12-02-2013 Christmas “Lives and Deaths”   Leave a comment

Since my posting yesterday I’m starting to get that a tingle of Christmas spirit once again.  With that in mind I thought I might gather a few more interesting tidbits for you concerning famous people  and their connection to Christmas Day.

December 25 is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ as both an important religious and historical figure. There are many others who also claim December 25th as their birthday. They’re famous and celebrated individuals who’ve filled our world with music, laughter and entertainment. Let’s take a quick look.

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Rod Serling – 1924:  Creator of The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling the Emmy-award winning writer set the stage for the future of science fiction on TV.

Annie Lennox – 1954:  The angelic-voiced songstress hit it big with Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) when she was in the musical duo “The Eurhythmics”.

Sir Isaac Newton – 1642:  Sir Isaac Newton was a true Renaissance man who made leaps and bounds in the areas of mathematics, astronomy, and physics.

Sissy Spacek –1949:  Although she has been making movies steadily, the one role which defined Sissy Spacek as an actress was portraying Loretta Lynn in 1980’s Coal Miner’s Daughter.

Clara Barton – 1821:  She was a nurse and the original Red Cross organizer.

Dido – 1971:  She is known for her hauntingly beautiful sounds that seem to transcend time.

Humphrey Bogart – 1899:  He was the rough-edged actor who help put film noir on the map. While critics and fans alike tend to put Casablanca forward as one of the best movies, To Have and Have Not is a better pick.

Jimmy Buffet: 1946:  Parrot-heads everywhere can rejoice.

Robert Ripley – 1893:  Believe It or Not, Robert Ripley was an anthropologist, although that may not be the first occupation that comes to your mind when thinking of Ripley. He premiered his Ripley’s Believe It or Not in the form of newspaper panels.

* * *

Now, I think it’s only right and proper to list those famous and infamous who’ve passed away on Christmas.  Here we go.

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Dean Martin – 1995: A member of the famed Rat Pack, Dean Martin was a singer and an actor having starred in around 51 different films. He died Christmas morning in his home of respiratory failure brought on perhaps by his lung cancer and emphysema.

Billy Martin – 1989: He was best known for his role as the manager of the New York Yankees. He started his baseball career as a second baseman and then became the manager known for arguing with the umpires and doing a special kicking move throwing dirt at them. Martin died in a car accident in New York on Christmas day.

James Brown – 2006: The godfather of soul and funk died from pneumonia on Christmas day in Atlanta Georgia.  He was 73 years old when he passed.

Richard Paul – 1998: Another actor who died during the yuletide season in 1998 was actor Richard Paul. He was Mr. Strowbridge on the show Full House as well as the mayor on Murder, She Wrote.  He died of cancer.

WC Fields – 1946: He was an actor and a film writer, known for his comedic timing. Supposedly after he was checked in to a hospital, feeling ill, a friend caught him reading the Bible and quotes Fields as having said he was “checking for loopholes.” He died in a sanatorium in Pasadena, California after having been hospitalized for around fourteen months. He perished from a stomach hemorrhage. He was 66 years old.

Denver Pyle – 1997: This actor who died of lung cancer was first known as Mad Jack on the show The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, and then went on to become famous as Uncle Jesse in the show The Dukes of Hazzard.

Charlie Chaplin -1977: Famous as the Little Tramp, Chaplin is an acting icon immediately recognizable by most every generation. Hailed for his comedic performances, he was also an Oscar winner before his Christmas death. He died in Vevey, Switzerland at the age of 88.

And a few others:

Reggie White – famous football player for the Green Bay Packers.

Gerald Ford – Was once the President of the United States of America.

Nigel Hawthorne – An actor who was in the film Amistad as well as did some voice over for the Disney cartoon: Tarzan.

Jason Robards – The actor who played a congressman in Enemy of the State with Will Smith, as well as the dying Earl Partridge in Magnolia starring Tom Cruise.

Curtis Mayfield – A singer/songwriter known fro bringing the soul and funk to R & B music.

Dian FosseGorillas In The Mist was about her and she was later murdered in Rwanda.

Jack Benny – A comedian, actor, and all around performer, who died in 1974.

* * *

It must be quite a life when you’re a celebrity.  You’re born on Christmas Day which is celebrated by everyone every year and then you become rich and famous because of your many talents and are celebrated yet again. Unfortunately some of them die on Christmas and are then remembered forever on stupid blogs like this.  As they say “Any publicity is good publicity.”

HO! HO! HO!

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