Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 16th April

We start today’s posting with King of Toungoo Dynasty of Burma, Tabinshwehti opened up in 1516. Physician and collector who’s stuff was worthy enough to start the British Museum and with various streets etc named after him in the posher parts of London, Hans Sloane was somewhat of a curiosity to his parents from 1660. Possible inventor of the octant, (two years after Thomas Godfrey claimed he’d developed it), found what can’t be disputed is that he was born in 1682. Bigamous second wife of Frederick of Denmark and Norway Anne Sophie Reventlow got to taste the silver spoon she was born with in 1693. Older brother to Orville, aviation pioneer Wilbur Wright was down wind in 1867. Sometime almost amusing silent film star, Charles Spencer ‘Charlie’ Chaplin made some noise when born in 1889. Bunny toothed chairman of company bearing his surname, Frederik Jacques ‘Frits’ Philips tuned in for the first time in 1905. Having mentioned inventor/businessman Joseph-Armand Bombardier on 18th February when he transported himself off the planet, here he is again given he started making tracks in 1907. Leading spy for the reds, Guy Francis de Moncy Burgess, made it known when he was born in 1911. Sort of Norwegian of the day and first person to portray James Bond wasn’t a guy named Joe given he was born Haakon Robert Nielsen in 1917 and went onto be known as Barry Nelson. Indian born and (allegedly) one time Reigate, Surrey, resident Terence Alan ‘Spike’ Milligan was urged to goon in life from 1918. Raconteur/actor/film maker etc Peter Ustinov, who was mentioned on 28th March when he saw the curtain come down on his career, gets his second mention of the year given he didn’t suffer stage fright in 1921. Writer of various books and dad to another author – Martin, Kingsley Amis experienced that uncertain feeling just after birth in 1922. Problem fixer and ex-chief of ICI, John Harvey-Jones started causing trouble in 1924. Also born that year, composer Enrico Nicola ‘Henry’ Mancini found himself hangin’ out. Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger or Pope Benedict XVI (the one with a slightly camp voice), granted his first audience with the world in 1924. 1960’s to 90’s warbler Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien or Dusty Springfield was wishin’ and hopin’ to be born in 1939. Margarethe II Queen of Denmark will be wearing her tiara whilst cutting the birthday cake in celebration of her 77th birthday. Formula One racing supremo Francis Owen ‘Frank’ Williams’ rolled out for the first time in 1942. Known for playing Gladys Pugh in BBC sit-com Hi-de-Hi, Ruth Llewellyn (or Madoc), got her act together in 1943. Baker Street’s second most famous resident Gerald ‘Gerry’ Rafferty had his first chapter in life back in 1947. Bald headed singer/politician Peter Robert Garrett’s mum burnt the midnight oil giving birth in 1953. Eternal smiler and youngest member of family singing group with the enamel teeth, James Arthur ‘Jimmy’ Osmond has put on quite a bit of weight since 1963. Actor from Hong Kong Michael Fitzgerald Wong aka Wong Man-tak, had first option on being born in 1965. Having mentioned ubiquitous comedian/voice artist Edward Cathal ‘Ed’ Byrne on the 10th April, it turns out his actual birthday is today, so he’s turning 45 a week later than I thought. Half Norwegian of the day, actress Kristin Proctor was the young and restless in 1978.

People at the other end of their life include, among others, Roman emperor Otho who found himself wrapped up in yet another cotton sheet from 69. Founder of museum in London bearing her name, Anne-Marie Tussaud (née Grosholtz) found what it was like to become a wax work in 1850. Founder of high end Canadian jewellers Henry Birks and Sons, Henry Birks lost his sparkle in 1928. Commandant of Auschwitz Concentration Camp, Rudolf Höß had his just desserts in 1947. Film director Sir David Lean didn’t quite have a brief encounter with life given he was 83 when he keeled over in 1991. Actor/comedian Arfur ‘Arthur’ Leslie Norman English took his trademark brown tradesman jacket off for the last time in 1995. Finally, in 2007 Seung-Hui Cho decided to go to Virginia Polytechnic and State University and kill 32 innocent people before topping himself.


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