Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 31st March

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 31st March

Today’s posting begins with Giovanni Angelo Medici or Pope Pius IV as he was known to his cardinals, sinners/congregation and had his birthday confirmed from 1499. Not to be outdone, second of ten Sikh Gurus, Bhai Lehna or Guru Angad as his followers knew him started his dharam yudh in 1504. King Henry II of France held the balance of power in 1519. Philosopher Renatus Cartesius or just René Descartes had his initial thoughts in 1596. Another Pope, this one Prospero Lorenzo Lambertini or to give his Papal name, Pope Benedict XIV was Extra Omnes in 1675. Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach tuned in back in 1685. King of Denmark & Norway, Frederick V of Denmark started wearing his own hair in 1723. Another composer (Franz) Joseph Haydn had a clean sheet in 1732. Victorian civil engineer with the moustache, Benjamin Baker worked his way out in 1840. Inventor of the two stroke engine, Dugald Clerk was patted in 1854. Actor of stage and screen, born Patrick George McGee, who managed to adapt that to Patrick Magee thought ‘and now the screaming starts!’ in 1922. Actor George Richard Chamberlain was the deputy from 1934. Musician and band leader Herp Albert was in tune with his mum back in 1935. Diminutive ex-leader of the Liberal Party in the United Kingdom, before they experienced helping to ruin, (sorry run), the country – David Martin Scott Steel had a good alliance with his parents from 1938. Ronald Walken or actor Christopher Walken arrived in the nick of time in 1943. Creator of video game Space Invaders – Tomohiro Nishikado found the expansion pack in 1944. 45th Vice President of the United States of America, Albert Arnold ‘Al’ Gore Jr., started contributing to global warming in 1948. Having mentioned Dermot Morgan (or Father Ted), on 28th February when he had his final communion, here he is again given his mum probably let out some ungodly terms during his birth in 1952. Eternal schoolboy with rock band AC/DC, Angus McKinnon Young must be in remedial class given he was born in 1955. Olympic medal winning wheezer, Roger Anthony Black was out of the starting blocks in 1966. Act tor Ewan Gordon McGregor had a little voice in 1971. Co-founder of micro blogging site Twitter, Evan Clark Williams was a start up himself in 1972. 

Deaths include, among many others, King Francis I of France who was whinging about the weight of his crown before he croaked it in 1547. Keeping with old European royalty, King Philip III of Spain, Portugal and the other Hapsburg territories found he didn’t need another ruff from 1621. Johann Christoph Bach and great uncle to Johann Sebastian Bach (mentioned above) signed off in 1703. Physicist/mathematician Sir Isaac Newton dropped everything, thereby proving his point in 1727. Classic artist John Constable saw his last scene, the ceiling, in 1837. Scribbler of various books and older sis to Anne and Emily, Charlotte Brontë took the literal meaning of ‘deadline’ in 1855. Banker John Pierpont ‘J.P.’ Morgan had his final withdrawal in 1913. Indian actress born Mahjbeen Bano, but known as Meena Kumari saw the lights fade in 1972. Co-discoverer of Insulin, Charles Herbert Best could have done with another shot of life in 1978. Accomplished four time Olympic medal winning athlete, (much to Adolf Hitler’s disgust), James Cleveland ‘Jesse’ Owens took the long jump in 1980. Founding member of family group The Isley Brothers, O’Kelly Isley Jr., didn’t get to shout again after today in 1986. 20th Prime Minister of Australia Sir William ‘Billy’ McMahon found the crem was even hotter than Potts Point in 1988. Son of actor/martial artist, Bruce Lee – Brandon Bruce Lee who was a, err, actor and martial artist, didn’t leave a legacy of rage in 1993. Comedy writer (before Points of View), Barry Took found he had a permanent retirement from 2002. Not one of my old teachers from secondary school, (as far as I know), but equipment manager for University of Kentucky’s baseball team, William ‘Bill’ Bond Keightley was run out in 2008. President of Argentina, Raúl Ricardo Alfonsín revoked his right to live in 2009. Haulage director Edward Stobart had his last Yorkie bar in 2011. Lead guitarist with Australian band Chocolate Starfish, Zoran Romic went into the fire in 2012. Finally, other half to Ronnie Barker, small comedian known for his large chair, rambling jokes, Pringle jumpers and adjustment of his glasses, Ronald Balfour ‘Ronnie’ Corbett was as tall lying down as standing in 2016. Also not making it through 2016, architect of the 2012 aquatic centre – Zaha Mohammad Hadid had a coffin with the wooden clapboard look. 

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 30th March

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 30th March

We celebrate the births of, among others, school children’s favourite inventor Robert Wilhelm Eberhard Bunsen (he of the burner fame), who started producing his own gas in 1811. Writer of nags story Black Beauty, Anna Sewell cantered through birth in 1820. Dutch dauber with the cut off ear, Vincent Willem von Gogh coloured things up a bit in Zundert in 1853. Actress born Joyce Lilian Lawrence but went onto be known as Joyce Carey was alive and kicking in 1898. Not the ex-British Prime Minister who was into sailors, oh, sorry, sailing, but big band leader George Edward ‘Ted’ Heath started waving his arms around uncontrollably in 1902. Chief executioner of Great Britain, Albert Pierrepoint was left hanging himself when born in 1905. Fourth President of Malta, Vincent Ćensu Tabone wasn’t cross being born in 1913. Also born that year, singer who started out as Francesco Paolo LoVecchio and then found fame as Frankie Laine put in his first command performance. Now deceased founder of flat pack palace Ikea, Ingvar Feodor Kamprand was a ready made kid in 1926. Novelist Thomas Ridley ‘Tom’ Sharpe didn’t suffer the throwback in 1928. Severely disgraced artist and entertainer not to mention sex pest, Rolf Harris’ parents couldn’t tell what it was yet in 1930. Actor, (and younger bro to Shirley MacLaine), Henry Warren Beaty/Beatty had the fortune to be born in 1937. Previous acting President of Pakistan Wasim Sajjad was actually born in 1941. 1945 saw two people arrive into the world – first up, Eric Patrick ‘Slow Hand’ Clapton and respected radio DJ Peter Waters Dingley or Johnnie Walker. Ex-keeper of the national abacus and chief bean counter for the UK, Mervyn Allister King started counting the years in 1948. Also born that year, founder of defunct F1 team and analyst of cars driving around a track, Edmund Patrick ‘Eddie’ Jordan started giving his opinions. Alternative singer known for her hit in 1979 – Lili-Marlene Premilovich or Lene Lovich found her lucky numbers were 1949. Sometime mildly amusing comedian who’s now making a living as an actor – Anthony Robert McMillan or Robbie Coltrane, was right on the nose being born in 1950. Wearer of ridiculous trousers whilst prancing around, Stanley Kirk Burrell who went by the slightly hipper name, M.C. Hammer certainly didn’t touch this in 1962. Singer of one hit before bothering the lower charts, Tracy Chapman has been talkin’ ’bout a revolution since 1964. Sacked American chat show host and best mate to Jeremy Clarkson, Piers Stefan O’Meara but now known as Piers Stefan Pughe-Morgan started making headlines in 1965. Warbler of various dull hits, Céline Marie Claudette Dion, found her heart will go on since 1968. Ravi Shankar’s daughter, Geetali Norah Shanker who now goes by the name Norah Jones, had the fall in 1979. Also born that year, singer with defunct (thankfully) boy band Blue, Simon Webbe had no worries about arriving.

As for deaths, seeing as there aren’t any Popes to mention we’ll make do with Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Bourchier who found a quiet spot in Canterbury Cathedral in 1486, well before the tourists started traipsing by. Original dandy George Bryan ‘Beau’ Brummell didn’t get to wear his trousers (as opposed to breeches) again after 1840. Three time French Prime Minister Léon Blum ate his last snail in 1950. British MP who was the first British officer to successfully escape Colditz, Airey Middleton Sheffield Neave was in the wrong place at the wrong time in 1979. Co-founder (with his wife) of old biddies and doctor’s surgery favourite publication – Reader’s Digest, DeWitt Wallace obviously got bored of reading his publication in 1981. Actor James Francis Cagney Jr., found the doorway to hell in 1986. Eighth President of Austria, Rudolf Kirchschläger who was mentioned a mere ten days ago in honour of his birth, gets another mention given he survived all of three months into the new millennium. Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes Lyon, or the Queen Mum, made it to 101 before swigging her last gin and tonic in 2002. Journalist Alastair Cooke didn’t get any more letters from America after 2004. Actress known for her role in Dynasty – Frances Meredith Carro, or as her equity card stated, Kate O’Mara, saw the curtain come down in 2014. Finally actor and comedian (apparently) born Walter Frederick George Williams but known as a Bill Maynard didn’t get one more chance after 2018. 

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 29th March

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 29th March

Irish politician John Ponsonby starts things off today, although it took him a year or so after 1713 to become a speaker. Composer Supply Belcher (yes, that really was his name), had wind from 1751. Tenth President of the United States of America, John Tyler probably could have done with a whig in 1790. Not to be outdone, 14th Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Edward Smith-Stanley joined the party in 1799. Swopping politics for religion, (two of the three things you should never mention in the pub/bar), Tsultrim Gyatso 10th Dalai Lama of Tibet started gathering his followers from 1816. Major League Baseball pitcher, Denton True ‘Cy’ Young – cleared the way in 1867. Architect Edwin Landseer Lutyens had his footprint taken in 1869. Founder of American Messenger Company, (later to be renamed as United Parcel Service) – James E. ‘Jim’ Casey was delivered nearly on time in 1888. 18th Prime Minister of Australia, John McEwen didn’t have a foster father in 1900. Antique expert and broadcaster Arthur George Negus would be celebrating his 116th birthday, if he hadn’t handed on the family heirlooms in 1985. Actor Phi Lip ‘Philip’ Ahn wasn’t a stowaway after 1905. Founder of both Walmart and Sam’s Club, Samuel Moore ‘Sam’ Walton opened for business in 1918. Not wanting to leave anyone out, here’s second President of Estonia Lennart Georg Meri who led the independence movement within his family in 1929. Norman Beresford Tebbit, government minister throughout most of Margaret Thatcher’s tenure of Great Britain will probably be using his bike to steady himself given he’s 88. Actress/singer and Cockney’s favourite, Ruby (Florence) Murray had her very first Christmas of all in 1935. Known for wearing leopard skin whilst pulling pints, Bet Lynch actress born Julie Kemp but known as Julie Goodyear was under five in 1942. Sharing the same year of birth, in 1943 are the following: classic comedy actor Eric Idle – who’s been anything but. Grey (not to mention Currie) loving ex-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom John Major and Greek electronic musician Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou who started the humus. Two hit wonder, Terrence Ross ‘Terry’ Jacks wasn’t quite born just like that in 1944. Older bro to actor David, newsreader/television presenter John Suchet arrived on cue in 1944. Actor Brendan Gleeson was on the edge of tomorrow in 1955. Singer Patricia Jean ‘Patty’ Donahue served herself up in 1956. Mountaineer Barry Blanchard had Elvis legs after being born in 1959. Hopefully Elle ‘The Body’ MacPherson won’t have scoffed all the cake at her 55th birthday party. Small, bald and shouting ‘investigative’ journalist Dominic ‘Dom’ Littlewood wasn’t faking it in 1965. Actress from Xena: Warrior Princess, Lucille Frances ‘Lucy’ Lawless (née Ryan) started having bedtime stories read to her from 1968, whilst in 1976 tear away tennis player Jennifer Maria Capriati rallied for the first time. 

Death wise, poor old Pope Stephen IX got to see about eight months of Popeing before he rolled over in 1058. Second of the ten Sikh Gurus – Guru Angad Dev Ji, didn’t quite script his demise in 1552. Leading light in the Methodist movement and writer of 6,000 hymns, younger brother to John – Charles Wesley didn’t get to hear any of his works at his funeral in 1788. King Gustav III of Sweden left his hair curlers out from 1792. South Pole explorers on the Scott expedition: Henry Robertson Bowers, Edward Adrian Wilson and Sir Robert Falcon Scott were all cold in 1912. Dead Estonian of the day, architect Olev Siinmaa managed to get the dimensions right for his coffin in 1948. Film mogul and flour (though some might say dour) merchant, Joseph Arthur Rank, 1st Baron Rank called it a wrap in 1972. Composer/conductor Annunzio Paolo Mantovani, was dead of Tunbridge Wells in 1980. Eric Eustace Williams, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago death in 1981 reduced the islands population by one. Jeanine Deckers aka ‘The Singing Nun’ found she wasn’t a star in heaven from 1985. Dad to Princess Diana – Edward John ‘Johnnie’ Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer also didn’t have to answer to the title Viscount Althorp from 1992. Actor/animal rights activist William Inge Lindon-Travers or just Bill Travers, was the one dead not two living in 1994. James Harry ‘Jimmy’ McShane, singer with one hit wonder band Baltimora, wasn’t going to be swinging about the stage again after 1995. Dead Norwegian of the day, explorer Helge Marcus Ingstad found his activities somewhat curtailed in 2001. Composer and dad to synth king Jean-Michel, Maurice Jarre was an honorary member of the dead poets society from 2009. Finally, surf board maker and creator of the Hobie Cat catamarans – Hobart Laidlaw ‘Hobie’ Alter wiped out in 2014. 

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 28th March

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 28th March

We start today’s posting with Joseph William Bazalgette the sewage engineer who was mentioned in the other paragraph on 15th March when he died, gets a second mention given he didn’t kick up a stink over his birth in 1819. Eleven time Prime Minister of France – Aristide Briand became quite an activist from 1862. Writer Alexei Maximovich Peshkov who went by the pen name Maxim Gorky came to the conclusion being born in 1868 wasn’t so bad after all. Part of the brewing empire, August Anheuser ‘Gussie’ Busch Jr., barrelled along in 1899. Queen consort of Denmark – Ingrid Victoria Sofia Louisa Margareta was just Ingrid of Sweden in 1910. Actor with the long name, Derek Jules Gaspard Ulric Niven van den Bogaerde who made Dirk Bogarde out of that, found he had an appointment in London back in 1921. First indigenous Australian to become a member of the Australian Parliament, Neville Thomas Bonner filled a casual vacancy in 1922. Long running chat show inquisitor Michael Parkinson, found his voice in 1935. Welsh windbag with the ginger comb-over and a penchant for Brighton Beach, ex-Labour Party leader who went onto join the Euro gravy train, Neil Gordon Kinnock turned out in 1942. Best known for having his hands up both Sooty & Sweep’s bottoms, puppeteer Peter Graham ‘Matthew’ Corbett pulled the strings in 1948. Member of rap group Salt-n-Pepa, Cheryl R. ‘Salt’ James pushed it real good in 1966. Indian born ex-captain of the English cricket team, Nasser Hussain didn’t stump his parents in 1968. Actor Vincent Anthony Vaughn had the dilemma whether to be born today in 1970. Rotund not terribly amusing comedian/film actor, Nicholas John ‘Nick’ Frost found himself the star in 1972. Top weirdo pop sensation and latest Madonna wannabe, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta or Lady GaGa as she’s known to her fans, was cheek to cheek with her mum in 1986. 

As for deaths, Simon de Brion/Pope Martin IV kept his appointment with the reaper in 1285. Continuing the religious theme, second of the ten Sikh Gurus, Guru Angad said his ‘Waheguru’ in 1552. Tsar of all the Russias and Grand Prince of Moscow, Ivan IV Vasilyevich or Ivan the Terrible, or even Ivan the Fearsome wasn’t so scary from 1584. Artist/inventor who contributed to firefighting technology – Jan van der Heyden found the collapse zone in 1712. Person who led the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Battle of Balaclava – Lieutenant General James Thomas Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan didn’t need either items of clothing after 1868. Writer Adeline Virginia Woolf (née Stephen), left a haunted house in 1941. Piano hitter and composer Sergei Vasllievich Rachmaninov was more than A-flat major in 1943. Not content with being a five star general (so not like McDonalds then), Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the Second World War and 34th President of the United States of America, Dwight David ‘Ike’ Eisenhower found he didn’t have to polish his medals from 1969. For the people suffering coulrophobia, they will be pleased to hear Emmet Leo Kelly, aka (and no sniggering please), Weary Willy took his final bow in 1979. Born Maria Augusta Kutschera before going onto become Maria Augusta von Trapp or Baroness von Trapp inspiration for singing film ‘The Sound of Music’ had her ‘So Long, Farewell’ moment in 1987. Also not making it through that year, is Dr. Who actor who was mentioned the other day, Patrick Troughton found he didn’t regenerate. Actor from various Westerns, Robert J. Wilke was the sheriff of sundown 1989. Game show announcer/host, Arthur Simeonovich Efimchick who was known as Art James lost his concentration in 2004. Another person dying that year, noted wit and raconteur Peter Alexander Ustinov hasn’t managed to recount this day. United States Secretary of Defence, Caspar Willard ‘Cap’ Weinberg became a ghost himself in 2006. Dead Norwegian of the day, actress Eva Wenche Steenfeldt Stang who went by the name Wench Foss, lost the life and death battle in 2011. Large framed actor who played everyone’s favourite uncle (Monty), Richard Griffiths has had more than an afternoon off since 2013. Finally original illustrator of Paddington Bear, born Margaret Emily Noel Fortnum but known as Peggy Fortnum munched her last marmalade sarnie in 2016. 

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 27th March

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 27th March

A really, really, ancient King kicks things off today given Robert II of France – King of the Franks (and all other names), began his rule in 972. Lawyer and diplomat who was also Napoleon’s old man – Carlo Maria Buonaparte or Carlo Maria di Buonaparte was the beneficiary of presents from 1746. Sort of King – Louis XVII bestowed himself upon the world in 1785. Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, the person who discovered X-rays and bagged a Nobel Prize for doing so was more than a bag of bones in 1845. Mathematician and biostatistician – Carl/Karl Pearson beat the odds to arrive in 1857. Non-cheating Australian cricketer George Goffen scored his first run about a year after birth in 1859. One half of lottery winners and Saudi princes favourite car makers, Frederick Henry Royce glided out in 1863. Co-writer of the ‘Happy Birthday to You’ song, Patty Smith Hill had to go a good few years from 1868 until she could sing along to her work. Hollywood actor William Harrigan was born reckless in 1894. Actress Gloria May Josephine Swanson best known for playing Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard was born at the end of a perfect day in 1899. Cartoonist Carl Barks remembered to duck in 1901. Fellow actress born Mary Louise Summers but known as Mary Treen was stage struck in 1907. Also born that year, actor from Breakfast at Tiffany’s (amongst others) – Claude Stroud was the rookie. Having mentioned useless British Prime Minister James ‘Jim’ Callaghan only yesterday when he expired, here he is again given he started having early day motions from 1912.  Actress Angelina Mobley, going by the stage name of Angelina Anne Ramsey, known for her role in Throw Momma from the Train was goin’ south in 1929. Star of television series The Fugitive, David Janssen was no longer in hiding from 1930. Actor Michael York might have fallen from Grace (if that was his mum’s name) in 1942. Also born that year Michael James Jackson, not the monkey owning, pill popping spangly gloved singer but beer/whisky writer who shared the same name, had his parents toast his arrival. Founding member and keyboard basher for prog rock and now dad rock band Genesis, Anthony George ‘Tony’ Banks had the invisible touch in 1950. William MacArthur ‘Billy’ Mackenzie had party fears too from 1957. Another musician Andrew Charles Farris was a new sensation in 1959. Film director who shook things up in Hollywood when he burst on the scene all those years ago, Quentin Jerome Tarantino turned the crimson tide in 1963. Petite warbler Mariah Carey was born in either 1969 or 1970, and has kept to the rule of women not telling their age since. Chiselled faced F1 driver David Marshall Coulthard was off the starting grid from 1971. Dutch ball-kicker Jerrel ‘Jimmy’ Floyd Hasselbaink had a free kick in 1972. Not toe sucking ex-royal, but band mate to will.i.am (although I prefer b.ill), Stacey Ann ‘Fergie’ Ferguson was behind the front in 1975. 

Death wise, we start with Rupert of Salzburg who found he had his last waltz in 710. Pope Gregory didn’t get to see who replaced him in 1378. King James VI of Scotland and King James I of England/Ireland found he didn’t have to put his doublets on again from 1625. Architect Sir George Gilbert Scott drew a line on life in 1878. Person who opened the first successful kindergarten – Susan Elizabeth Blow had more than a sudden shock in 1916. Inventor of the flask named after him, Sir James Dewar also went cold in 1923. Revered Prime Minister of New Zealand, Michael Joseph Savage left his wellingtons alone from 1940. Founder of loom/car maker, Kiichiro Toyoda ran out of spare parts in 1952. Russian space cadet Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin lost his battle with gravity in 1968. Having mentioned actor Ralph Bates on 12th February in honour of his birth, here he is again given he wrote his own Dear John letter in 1991. Ferdinand Anton Ernst ‘Ferry’ Porsche, he of the German overpriced car manufacturer, put the breaks on life in 1998. Singer Ian Robins Dury is still on 4,000 weeks holiday after dying in 2000. Unlikely sex thimble and one half of Pete & Dud, (as well as Derek & Clive), Dudley Stuart John Moore hung his boots up in 2002. Also not making it through that year, film director Samuel ‘Billy’ Wilder was one of those who liked it hot, at the crem. Finally, dead Norwegian of the day – actor Per Lillo Stenberg didn’t need his cardigan after 2014. 

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 26th March

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 26th March

First up today is fez (or is it a tarboosh?) wearing, waxed moustached, King Faud I of Egypt and Sudan who was from the Muhammad Ali dynasty and must have managed to get the first punch in in 1868. Founder of Italian fashion house with the overbearing logo, Guccio Gucci bagged the right to be born in 1881. Older bro to Adolf Dassler, (founder of sportswear brand Adidas), Rudolf Dassler – founder of sportswear brand  Puma, hot toed it in 1898. Writer of plays A Street Car Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Thomas Lanier ‘Tennessee’ Williams III had a period of adjustment after birth in 1911. Commander of American troops during the Vietnam War – William Childs Westmoreland kept his middle name from 1914. Singer Rufus C. Thomas Jr., managed to (do the) push and pull successfully in 1917. Support actor to both John Wayne and Paul Newman, Strother Douglas Maher nearly strode into the scene in 1919. Sci-fi (yawn) actor with the odd look and ears, Leonard Simon Nimoy boldly went where millions have been before when he was born in 1931. Singer Diana Ernestine Earle Ross (minus her Supremes), found baby love in 1944. Rubber lipped frontman to Aerosmith and Mick Jagger pretender, Steven Victor Tallarico or as he’s better known Steve Tyler, pumped his way through in 1948. Singer Theodore DeReese ‘Teddy’ Pendergrass found the gift of life in 1950. Founder of organisation with people walking up and down subway trains whilst dressed in red with excessive badges, Curtis Silwa had his guardian angel overlooking him in 1954. Actress from both Dirty Dancing and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – Jennifer Grey found the wind rises from 1960. Fan of baseball caps with his name emblazoned across it, ex-Leader of the House of Commons and First Secretary of State, (to name but two positions), William Jefferson Hague had the comparative advantage in 1961. Ex-member of The Communards who’s now a vicar – not very good dancer Richard Coles was a small town boy in 1962. Co-founder of data gathering behemoth that is Google, Laurence Edward ‘Larry’ Page got his logarithms right in 1973. Australian football (soccer) player with the unfortunate first name – Ufuk Talay, was the inside forward in 1976. Actress Keira Christina Knightley bent it like Beckham in 1985. 

Dead Norwegian of the day, Sigurd I Magnusson/Sigurd the Conqueror, King of Norway heads the deaths paragraph given he conquered death in 1130. Not to be outdone, Sancho I, King of Portugal left his towel on the sun lounger for the last time in 1212. Non-inventor of the guillotine ( and death penalty opposer), Dr Joseph-Ignace Guillotine spliced out of life in 1814. Composer Ludwig van Beethoven failed to get an encore in 1827. Patriarch to the Barrymore acting dynasty, Herbert Arthur Chamerlayne Blythe or Maurice Barrymore corpsed in 1905. Winner of the first modern day Olympic marathon – Spiridon Spyros Louie touched the tape permanently in 1940. Scandal ridden Liberal Prime Minister of Great Britain, David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor was dispatched in 1945. Inventor of wax paper – Marjorie Colton took on the waxed look in 1962. Noted wit and actor (among other things), Sir Noël Peirce Coward found he went to a magnificent party in 1973. Spying art historian for the red team, Sir Anthony Frederick Blunt had his final assignment at the crematorium in 1983. One half of computer hardware company Hewlett-Packard, David Packard suffered a catastrophic failure in 1996. William Jan Berry, opposite half to Dean Ormsby Torrance, found dead man’s curve in 2004. Useless ex-British Prime Minister Leonard James ‘Jim’ Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff thankfully rolled over in 2005. Also not making it through that year, drummer with Split Endz/Crowded House Paul Newell Hester wasn’t locked out. Leader of the Colombian communist guerrilla movement FARC – EP, Pedro Antonio Marín Marín or to give him his other name – Manuel Marulanda Vélez found the struggle was over in 2008. Indian actress who found time to feature in more than 2500 films, Sukumari saw the credits role for the last time in 2013. Finally, not the spoon playing, tank top and sandal wearing tree officer I once worked with but novelist and poet James ‘Jim’ Harrison found a good day to die in 2016. 

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 25th March

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 25th March

Today’s posting begins with Arnošt of Pardubic, Archbishop of Prague who must have consulted the astronomical clock before being born in 1297. Not the toga wearing grape munching Roman emperor, but Surrey cricketer – Julius Caesar bowled out in 1830. Sculptor responsible for Mount Rushmore, (who was mentioned a couple of weeks ago in the deaths paragraph), John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum began to carve out a living from 1867. Best known for playing undertaker/Private Fraser in classic BBC sit-com Dad’s Army, John Paton Laurie was a happy go lovely baby in 1897. One of sixteen (!) children, actress Gertrude Maud Barnes who went onto be known as Binnie Barnes didn’t quite arrive out of the blue in 1903. Serial marrier and film director David Lean had great expectations from 1908. Assassin of assassin of Lee Harvey Oswald, Jacob Leonard Rubenstein or Jack Leon Ruby sparked into life back in 1911. Second Dr. Who and first actor to prance about in green tights as Robin Hood on television, Patrick George ‘Pat’ Troughton didn’t get to travel back in time once born in 1920. Co-founder of modelling agency – Eileen Cecile Ford started getting used to having her photo taken from 1922. Son of founder of Tetra Pak – Hans Rausing hasn’t peaked even though he’s 93. Founder of Domino’s Pizza, Thomas Stephen ‘Tom’ Monaghan didn’t keep anyone waiting in 1937. Soul singer Aretha Louise Franklin got some respect when born in 1942. Also making his debut that year, bald headed oddball transgender writer of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and ex-presenter of The Crystal Maze, Richard O’Brien. Not to be outdone by these two, controversial television personality Patricia Mary McKenzie, also known as Kim Woodall had a clean delivery. A year later in 1943, non-singing, non-box crusher Paul (Manfred) Michael Glaser crashed through. Latter day Liberace and hair weave fan Reginald Kenneth Dwight, or ivory tinkler from Pinner, Middlesex – Elton Hercules John struck the right chord in 1947. Journo/television presenter and other half to John Stapleton – Lynn Faulds Wood has been campaigning to forget her birthday since 1948. Band mate of St. Vitus’ dance sufferer Bobby Farrell in Boney M, Maisie Ursula Williams, had a cool dad in 1951. Child actor known for his role in Mary Poppins – Matthew Adam Garber took his mum back to one in 1956. Long faced actress Sarah Jessica Parker must have been full of glee at being born in 1965. Blind guitarist/singer mentioned on 2nd March when he died, Norman Jeffrey ‘Jeff’ Healey slid through in 1966. Songwriter and winner of five Ivor Novello awards, Catherine Roseanne ‘Cathy’ Dennis scored her first number one in 1969. Another singer/songwriter (minus the gongs) – Melanie Ruth Blatt has been rock steady since 1975. Rapper Terius Grey has been a juvenile since 1977. 

Deaths include not quite Pope, Pope-elect Stephen II must have put the smoke makers at the Vatican in a quandary given he went up in smoke himself in 752. Afonso II, King of Portugal found things a bit chillier in a box from 1223. Camp looking long curly haired Frederick I of Sweden, was even more powerless from 1751. Pioneer of hypnotism, James Braid found himself under a very deep sleep from 1860. Composer Claude-Achille Debussy must have been less than impressed with his predicament in 1918. Baseball player Edward Trowbridge ‘Eddie’ Collins Snr., wasn’t so cocky after 1951. Hard drinking actor known for his role in Long John Silver, Robert Newton got to find out whether dead men are dangerous from 1956. Band leader and entertainer William Edward ‘Billy’ Cotton certainly didn’t respond to ‘Wakey Wakey’ from 1969. Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudia Arabia didn’t have to worry which Rolls Royce to take out from this day in 1975. BBC newsreader and commentator on the Oxford/ Cambridge boat race – John Derrick Mourdant Snagge has been OOV (out of view) since 1996. Test pilot and first one to fly supersonic plane Concorde, Brian Trubshaw went sub-sonic in 2001. World Cup commentator, Kenneth Wolstenholme found it really was all over in 2002. Dead Norwegian of the day, actor Pål Bang-Hansen gave his best dying performance in 2010. Person who invented the kicktail, (the upwards bit at the back of a skateboard) – Richard Laurence ‘Larry’ Stephenson wasn’t a fakie when he died in 2012. Finally, Indian actress Nanda made sure she didn’t receive any further calls from her agent after 2014. 

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 24th March

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 24th March

Today’s posting begins with Queen of Denmark and Norway, Sophie Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg initially masqueraded in 1628. Inventor of the marine chronometer, John Harrison got his bearings in 1693. Possible discoverer of oxygen and confirmed inventor of soda water – Joseph Priestley was a bubbly child from 1733. Born Erik Weisz, later to become known as Ehrich Weiss, then Harry Weiss before settling on Harry Houdini found things a bit slippery in 1874. Scandal ridden silent film star, Roscoe Conkling ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle was camping out in 1877. Co-creator of Mickey Mouse – Ubbe Eert ‘Ub’ Iwerks saw things in 3D from 1901. One half of notorious crime duo Bonnie & Clyde, Clyde Chestnut Barrow aka Clyde Champion Barrow was on the run (from his parents) a year or so after birth in 1909. Comedian Thomas Edward ‘Tommy’ Trinder was also born that year, you lucky people. Actor Nicholas Peter ‘Richard’ Conte was full of life in 1910. Having mentioned William Hanna’s demise a couple of days ago, here’s his mate Joseph Roland ‘Joe’ Barbera who started clowning around in 1911. Actor of stage, screen and television, Murray Hamilton headed toward the unknown in 1923. Iconic actor Terence Steven ‘Steve’ McQueen was a bullitt baby in 1930. Cookbook writer and television presenter Mary Berry rose to the occasion in 1935. Controversial historian David John Cawdell Irving has been unable to deny his birthday from 1938. Ex-flogger of car aerials and second rate computers who now has a group of grown ups reciting, ‘Morning Lord Sugar’ like school children every morning, Alan Michael Sugar was the apprentice in 1947. Singer/songwriter Nicholas Drain ‘Nick’ Lowe has been a party of one since 1949. American fashion designer who looks like camp English entertainer Larry Grayson – Thomas Jacob ‘Tommy’ Hilfiger had his first cut and sew moment in 1951. Transvestite artist/potter and biker, Grayson Perry/Claire (depending which day it is), hopefully won’t ruin his frock when eating cake in celebration of his 59th birthday. Also born in 1960, rather haggard looking actress Kelly Le Brock and German one hit wonder, Gabriele Susanne Kerner or Nena, was an old school baby. Cricketing mate (and drinking partner) of Merv Hughes, Dean(o) Jones had the right approach in 1961. Having mentioned one of her sisters when it was her birthday, it seems only right to give a shout out to band mate and sibling, Sharon Helga Corr started screeching in 1970. Known for her roles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, How I Met Your Mother and the American Pie films, Alyson Hannigan was a rug rat in 1974. 

As for deaths, we see Tommaso Parentucelli or Pope Nicholas V put his Papal ring down in 1455. Rotten toothed Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland, vacated the throne in 1603, much to the relief of James I. Having mentioned John Harrison, above, here he is again given he’s a member of the exclusive club of those who died on their birthday, with him departing in 1776. Writer with an expensive restaurant in the Eiffel Tower, Jules Gabriel Verne didn’t have to refill his ink well after 1905. Queen consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions along with being Empress consort of India, Mary of Teck found her head a bit lighter without the tiara from 1953. Sometime Reigate resident (in a bunker on the hill), two badged Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery retreated in 1976. Actor Shalom ‘Sam’ Jaffe found nothing lasts forever in 1984. Co-founder of computer company bearing his name – An Wang underscored his life in 1990. Singer Harold Melvin didn’t get to hang on in there from 1997. Hoax golfer Maurice Flitcroft had the ultimate handicap in 2007. Having mentioned champion darts player John Thomas ‘Jockey’ Wilson a couple of days ago, here he is again given it was game over in 2012. Finally, odd looking comedian Garry Emmanuel Shandling left the hurlyburly behind in 2016. Also not making it through that year, creator and narrator of The Waltons – Earl Henry Hamner Jr saw the light go out for the last time. 

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 23rd March

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 23rd March

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. First 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 84 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. American Journo for radio and television – Joseph Christopher Glenn didn’t edit his birthdate from 1938. Screenwriter Alan Bleasdale started his back story in 1946. 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. One of the Brexiteer’s foes – 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. Ex-model who’s image was portrayed on the side of the Houses of Parliament – Gale Porter took her first steps about nine months after today in 1971. 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, King of Castile and León – Pedro (Peter) the Cruel wished he hadn’t bumped into King Henry back in 1369. 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. Actor David Early left it somewhat late to die at 74 in 2013. Finally, founding father and first Prime Minister of Singapore – Lee Kwan Yew (aka LKY) ended up in a shroud rather than a sling in 2015.

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 22nd March

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 22nd March

Births today start with Queen Consort of Sweden and Norway – Hedwig Elisabeth Charlotte of Holstein-Gottorp noted her birthdate in 1759. King of Prussia and first German emperor – William Frederick Louis of Hohenzollern probably got his first medal in 1797. President of the French Republic, Joseph Athanase Gaston Paul Doumer, who dropped the first three names to be known as Paul Doumer, smelt the garlic from 1857. Oldest sibling of the Marx Brothers, Leonard Marx found it was ‘Chico’ time in 1887. Actor who preceded George Michael by a few decades for his ‘leisure’ activities, Henry Wilfred Brambell was as happy as Larry being born in 1912. Also arriving that year, fellow actor Mladen George Sekulovich, or Karl Malden, found he had no time limit during birth. Probably the most famous person with a white face and black makeup, Marvel Mangel or Marcel Marceau certainly made some noise and wild gesticulations in 1923. Announcer for David Letterman on his nightly show, William Joseph Wenzel Jr., or Bill Wendell had to tell the truth about his birth in 1924. 

Also arriving that year, founder of newspaper USA Today – Allen Harold “Al” Neuharth had his eureka moment. Composer/lyricist Stephen Joseph Sondheim merrily rolled along in 1930. Author Lesley Thomas had his arrival in 1931 and his departure in 2014. Also born that year, actor best known for playing Captain James T. Kirk in sci-fi series Star Trek along with his poor singing, William ‘Bill’ Shatner started going boldly about his business. Whistling folk singer (could there be anything worse?), Roger Whittaker entered the new world in the morning back in 1936. Composer Angelo Badalamenti really was naked in New York this day back in 1937. Singer/songwriter George Benson found the shape of things to come in 1943. Another singer, this one with the Yardbirds – William Keith Relf was over under sideways down. A few years later in 1948, funny faced composer Andrew Lloyd Webber found it’s his time. BBC journo best known for his coverage of the Falklands War, Brian Hanrahan’s mum counted all the contractions out and counted them all back in 1949. Toothless darts champion John Thomas ‘Jocky’ Wilson bounced out in 1950. Singer Peter James ‘Pete’ Wylie thought he’d better scream in 1958. Singer with synth-pop band The Human League, born Susan Ann Sulley before going onto be known as Susanne Sulley and Susan Ann Gayle, has managed to keep the fascination since 1963. Chiselled faced mountain shirking cyclist in gaudy Lycra outfits, Mario Cipollini wasn’t a climber in 1967 either. Swedish one hit wonder (Jon Erik) Andreas Johnson staged his escape in 1970. Fellow singer Beverley Knight has been the prodigal sista since 1973. Actress Laura Jeanne Reece Witherspoon had an overnight delivery in 1976. 

Deaths are very thin on the ground today, but we do start way back in 1471 with George of Kunštát and Podêbrady King of Bohemia who’s been a free spirit since then. Mutton chopped writer of Tom Brown’s School Days, Thomas Hughes came to the last page of his life in 1896. Pioneering brain surgeon Sir William Macewen mapped out his funeral in 1924. Third husband (of seven), of Elizabeth Taylor – theatre/film producer born Avrom Hirsch Goldbogen, died as Michael ‘Mike’ Todd in 1958. Creator of Woody Woodpecker, animator Walter Benjamin Lantz has been tapping on his coffin since 1994. BBC newsreader prone to slurring his words due to the ‘medication’ he was taking – Peter Woods had his outro moment in 1995. One half of classic cartoon duo, William Denby ‘Bill’ Hanna was speechless from 2001. Founder of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Ismail Hassan Yassin was taken out permanently in 2004. Controversial reality television personality Jade Cerisa Lorraine Goody didn’t get to show her ‘kebab’ again after 2009. Actress and (another) ex-wife to Errol Flynn, Patrice Wymore Flynn saw the curtain come down in 2014. Canadian Mayor of Toronto who liked a line or two of the Colombian marching powder, Robert Bruce ‘Rob’ Ford lost his chain of office in 2016. Finally, jazz singer/actress born Maria Grazia Morgana Messina, but went by the name Morgana King has been stretchin’ out since 2018.