read it right), the Great in 1016. King Charles XII of Sweden lost the ermine in 1718. Optician John Dolland (who’s chain is still going under the guise of Dolland & Aitchison), didn’t get to see anything after 1761. Noted Irish wit mentioned on 16th October when he started out in life, Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde found his saying, ‘Nothing is so aggravating as calmness’ come true in 1900. Aviatrix Hélène Boucher levelled out in 1934. Next up is Paul Masson, not the person responsible for un-drinkable wine, but cyclist who scooped a few medals throughout his career found his stabilisers taken away from him in 1945. British dramatist Sir Terence Mervyn Rattigan failed the final test in 1977. Given I mentioned his brother the other day, here’s Herbert Manfred ‘Zeppo’ Marx who ‘went to the disco’ permanently in 1979. Herbert Khaury or dyed curly haired singer with the ukulele, Tiny Tim didn’t get to tip toe through the tulips again as he started pushing up the daises from 1996. Stunt rider Robert Craig ‘Evel’ Knievel didn’t get to jump let alone get up again after 2007. Finally, 12th Prime Minister of India, Inder Kumar Gujral would have made his 93rd birthday if he hadn’t have keeled over five days before it in 2012.

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Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 29th November

Today’s posting begins with revolutionary Isamlist, Syed Ahmed Barelvi who was well ahead of the game before the likes of al-Qaeda and IS/Daesh came along, as he managed to force his way through in 1786. Inventor of the seaplane, Henri Fabres’ dad no doubt wet the baby’s head in 1882. Writer Clive Staples (C.S.) Lewis was beyond the bright blur after birth in 1898. Indian version of Charlie Chaplin, (so not amusing at all then), Nagercoil Sudalaimuthu Krishnan or Kalaivanar who was also known as NSK at least made his family smile from 1908. Doting mum to sometime bread salesman and mussitating actor Sylvester, Jacqueline Frances ‘Jackie’ Stallone (née Labofish), obviously knew the stars were out in 1921. Two disgraced politicians (yes, really!) also share today as their birthday – first up is Tesco queen and former Mayor of Westminster (London), who disappeared to Israel when things went wrong, Shirley Porter (née Cohen), would like to think she started to serve the public in 1930. Next up, having started life in 1932, Jacques René Chirac climbed the greasy pole of politics firstly as Mayor of Paris, then Prime Minister of France before getting to the Élysée Palace and then promptly slid back down it in 2011 when found guilty of diverting public funds and abusing public confidence. Unamusing comedian Garry Emmanuel Shandling took part in his first tonight show in 1949. Film director Joel David Cohen, (no relation to Shirl above), but older bro to Ethan, had a low angle shot in 1954 – while in 1968 Jonathan Rashleigh Knight became a new kid on the block. Welsh ball kicker Ryan Joseph Giggs, hopefully won’t issue an injunction against me informing you he was born in 1973. Gay, vegan, teetotal comedian (so he’s got a lot going for him), Simon Amstell started visiting grandmas’ house from 1979.

As for deaths, Pope Clement IV released his grip on the rosary beads from 1268. Another ‘rum and coke’ Thomas Wolsey dissolved himself a few months after annoying Henry VIII in 1530. Queen Maria Theresa of Austria managed to relax her facial muscles in 1780. Opera writer Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini had his own death scene (minus the woman singing) in 1924. Composer/arranger for both Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, Carl W. Stalling thought, ‘how dry I am’ in 1972. Dad to F1 champ, two time F1 champ Norman Graham Hill ran out of juice in 1975. Archibald Alexander Leach or as we know him Carey Grant, made sure he didn’t get any further work from 1986. Character actress in over 100 films, Irene Handl was more dead than in sickness and in health back in 1987. Chairman of Indian conglomerate Tata, Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy (J.R.D.) Tata got to say, ‘Goodbye’ in 1993. One fourth of The Beatles who went on to be part of short lived supergroup The Travelling Wilburys, George Harrison came to the end of his particular road in 2001. Finally, Allen Carr, not the toothy and speccy camp comedian but anti smoking campaigner rather ironically went up in smoke back in 2006.

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 28th November

Today we see the births of the following, starting with Sophie Magdalene Brandenburg- Kulmbach, queen consort of Denmark and Norway was no longer a baby in waiting after her birth in 1700. Having mentioned King Alfonso XII of Spain a mere three days ago when he died, here he is again given he wasn’t too sure who his dad was from 1857. One of the famous, (or is it infamous?) Mitford Sisters, Nancy Freeman-Mitford started her life story in 1904. Founder of the Motown record label Berry Gordy Jr., mastered the birth thing in 1929. Masahito, Prince Hitachi, (who’s nothing to do with the electronics company) but part of the Japanese royal family started off with a Nintendo game name – Prince Yoshi in 1935. Democratic contender for President of the United States of America back in 1988, (until his affair with Donna Rice became public), Gary Warren Hartpence who then dropped the pence to become Hart, was in front (for once) in 1936. Singer/songwriter Randall Stuart ‘Randy’ Newman had his awakening in 1943. 80’s/90’s Olympic athlete who now makes a living laughing into television cameras, Keize Uchechukwu Duru Akabusi or Kris Akabusi didn’t have a false start in 1958. Ex-head of Dior before launching his own label, John Charles Galliano who liked a drink while slagging off different religions and nationalities was a crinkled baby in 1960. Actor with the big ears and distinctive face, Alexander Martin Clunes was a baby behaving badly in 1961. Responsible for creating Alan Partridge, (among other creations), Armando Iannucci was in the thick of it back in 1963. Gerontophile, Playboy model and prescription medication addict, Vickie Lynn Hogan but known to everyone as Anna Nicole Smith made it to the limit in 1967. First Norwegian to feature today, long haired member of metal band Darkthrone, Gylve Fenris Nagell, who goes by the name Fenriz, shouted his way out in 1971. Second Norwegian is black metal band member Sigurd Wongraven or Satyr began life in white (nappies/diapers) 41 years ago.

It’s another quiet day on the deaths front , yet we start with Pope Gregory III who assumed the prone position in 741. Having mentioned the founder and fellow president of Harvard College the other day, here we see unpopular president of the same establishment – Leonard Hoar learnt about death in 1675. King of Burma, Naungdawyi died of King’s evil in 1763. Inventor of basketball James Naismith didn’t get up (or down) after 1939. Founder of tennis prize the Davis Cup and politician, Dwight Filley Davis Sr., had his final stroke in 1945. Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands relinquished the throne in favour of Juliania back in 1962. Another queen, this one of children’s tales, Enid Mary Blyton didn’t get to go on any further adventures from 1968. Serial killer of at least 17 people Jeffrey Dahmer got a taste of his own medicine in 1994. Also not making it through that year, Great Train Robber/flower seller, Ronald Christopher ‘Buster’ Edwards had the left over flowers used at his funeral. Finally, comedy actor Leslie William Nielsen was repossessed in 2010.

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 27th November

Births today include, among others, Shimazu Tadatsune ruler of Satsuma who was a bit wrinkly when born in 1576. Competitor to Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit on the temperature scale, Anders Celsius didn’t overheat when born in 1701, (or was it the other way round?). First President of Israel, Chaim Weizmann prayed for the day in 1874. Founder of Panasonic, Kōnosuke Matsushita tuned in for the first time in 1894. Norwegian of the day, chemist and Nobel laureate Lars Onsager started experiencing the wave function from 1903. Robert Emil Schmidt, also known as Buffalo Bob Smith the faux cowboy with his hand up a puppets bottom whilst hosting ‘Howdy Doody’, started to make his presence known from 1917. Harry ‘Buster’ Merryfield or Uncle Albert in classic BBC sitcom ‘Only Fools and Horses’, sailed through in 1920. Other half to Eric Morecombe, straightman Ernest Wiseman who managed to abbreviate that to Ernie Wise, couldn’t see the join in 1925. Darts commentator Anthony Julian ‘Tony’ Green bounced out in 1939. Star of various martial art films Lee Jun-fan or Bruce Lee, had the right stance in 1940. Critically acclaimed (somehow) guitarist and singer, who shacked up in George Frederic Handel’s pad in London, Johnny Allen Hendrix or as his A&R man knew him – James Marshall ‘Jimi’ Hendrix, amplified the noise in 1942. Australian crim Arthur Stanley ‘Neddy’ Smith freed himself in 1944, but has been banged up since 1989. Alternative comedian Brian Arthur John Smith was a grumpy young baby in 1954. Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko who was Prime Minister of Ukraine – before being sent down for embezzlement and abuse of power, (a politician doing this? Surely not!), came through in 1960. Actress and ex-Mrs Mike Tyson, Robin Simone Givens had a face to die for according to her parents in 1964. One half of parent killing brothers, Erik Galen Menéndez was actually grateful to his mum in 1970. English rapper Michael Geoffrey ‘Mike’ Skinner aka ‘The Streets’ thought, ‘let’s push things forward’ in 1978. Not wanting to be left out fellow English rapper Stephen Paul Manderson or ‘Professor Green’, joined in back in 1983.

Death wise, inventor of the threshing machine Andrew Miekle probably thrashed about a bit in 1811. Geologist and palaeontologist Jean Albert Gaudry not only got to get a close up view of earth, but he also started fossilising in 1908. Co-founder of the Guinness Book of Records, Alan Ross McWhirter didn’t set any records given he was 50 when assassinated. Subject of 2008 film, Harvey Milk went sour in 1978. Classic radio DJ Alan Leslie ‘Fluff’ Freeman wasn’t ‘alright’ after 2006. Seventh Prime Minister of India Vishwanath Pratap Singh was very honest about his death in 2008. Bodie, (or was it Doyle?) from The Professionals, Lewis Collins didn’t get to crash through any more cardboard boxes given he was carried in a pine one back in 2013. Finally, crime writer Phyllis Dorothy (P.D.) James, Baroness James of Holland Park came to the end of her particular chapter in 2014.

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 26th November

Today’s posting begins with clergyman and founder of American university named in his honour, John Harvard had a pushy mum in 1607. Continuing the Harvard theme, first president of the university – Henry Dunster wasn’t to be outdone given he arrived in 1609. Getting her second mention within a week – Maud Charlotte Mary Victoria of Wales and Queen Consort of Norway got her minions to deliver her in 1869. Inventor of modern day air conditioning, Willis Haviland Carrier didn’t break out into a sweat when born in 1876. Given I mentioned his co-founder Bob Smith when he dried up, here we have other half of Alcoholics Anonymous founding team, William Griffith Wilson/Bill Wilson/Bill W had a sobering birth in 1895. Maurice James ‘Mac’ McDonald, co-founder of fast food restaurant with the clown and golden arches, not to mention being the bain of every street sweeper around the globe, didn’t hang about in 1902. Hotelier Charles Carmine Forte had his first service in 1908. Actor and dad to both Sinéad and Niamh (among other children), Cyril James Cusack had the cry of the innocent in 1910. Part Norwegian of the day, creator of Peanuts/Charlie Brown, Charles Monroe Schultz didn’t draw out his birth in 1922. Ernest Arthur ‘Ernie’ Coombs or as he became known, ‘Mr Dressup’, dressed down after being delivered in 1927. Small clothes wearer with the big hair, Anna Mae Bullock, ex-Mrs Ike Turner or Tina Turner showed some respect in 1939. Dad to macrobiotic fan Gwyneth, Bruce Weigert Paltrow was produced in 1943. Replacement singer to Diana Ross in The Supremes, Jean Terrell had high energy in 1944. Bass player in bickering band, Fleetwood Mac – John Graham ‘Mac’ McVie was able to squash the rumours over his birthdate in 1945. Son of left wing MP Tony, (the one with a girls name and round glasses), Hilary Benn made his maiden speech a year or so after 1953. Controversial Labour MP who has slipped from grace somewhat after his alleged party with cocaine and male escorts, Nigel Keith Anthony Standish Vaz solicited his views from 1956. Australian comedian David Williams ‘Hughsey’ Hughes, deadpanned it after birth in 1970. Ivan Basso another alleged doped up cyclist had his first individual time trial in 1977.

As for deaths, these are very thin on the ground today, but Pope Siricius kicks things off given he left the balcony vacant from 399. Road builder who invented macadamisation, John McAdam came to the end of his road in 1836. Firearms designer John Moses Browning discharged himself in 1926. Mum to Walt and Roy, Flora Call Disney wasn’t so animated after 1938. One time Goon, Michael Bentine – born Michael James Bentin became one of golden silents in 1996. Finally, proper gangster Francis Davidson ‘Mad Frankie’ Fraser was a lot more mellow from 2014.

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 25th November

We start today’s posting with violin maker Giuseppe Giovanni Battista Guarneri cased the joint after his birth in 1666. Andrew Carnegie started off life in a weaver’s cottage in Dunfermline back in 1835, before graduating to having a hall named after him in New York. Pioneering German engine designer and car engineer, not to mention being one half of Mercedes Benz, Karl Benz ignited the world upon his arrival in 1844. Boring old battle axe with a battle axe, (used to smash up licensed establishments) unhinged American temperance movement member, Carrie Amelia Moore Nation started to make everyone’s life miserable from 1846. First Pope to feature today, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli or Pope John XXIII elected to be born in 1881. Major League Baseball player Joseph Paul ‘Joe’ DiMaggio pitched it just right by arriving in 1914. Sash wearing el-presidenti of Chile, Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte seized the day in 1915. Singer Percy Tyrone Sledge hammered his way through in 1940. Probably the most famous Pakistani cricketer and politician, not forgetting being ex-husband to Jemima, Imran Khan Niazi was a dropper in 1952. Dishonest CEO of dishonest company Enron, Jeffrey Keith ‘Jeff’ Skilling was unable to manipulate the date of his birth in 1953. Choreographer and judge on boring dancing programme, ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ Bruno Tonioli hot footed it in 1955. Alcoholic ginger ex-leader of the Liberal Democrats Charles Peter Kennedy had high satisfaction rates (from his parents) in 1959. Bulgarian pole vaulter Galin Nikov jumped through in 1968. Twin daughters of ex-President G.W. Bush – Barbara and Laura started terrorising the world in 1981.

Deaths begin with Pope Peter of Alexandria who found things warmed up a bit in 311. King Malcolm II of Scotland failed to battle on after 1034. Pope Lucius III vacated the Vatican in 1185. Hymn writer Isaac Watts didn’t get the royalties from his songs performed at his funeral in 1748. Inventor/musician who perfected the modern Western concert flute, Theobald Böhm went D Flat in 1881. King Alfonso XII of Spain, he of waxed moustache and hat at a jaunty angle succumbed in 1885. American tap dancer/actor Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson was closer than one mile from heaven in 1949. Dutch draughts champion Herman Hoogland found his game was up in 1955. Dirge folk singer Nicholas Rodney ‘Nick’ Drake started the time of no reply in 1974. Also not making it through 1974 and person who started the tradition of alternative names as Secretary General of the United Nations – Thant, became known as U Thant. One of the best footballers, (and as it turned out drinkers), George Best was off side in 2005. Plus four and tweed wearing turkey farmer Bernard Matthews wasn’t so bootiful in 2010. Finally, Indian Kathak dancer Sitara Devi twirled off in 2014.

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 24th November

Notable births today include Charles XI King of Sweden who had rosy cheeks after birth in 1655. Uniform wearing 12th President of the United States of America, Zachary Taylor was young, rough and ready in 1784. English clergyman widely credited with inventing rugby union, William Webb Ellis didn’t have the medical joker deliver him in 1806. Having mentioned inbred French painter with the short legs, Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec Monfa on the 9th September when he put his paintbrushes down, here he is again given the nurses weren’t too sure whether he was standing up in 1864. Cardiologist Frederick Arthur Willus let out a mumur when born in 1888. Pioneering plastic surgeon Albert Ross Tilley changed his looks over the years from 1904. Fellow Canadian, author of young adult fiction Eric Hamilton Wilson, didn’t make up his birthdate in 1940. Someone else who had a mention earlier this year when he unplugged from life, guitarist Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn is featured again as he plucked his way through in 1941. Also born that year, drummer with The Beatles, Randolph Peter Scandland but known as Randolph Peter ‘Pete’ Best found the rhythm in Madras, British India. Welder/boilermaker who went onto become comedian/actor, William ‘Billy’ Connolly didn’t give a stuff, (polite version) about being born in 1942. Serial killer Theodore Robert Cowell (or Bundy as he was also known), didn’t get off to the best of starts in 1946. Known for his role in The A Team as Captain ‘Howling Mad’ Murdock, William Dwight Schultz was no longer alone in the dark from 1947. Australian stand up comedian and television host, Shane Keith Bourne wondered how the hell did I get here? in 1949. Having mentioned Merv Hughes yesterday, today we see fund raiser and willow bat holder Ian Botham, who managed to get through the sticky wicket in 1955. Someone else born that year, drummer for Blondie – Clement ‘Clem’ Burke isn’t downbeat given he’s now 61. Apologies to all, (but especially the ‘Russellers’, who told me I was a day early for Russell Watson’s big day – I’m more than happy to correct this oversight) and hope he’ll take an even deeper breath to blow out the 50 candles on his cake. Lanky bespectacled sidekick to Ricky Gervais, Stephen James Merchant certainly wasn’t an extra in 1974. Oldest son to actor Tom Hanks, actor Colin Hanks has managed to get over it having been born in 1977.

As for deaths, the following fell into the grasp of the reaper – Sethus Calvisius who proposed a change to the calendar found it did him no favours given he died in 1615. There are no Popes to mention (again) today, but we do see ninth of the ten Gurus of the Sikh religion, Guru Tegh Bahadur feature today as he found himself minus his head in 1675. Mohawk military and political leader Thayendanegea or Joseph Brant to his friends, left his teepee for the last time in 1807. British Prime Minister William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, (the one with the city in Australia named after him), was able to leave it alone from 1848. Argentine presidenti between 1874 and 1880, Nicolás Remigio Aurelio Avellaneda Silva died in 1885, a few years before the Falkland Islands became an issue. We have Anna Jarvis to thank for us celebrating Mother’s Day, (and there I was thinking it was the card companies inventing it, how cynical is that?), mind you she didn’t give us Death Day every year after her demise in 1948. Alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald met his own maker in 1963. Quebec born cook, Jehane Benoît (née Patenaude), who wrote 30 cook books before finding the benefits of microwave ovens heard the final ping on her life support machine in 1987. Rock star with the distinctive teeth, Faroukh Bulsara or Freddy Mercury as he was better known didn’t get to live forever as he failed to inhale from 1991. Character actor who played General Erich Von Klinkerhoffen in ‘Allo ‘Allo, Roger Michael Hilary Minster was able to cry freedom in 1999. Finally, owner of numerous American sports teams, Abraham ‘Abe’ Pollin slam dunked life in 2009.