Pope’s begin both paragraphs in today’s posting – so without any further ado, Felice Peretti de Montalto or Pope Sixtus V failed to undertake a vow of silence from 1521. Ginger King with the rather unregal name of Eric XIV of Sweden led a less than stable life from 1533. Founder of company bearing his name, Ernst Werner Siemens started leaving stains in 1816. Norwegian of the day, scientist Kristian Olaf Bernhard Birkeland started looking skyward in 1867. Writer of fiction, (including, it seems, parts of his life), and dead godfather to Prince Bill, Laurens Jan van der Post ventured to the exterior in 1906. 60th United States Secretary of State, George Pratt Schultz found himself born without fanfare in 1920. Purveyor of a dodgy Cockney accent who went to his agent as Richard Truck Lesbian and was told he’d get nowhere with that name, so changed it to Dick van Dyke has never had a dull moment since arriving in 1925. Singer Marti Webb couldn’t take that look off her face in 1944. Royal Shakespeare Company act tor who also portrayed Wolfie Smith in classic sit-com Citizen Smith, Robert Lindsay Stephenson has made much ado about nothing since 1949. Also born that year, fellow sit-com star, Mary Paula Wilcox can see the bright side about being 67. Un-PC comedian you either love or hate, five time married James Cameron ‘Jim’ Davidson had his big break in 1953. Distinctive looking Hollywood actor, Steven Vincent ‘Steve’ Buscemi had a parting glance in 1957. Eric Morlon Bishop, or as he’s better known Jaime Foxx was held up after his birth in 1967. Country singer/popster with minimal clothes Taylor Alison Swift has had her eyes open from 1989.
As mentioned above, this paragraph also starts with a Pope – as tufty haired Pope Callixtus II who started out as Guy of Burgundy ended up as Callixtus of white sheet in 1124. King of Portugal and the Algarves Manuel I wasn’t such the fortunate one in 1521. Lexicographer Samuel Johnson didn’t find another word for death in 1784. Herman of Alaska, a Russian Orthodox hermit went quietly in 1837. Josef Kramer or ‘The Beast of Belsen’ didn’t hang about long after 1945. Indian actress of stage and film, Smita Patil had her last wrap party in 1986. Member of one hit wonder band the Lovin’ Spoonful, Zalman ‘Zal’ Yanovsky wasn’t alive and well in Argentina, nor for that matter was he in Kingston, Ontario in 2002. Finally, actress born Minnie Higginbottom or Kathy Staff, known as Nora Batty in un-amusing and over running sit-com ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ went out with a no frills funeral in 2008.