Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 2nd February

Chubby faced John, King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden not only starts today’s posting but he also started the balancing policy in 1455. Born Pietro Francesco Orsini before becoming Pope Benedict XIII found he had his first audience in 1649. Royal mistress, actress and name of a few pubs dotted across Britain, Eleanor ‘Nell’ Gwyn found the limelight in 1650. General in three armies including the Confederate States Army, Albert Sidney Johnston battled his way through in 1803. Dad to current Prince Phil (Duke of Edinburgh), Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark(?) took things in his stride back in 1882. Also born that year, writer James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was quite avant-garde. Alcoholic, racist and not forgetting his rape conviction – cartoonist who lay claim to creating Felix the Cat, Patrick Peter ‘Pat’ Sullivan sketched his life out in 1887. Co-founder of American National Football League, George Stanley Halas Sr., was kicked into touch back in 1895. Supporting actor who must have lived off various dinner party conversations for his supporting roles in It’s a Wonderful Life and Psycho, Francis Healey ‘Frank’ Albertson actually took the lead in 1909. Actress Elaine Stritch was on her toes about a year after being born in 1925. President of France Valéry Giscard d’Estang, had plenty of energy in 1926. Gurning comedian who told mother in law jokes whilst playing the piano out of tune, Leslie ‘Les’ Dawson Jr., saw opportunity knocking in 1931. National treasure, actor David John White who goes by the name of David Jason, took a sharp intake of breath for the first time in 1940. Third (or possibly fourth), member of Crosby, Stills & Young, Graham Nash has been looking forward since 1942. Star of many a sit-com, (as well as a stint on Constipation Street) Geoffrey Hughes saw the bright side in 1944. One of the original Charlie’s Angels from the 1970’s Ferrah Leni Fawcett, or just Farrah Fawcett was the girl with something special in 1947. Owner of gyms, (where he can be found mopping his brow after a few minutes plodding on the treadmill), ex-star of Britain’s Dragons’ Den – Duncan Walker Bannatyne has worked out how to be smart with time since 1949. Bounty hunter with the braids and sunglasses, Duane Lee ‘Dog’ Chapman found the right day to be born on in 1953. Ex-Mrs Billy Joel, leggy model Christie Lee Hudson or Christie Brinkley had her first assignment in 1954. Lesser known French singer, Philippe Baranés or just Phil Barnes hasn’t been a child of you since 1957. Fellow singer Eva Marie Cassidy found what a wonderful world it is from 1963, (until her death in 1996). Starting off life as Yaron Cohen, but now known as Sharon Cohen or ‘Dana International’ the cross gender winner of dullfest that is Eurovision, also scored full points with his/her family in 1972. Diminutive Colombian singer now plugging either toothpaste or shampoo, (the power of advertising has obviously passed me by), Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll had the whenever, wherever question answered in 1977. One of five hijackers of American Airlines Flight 77 on 9/11, Salem al-Hazmi forced his way in 1981.

As for deaths, King Eric XI of Sweden or ‘the Lisp and Lame’ became ‘the Dead and Buried’ in 1250. To even out the birth of Pope Benedict XIII (above), here we see the death of Pope Clement XIII who was inducted into the Hall of Past Popes’ in 1769. Politician and founder of French bank Crédit Lyonnais (whilst not incurring the wrath of his fellow politicos), Henri Germain had his final withdrawal in 1824. Known (by some) for playing Uncle Henry in The Wizard of Oz, Charles Ellsworth ‘Charley’ Grapewin didn’t get to the end of the yellow brick road as he gave up trying in 1956. Frankenstein actor William Henry Pratt/Boris Karloff probably scared himself to death in 1969. Writer of both Where Eagles Dare and The Guns of Navarone, Alastair Stuart MacLean found the way to a dusty death in 1987. Ex-host of Miss America (among other things), Bertram Jacobson or just Bert Parks obviously got bored of looking at young ladies in bikinis in 1992. Last English tennis player at Wimbledon (before Sir Andrew Murray OBE bagged the trophy), who went onto launch his own sports clothes line, Frederick John ‘Fred’ Perry slipped his shirt off in 1995. Also not making through 1995, actor Donald Henry Pleasance found you only live once. Star of Singin in the Rain, Eugene Curran ‘Gene’ Kelly found what a way to go in 1996. Singer with The Spinners, Billy Henderson didn’t get a second time round from 2007. Finally, star of various independent films, Philip Seymour Hoffman saw the party’s over in 2014.

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