Today’s births paragraph starts with ancient Royal of the week – King Afonso IV of Portugal and the Algarves who held the distinction of being King Denis (now there’s a regal name), and Elizabeth of Aragon’s only legitimate son from 1291. Novelist honoured with a very expensive restaurant in the Eiffel Tower, Jules Gabriel Verne became a master of the world in 1828. Inventor of early day Xerox machine, Chester Floyd Carson didn’t get to reproduce for a few years after his birth in 1906. Co-creator of Batman, Milton ‘Bill’ Finger had his KABOOM! moment in 1914. Actress Julia Jean ‘Lana’ Turner didn’t have the imitation of life from 1921. Two time acceptance speech giver at the Academy Awards, John Uhler ‘Jack’ Lemmon III didn’t make an odd couple with his mum in 1925. Iconic actor taken too soon, James Byron Dean found trouble along the way from 1931. Composer to his mate Steven Spielberg’s flicks, John Townes Williams struck the right note being born in 1932. Yet another American actor blowing out candles on his birthday cake is Nicholas King ‘Nick’ Nolte who emerged from the deep in 1941. Best known for playing Trigger in ‘Only Fools and Horses’ (and Barty Crouch Sr., if you’ve sat through any Harry Potter films), Roger Lloyd Pack was one of those bloody kids in 1944. Tenor singer in The Temptations, Ron Tyson’s parents were on cloud nine when he was born in 1948. Legal thriller writer John Ray Grisham Jr., received the summons in 1955. Singer with the odd nose who fronts Mötley Crew, Vincent Neil (Wharton) was a real live wire from 1961. Fashion advisor Trinny (Sarah-Jane) Woodall found Terry Nappies (diapers) were the must have accessory in 1964. Diminutive actor Gary Wayne Colman or Arnold Jackson from Diff’rent Strokes, had his party from 1968 (until his death in 2010). Helmeted French popster and one half of Daft Punk, Guillaume Emmanuel ‘Guy-Manuel’ de Homem-Christo managed to get lucky being born in 1974. Also born that year, actor Seth Benjamin Gesshel-Green, or just Seth Green, joined the rat race. Ex-squeeze of John Leslie who made her name for pretty much all the wrong reasons, Abigail Evelyn ‘Abi’ Titmuss kept a poker face during birth in 1976. Semi-professional ball kicker whilst acting on the side, Ralf Alastair John Little hasn’t been a member of the Royle Family since 1980.
Deaths seemed to have picked up a bit and to this end we begin with English Crusader Sir William Longespée II who relieved himself permanently from 1250. Mary, Queen of Scots, aka Mary I of Scotland or even Mary Stuart stopped eating tatties and neeps, (not forgetting the deep fried Mars Bars) in 1587. Two Tsars of Russia stopped swigging vodka: first up Tsar Ivan V in 1696 and then Tsar Peter I joined him in 1725. Dead Norwegian of the day, writer Hans Jæger wrote himself out of the plot in 1910. Gee Jon found himself the first person to be executed by lethal gas in 1929, that should teach him to eat so many brussell sprouts followed by boiled eggs. American Native Indian Vice President of the United States of America, Charles Curtis found his term over in 1936. Having mentioned architect of Battersea Power Station and designer of the original red telephone boxes Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, back in November in honour of his birth, here he is again given he had his final call in 1960. Actor and dad to Monkee Mickey Dolenz – Jure Dolenc who then altered that to George Dolenz, joined the four horsemen of the apocalypse in 1963. Founder of Swallow Sidecar Company, that morphed into Jaguar Car Company – Sir William Lyons ran out of spare parts in 1985. Singer/songwriter born Charles Weedon Westover but known as Del Shannon, moved it on over in 1990. Controversial (to many, but not all) politician John Enoch Powell caste off in 1998. Writer Iris Murdoch had a fairly honourable defeat in 1999. President of Singapore Ong Teng Cheong found he was part of the People’s Inaction Party from 2002. Gerontophile blonde bombshell born Vickie Lynn Hogan but went by the name Anna Nicole Smith, (who was hitched to J. Howard Marshall despite the 63 year age gap), found you win I lose in 2007. Also dying that year, reincarnation researcher Ian Stephenson who’s still awaiting his resurrection. Immunologist Frank James Dixon obviously wasn’t immune to death given he hasn’t been about since 2008. Founder of company named after him, Ralph William Braun had more than a close shave with death in 2013. Finally, ballerina Violette Verdy (or as her parents knew her, Nelly Armande Guillerm) pointed west from 2016.
This will be my last posting for a couple of days as I’m away – I will be back on Saturday though, so please check back in then..!