Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 30th November

People who have/will be ripping open their presents on this St. Andrew’s Day, include, among others: Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland – Casimir IV Andrew Jagiellon didn’t get to see the fire breathing Wawel dragon given he arrived in 1427. Essayist responsible for Gullivers Travels – Jonathan Swift didn’t think about ‘When I become old’ in 1667. Old royal Norwegian of the week – Christian VI of Denmark & Norway, wasn’t anonymous to his parents from 1699. Keeping with the royal theme, Princess of Wales – not media manipulator and fan of the camera when it suited her, but Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, took to her cot in 1719. Rifle maker Oliver Fisher Winchester didn’t suffer a blow back in 1810. 95th Archbishop of Canterbury, (the one with the excessive sideburns), Frederick Temple started preaching his ways from 1821. Samuel Langhorne Clemens who went by the pen name Mark Twain, began his own adventures in 1835. Founder of high end Canadian jewellery store bearing his name – Henry Birks was a sparkle in his parents eyes from 1840. Sixth President of Brazil, Afonso Augusto Moreira Pena may have been the first to die in office, but he certainly wasn’t born in it back in 1847. One of the best ever Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom who also had a decent sense of humour, Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill started sorting things out from 1874. Actor known for his roles in the Carry On franchise, born George Frederick Joffre Hartree but known as Charles Hawtrey found boys will be boys from 1914. Sidekick to Danny Kaye – Virginia Clara Jones, or as she was also known Virginia Mayo, wasn’t up in arms about being born in 1920. Having mentioned Allan Sherman, (born Allen Copelon), a mere ten days ago when he stopped breathing, here he is again given he was a novelty act to his parents in 1924. Film director we have to thank for the first three Rambo films, (among others), Richard Donald Crenna wasn’t marooned in 1926. Proper Norwegian of the day – Prime Minister Odvar Nordli put his mum through labour in 1927. Co-founder of Sesame Street – Joan Ganz Cooley was a real ticklebug 1929. Easy listening singer Francis Edward ‘Frank’ Ifield started having his mum say, ‘Good morning, dear’ from 1937. Also born that year, older bro to Tony – Ridley Scott was one of the duellists. June Pointer who funnily enough joined family group The Pointer Sisters, (it must have been a cold day when they came up with that name), was so excited at being born in 1953. Punk singer with the distinctly un-punk name of William Michael Albert Broad, now known for his leather jacket, bleached hair and sneer – Billy Idol had a nurse catch his fall in 1955. Television host Lorraine Kelly had an early start in 1959. Ex-tax dodging crisp seller who whittles on about the off side rule and various other dull football, (soccer to my American followers), terms along with his skewed views on things he knows little about, Gary Winston Lineker had his hospital pass in 1960. Benjamin Edward Meara ‘Ben’ Stiller got to meet the parents in 1965. Late starter in the comedy stakes, John Joseph Bishop has been in a league of his own since 1966. Another Tour de France cyclist implicated in a doping scandal, Laurent Jalabert wasn’t a climber in 1968. Also born in 1968, singer Desirée Annette Weeks who’s better known as Des’ree was a little child. Actress born Kaley Christine Cuoco, (with Sweeting now tacked on it), was one of the bratz in 1985. Model  Christine Diane ‘Chrissy’ Teigen found the tear sheet in 1985. Third Norwegian of the day is chess grandmaster Sven Magnus Øen Carlsen took the critical position in 1990. 

As for deaths, Edmund Ironside, (minus the wheelchair), who also went by the name Edmund II handed the baton, or rather sword to Cnut, (you read it right), the Great in 1016. King Charles XII of Sweden lost the ermine in 1718. Optician John Dolland, (who’s chain is still going under the guise of Dolland & Aitchison), didn’t get to see anything after 1761. Pope Pius VIII gave up pontificating in 1830. Noted Irish wit mentioned on 16th October when he started out in life, Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde found his saying, ‘Nothing is so aggravating as calmness’ come true in 1900. Aviatrix Hélène Boucher levelled out in 1934. Next up is Paul Masson, not the person responsible for un-drinkable wine, but cyclist who scooped a few medals throughout his career found his stabilisers taken away from him in 1945. British dramatist Sir Terence Mervyn Rattigan failed the final test in 1977. Given I mentioned his brother the other day, here’s Herbert Manfred ‘Zeppo’ Marx who ‘went to the disco’ permanently in 1979. Also not making it through that year, British actress and national treasure – Joyce Irene Grenfell, (née Phipps), didn’t have the happiest day of her life. Novelist James Arthur Baldwin was going to meet the man in 1987. Herbert Khaury or dyed curly haired singer with the ukulele, Tiny Tim didn’t tip toe through the tulips again as he started pushing up the daises from 1996. Stunt rider Robert Craig ‘Evel’ Knievel failed to jump let alone get up again after 2007. 12th Prime Minister of India, Inder Kumar Gujral would have made his 93rd birthday if he hadn’t have keeled over five days before it in 2012. Actor Paul William Walker IV went two feet deeper given he went eight below in 2013. Finally, Vice President and then 41st occupant of The White House – George H(erbert) W(alker) Bush didn’t have a super Friday in 2018.

With thanks to http://www.onthisday.com for filling in the gaps

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 29th November

Today’s posting begins with revolutionary Isamlist, Syed Ahmed Barelvi who was well ahead of the game before the likes of al-Qaeda and IS/Daesh came along, as he managed to force his way through in 1786. Person who came up with the thermionic valve or the vacuum tube diode, designer of the radio transmitter, who also established the right hand rule in physics – John Ambrose Fleming was probably left handed from 1849. Inventor of the seaplane, Henri Fabre’s dad no doubt wet the baby’s head in 1882. Writer Clive Staples (C.S.) Lewis was beyond the bright blur after birth in 1898. Indian version of Charlie Chaplin, (so not amusing at all then), Nagercoil Sudalaimuthu Krishnan or Kalaivanar who was also known as NSK at least made his family smile from 1908. Doting mum to sometime bread salesman and mussitating actor Sylvester, Jacqueline Frances ‘Jackie’ Stallone, (née Labofish), obviously knew the stars were out in 1921. Two disgraced politicians, (yes, really!), also share today as their birthday – first up is Tesco queen and former Mayor of Westminster, (London), who disappeared to Israel when things went wrong, Shirley Porter, (née Cohen), would like to think she started to serve the public in 1930. Next up, having started life in 1932, Jacques René Chirac climbed the greasy pole of politics firstly as Mayor of Paris, then Prime Minister of France before getting the keys to the Élysée Palace and then promptly slid back down it in 2011 when found guilty of diverting public funds and abusing public confidence. Singer John Mayall didn’t have the blues being born in 1933. Unamusing comedian Garry Emmanuel Shandling took part in his first tonight show in 1949. English Rugby Union player – William Henry ‘Dusty’ Hare was up and under in 1952. Film director Joel David Cohen, (no relation to Shirl above), but older bro to Ethan, had a low angle shot in 1954 – while in 1968 Jonathan Rashleigh Knight became a new kid on the block. Welsh ball kicker Ryan Joseph Giggs, hopefully won’t issue an injunction against me informing you he was born in 1973. Gay, vegan, teetotal comedian, (so he’s got a lot going for him), Simon Amstell started visiting grandmas house from 1979.

As for deaths, Pope Clement IV released his grip on the rosary beads from 1268. King Philip IV of France nicknamed ‘the Fair’ and ‘the Iron King’ was set in stone back in 1314 . Another ‘rum and coke’ Thomas Wolsey dissolved himself a few months after annoying Henry VIII in 1530. Queen Maria Theresa of Austria managed to relax her facial muscles in 1780. Whispy haired founder and editor of the New York Tribune – Horace Greeley found his circulation stopped in 1872. Opera writer Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini had his own death scene, (minus the woman singing), in 1924. Composer/arranger for both Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, Carl W. Stalling thought, ‘how dry I am’ in 1972. Dad to F1 champ, two time F1 champ – Norman Graham Hill ran out of juice in 1975. Archibald Alexander Leach or as we know him Carey Grant, made sure he didn’t get any further work from 1986. Character actress in over 100 films, Irene Handl was more dead than in sickness and in health back in 1987. Chairman of Indian conglomerate Tata, Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy (J.R.D.) Tata got to say, ‘Goodbye’ in 1993. Professional wrestler Martin Austin Ruane or as the old biddies sat ringside knew him – Giant Haystacks found the burial come to haunt him in 1998. One fourth of The Beatles who went on to be part of short lived supergroup The Travelling Wilburys, George Harrison came to the end of his particular road in 2001. Allen Carr, not the toothy and speccy camp comedian but anti smoking campaigner rather ironically went up in smoke back in 2006. Architect of the Sydney Opera House, Jørn Oberg Utzon entered the barrel vault in 2008. Dead Belgian of the day – Prince Alexandre Emmanuel Henri Albert Marie Léopold stopped appearing on the balcony from 2009. Industrial designer responsible for updating the View-Master, Charles ‘Chuck’ Harrison, failed to see his demise in 2018. Finally, songwriter Irving Louis Burgie aka Lord Burgess didn’t get to see another Day O after 2019.  

With thanks to http://www.onthisday.com for filling in the gaps.

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 28th November

Today we see the births of the following: Queen Consort of Scotland, Margaret Tudor started off life in The Palace of Westminster/Houses of Parliament back in 1489. Inventor of forceps – Jan Palfijn had an early interest in obstetrics given he was born in 1650. Sophie Magdalene Brandenburg- Kulmbach, queen consort of Denmark and Norway was no longer a baby in waiting after birth in 1700. Poet William Blake had foot out in 1757. Having mentioned King Alfonso XII of Spain a mere three days ago when he died, here he is again given he wasn’t too sure who his dad was from 1857. Near Academy award winner, Lilia Skala, (née Sofer), nominated today to be her birthday in 1896. One of the famous, (or is it infamous?), Mitford Sisters – Nancy Freeman-Mitford started her life story in 1904. President of Argentina, Arturo Frondizi Ercoli sashayed his way through in 1908. Founder of the Motown record label Berry Gordy Jr., mastered the birth thing in 1929. Masahito, Prince Hitachi, (who’s nothing to do with the electronics company), but part of the Japanese royal family started off with a Nintendo game name – Prince Yoshi in 1935. Democratic contender for President of the United States of America back in 1988, (until his affair with Donna Rice became public), Gary Warren Hartpence who then dropped the pence to become Hart, was in front, (for once), in 1936. Singer with The Foundations – Curtis Clements but known as Clem Curtis, (see what he did there?!) was born to live, born to die, in 1940. Upmarket shoe designer Manuel “Manolo” Blahnik Rodríguez hoofed it in 1942. Singer/songwriter Randall Stuart ‘Randy’ Newman had his awakening in 1943. 80’s/90’s Olympic athlete who now makes a living laughing into television cameras, Keize Uchechukwu Duru Akabusi or Kris Akabusi didn’t have a false start in 1958. Also born that year, pop singer who went on to flip burgers  – David Paul Day or David Van Day found birth is nature’s way. Cyclist with nearly my old bosses name – Stephen Roche had a quick release in 1959. Ex-head of Dior before launching his own label, who liked a drink while slagging off different religions and nationalities – John Charles Galliano was a crinkled baby in 1960. Actor with the big ears and distinctive face, Alexander Martin Clunes was a baby behaving badly in 1961. Responsible for creating Alan Partridge, (among others), Armando Iannucci was in the thick of it back in 1963. Gerontophile, Playboy model and prescription medication addict, Vickie Lynn Hogan but known to everyone as Anna Nicole Smith made it to the limit in 1967. First Norwegian to feature today, long haired member of metal band Darkthrone, Gylve Fenris Nagell, who goes by the name Fenriz, shouted his way out in 1971. Bandmate to Will.i.am, (b.ill), in the Black Eyed Peas – Allan Pineda Lindo, who goes by the snappy moniker, apl.ap.de, found it was the beginning in 1974. Second Norwegian is black metal band member Sigurd Wongraven or Satyr began life in white, (nappies/diapers), 44 years ago.

It’s another quiet day on the deaths front, yet we start with Pope Gregory III who assumed the prone position in 741. Having mentioned founder and fellow president of Harvard College the other day, here we see unpopular president of the same establishment – Leonard Hoar learnt about death in 1675. King of Burma, Naungdawyi died of King’s evil in 1763. Short story writer Washington Irving has done his own Rip Van Winkle impression since 1859. Inventor of basketball James Naismith didn’t get up, (or down), after 1939. Politician and founder of tennis prize the Davis Cup, Dwight Filley Davis Sr., had his final stroke in 1945. Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands relinquished the throne in favour of Juliania back in 1962. Another queen, this one of children’s tales, Enid Mary Blyton didn’t get to go on any further adventures from 1968. Actor known for his roles in the Carry On film franchise – Kenneth Connor was unable to say, ‘Don’t say die’ in 1993. Serial killer of at least 17 people Jeffrey Dahmer got a taste of his own medicine in 1994. Also not making it through that year, Great Train Robber/flower seller, Ronald Christopher ‘Buster’ Edwards had the left over flowers used at his funeral. Finally, comedy actor Leslie William Nielsen was repossessed in 2010.

With thanks to http://www.onthisday.com for filling in the gaps.

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 27th November


Births today include, among others, 11th Emperor of the Song Dynasty – born Zhao Shen, before taking the title Emperor Xiaozong didn’t have to suffer people singing, ‘Happy Birthday’ to him from 1127.  Shimazu Tadatsune ruler of Satsuma who was a bit wrinkly when born in 1576. Competitor to Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit on the temperature scale, Anders Celsius didn’t overheat upon his arrival in 1701, (or was it the other way round?) Founding father of the United States – Robert Robert Livingston‘s parents were quite inventive with his name in 1746. First President of Israel, Chaim Weizmann prayed for the day in 1874. Founder of Panasonic, Kōnosuke Matsushita tuned in for the first time in 1894. Also born that year, founder of nutritional company bearing his surname – Forrest Clell Shaklee started feeding. Norwegian of the day, chemist and Nobel laureate Lars Onsager started experiencing the wave function from 1903. Newsreader/ broadcaster Robert Dougall started twitching in 1913. Robert Emil Schmidt, also known as Buffalo Bob Smith the faux cowboy with his hand up a puppets bottom whilst hosting ‘Howdy Doody’, started to make his presence known from 1917. Also born that year, seizing control was corporate raider and CE of Lonhro – Roland ‘Tiny’ Rowland. Harry ‘Buster’ Merryfield or Uncle Albert in classic BBC sitcom ‘Only Fools and Horses’, sailed through in 1920. Other half to Eric Morecombe, straightman Ernest Wiseman who managed to abbreviate that to Ernie Wise, couldn’t see the join in 1925. British television producer mentioned five days ago in the second paragraph – Verity Ann Lambert was born between the wars, in 1935 to be precise. Actor mentioned last week in the second paragraph – Rodney Bewes found the prize of arms in 1937. Darts commentator Anthony Julian ‘Tony’ Green bounced out in 1939. Star of various martial art films Lee Jun-fan or Bruce Lee, had the right stance in 1940. Also born that year, actor John Alderton was more downstairs than upstairs. Critically acclaimed, (somehow), guitarist and singer, who shacked up in George Frederic Handel’s pad in London, Johnny Allen Hendrix or as his A&R man knew him – James Marshall ‘Jimi’ Hendrix, amplified the noise in 1942. Australian crim Arthur Stanley ‘Neddy’ Smith freed himself in 1944, but has been banged up since 1989. Alternative comedian Brian Arthur John Smith was a grumpy young baby in 1954. Actress Patricia McPherson was part of the new generation in 1954. Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko who was Prime Minister of Ukraine – before being sent down for embezzlement and abuse of power, (a politician doing this? Surely not!), came through in 1960. Given we’ve had King, Queen and Prince in the charts we also saw Princess, (or rather Desirez Heslop),  arrive in 1961. Actress and ex-Mrs Mike Tyson, Robin Simone Givens had a face to die for according to her parents in 1964. One half of parent killing brothers, Erik Galen Menéndez was actually grateful to his mum in 1970. English rapper Michael Geoffrey ‘Mike’ Skinner aka ‘The Streets’ thought, ‘let’s push things forward’ in 1978. Not wanting to be left out fellow English rapper Stephen Paul Manderson or ‘Professor Green’, joined in back in 1983.

Death wise, first King of the Franks – Clovis I stopped redrawing the map in 511. Inventor of the threshing machine Andrew Miekle probably thrashed about a bit in 1811. Geologist and palaeontologist Jean Albert Gaudry not only got to get a close up view of earth, but he also started fossilising in 1908. Co-founder of the Guinness Book of Records, Alan Ross McWhirter didn’t set any records given he was 50 when assassinated in 1975. Subject of 2008 film, Harvey Milk went sour in 1978. Classic radio DJ Alan Leslie ‘Fluff’ Freeman wasn’t ‘alright’ after 2006. Creator of sports drink Gatorade – James Robert Cade was more than dehydrated in 2007. Also expiring that year, actor born William Hendrickson Moor III before going onto be known as Bill Moore found he entered another world. Seventh Prime Minister of India Vishwanath Pratap Singh was very honest about his death in 2008. Film director Henry Kenneth Alfred ‘Ken’ Russell joined the devils in 2011. Bodie, (or was it Doyle?) from The Professionals, Lewis Collins didn’t get to crash through any more cardboard boxes given he was carried in a pine one back in 2013. Crime writer Phyllis Dorothy (P.D.) James, Baroness James of Holland Park came to the end of her particular chapter in 2014. Finally, marine biologist/animator responsible for bringing SpongeBob SquarePants to life – Stephen McDannell Hillenburg had closure in 2018. 

With thanks to http://www.onthisday.com for filling in the gaps

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 26th November

Today’s posting begins with clergyman and founder of American university named in his honour, John Harvard had a pushy mum in 1607. Continuing the Harvard theme, first president of the university – Henry Dunster wasn’t to be outdone given he arrived in 1609. Getting her second mention within a week – Maud Charlotte Mary Victoria of Wales and Queen Consort of Norway got her minions to deliver her in 1869. Inventor of modern day air conditioning, Willis Haviland Carrier didn’t break into a sweat when born in 1876. Given I mentioned his co-founder Bob Smith when he dried up, here we have other half of Alcoholics Anonymous founding team, William Griffith Wilson/Bill Wilson/Bill W had a sobering birth in 1895. Co-founder of fast food restaurant with the clown and golden arches, not to mention being the bain of every street sweeper around the globe, Maurice James ‘Mac’ McDonald didn’t hang about in 1902. Hotelier Charles Carmine Forte had his first service in 1908. Actor and dad to both Sinéad and Niamh, (among other children), Cyril James Cusack had the cry of the innocent in 1910. Part Norwegian of the day, creator of Peanuts/Charlie Brown, Charles Monroe Schultz didn’t draw out his birth in 1922. Stalwart of dull soap opera Coronation Street – Patricia ‘Pat’ Phoenix rose up from 1923. Ernest Arthur ‘Ernie’ Coombs or as he became known, ‘Mr Dressup’, dressed down after being delivered in 1927. Co-founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company – John Bernard Adie Barton had his twelfth night on 7th December in 1928. Small clothes wearer with the big hair, Anna Mae Bullock, ex-Mrs Ike Turner or Tina Turner showed some respect in 1939. Dad to macrobiotic fan Gwyneth, Bruce Weigert Paltrow was produced in 1943. Replacement singer to Diana Ross in The Supremes, Jean Terrell had high energy in 1944. Bass player in bickering band, Fleetwood Mac – John Graham ‘Mac’ McVie was able to squash the rumours over his birthdate in 1945. ‘Adult’ actress who started shafting people in a different way when she became a politician – Ilona Staller who also goes by the name Cicciolina was a bit of a show off from birth in 1951. Son of left wing British MP Tony, (the one with a girls name and round glasses), Hilary Benn made his maiden speech a year or so after 1953. Controversial British Labour MP who slipped from grace somewhat after his alleged party with cocaine and male escorts, Nigel Keith Anthony Standish Vaz solicited his views from 1956. Australian comedian David Williams ‘Hughsey’ Hughes, deadpanned it after birth in 1970. Ivan Basso another alleged doped up cyclist had his first individual time trial in 1977. Singer/songwriter Natasha Anne Bedingfield was a pocketful of sunshine to her parents in 1981. Lesser known co-founder of Faceache/book – Christopher ‘Chris’ Hughes made the right impression in 1983. Son to Princess Stéphanie of Monaco and her ex-bodyguard/husband – Louis Robert Paul Ducruet gambled on arriving in 1992. 

As for deaths, these are very thin on the ground today, but Pope Siricius kicks things off given he left the balcony vacant from 399. Not wanting to be outdone, Arch Bish of Canterbury – Edmund of Abingdon finished up in…. Burgundy back in 1240. Queen of Castile, Isabella I had her last expedition, to the Royal Chapel of Granada in 1504. Road builder who invented macadamisation, John McAdam came to the end of his road in 1836. Firearms designer John Moses Browning discharged himself in 1926. Mum to Walt and Roy, Flora Call Disney wasn’t so animated after 1938. Chiricahua Apache actor Dehl Berti was no longer the toughest man alive after 1991. Creator of I-Spy books, Charles Warrell failed to spy his coffin in 1995. One time Goon, Michael Bentine – born Michael James Bentin became one of golden silents in 1996. Founder of donut chain bearing his name and CEO of Denny’s restaurants – Verne Hedges Winchell had his own takeaway, (by the undertakers), in 2002. Proper gangster Francis Davidson ‘Mad Frankie’ Fraser has been a lot more mellow since 2014. Film director and screen writer Bernardo Bertolucci was no longer the conformist from 2018. Finally, spiky haired celebrity chef Gary Rhodes started to reduce in 2019. 

With thanks to http://www.onthisday.com for filling in the gaps.

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 25th November

We start today’s posting with violin maker Giuseppe Giovanni Battista Guarneri who cased the joint after his birth in 1666. Composer of music to Stille Nacht, (Silent Night) – Frank Xaver Gruber gave his parents anything but from 1787. Andrew Carnegie started off life in a weaver’s cottage in Dunfermline back in 1835, before graduating to having a hall named after him in New York. Pioneering German engine designer and car engineer, not to mention being one half of Mercedes Benz, Karl Benz ignited the world upon his arrival in 1844. Boring old battle axe with a battle axe, (used to smash up licensed establishments), unhinged American temperance movement member, Carrie Amelia Moore Nation started to make everyone’s life miserable from 1846. First Pope to feature today, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli or Pope John XXIII elected to be born in 1881. Commandants of Auschwitz concentration camp – Rudolf Franz Ferdinand Höß (Hoss) started to keep an eye on things from 1900, along with Arthur Liebehenschel who joined him in 1901. Major League Baseball player Joseph Paul ‘Joe’ DiMaggio pitched it just right by arriving in 1914. Sash wearing el-presidenti of Chile, Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte seized the day in 1915. Singer Percy Tyrone Sledge hammered his way through in 1940. Fellow singer born Jocelyn Lorette Brown, who also goes by the name Jocelyn Shaw, started to embrace the power in 1950. Probably the most famous Pakistani cricketer and politician, not forgetting being ex-husband to Jemima, Imran Khan Niazi was a dropper in 1952. Dishonest CEO of dishonest company Enron, Jeffrey Keith ‘Jeff’ Skilling was unable to manipulate the date of his birth in 1953. Choreographer and judge on boring dancing programme, ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ Bruno Tonioli hot footed it in 1955. Alcoholic ginger ex-leader of the yellow team in Great Britain, Charles Peter Kennedy had high satisfaction rates, (from his parents) in 1959. Singer/songwriter Amy Lee Grant was looking into her father’s eyes from 1960. Bulgarian pole vaulter Galin Nikov jumped through in 1968. Controversial ex-chief political advisor to Boris who liked a drive, Dominic Mckenzie Cummings voted leave, (with his feet), for the first time in 1971. Fashion designer for Gucci, Alessandro Michele didn’t get to wear gaudy nappies, (diapers) in 1972. Singer/songwriter Thea Eve Gilmore has been celebrating her birthday regardless since 1979. Twin daughters of ex-President G.W. Bush – Barbara and Laura started terrorising the world in 1981.

Deaths begin with Pope Peter of Alexandria who found things warmed up a bit in 311. King Malcolm II of Scotland failed to battle on after 1034. Pope Lucius III vacated the Vatican in 1185. Hymn writer Isaac Watts didn’t get the royalties from his songs performed at his funeral in 1748. Sculptor who’s figures can be found in Westminster Abbey – Joseph Wilton headed east to Wanstead Cemetery in 1803. Inventor/musician who perfected the modern Western concert flute, Theobald Böhm went D Flat in 1881. King Alfonso XII of Spain, he of waxed moustache and hat at a jaunty angle succumbed in 1885. American tap dancer/actor Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson was closer than one mile from heaven in 1949. Dutch draughts champion Herman Hoogland found his game was up in 1955. Inventor of the electrical starter motor – Charles Franklin Kettering stopped in 1958. Dirge folk singer Nicholas Rodney ‘Nick’ Drake started the time of no reply in 1974. Also not making it through 1974 and person who started the tradition of alternative names as Secretary General of the United Nations – Thant, became known as U Thant. One of the best footballers, (and as it turned out drinkers), George Best was off side in 2005. Plus four and tweed wearing turkey farmer Bernard Matthews wasn’t so bootiful in 2010. Actress born Dinah Nadyejda Ginsburg, but known as Dinah Sheridan found the place no vultures fly in 2012. Indian Kathak dancer Sitara Devi twirled off in 2014. Ex-Cuban Prime Minister and then Presidenti – Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz has been permanently fatigued from 2016. Finally, actor born Harold Rance Beckenholdt, before messing around with his name a bit and coming up with Rance Howard let go in 2017.

With thanks to http://www.onthisday.com for filling in the blanks.

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 24th November


Notable births today include Charles XI King of Sweden who had rosy cheeks after his birth in 1655. Uniform wearing 12th President of the United States of America, Zachary Taylor was young, rough and ready in 1784. English clergyman widely credited with inventing rugby union, William Webb Ellis didn’t have the medical joker deliver him in 1806. Writer of books about Pinocchio – born Carlo Lorenzini but known by his pen name Carlo Collodi had a normal sized nose from 1826. Novelist responsible for Little Lord Fauntleroy – Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett left the secret garden in 1849.  Having mentioned inbred French painter with the short legs, Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec Monfa on the 9th September when he put his paintbrushes down, here he is again given the nurses weren’t too sure whether he was standing up in 1864. Designer of Canberra, Australia, and developer of the L-shaped floor plan, yes, Walter Burley Griffin found his way through in 1876. Cardiologist Frederick Arthur Willus let out a mumur when born in 1888. Pioneering plastic surgeon Albert Ross Tilley changed his looks over the years from 1904. Television and stage actress known for her no nonsense characters – Joan Sanderson had the human element from 1912. Science fiction aficionado who coined the term ‘sci-fi’ – Forest James Ackerman was real from 1916. Fellow Canadian, author of young adult fiction – Eric Hamilton Wilson, didn’t make up his birthdate in 1940. Someone else who had a mention earlier this year when he unplugged from life, guitarist Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn is featured again as he plucked his way through in 1941. Also born that year, drummer with The Beatles, Randolph Peter Scandland but known as Randolph Peter ‘Pete’ Best found the rhythm in Madras, British India. Welder/boilermaker who went onto become comedian/actor, William ‘Billy’ Connolly didn’t give a stuff, (polite version) about being born in 1942. Serial killer Theodore Robert Cowell, (or Bundy as he was also known), didn’t get off to the best of starts in 1946. Known for his role in The A Team as Captain ‘Howling Mad’ Murdock, William Dwight Schultz was no longer alone in the dark from 1947. Australian stand up comedian and television host, Shane Keith Bourne wondered how the hell did I get here? in 1949. Having mentioned Merv Hughes yesterday, today we see fund raiser and willow bat holder Ian Botham, who managed to get through the sticky wicket in 1955. Someone else born that year, drummer for Blondie – Clement ‘Clem’ Burke isn’t downbeat given he’s now 65. English tenor singer Russell Watson had the people get ready in 1966. Lanky bespectacled sidekick to Ricky Gervais, Stephen James Merchant certainly wasn’t an extra in 1974. Oldest son to actor Tom Hanks, actor Colin Hanks has managed to get over it having been born in 1977. Actress Katherine Marie Heigl discovered life as we know it in 1978. 

As for deaths, the following fell into the grasp of the reaper – Sethus Calvisius who proposed a change to the calendar found it did him no favours given he died in 1615. There are no Popes to mention, (again), today, but we do see ninth of the ten Gurus of the Sikh religion, Guru Tegh Bahadur feature today as he found himself minus his head in 1675. Keeping with the religious theme Archbishop of Canterbury William Sancroft gave up on the Pilgrims Way in 1693. Mohawk military and political leader Thayendanegea or Joseph Brant to his friends, left his teepee for the last time in 1807. British Prime Minister William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, (the one with the city in Australia named after him), was able to leave it alone from 1848. Argentine presidenti between 1874 and 1880, Nicolás Remigio Aurelio Avellaneda Silva died in 1885, a few years before the Falkland Islands became an issue. We have Anna Jarvis to thank for us celebrating Mother’s Day, (and there I was thinking it was the card companies inventing it, how cynical is that?), mind you, she didn’t give us Death Day every year after her demise in 1948. Alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald met his own maker in 1963. Quebec born cook, Jehane Benoît, (née Patenaude), who wrote 30 cook books before finding the benefits of microwave ovens heard the final ping on her life support machine in 1987.   Novelist responsible for The One Hundred and One Dalmatians, (among others), Dorothy Gladys ‘Dodie’ Smith decided to call it a day in 1990. Rock star with the distinctive teeth, Faroukh Bulsara or Freddy Mercury as he was better known didn’t get to live forever as he failed to inhale from 1991. Character actor who played General Erich Von Klinkerhoffen in ‘Allo ‘Allo, Roger Michael Hilary Minster was able to cry freedom in 1999. Owner of numerous American sports teams, Abraham ‘Abe’ Pollin slam dunked life in 2009. Singer/songwriter of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’, (among others) – Mitchell Stuart ‘Mitch’ Margo found the end of the world in 2017. Finally, journalist/broadcaster who chose England over Australia – born Vivian Leopold James, but known as Clive James, has been in the blaze of obscurity since 2019. 

With thanks to http://www.onthisday.com for filling in the gaps

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 23rd November

Births today begin with Theodore Dwight Weld – the American abolitionist slaved away during his birth in 1803. A year later in 1804, 14th President of the United States of America, Franklin Pierce found he was a young American expansionist. Born Henry McCarty, aka William H. Bonney – but better known as Billy the Kid, stole the day in 1859. There’s no disputing English actor William Henry Pratt, or to give him his professional name – Boris Karloff, didn’t scare his parents in 1887. Second eldest and one fourth of the Marx Brothers, Arthur ‘Harpo’ Marx made a noise when entering the world in 1888. Composer/arranger who wrote the theme tune to M*A*S*H (among others), John Alfred ‘Johnny’ Mandel hit the right note in 1925. Self professed ‘professional’ golfer who entered the Open Championship under the names of George Paceki, Arnold Palmtree and James Beau Jolley to give a few of his pseudonyms – Maurice Flitcroft was straight faced when born in 1929. Singer best known for the original version of ‘The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss)’,  Betty Everett found she was going to be ready for her arrival in 1939. Ex-police officer who murdered on the side, Dennis Andrew Nilsen freed himself in 1945, (which is more than he managed from 1983 until his death in 2018). Actress Diana Marilyn Quick started to learn new tricks from 1946. Founding member of vocal group The Manhattan Transfer, Alan Paul had his who, what, where, when moment in 1949. 3ft 11ins, (or 1.19m in new money), actor – David Stephen Rappaport became a time bandit in 1951. Singer/piano player Bruce Hornsby found that’s the way it is in 1954. Australian cricketer, (no, not Deano Jones), the other one with the moustache, Mervyn Gregory ‘Merv’ Hughes had his first slip in 1961. Also born that year, founder of pizza chain Papa John’s, John Schnatter needed to be delivered. Television/radio presenter from the UK – Kirsty Jackson Young got the time, the place, right in 1968. Daughter to television know all, (before Stephen Fry came along), and ex-Mrs Fatboy Slim – Zöe Louise Ball has been live and kicking since 1970. Model and sort of actress, Kelly Ann Parsons or as her various ex-fiancées know her – Kelly Brook, has felt comfortable in her own skin from 1979. Daughter of mullet owning country singer from the 90’s, (Billy Ray) – Miley Cyrus who graduated from Hanna Montana to controversial pop starlet, didn’t use a wrecking ball in 1992.

Actress diana Quickin the television programme ‘Brideshead revisited’.

Death wise, early day King of England, Eadred found himself with a wooden overcoat from 955. Flemish imposter Perkin Warbeck couldn’t fake his death in 1499. Fifth Vice President of the United States of America – Elbridge Gerry namesake of the term ‘gerrymandering’, was unable to manipulate his date of death in 1814. Another King, this one of the Netherlands, King Willem Alexander Paul Frederik Lodewijk III – another member of the House of Orange, passed the baton to the women in 1890. Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen the murderer who got a mention on 11th September when he was born, gets another go given he hung out until today in 1910 when he was executed. Indian physicist Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose couldn’t hear, (or breath), after 1937. Writer who created Zorro, Johnston McCulley became pulp himself in 1958. Another person getting their second mention, sort of Norwegian of the day – Roald Dahl ran out of tales and found a way out in 1990. Yet another one to get a second bite of the cherry, is outraged Daily Mail favourite and watcher of ‘pure filth’ on television, (despite there being other channels and an On/Off switch), Constance Mary Whitehouse, (née Hutcheson), finally went mute in 2001. Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko wished he hadn’t drunk his tea in 2006. Larry Martin Hagman, (or J. R. Ewing if you were into dull soap opera Dallas), gave up nodding like a donkey in 2012. Finally, actor best known for playing dim witted Spanish waiter Manuel in Fawlty Towers – Andreas Siegfried ‘Andrew’ Sachs started having communication problems from 2016. 

With thanks to http://www.onthisday.com for filling in the blanks

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 22nd November


Births, (and deaths), appear to have picked up a bit today so without any further ado we see early version of Hilary Clinton who was designated first Second Lady and second First Lady of the United States of America, Abigail Adams, (née Smith), had puritan thoughts in 1744. Bucket and spade merchant who’s company went bust last year) – Thomas Cook was at the front of the queue in 1808. Founder of football clubs FC Zurich and FC Barcelona, Hans Max Gamper-Haessig, (who also went by the name Joan Gamper), kicked things off in 1877. Having mentioned distinctive hat wearer Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle along with his Mrs within a day of each other, (on 8/9th November), here he is again given he didn’t put up any resistance to being born in 1890. Wiley Hardeman Post, credited with being the first person to fly solo around the world as well as discovering the jet stream, released the chocks in 1898. Classical music composer Edward Benjamin Britten arranged his arrival in 1913. Actress, (Imelda), Anne Crawford joined the millions like us in 1920. Film, stage and television actress Geraldine Sue Page had her toys in the attic from 1924. Firearm designer responsible for the M16 rifle – Eugene Morrison Stoner didn’t have an accidental discharge in 1922. Luvvie founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company and theatre director – Peter Reginald Frederick Hall shuffled onto the scene in 1930. Actor Robert Francis Vaughan got to see his U.N.C.L.E. in 1932. One time heir to the Du Pont fortune, (until his conviction for murder), John Eleuthére du Pont must have given the family the idea for non sticking Teflon in 1938. Part of the classic Monty Python team Terrence Vance ‘Terry’ Gilliam has been a time bandit since 1940. Actor Thomas Antonio ‘Tom’ Conti hasn’t quite gone full circle since birth in 1941. Tennis queen, (in more ways than one), Billie Jean King, (née Moffitt) served an ace being delivered in 1943. Member of Talking Heads, Martina Michéle ‘Tina’ Weymouth had a once in a lifetime experience in 1950. Daughter of Hollywood legend Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, Jamie Lee Curtis didn’t have to escape New York given she was born in Santa Monica California in 1958. Glamour model and member of ‘Hill’s Angels’ – Corinne Russell started running around with minimal clothing about a year after her birth in 1963. Cupboard loving German ex-tennis player and current coach to Novack Djokovic, Boris Becker didn’t hit the net in 1967. Singer with indie band Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Karen Lee Ozolek who goes by the abbreviated name Karen O, showed her bones in 1978. Internet pioneer responsible for Napster – Shawn Fanning started up in 1980. Actress Scarlett Johansson has been in good company since 1984, whilst in 1986 gun toting Paralympian Oscar Pistorius was under starters orders.

People at the end of their life include, among others, Antipope Felix II obviously wasn’t anti death given he keeled over in 365. King of Denmark, Eric V was unable to stick his fingers up from 1286. Archbishop of Canterbury John Tillotson cashed in his chips back in 1694. English pirate, (before the Somalis took over the franchise), Edward Teach/Thatch, or to give him his professional name, Blackbeard, walked the plank in 1718. Creator of the Ferris Wheel – George Washington Gale Ferris Jr., started turning in his grave from 1896. Having mentioned W.S. Gilbert a few days ago in honour of his birthday, here’s the other half – Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan did everyone a favour as he acted out his death in 1900. One of The Three Stooges, Shemp Howard, (but born Samuel Horowitz), has been holding that ghost since 1955. Prominent member of the Huxley clan, Aldous Leonard Huxley didn’t suffer writer’s cramp after 1963. Also not making it through that year is 35th President of the United States of America, (the one with everything named after him), John Fitzgerald Kennedy found the bullet with his name on it, and writer Clive Staples ‘C.S’ Lewis found the problem of pain can lead to death. Another person getting their second mention this year, actress Mary Jane ‘Mae’ West somewhat ironically headed west in 1980. Female pilot who successfully flew solo from New Zealand to England – Jean Gardner Batten probably wishes she didn’t pat the dog in 1982. Writer of A Clockwork Orange, (among others) – John Anthony Burgess Wilson or just Anthony Burgess, came to the end of his tale in 1993. Famous snapper of the stars from the 1960’s, Terence Daniel Donovan entered the dark room in 1996. Singer with Australian band INXS who liked to hang around Sydney hotels Michael Kelland John Hutchence experienced the swing in 1997. Founder of cosmetic company bearing her name – Mary Kay Ash, (born Mary Kathlyn Wagner), didn’t have to get her hair done again after 2001. Television producer we have to thank for Dr Who (among many other programmes), Verity Lambert called it a wrap in 2007. Given other Presidents get a mention here, it seems only fair Kim Young-sam, ex-President of South Korea gets his moment of glory given he survived house arrest, but not a cardiac arrest in 2015. One of the stars of The Brady Bunch, Florence Agnes Henderson saw the holy man in 2016. Finally, sitar and surbahar player, Imrat Khan hasn’t missed sitting on old rugs since 2018. 

With thanks to http://www.onthisday.com for filling in the gaps

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 21st November


Kicking proceedings off today, French philosopher Francçois-Marie Arouet who also went by the pen name Voltaire, took the nickname ‘Zozo’ from 1694. Founder of boat business bearing his name – Samuel Cunard was a little boy in 1787. Richest, (and stingiest), woman in America – (and no it’s not Leona Helmsley), but Henrietta Howland ‘Hettie’ Green ‘The Witch of Wall Street’, looked almost as happy at birth in 1834 as she did throughout life. Daughter to Queen Vicky & Bert, the imaginatively named Victoria, Princess Royal Bever didn’t know whether people were talking to her or her mum from 1840. Sultan of Egypt and Sudan, (with the fez and moustache), Hussein Kamel got to see his first dromedary mammal in 1853. Giacomo Paolo Giovanni Battista della Chlesa or Pope Benedict XV received his orders in 1854. Norwegian of the day, with the moustache, (as well as being one of 16 children), Sigbjørn Obstfelder was a child of few words from 1866. Another famous Belgian, artist René François Ghislain Magritte found birth a surreal experience back in 1898. Silent film actress Alice Calhoun was between friends from 1900. Film director Roy Alfred Clarence Boulting left the magic box in 1913. National treasure who penned various dark tales, Beryl Margaret Bainbridge didn’t give her parents a quiet life from 1932. Songwriter for Sam & Dave, (among others), David Porter was a B-A-B-Y in 1941. Actress Goldie Jeanne Hawn had her ‘Good Morning, World’ moment in 1945. Daughter of Francis Ethel Gumm, (or Judy Garland to you and me), and half sister to Liza Minnelli – Lorna Luft was uncared in 1952. Former editor-in-chief of Tatler who went onto pick through the words in Vanity Fare – born Christina Hambley Brown, who then took it down to Tina Brown, held the position in 1953. Host of Saturday night Radio 2 show and daughter of gap toothed golf playing comedian Jimmy – Liza Tarbuck has been bonkers since 1964. Odd Icelandic singer Björk Guðmundsdóttir’s, (hence being known by her first name), mum probably wondered why it’s oh so quiet from 1965. Russian born chess Grandmaster Evgeny Bareev got his positioning just right in 1966. Guitarist with Britpop band Blur, Steven Alexander ‘Alex’ James started shoegazing in 1968. Singer known for her hit ‘Call Me Maybe’ – Carly Rae Jepsen had her curiosity satisfied once born in 1985. 

It’s another slow day for deaths, but we begin in 496 as Pope Gelasius I stopped taking confessions. Composer Henry Purcell let out his last note in 1695. Sort of dead Norwegian of the day, Danish artist Peder Severin (P.S.) Krøyer didn’t leave a post-script in 1909. Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary and Croatia along with being King of Bohemia, Franz Joseph I of Austria found himself in a catacomb under the streets of Vienna from 1916. Olympic gold medal winning divot maker at the 1904 St. Louis Games, Edward Cummings was knocked down in 1926. Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa, James Barry Munnik Hertzog/J.B.M. Hertzog has been remembered since 1942 as a jam filled tartlet named ‘Hertzoggie’. Real life ‘Bird Man of Alcatraz’, Robert Franklin Stroud fell off his perch in 1963. Camp writer and raconteur Dennis Charles Pratt, or Quentin Crisp, found himself somewhat crisp in 1999. Eleventh Yang di-Pertuan Agong, (Monarch), of Malaysia and eighth Sultan of Selangor – Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah Al-Haj didn’t have to worry about sticking any further decorations on his jacket after 2001. Another science fiction writer I’ve never heard of – Anne Inez McCaffrey didn’t get the dragons to burn her in 2011. Art Ginsberg or ‘Mr Food’, began an enforced diet in 2012. Finally, one time teen heart throb actor, singer/songwriter etc – David Bruce Cassidy wasn’t the spirit of ‘76 given he died in 2017. Also not making it through that year sit-com actor Rodney Bewes never did find out what happened to the likely lads.

With thanks to http://www.onthisday.com for filling in the gaps