Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 11th May

Person associated with psychological and behavioural condition feigning illness and subject of a couple of films, Hieronymous Karl Frederich von Münchausen starts today’s posting as he was unable to lie about his birthdate from 1720. Siam born,(hence Siamese twins), Americanised conjoined twins Chang and Eng Bunker, started sharing birthdays from 1811. American scout leader who helped found the international Scouting Movement, Frederick Russell Burnham didn’t get his birthing badge in 1861. Non-relation to cartoon supremo Fred, aviatrix Harriet Quimby – not only the first woman to get a pilot’s licence in America but also the first woman to fly across the English Channel, survived the turbulence in 1875. Excessive writer of songs for films and shows, Israel Isidore Baline, (changing it to the slightly more catchy Irving Berlin), found his birthday wasn’t always in April seeing as he was born this day in 1888. Wobbly chinned actress Margaret Rutherford found the curtain, or rather sheet, came up in 1892. Known for his alternative sketches and waxed moustache, artist Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Doménech, Marqués de Dalí de Pubol, or just Salvador Dali, saw daylight for the first time in 1904. Fast talking bespectacled comedian, probably best known for playing Sgt. Phil(ip) Silver(s) wasn’t top banana in the family given he was the youngest of eight children being born in 1911. Pakistani scribbler of short stories, Saadt Hasan Manto wasn’t pardey ke peechhy (behind the curtains) after 1912. Actor known for playing Jesse Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard, Denver Dell Pyle pulled his ripcord successfully in 1920. Another gaudy and overpriced Italian fashion label owner, Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani who goes by his first name started to bustle about in 1931. Great-grandson to founder of family brewing company, Arthur Sackville Labatt started to have a mouthfeel in 1934. Inquisitor and host of University Challenge, Jeremy Paxman will be asking himself, (hopefully numerous times), how he came to be 67 today. Ex-husband to Liza Minelli, plastic surgery enthusiast and reality television contestant who was found dead in a London (England) hotel room last year, David Alan Gest thought he was ‘simply the Gest’ in 1953. Graveyard shift DJ on the BBC, Alexander Norman Charles ‘Alex’ Lester aka The Dark Lord, will hopefully be celebrating his 61st birthday spouting all sorts of nonsense. Part of acting dynasty family that’s been mentioned over the past few months, daughter of Vanessa Redgrave, Natasha Richardson made her debut in 1963. English snooker player John Parrott had his big break in 1964. Hijacker of United flight 93, deluded religious nutter Ziad Jarrah dropped by in 1975. Actress, singer etc., born Holly Rachel Vukadinović who also goes by the name Holly Rachel Candy but is probably better known as Holly Valance started leaving her footprints in 1983. German pedal pusher Marcel Kittel wobbled into life back in 1988.

As for deaths it’s another pretty quiet day, but we start with British Prime Minister William Pitt, (the Elder) 1st Earl of Chatham, who adjourned for good in 1778. Another British Prime Minister, this one Spencer Percival took the honour of being the only one to be assassinated in 1812. Actor known for playing Tarzan of the Apes, Alexander Crichlow Barker Jr., abbreviated to Lex Barker, swopped the loin cloth for a death shroud in 1973. Dead Norwegian of the day goes to chemist who was also a Nobel Laureate, Odd Hassel found death a hassle in 1981. Also not making it through that year is Jamaican ‘tobacco’ smoker Robert Nesta ‘Bob’ Marley didn’t get up or stand up. Traitor and defector to the red team, Harald Adrian Russell ‘Kim’ Philby put his hammer and sickle down in 1988. President of Nigeria, Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe stopped receiving replies to spurious e-mails in 1996. Author of science fiction (yawn) book ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, Douglas Noel Adams had his last chance to see anything in 2001. One half of singing duo McFedden & Whitehead, John Whitehead found there was something stoppin’ him now in 2004. Actress Shanthi Lekha had her ultimate death scene in 2009. Finally, co-founder of overpriced stationery business Staples Inc, Leo Khan was stationary in 2011.

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