Another day, another Pope – this one, Pope Gregory XV had a select congregation around him when born in 1554. Born Grace Stansfield but known as actress Gracie Fields, started to look up and laugh in 1898. Founder of odd Catholic practice Opus Dei, Josemaría Escríva de Balaguer y Albás was a mere laity in 1902. Nearly impeached 37th President of the United States of America President – Richard Milhous Nixon, kind of resigned himself being born in 1913. Known for playing Corporal Jack Jones in classic BBC sit-com Dad’s Army and his not so classic single ‘Grandad’, Clive Robert Benjamin Dunn wasn’t holding on in 1920. Actor Lee Van Cleef was the good, the bad and the ugly in 1925. Novelist Wilbur Addison Smith started the quest in 1933. Star of Gilligan’s Island, Robert Osbourne ‘Bob’ Denver had the sweet ride in 1935. Folk singer, (no more said there) and activist (also nothing further to add), Joan Chandos Baez had no expectations in 1941. Comedian who married a significantly younger lady and allegedly ate a hamster – Frederick Leslie Fowell or Freddie Starr was live and dangerous in 1943. Also born that year, one half of singing duo The Walker Brothers, Noel Scott Engel or Scott Walker had no regrets. Founder of mega rock band Led Zeplin, James Patrick ‘Jimmy’ Page made his presence known in 1944. Fellow singer, albeit in a completely different genre, Brenda Gail Webb or Crystal Gale as she’s now known was a bit restless in 1951. Actress of stage and screen Imelda Mary Philomena Bernadette Staunton starts another year having been born in 1956. Singer with a few hits under his belt before taking the lower charts by storm, Nestor Alexander Haddaway, had the drive to be delivered in 1965. Also born that year, part of the Redgrave acting clan, Joely Kim Richardson found herself shining through. Another person born in 1965 was choreographer in numerous Bollywood films, Farah Khan Kunder found she had the right moves. Television presenter with her finger in many different pies, Sarah Lucinda Beeny developed into a proper baby after birth in 1972. Having mentioned Farah Khan (above), here’s one of her dancers in her films – Farhan Akhtar arrived on cue in 1974. Lisping member of boy band the Backstreet Boys Alexander James ‘A.J.’ McLean, has been larger than life since 1978. Spanish bunker avoider, Sergio García Fernández started playing around in 1980. Daughter of party popper and napkin seller, Catherine Elizabeth ‘Kate’ Middleton who’s climbed the social ladder a few rungs by now being known as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge had her folks celebrate her birth in 1982. Singer from Scotland (as opposed to Italy), Paolo Giovanni Nutini got his new shoes in 1987.
As for deaths, Abû ‘Uthmân Sâ ‘îd ibn Hakam al Qurashi ruler of Minorca started to miss the sunshine from 1282. Astronomer Caroline Lucretia Herschel found her telescope surplus to requirements in 1848. Fifth and last President of Texas, Anson Jones rode out of town in 1858. King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy, the one with the distinctive moustache excommunicated himself permanently in 1878. Silent film star who gave Rudolph Valentino a run for his money, John Cecil Pringle or John Gilbert became the man beneath six feet of earth in 1936. Unable to keep the family name going conductor Johann Strauss III dropped the baton in 1939. Comedian known for his satire and work with Dudley Moore, Peter Edward Cook didn’t get in the wrong box back in 1995. Ex-chairman of ICI and troubleshooter, Sir John Harvey-Jones didn’t take his own advice by rolling over in 2008. Finally, raw food activist Rynn Berry wrinkled and dried himself in 2014.