Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 23rd February

Today’s a fairly steady day for births and deaths – to this end we start with Pietro Barbo, who went onto become Pope Paul II had to confess his birthday was in 1417. Dear Diary writer, Samuel Pepys started keeping tabs from 1633. Baroque composer and previous next door neighbour to Jimi Hendrix, George Frederic Handel orchestrated his arrival in 1685. Hotelier with a few hotels (and numerous cafes) dotted around the globe bearing his name, César Ritz checked out what birth was all about in 1850. First President of Estonia, Konstantin Päts used his loaf and was born in 1874. Film director responsible for The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind (among others), Victor Lonzo Fleming was a son of his father in 1889. 20th Prime Minister of Australia, William ‘Billy’ McMahon held the balance of power in 1908. Pilot of B-29 ‘Enola Gay’ which bombed Hiroshima with the atomic bomb, Paul Warfield Tibbett Jr dropped by in 1915. One of the Fonda acting clan, Peter Henry Fonda found it was open season in 1940. Actress from Star Trek born Majel Leigh Hudec, but known as Majel Barrett-Roddenbury teleported herself in 1932. Synth popster with the chained mime artist in the background, John Howard Jones didn’t play hide and seek in 1955. Dull sounding singer with 80’s band Japan, David Alan Batt or as his autograph now states David Sylvian was made up being born in 1958. Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan joined the ranks of waiting royals in 1960. Norwegian of the day, lanky haired guitarist with Swedish band Europe, John Terry Norum had his start from the dark in 1964. Computer manufacturer bearing his name, Michael Saul Dell logged on for the first time in 1965 and has been slowing down ever since. Actress Tamsin Margaret Mary Greig found birth much ado about nothing in 1966. Former model and now television presenter, Melinda Jane Messenger struck the right pose in 1971. Actress and ex-squeeze of Mickey Bubbles, Emily Olivia Leah Blunt started having bumps and bruises from 1983.

Death wise, we also start this paragraph with a Pope given Pope Eugene IV stopped selecting hymns in 1447. Romantic poet and best mate with Lord Byron, John Keats didn’t get to write a sonnet about tuberculosis before dying in 1821. Sixth President of the United States of America, John Quincey Adams had no say in his death back in 1848. Known for her opera singing before going on to be associated with two desserts and a piece of toast, Helen Porter Mitchell or Dame Nellie Melba went quiet in 1931. Composer Sir Edward William Elgar had to wait 65 years from his death in 1934 before appearing on the back of an English £20 note. Inventor of Bakelite plastic, Leo Henricus Arthur Baekeland was somewhat brittle himself from 1944. Writer Aleksey Nikolayveich Tolstoy went through the ordeal of death in 1945. Legendary comic actor and one half of Laurel & Hardy – Arthur Stanley Jefferson or Stan Laurel, had his final mess in 1965. Having mentioned Indian actress Mumtaz Jehan Dehlavi, who managed to make Madhubala out of that on the 14th February, here she is again given she had her ultimate death scene in 1969. Painter of matchstick men and industrial scenes, Laurence Steven (L.S.) Lowry had his still life moment in 1976. David Melvin English who used his stage name, Melvin Franklin in Motown group The Temptations was heavenly from 1995. Also not making it through that year was vet James Alfred ‘Alf’ Wright who’s better known as James Herriot who stopped putting his arm up cows bottoms. Finally teetotal, vegetarian (sounds like me between meals), ballkicker Stanley Matthews stopped dribbling in 2000.


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