Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 31st December

Today’s another day where there’s a Pope in both paragraphs, and to this end we see Alfons de Borja who went onto become Pope Callixtus III find himself extra omnes in 1378. Explorer who not only claimed Canada for France, but also has a range of watches named after him – Jacques Cartier kept his appointment in 1491. Charles Edward Louie John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart, or just Bonny Prince Charlie, was the young pretender from 1720. British army general in the American War of Independence – Charles Cornwallis started eyeing things up from 1738. French palette holder Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse impressed his parents from 1869. Cosmetic queen Florence Nightingale Green, or to use her business name – Elizabeth Arden had a bit of colour to her in 1878. Not quite goatee bearded King of Saudi Arabia – Salman bin Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman bin Faisal bin Turki bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud, started wearing thobes in 1935. Luvvie Philip Anthony Hopkins was a legend of the fall in 1937. Ill tempered, gum chomping, football boot throwing ex-Manager of Manchester United and best mate of Dave ‘you know’ Beckham, Alexander Chapman ‘Alex’ Ferguson made it through the defences in 1941. Guitarist with 70’s/80’s band The Police – Andrew James ‘Andy’ Summers parents weren’t so lonely from 1942. Singer of virtually every genre of music I dislike, not to mention being a disqualified pilot, (not that it stopped him flying until he crashed), Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., or just John Denver, had poems, prayers and promises bestowed upon him in 1943. Also born that year, Krishna Bhanji, or, to use his stage name, Ben Kingsley, had to pardon his expression. Actor Timothy Lewis ‘Tim’ Matthieson has been unable to remember his birth since 1947. Disco queen not averse to a spangly top and glitter balls, LaDonna Adrian Gaines who went with the stage name Donna Summer, found it was all systems go in 1948. Loooserrr of the Scottish referendum, seemingly power crazy ex-leader from the Scottish National Party – Alexander Elliot Anderson ‘Alex’ Salmon didn’t put up any opposition to being born in 1954. Actor who not only researches his roles, but also likes a decent spat with his fellow breed, (apparently), Val Edward Kilmer must have had blood out in 1959. British television presenter who’s hypnotising people to watch her shows – Lowri Gwyneth Turner was unable to age regress in 1964. Norwegian of the day, writer Are Kalvø began his backstory in 1969. Youngest of nine(!) children singer Joseph Mulrey ‘Joey’ McIntyre was the new kid on the block in 1972. Having had his video viewed over 2.4 billion times Park Jae-sang, or just Psy did it gangnam style in 1973. Son to impetuous billionaire President Donald Trump Snr., imaginatively named Donald John ‘Don’ Trump Jr., started trumping in 1977. 

As for deaths, it’s a very quiet day – but we start with Roman emperor Commodus who left the seat up for the last time in 192. Pope Saint Sylvester I handed in his robes and sandals way back in 335. Godigisel, King of the Vandals had enough of smashing stuff up in 406. First Astronomer Royal who catalogued over 3,000 stars, John Flamsteed found his star well in the descendent in 1719. Russian physicist Alexander Stepanovich Popov did exactly that in 1905, (on the Old Style calendar). Land and water speed record holder who used to live in Reigate, Surrey, Sir Malcolm Campbell had a dead start in 1948. Co-founder of Dutch airline KLM – Dr. Albert Plesman entered the twilight zone in 1953. Eric Hillary Nelson who found fame as singer/songwriter Ricky Nelson has been on a long vacation since 1985. Not eternal Peter Pan of Pop with the dyed hair and vineyard who hates meeting his fans, but poet Harri Webb has come up with blank verses since 1994. Comedian John C Wood or John Fortune didn’t have the last laugh in 2013. Daughter of Nat King Cole – singer Natalie Maria Cole found her little bit of heaven in 2015. Finally, singer/ songwriter born Thomas McAleese, but known as Dean Ford, hasn’t been back on the road since 2018.

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

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 30th December


Today’s posting begins with tenth Emperor of the Roman Empire, Titus – who must have felt the cold in his parents villa way back in 39AD. Union general in the American Civil War before becoming the first Mayor of San Fransisco, John White Geary, (the one with the dodgy beard), wasn’t territorial when born in 1819. Given other Presidents get their names mentioned here, I guess it’s only fair eighth President of France Émile François Loubet also sees his name here, given he presented himself in 1838. Geologist who invented the horizontal pendulum seismograph – John Milne started the carbon dating process in 1850. Person who turned tooth rotting drink Coca-Cola into what it is today, (as well as being 41st Mayor of Atlanta) – ASA Griggs Candler popped out in 1851. Writer of ‘The Jungle Book’, (amongst others), Joseph Rudyard Kipling found being born as easy as A.B.C. in 1865. Japanese Prime Minister for most of World War II, the one with round bins and excessive medal collection on his tunic – Hideki Tōjō was kamae-t in 1884. Norwegian of the day goes to explorer Helge Ingstad who wasn’t trapped in 1899.

Actress Jeanette Nolan told everything but the truth over her birthday from 1911. Host of Miss America, (so basically perving at young ladies in swimsuits), Bertram Jacobson or Bert Parks as he was better known, took one giant step into the unknown back in 1914. Actor from Hawaii Five-O, John Joseph Patrick Ryan or as he was also known – Jack Lord was a real ray of sunshine to his folks from 1920. Born Ellas Otha Bates before adopting the name Ellas McDaniel but known as blues guitarist with the hat – Bo Diddley, was a living legend from 1928. Singer Charles Weedon Westover or Del Shannon, wasn’t a runaway after birth in 1934. Folk singer in threesome Peter, Paul & Mary – Noel Paul Stookey was something new and fresh in 1937. Goalkeeper in the English winning team back in ‘66 – Gordon Banks slipped through in 1937. First of sixties pop ‘sit-com’ stars from The Monkees to feature – Robert Michael Nesmith was a believer in being born this day in 1942, with David Thomas ‘Davy’ Jones following in 1945. ‘Visual artist’ and singer of the one hit, (co-written with Bruce Springsteen), Patricia Lee ‘Patti’ Smith had the dream of life realised in 1946. Curly haired perpetual sunglass wearer who fronted the ELO, (which is a band not a political movement), before going onto co-found The Travelling Wilburys, Jeffrey ‘Jeff’ Lynn has been a livin’ thing from 1947. Not the musician called Dave Stewart who suffered from Paradise Syndrome, but err, the musician Dave Stewart who didn’t suffer from Paradise Syndrome  – (born David Lloyd Stewart) thought, ‘I’m in a different world’ back in 1950. One time singer of cover versions before moving to America and inflicting over running moralistic cartoon family ‘The Simpsons’ on us, Trace/Tracey Ullman had her breakaway moment in 1959. Disgraced Canadian athlete Benjamin Sinclair ‘Ben’ Johnson actually qualified in 1961. Hollywood madam to the stars and wealthy, Heidi Lynne Fleiss wasn’t a member of the doom generation in 1965. Odd head dress wearer Jason Luís Cheetham who goes by the sobriquet ‘Jay Kay’ found he was travelling without moving in 1969. Philandering divot maker Eldrick Tont ‘Tiger’ Woods had his first hole in one back in 1975. Co-founder of another internet behemoth – Instagram, Kevin Systrom started getting used to having his pic taken in 1983. Basketball player LeBron Raymone James Sr. had the double dribble in 1984, whilst in 1986 British songstress Elena Jane ‘Elle’ Goulding was under the sheets. I see to remember mentioning a band mate of Kim Tae-hyung a month or so ago, but he’s been giving ‘V’’s since 1995. 

Pope Felix I not only kicks today’s deaths paragraph off but he also kicked the bucket in 274. Third Duke of York who nearly claimed the crown – Richard Plantagenet didn’t have to march up and down hills again from 1460. Not to be outdone by Felix, Pope Innocent XI gave up reading the bible in 1591, after only three months at the pulpit. Women’s rights and temperance advocate with the ladies underwear named after her – Amelia Jenks Bloomer fell down in 1894. Founder of Philippine Airlines as well as expander of San Miguel brewery – Andrés Soriano Sr., was grounded from 1964. Dead Norwegian of the day, Trygve Halvdan Lie who started people with odd names as Secretary-General of the United Nations was diplomatic about his death in 1968. Heavyweight boxing champion Charles L. ‘Sonny’ Liston hit the ropes in 1970. 41st Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Josef Maria Laurens Theo ‘Jo’ Cals gave up the cabinet for a coffin in 1971. Other half of the Hammerstein song writing team, Richard Charles Rodgers went to a higher and higher place in 1979. Singer John Alfred Moore aka Johnny Moore drifted away in 1998. Iron fisted and deluded ex-dictator of Iraq, Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was a swinger in 2006. Having mentioned St. Vitus’ dance sufferer Roberto ‘Bobby’ Alfonso Farrell yesterday in relation to his hit ‘Rasputin’, here he is again given he was daddy cool in 2010. Finally, creator of St. Trinian’s School, Ronald William Fordham Searle is still wondering which way did he go in 2011. Finally, film director Mrinal Sen has been Akash Kusum, (up in the clouds), since 2018.

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

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 29th December

Empress Elizabeth of Russia, or to give her full name – Elizabeth Petrovna, started off as meant to carry on in 1709. Paramour to Louis XV of France, Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour aka Madame de Pompadour didn’t court controversy in 1721. Perverts favourite inventor – chemist Charles Macintosh had his dad wet the baby’s head in 1766. Antiquarian who came up with naming the three-age system, (stone, bronze and iron ages) Christian Jürgensen Thomsen arrived in the Colonial period of 1788. Not quite founder of Goodyear tyre company, rubber enthusiast Charles Goodyear was a bouncing baby from 1800. Scowling 17th President of the United States of America, Andrew Johnson tailored his entrance to the world in 1808. Continuing the political theme, four time British Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone had a liberal upbringing from 1809. Mexican revolutionary who went onto become 37th President of Mexico – José Venustiano Carranza Garza pepped up his parents lives from 1859. 38th Mayor of Los Angeles, with a terminal at LAX named in his honour – Thomas J Bradley was unable to run for at least a year after his birth in 1917. Inventor of the chicken nugget, Robert C. Baker pecked his way out in 1921. Should be national treasure, actor Bernard Joseph Cribbins got the drift in 1928. Controversial and typically blunt Yorkshireman who took to wearing jodhpurs whilst steering a nag around a showjumping ring –  Harvey Smith had a clear round in 1938. Also born that year, actor and dad to Angelina Jolie, Jonathan Vincent ‘Jon’ Voight had his deliverance. Indian actor/politician Jatin Khanna or Rajesh Khanna took star billing in 1942. Rug loving, Mars Bar storing ex-squeeze to Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithful started a child’s adventure in 1946. Star of un-amusing sit-com Cheers, Edward Bridge ‘Ted’ Danson III was a little treasure to his parents 73 years ago. Previous editor of left leaning newspepar The Gruniad, Alan Charles Rusbridger hasn’t managed to get his birthdate wrong since 1953. Norihito, Prince Takamado of Japan became seventh in line for the Chrysanthemum Throne in 1954. Singer with American punk band The Offspring – Bryan Keith ‘Dexter’  Holland found the days go by from 1965. Known for his single from The Snowman, admonished old biddies favourite who pops up on television and radio at various times, Aled, (shouldn’t it be Pallid?) Jones, saw daybreak for the first time in 1970. Having mentioned his ex-partner Sienna Miller only yesterday, today it’s David Jude Heyworth Law’s turn given he had his final cut from his mum in 1972. Rapper mentioned on 4th December when he handed things on to Pimp D, Chad Lamont Butler ‘Pimp C’ got to meet his homies in 1973. Daughter to singer/songwriter Billy, Alexa Ray Joel who is, wait for it, a singer/songwriter started to sketch out her life from 1985.

There aren’t that many notable deaths to report today, but we do start with one of the more famous Archbishops of Canterbury – Thomas Becket or Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Thomas of London and Thomas à Becket left the pulpit in 1170. Chief of the Miniconju, Lakota Sioux – Spotted Elk who was also known as Big Foot had more than a wounded knee in 1890. Subject of song from St. Vitus Dance sufferer Bobby Farrell’s band Boney M, Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin took the bullet in 1916. Extended car manufacturer, (the one with little curtains in the back), Wilhelm Maybach spluttered to a halt in 1929. Outdoorsman and proponent of eating wild foods – Euell Theophilus Gibbons has managed to stay outside and become wild food since 1975. Another British Prime Minister here, this one Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton found all good things come to an end in 1986. Actress and second wife of Charlie Chaplin born Lillita Louise MacMurray, but known as Lita Grey became one of  the idle class in 1995. Creator of science fiction cartoon character Barbarella, Jean-Claude Forest hasn’t seen the future since 1998. Classic British comedian with the wart who went onto host various game shows, Robert Alan ‘Bob’ Monkhouse failed to get the top prize in 2003. Singer born Robert Lee Dickey, but went by the name Bobby Purify wished he didn’t have to go in 2011. Indian writer Jagadish Mohanty tried to find a novel way to go in 2013. Finally, actress born Augusta Margaret Diane Fuller, but known as Peggy Cummins, reached that dangerous age in 2017.

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

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 28th December

Today’s posting begins with Margaret of Parma, Duchess consort of Florence and Duchess consort of Parma and Piacenza who went on to become Governor of the Netherlands didn’t have the fat in 1522. Another ancient royal – this one Princess Elizabeth, not Windsor, but Stuart, arrived in 1635. Brewer of beer bearing the Maple Leaf, John Molson barrelled along in 1763. 28th President of the United States of America, Thomas Woodrow Wilson broke through in 1856. Actor who dined out on starring with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope in the ‘Road to’ series of films – Frank Butler had the great moment in 1890. Actor who portrayed Dr Kildare and ex-Mr Ginger Rogers, Lewis Frederick Ayres III, who managed to condense that to Lew Ayres left the servant’s entrance in 1908. Member of family singing group – Roebuck ‘Pops’ Staples was able to see a little further, (than his bed), from 1915. Co-creator of Spider-Man, the Hulk and various other comic superheroes, Stanley Martin Lieber or just Stan Lee had his parents marvel at him from 1922. Spluttering ex-deputy leader of the red team in Britain, Roy Sydney George Hattersley started drooling in 1932. Also born that year actress known for playing Lieutenant Uhura in dull Sci-fi series Star Trek – born Grace Dell Nichols but known as Nichelle Nichols received the order. Distinguished actress Margaret Natalie ‘Maggie’ Smith was the child in the house from 1934. Actor who played Father Jack Hackett in comedy series Father Ted – Francis ‘Frank’ Kelly sealed the deal in 1938. Wine swilling cook with the bow tie, Keith Floyd was fully prepared for his arrival in 1943, also born that year game show host fond of eating Gypsy Cream biscuits whilst wearing garish blazers and telling terrible puns, John Richard Whiteley had his countdown to birth. One half of rockney duo – Chas & Dave, Charles Nicholas ‘Chas’ Hodges, had his knees up in 1943. Journo who’s edited The Daily Telegraph and The Evening Standard along with writing various books – Max Hugh Macdonald Hastings has been quite defensive about being born in 1945. Lead singer with The Shangri-Las, Mary Weiss was leader of the pack from 1948. Norwegian of the day – comedian Øivind Blunck had a flop sweat in 1950. French tinkler of the ivories, Philippe Pagés, (or as his album releases state: Richard Clayderman), has been brushing cloth since 1953. Actor Denzil Hayes Washington started to cry freedom from 1954. Violinist with attitude, Nigel Kennedy strung along in 1956. Computer programmer responsible for the Linux kernel system, (and thereby Android/Chrome OS) – Linus Benedict Torvalds had his character set in 1969. Second Norwegian of the day, singer/actress Herborg Kråkevik started out in 1973. Another person born that year, talk show host and comedian Seth Adam Meyers nearly had a New Year’s Eve birthday. Singer/songwriter John Legend was a bit previous with his surname in 1978. Actress and former other half to Jude Law, Sienna Rose Diana Miller has had unfinished business to attend to since 1981.

People at the other end of life, include, among others – Antipope Clement VIII found a sunny spot in Palma, Majorca way back in 1446. Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland – Mary II of England left her better half William to run things after she dropped her crown in 1694. Scottish outlaw/folk hero – Rob Roy had his life snatched away from him in 1734. Seventh Mayor of San Francisco, James Van Ness started having roads named after him in the city from 1872. Continuing the family tradition, composer Eduard Strauss had his final movement in 1916. Fellow composer, Joseph Maurice Ravel didn’t orchestrate his death in 1937. Diminutive King of Italy, Emperor of Ethiopia and King of the Albanians, Victor Emmanuel III took to a child’s coffin in 1947. Actor born Henry Wale but known by the professional name of Henry Oscar never got to win one before dying in 1969. Co-founder of the Beach Boys, Dennis Carl Wilson shut down volume 1 in 1983. Actress from four James Bond films, Cassandra Harris didn’t get to die another day after 1991. Known for playing the Lone Ranger in the television series, Jack Carlton ‘Clayton’ Moore was south of Death Valley in 1999. Writer with the skunk hairstyle and partner of Annie Leibovitz – born Susan Rosenblatt but known as Susan Sontag received the death kit in 2004. Having mentioned one of her brothers about a week ago, here’s Agathe Johanna Erwina Gobertina von Trapp found death wasn’t one of her favourite things in 2010. Eye patch wearing rapper Glenn Thomas who went by the more showbiz name Doe B, was unable to trap life in 2013. Raver Paul Walden aka ‘Guru Josh’ and wart faced rocker Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister got in early, starting the death rush of musicians in 2015/16. Having mentioned her daughter Carrie Fisher only yesterday – here’s her mum, actress Mary Frances ‘Debbie’ Reynolds hit the deck in 2016. National treasure, actress June Rosemary Whitfield didn’t get to meet the undertakers in 2018. Also not making it through 2018, eye patch wearing singer with Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show – Ray Sawyer could have done with a couple more years. Finally, the last person to turn over in 2018 is ex-President of Nigeria, Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari who obviously got bored of reminding his citizens not to send spurious emails from fictional princes. 

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

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 27th December

We see astronomer/astrologer Johannes Kepler kick things off given he found the world in motion way back in 1571. Count Giovanni Angelo Braschi who went onto become Pope Pius VI expelled himself in 1717. Person who worked out aerodynamics – George Cayley got the weight to drag and lift to thrust stats just right in 1773. Norwegian of the day, painter Thomas Fearnley appeared in landscape format back in 1802. Chemist/ microbiologist known for founding pasteurisation, Louis Pasteur beat the germs in 1822. British born fifth Prime Minister of Canada, Mackenzie Bowell emptied his from 1823. German racing driver with no wins what-so-ever over his two year career, Hans Stuck didn’t live up to his surname in 1900. Marie Magdalene ‘Marlene’ Dietrich became the scarlett empress from 1901. Also born that year, classic actress Irene Handel, (mentioned on the 29th November when she didn’t quite have such a good day). Diminutive character actress Esma Ellen Charlotte Littman, (née Cannon), saw the way ahead in 1905. Illustrator of the Tarzan comic strip, John Celardo swung into action back in 1918. Founding member of dad rock band Foreigner, Michael Leslie ‘Mick’ Jones didn’t have double vision in 1944. Journo with the buck teeth and large glasses, not forgetting the distinctive voice, Janet Stwwweett Porrrrrterrr has been an independent individual since 1946. Gérard Xavier Marcel Depardieu the French, (or is it Russian?), actor who’s mates with Putin and likes to relieve himself on aeroplanes having drunk 14 bottles of wine, found birth a pure formality in 1948. 54th Presidenti of Mexico, Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León probably had the local mariachi band present when born in 1951. Co-founder of Dire Straits – David Knopfler was a brother in arms with Mark back in 1952. Actress Maryam d’Abo didn’t scare the living daylights out of her parents in 1960, whilst in 1975 child actress Heather O’Rourke had her, ‘I’m here moment’. Model Lilly Cole stoke the show in 1987. 

As for deaths – Bishop of Utrecht Balderik didn’t come up with any more cunning plans from 975. George, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach stopped following Martin Luther, (who must have been quite glad his stalker had been stopped in his tracks) in 1543. Founder of Texas, Stephen Fuller Austin was unable to say, ‘Houston we have a problem’ in 1836. Having mentioned Alexandre Gustave Bönickhausen, (or Eiffel), on the 15th December, here he is again given he started the rusting process in 1923. One of the founders of Warner Bros Pictures Inc., Hirsch Moses Wonsal, who changed it to the slightly more westernised Harry Morris Warner, took the executive decision to call it a day in 1958. Not only the 14th Prime Minister of Canada, but also recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Lester Bowles ‘Mike’ Pearson found things a lot more peaceful from 1972. Early day celebrity chef born Phylis Nan Sortain Pechey, who became known as Fanny Craddock, failed to rise after today in 1994. Actor Alan Arthur Bates received a prayer for the dying in 2003. Scandal ridden first, (and last), female Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto was fired in 2007. Soldier with the multi coloured left hand side of his tunic not to mention leader of the American troops in Operation Desert Storm, Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., took the losing side in 2012. Dead Norwegian of the day, Gunn Olsen didn’t labour her death in 2013. Harlem globetrotter Meadow Lemon III, or Meadowlark Lemon found his days dribbling over in 2015. Finally, Princess Leia or actress Carrie Frances Fisher had her appointment with death in 2016. 

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

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 26th December

After yesterday’s festivities and cooking, (not forgetting washing up), its good to sit back and relax safe in the knowledge you’ll be eating turkey for at least the next week. That aside, we start the births paragraph with Frederick II – King of Sicily, King of Germany, King of Italy, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Jerusalem conquered the world in 1194. Pirate John Rackham, aka ‘Calico Jack’ is assumed to have arrived this day in 1682. Early day Bill Gates as Charles Babbage was downloaded in 1791. Next up is the man with a little red book credited to him, 1st Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, (the one with the dodgy haircut) – Mao Zedong/Mao Tse-tung or Chairman Mao never suffered confusion over his birthday from 1893. Designer of pin ball machines – Steve Kordek, and having looked at some of the terminology for such machines, all I’ll say is he arrived in 1911. American television personality – Stephen Valentine Patrick William ‘Steve’ Allen wasn’t skeptical about being born in 1921, whilst in 1927 actor Dennis Quilley wasn’t upstaged. Only original member of Motown group The Four Aims, who went onto find fame as The Four Tops, Abdul ‘Duke’ Fakir found he was in a different world from 1935. Preposterous frizzy wig wearing former record producer now serving time for second degree murder, Harvey Philip ‘Phil’ Spector will be hearing a different wall of sound on his 81st birthday. Having mentioned 18th Prime Minister of Pakistan yesterday, today sees the birth of his predecessor Raja Pervaiz Ashraf who was first behind the, (bed), post in 1950. Disc jockey who opened Live Aid – Richard Skinner has been live since 1951. Bald keyboard player, (amongst the others), with Kraftwerk – Henning Schmitz joined the robots in 1953. Son of mountaineer Edmund Hillary – Peter Edmund Hillary, a, err, mountaineer, had his first descent in 1954. Broadcaster Dermot John Murnaghan had his countdown moment in 1957. Co-founder and drummer with Metallica, Lars Ulrich became one in 1963. Norwegian of the day, skier Askel Lund Svindal slid through in 1982. Fashion designer Alexander Wang took a few years from 1983 to find out he wasn’t related to Vera. Actor Christopher Catesby ‘Kit’ Harington had the testament of youth on his side in 1986. 

As for deaths, Pope Dionysius must have been annoyed having to take one last Mass on Christmas Day in 268, and the same goes for Pope Zosimus who found his last day on earth was in 418. Older brother in the family film business, (who was mentioned yesterday), Charles Pathé saw the spool run out in 1957. Archaeologist who re-discovered the city of Troy – Heinrich Schliemann had someone else dig him a hole in 1890. Melville Louis Kossuth (Melvil) Dewey, (mentioned on 10th December), gets another go given he was filed for the last time in 1931. 33rd President of the United States of America responsible for dropping the N-bomb and being in charge at the start of the Cold War, Harry S. Truman found things a bit chilled in 1972. Comedian born Benjamin Kubelsky, or Jack Benny – started chasing rainbows in 1974. Indian actress Savitri Kommareddy saw the clapperboard come down for the final time in 1981. Stage/television actor known for his role in classic BBC sit-com ‘Hi-de-Hi!’, (who was mentioned on 28th August in honour of his birth) – Leslie Gilbert Dwyer got to see if there’s another sun in 1986. Singer Curtis Mayfield moved on up, (to heaven), in 1999. Known for his role in sit-com Yes Minister and then Yes Prime Minister, Nigel Barnard Hawthorne was dead on time in 2001. Australian media mogul, no, not Rupert M, but Kerry Francis Bullmore Packer found himself switched off from 2005. Leslie Lynch King Jr., who went onto become 38th President of the United States of America as Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr., relinquished control of the button in 2006. Dead Norwegian of the day, skier Ivan Formo also didn’t make it through 2006 when he found out he wasn’t an ice skater. Creator of Thunderbirds, Stingray and Captain Scarlett, Gerald Alexander Abrahams or Gerry Anderson found he had his strings cut in 2012. Also not making it through that year, singer Fontella Bass failed to find someone to rescue her. Finally, wimple wearing art critic Wendy Mary Beckett aka Sister Wendy didn’t have to look at any more men’s ‘appendages’ from 2017. 

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

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 25th December


People who have/will receive both Christmas and birthday presents today include, among others, the main man himself, (depending which religion you follow), who was actually a baby in a stable at some point – I should have paid more attention in my RE lessons all those years ago as I only learnt the other year no one knows exactly which year Jesus was born. Away from him, Queen Consort of Denmark, Norway and Sweden – Christina of Saxony started off further south in 1461. Know all Isaac Newton found out about gravity first hand in 1642. It seems rather fitting to have Count Giovanni Angelo Braschi or Pope Pius VI mentioned today as he gave his initial address in 1717. Nurse who founded the American Red Cross – Clarissa ‘Clara’ Harlowe Barton, found someone else took her life in their hands back in 1821. Older brother in family film firm – Charles Morand Pathé got used to ambient lighting from 1863. Cosmetic queen Chaka Rubinstein who went for the slightly more mainstream name of Helena Rubinstein was made up being born in 1870. Founder of Pakistan, Mahomedli Jinnahbhai or Mohammad Ali Jinnah established his place on the planet in 1876. Half Norwegian of the day, hotel magnate Conrad Nicholson Hilton, started getting clean towels everyday from 1887. Co-founder of old biddies favourite publication who run various dubious sweepstakes, Readers Digest – Lila Bell Wallace, (née Acheson), was a condensed adult in 1889. Collector of odd facts who’s name now features at various tourist hotspots around the globe, funny toothed trivia king LeRoy Robert Ripley would have bored anyone interested that today was his birthday from 1890. Bogey, or to give you his full name, Humphrey DeForest Bogart wasn’t the Oklahoma Kid given he was born in New York City in 1899. Media big hitter with the large cigar and nephew called Michael – born Louis Winogradsky, but known as Lew Grade made it through the barn door in 1906. Singer/bandleader Cabell ‘Cab’ Calloway started swinging his arms about uncontrollably from 1907. Noted raconteur,(among other, ahem, things), born Denis Charles Prat before changing it to the slightly better known Quentin Crisp started doing it in style from 1908. Third President of Egypt and one of 13 (!) children, Muhammad Anwar el-Sadat got to see the pyramids in 1918. Disgraced, (and rightly so), broadcaster James Stuart Hall will be able to enjoy his birthday cake without finding a file in it in celebration of his 91st birthday. Boxer and dad/coach to tennis player Andre – Emanoul Aghassian or Emmanuel Agassi entered the ring in 1930. One half of Merchant Ivory film team, Ismail Noormuhammad Merchant saw the remains of the day after being born in 1936. Oldest bro in family group using their surname – O’Kelly Isley Jr., wasn’t so much shouting as screaming in 1937. Comedian taken too soon from us Maurice James Christopher Cole, or Kenny Everett found being born all in the best possible taste back in 1944. Executive producer of sci-fi television series Star Trek, Richard Keith ‘Rick’ Berman beamed himself down in 1945. Having mentioned the first President of Pakistan, (above), it seems only right to give a mench to the 18th Prime Minister too – Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif took the lead in 1949. Also born that year, actress Mary Elizabeth ‘Sissy’ Spacek got to meet the midwives. Ultimate one hit wonder born Claudie Fritsch-Mentrop but is still plugging away under the name Desireless, had her own voyage, voyage in 1952. Singer at the other end of the scale who hasn’t lost her voice despite being in bands since the 1970’s, Ann ‘Annie’ Lennox had no more waiting in vain to enter the world in 1954. Another singer with one hit to their name before going on to bother the lower regions of the charts, Alannah Myles has been living in our world, our times since 1955. Rotten toothed perpetual sunglass wearing hard drinking singer who’s currently raking in the money, Shane Patrick Lysaght MacGowan has, (sort of), enjoyed peace and love since 1957. Also making his appearance that year, ex-ball kicker, excitable sports commentator and for some reason now singer – Chris Kamara made a successful clearing shot. Tall(ish) ex-squeeze to Michael Hutchence, Helena Christensen was a model child in 1968. Indian actress Nandita Arvind Morarji who goes by the name, Nagma, stole the scene in 1970. Dido Florian Vloud de Bounevialle O’Malley Armstrong or just Dido, was no angel as a child in 1971. Disparaging comment maker on neighbouring President whilst being baby faced Prime Minister of the land of Mounted Police, maple syrup and lumberjacks, Justin Pierre James Trudeau is making everyone feel old given he was also born in 1971. Keeping with the Trudeau’s – Justin’s younger brother, Alexandre Emmanuel ‘Sacha’ Trudeau also wanted a double present given he arrived two years to the day after his bro. Former English test cricket captain – Marcus Edward Trescothick slipped through in 1975. Another former English test cricket captain – Alastair Nathan Cook wasn’t a doosra in 1984. Also arriving that year, daughter to ex-Dr. Who, who’s now married to another Dr. Who – Georgia Elizabeth Tennant, (née Moffett), was no longer in the dark. 

Cab Calloway.

Relatives of the following were found queueing up to get refunds on their presents: Pope Adrian had someone else waft the incense about after 795. Cartographer and founder of Quebec City – Samuel de Champlain had a chapel built in his honour, (which, rather ironically, no one can now find), in 1635. Having mentioned locksmith Linus Yale Jr., way back on the 4th April when he was released, here he is again given he was permanently locked out from 1868. 123rd Emperor of Japan, Emperor Taishō let his sushi go mouldy in 1926. Actress born Edwina Lucille Hoffmann but went by the name of Cheerio Meredith, didn’t know people were saying goodbye to her in 1964. Un-amusing silent film star Sir Charles Spencer ‘Charlie’ Chaplin waddled off into the distance back in 1977. Romanian Presidenti, (along with his Mrs), Nicolae and Elena Ceaușescu got the bullet in 1989. Seventh Prime Minister of India Gyani Zail Singh went up in smoke back in 1994. Member of the original Rat Pack known for his quips, Dino Paul Crocetti, or Dean Martin, found that memories are made of this from 1995. Child beauty queen, JonBenét Patricia Ramsey left the lippy from 1996. Known for playing Jesse Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard, Denver Dell Pyle has been to hell and back a few times since 1997. ‘The Godfather of Soul’ James Joseph Brown couldn’t get up offa that thing after 2006. Singer with the rather unfortunate name given its rhyming slang meaning, Eartha Kitt found she got nothin’ for Christmas in 2008. Dead Norwegian of the day, Halfdan Hegtun was deselected in 2012. Finally, having mentioned his namesake only yesterday, by a strange quirk of fate, here is the 1980’s popster and public toilet opportunist/cannabis smoking driver with a penchant for shuttlecocks – Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotu, otherwise known as George Michael had his last Christmas in 2016.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas!

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

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 24th December


Today’s posting begins with ancient Roman Emperor Galba, though he had the birth name: Servius Sulpicius Galba and was also known as Lucius Livius Ocella Sulpicius Galba, adopted this day in 3BC as one to get some presents and cake. Old royal of the week, John Lackland or John, King of England, who missed out on having his birthday on the big day by 24 hours in 1166. American frontiersman Christopher Houston ‘Kit’ Carson was no longer trapped in 1809. James Prescott Joule – physicist who discovered the law of conservation of energy, rather ironically started to expend it from 1818. Another royal, this one with the rather fine moustache and born in Denmark before going onto run Greece, initially known as Prince Christian Vilhelm Ferdinand Adolf George of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksberg but then known as King George I of Greece didn’t let his crown slip in 1845. 42nd Prime Minister of Japan – Kantarō Suzuki kick started in 1868. Born Salvatore Antiono Guaragna, (one of eleven!) children and song writer of over 800 tunes, (including the score to 42nd Street), Harry Warren had his craziest dream become a reality in 1893. OCD disciple who owned TWA and was responsible for building one time 70 feet high flying plane Howard Robard Hughes Jr., didn’t suffer head wind in 1905. Creator of Neue Haas Grotesk typeface, now known as Helvetica, Max Miedinger was a real character in 1910. Starlet for MGM, great mate of Howard Hughes, (above), and ex-Mrs M Rooney/F Sinatra – Ava Lavinia Gardner started to have young ideas from 1922. Singer Irving Lee Dorsey had his parents say, ‘Hello good looking’ in 1924.  Luncheon voucher queen who liked to host the, (sometimes) very odd adult ‘party’ – Cynthia Payne was a proper little madam from 1932. Also born that year, cricketer Colin Cowdray knocked ‘em for six. Funny looking half of children’s entertainers the Chuckle Brothers – Barry David Elliott, or Barry Chuckle had his first, ‘To me, to you’ moment in 1944. Confederate cap wearing, mole laden faced, mutton chopped singer Ian Fraser Kilmister, or just Lemmy, surprisingly wasn’t deaf forever after his birth in 1945. Australian Football player, then coach – Kevin John Sheedy had a drop goal in 1947. Tall foreheaded dancer and actor from Bollywood, Anil Kapoor found birth no problem in 1956. The man with the job no one else really wanted, President of Afghanistan – Hamid Karzai took on his first challenge, being born in 1957. Naked running machine casualty and ex-numbers expert on Countdown, Carol Jean Vorderman has been counting the years on her fingers, (and toes), from 1960. Fashion/handbag designer Kate Spade dug herself out in 1962. Physically abusive comedian/actress Caroline Mary Aherne got her timing right in 1963. Fan of a bacon sandwich and ex-Labour leader from Britain, (no, not David), but Edward Samuel ‘Ed’ Miliband – the one with an odd voice didn’t elect to be born in 1969. Singer who’s ‘done an Elton’, (and that’s not having a hair weave), now gay crooner Enrique Martín Morales, or Ricky Martin as he’s better known has been livin’ la vida loca since 1971. Novelist who came up with dull series ‘Vampire’ – Stephenie Meyer, (née Morgan) saw the new moon in 1973. Pop singer/songwriter born Louis Troy Austin, but known at his record company as Louis William Tomlinson was headed in one direction back in 1991. 

As for deaths, Archibald Douglas, Earl of Douglas and Wigtown, Lord of Galloway, Douglas and Bothwell, aka Archibald the Grim was even grimmer from 1400. Mary, Princess Royal – Princess of Orange and Countess of Nassau lost her colour in 1660. Composer Joseph Funk lost the groove in 1862. Noted novelist with the woman’s haircut, William Makepeace Thackeray had his first funeral in 1863. Soldier/inventor Robert Parker Parrott no longer had to repeat himself from 1877. Side kick to Charlie in the Vichy Govt, Jean Louis Xavier François Darlan found the bullet with his name on it in 1942. Co-founder of ice cream parlour Baskin Robbins, Burt ‘Butch’ Baskin found out about the freezing process first hand in 1967. Angelo Siciliano or as he was better known, body builder Charles Atlas found no amount of keeping fit doesn’t keep you alive from 1972. Belgian responsible for those annoying little blue things, The Smurfs – Pierre Culliford or ‘Peyo’, thankfully stopped drawing them in 1992. Also not making through that year, singer with The Dooby Brothers, Robert Jay ‘Bobby’ LaKind had his farewell tour, (in a hearse). Actor of over 150 films – Toshiro Mifune took on the drunken angel in 1997. Singer with screeching band The Four Seasons, Nicholas Macioci who managed to shorten it to Nick Massi, didn’t get to hang on after 2000. Given we haven’t had any dead Norwegians of the day for a few days, singer and comedian Kenneth Siverston makes up for this oversight given he rolled over in 2006. Playwright Harold Pinter had one for the road in 2008. Not the 1980’s popster and public toilet opportunist/cannabis smoking driver who probably enjoyed his time in prison, but American sportscaster – George Michael found his microphone dead, (as was he), in 2009. Creator of classic children’s show The Wombles, Elizabeth Beresford started recycling herself in 2010. Non-human actor, Cheetah, the chimpanzee didn’t have to see Tarzan’s loincloth from 2011. Finally, author of rabbit blubfest Watership Down – Richard Adams didn’t suffer myxomatosis in 2016. 

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

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 23rd December

The following were born over the years, starting with mineralogist/chemist who discovered nickel and named tungsten – Axel Fredrik Cronstedt was a free element in 1722. Inventor/leading entrepreneur during the industrial revolution – Richard Arkwright turned his parents heads around in 1732. Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias, King of Poland and on his days off Grand Duke of Poland – Alexander I was a blessed child from 1777. Founder of door knockers favourite religion, the Mormons or the Latter Day Saint movement Joseph Smith Jr., started disturbing his parents from 1805. Prime Minister of the Republic of India for all of six months – Chaudhary Charan Singh, staked his claim in 1902. Continuing the political theme, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, (or just West Germany), Helmut Heinrich Waldemar Schmidt was more than just a head in 1918. Original illustrator of the Paddington Bear books – Margaret Emily Noel  ‘Peggy’ Fortnum did pen and ink, (stink) at certain times from 1919. Actor Harold Vincent ‘Harry’ Guardino didn’t go for the slingshot method of delivery in 1925. Professional ball kicker before going onto become a comedian – Charles Adolphus ‘Charlie’ Williams got his timing just right in 1927. Emperor of Japan Akihito, took the title, or rather was given the title, Prince Tsugu when born in 1933. Inventor of both Transmission Control Protocol, (TCP – not to be confused with strong smelling antiseptic liquid) and Internet Protocol, Robert Elliott ‘Bob’ Khan routed himself the right way in 1938. Singer with The Chi-Lites, Eugene Booker Record was too good to be forgotten from 1940. Voice of various characters in over running cartoon series The Simpsons as well as being being part of spoof group Spinal Tap, Harry Julius Shearer has had mighty wind since 1943. Person responsible for a few classic sit-coms over the years including, among others: Citizen Smith, Only Fools and Horses, Dear John and Just Good Friends to name but four, John Richard Thomas Sullivan took centre stage, (for once), in 1946. Tattooed songwriter/guitarist with Iron Maiden – David Michael “Dave” Murray may well have been born at two minutes to midnight in 1956. Television presenter Carol Patricia Smillie showed her gums in 1961. Singer/songwriter and ex-First Lady of France, born Carla Gilberta Bruni Tedeschi now known as Carla Bruni Sarkozy, was an absolute beginner in 1967. British socialite who had more than one of her melt downs on television – Tara Parker Tomkinson didn’t live up to her initials from 1971. Tattooed body building model who wears scraps of cloth to cover her modesty, Jodie Louise Marsh has been building up her body from 1978.

As for deaths, Huneric King of the Vandals hasn’t had anyone break his headstone since 484. Archbishop of Canterbury Frederick Temple entered a cathedral for his burial in 1902. Aircraft manufacturer Anton Herman Gerard ‘Anthony’ Fokker was grounded in more ways than one from 1939. Prime Minister of Japan and leader of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association, the one with the chest full of medals and who ordered the attacks on Pearl Harbour, Hideki Tojo didn’t hang about after 1948. Novelist born Joan à Beckett Weigall, but went by the name of Joan Lindsay on the dust cover, has experienced time without clocks since 1984. Jazz musician/nightclub owner – born Ronald Schatt, (did he?!), but known as Ronnie Scott had the undertakers handle him with care in 1996. Comedian Børge Rosenbaum who went by the professional name of Victor Borge, died off stage in 2000. Also not making it through 2000, playback singer and actress born Allah Wasai but known as Noor Jehan, or Malika-e-Tarannum has left the sari hanging up. Diminutive comedian Charles Edward Springal, or as he was better known Charlie Drake, didn’t get to say, ‘Goodbye, my darlings!’ in 2006. Actress and mum to ex-teen idol David Cassidy, Evelyn Ward saw the light dim in 2012. Finally, gun designer Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov discharged himself in 2013.

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

Famous & Infamous Births & Deaths 22nd December

British soldier who founded the colony of Georgia, James Edward Oglethorpe owed a debt to his mum from 1696, and gets to open today’s posting. Norwegian of the day, author Johan Sebastian Cammermeyer Welhaven wrote himself into the plot back in 1807. Chemist who discovered anhydroorthosulpaminebenzoic acid, (or just Saccharin), Constantin Fahlberg started eating cake a year after his arrival in 1850. Opera composer Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini had his mum wailing in 1858. Flour/film merchant, Joseph Arthur Rank became an associate member in 1888. Stage actress Edith Margaret Enid ‘Peggy’ Ashcroft had her curtain call in 1907. Fellow actress Patricia Lawlor Hayes had her reach for glory in 1909. Person who came up with the kick tail on skateboards – Richard Lawrence “Larry” Stevenson had his first nose slide in 1930. Broadcaster James Burke found it was the end of the beginning in 1936. DJ, television presenter and telephone pet life coach/counsellor – Noel Edmonds had a crinkly bottom in 1948. Two thirds of bleached teeth and medallion wearing brotherly singing group –  Maurice Ernest & Robin Hugh Gibb were stayin’ alive from 1949, (until their demise in 2003 & 2012 respectively). Singer with Scottish band Deacon Blue – Richard Alexander ‘Ricky’ Ross had some dignity during birth in 1957. Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat had some expression in him from 1960. Actor who’s appeared in various Shakespeare plays as well as dull film franchise Harry Potter – Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes left the hurt locker in 1962. Missing member of Welsh group Manic Street Preacher’s – Richard James “Richey” Edwards went from despair to where in 1967. Model with the Terry Thomas teeth who scored a hit back in 1987 whilst shacked up with Lenny Kravitz before moving onto Johnny Depp – Vanessa Paradis was a divinidylle in 1972. Professional surfer Gabriel Medina Pinto Ferreira wasn’t caught inside back in 1993. 

Deaths are pretty thin on the ground today, and to this end we see Roman Emperor, Aulus Vitellius found his tenure cut short, (and his head cut off) in 69AD. Antipope Baldassarre Cossa or John XXIII start things as he didn’t bother with the Interregnum in 1419. Engineer/mathematician Jean-Victor Poncelet worked out the dimensions of his coffin to the millimetre in 1867. Female author Mary Ann Evans who went by the male pen name George Eliot has been granted ample leave since 1880. Writer of books about a rabbit – Helen Beatrix Potter didn’t get to write about The Tale of the Undertaker in 1943.  Broadcaster and dad to both Dave and Jonathan – Frederick Richard Dimbleby failed to answer twenty questions in 1965. American suffragist and woman’s rights advocate – Lucy Burns dropped her handbag in 1966. Novelist Samuel Barclay Beckett became one of the ghost trio in 1989. Actress Thelma “Butterfly” McQueen left studio one in 1995. Punk singer born John Graham Mellor but known as Joe Strummer found the answer to the question, ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’ answered in 2002. Actress from ‘Allo ‘Allo and opera singer Rose Lilian Hill had her wrap party in 2003. Sheffield shouter to music – John Robert ‘Joe’ Cocker was unable to issue the instruction ‘Fire it up’ at the crem in 2014. Marine and ex-leader of the yellow team in the United Kingdom, Jeremy John Durham ‘Paddy’ Ashdown hasn’t had to have his pants down since 2018. Finally, actor and dad to Fern – Anthony Edward Lowry ‘Tony’ Britton had the last winter in 2019. 

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