Today’s posting begins with assassin of Rasputin, Prince Felix Felixovich Yusupov was born in 1887, and who we have to thank for St. Vitus’ dance sufferer Bobby Farrell plus Boney M for the song about his target. Actress Lucille Fay LeSueur, or as she became known Joan Crawford, didn’t have a sudden fear of being born in 1905. Comedy actor with the handlebar moustache, James Keith O’Neill ‘Jimmy’ Edwards decided to take it from here in 1920. Eight time world record holder on land and water, Reigate (Surrey) resident and son of Malcolm, Donald Malcolm Campbell didn’t suffer any drag when born in 1921. Mum to Monkee Mike Nesmith and inventor of Liquid Paper, born Bette Clair McMurray who went onto be known as Bette Nesmith Graham, didn’t use her product to alter her birth date of 1924. Runner of the first sub-four minute mile, wheezing Olympic medal winner Roger Gilbert Bannister broke the tape in 1929. Comedy legend and ‘One Old Fart’ (having lost the other, Willie Rushton, in 1996), Barry Charles Cryer will attempt to blow out 82 candles on his cake. Another land speed record holder who holds only five titles to his name, Craig Breedlove didn’t quite make history in 1937. Also born that year, actor/boxer known for his role in all of the Rocky films, Anthony ‘Tony’ Burton went for the long count. Singer/songwriter with The Cars, Richard T. ‘Ric’ Ocasek let the good times roll from 1949. Queen of funk, Yvette Marie Stephens, or Chaka, Chaka, Chaka Khan was a tight fit for her mum in 1953. President of the European Commission José Manuel Durāo Barroso nearly landed on his feet in 1956. Five time Olympic medal winning rower, Steven Geoffrey ‘Steve’ Redgrave was through the starting gate in 1962. Scottish crooner Mark McLachlan, who now goes by the name Marti Pellow, broke away in 1965. Another musician with what can only be described as an eclectic taste in music, Damon Albarn had the great escape in 1968. Also born that year, ex-cricketing captain of England and non-lover of ducks, Michael Andrew Atherton made it through the corridor of uncertainty. Welsh pugilist Joseph William ‘Joe’ Calzaghe had his first peek-a-boo moment in 1972. Cycling champ (minus the stabilisers), Christopher Andrew ‘Chris’ Hoy got his balance right in 1976. Blogger Mario Armando Lavanderia Jr., or as he’s also known Perez Hilton, thankfully didn’t cover his birth in 1978. Un-amusing ‘comedian’ with the odd eye, Russell Joseph Howard foisted himself upon us in 1980. Known for his ‘M’ sign, plugging some sort of vegetarian meat and being named after a brand of untrendy slacks, Mohamed Muktar Jama ‘Mo’ Farah began the fartleks in 1983. Youngest daughter of Prince Andy and ex-royal toe sucker Sarah Ferguson, Princess Eugenie Victoria Helena of York joined the ‘Firm’ in 1990.
As for deaths, given we haven’t had a Pope feature for a few days, here’s Pope Julius III to make up for that oversight given he had his final audience in 1555. Emperor and autocrat of All the Russias, Tsar Paul I didn’t get to wear his little sash after 1801. Indian revolutionaries Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Tharpar probably didn’t expect to get such great freedoms from 1931. Dapper dresser and 12th President of Brazil, Arthur da Silva Bernardes left his budgie smugglers in the draw from 1955. Novelist who picked up the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (having won it), Edwin O’Connor had his last hurrah in 1968. Person responsible for cutting 4,000 miles of railway lines in Britain and for having dire sit-com ‘Oh Doctor Beeching!’ written in his honour, Richard Beeching, Baron Beeching or even Dr. Beeching, went off the rails in 1985. Singer with Black Lace, Alan Leslie Barton went up in smokie back in 1995. English cricketer Benjamin Caine ‘Ben’ Hollioake had the death overs in 2002. Having mentioned her third husband only yesterday, here’s bestie to pill popping, spangly glove wearing odd-ball Michael Jackson – Dame Elizabeth Rosemund Taylor had her own Ash Wednesday in 2011. Finally, actor David Early left it somewhat late to die at 74 in 2013.