8/16/2013

Strange Facts About Some Famous People


 
I guess what constitutes "famous" is a subjective term in the minds of most people.  Some may think everyone ever appearing on the silver screen in Hollywood is famous.  Some think all U.S. Presidents are famous.  It is all in what you think or what the consensus is that puts the "famous" moniker in front of someone.  Sports figures, Hollywood celebrities, politicians and, in some venues, criminals can be considered famous such as serial murderer John Wayne Gacy (for his artwork in prison).  So, it should come as no surprise that many of these so-called famous people have some unusual or strange facts about them that few people know or are aware.  For example, few know that the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, was a natural blonde.  I bet you can't imagine a blonde Elvis.  In fact, Elvis was known more for his black hair longer than he ever was as a  blonde.  So, with that little morsel of information thrown out there, let's look at a few more strange facts about "famous people."

Mark Wahlberg.    Few people even remember he was the front man for the band Marky Mark and the Fun Bunch.  He is one of the most sought after actors in film today.  However, earlier in life, he was not so respected.  In 1998, Mark Wahlberg was arrested for a racially motivated attack that left one of two victims blind.  He was initially charged with attempted murder.  However, he only spent 45 days in jail for this unprovoked attack.

Martin Luther King Jr.   A surprising fact about the civil rights leader is that Dr. King was an avid Star Trek fan.  Dr. King was instrumental in convincing Nichell Nichols (Lt. Uhura) to stay on Star Trek rather than pursue a career on Broadway.  I can't imagine anyone else as Chief Communications Officer of the Enterprise.  Incidentally, Nichelle Nichols became part of the first interracial kiss on network television when she kissed Capt. Kirk (William Shatner) on a Star Trek episode. 

Steve Jobs.   Obviously, one of the most famous and respected innovators in the history of computer technology.  He was also one of the quirkiest people around.   Steve Jobs supposedly became a vegan because he was led to believe that a vegetable diet would not necessitate him ever taking a bath again.  An incredibly intelligent man.  But, perhaps, a bit lacking in common sense.

Bill Gates.   If you going to talk about Steve Jobs, you naturally have to discuss Bill Gates.  In high school, a young Bill Gates was tasked with writing code for a program that scheduled classes.  Showing the ingenuity and foresight he would later use to develop the Microsoft dynasty, Bill Gates altered the program so that he would be in classes with the majority of the students being female.  I don't care who you are.  You got to love a guy who is this ingenious. 

Mel Blanc.   Famous for the voices of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Yosmite Sam, to name just a few, Mel Blanc was in a near fatal car crash in 1961 that caused him to have a fractured skull which put him in a coma for three weeks.  Doctors were unable to get Mel Blanc to respond to commands.  In desperation, one doctor asked him, "Bugs, can you hear me?"  Mel, in his Bugs Bunny voice that is recognized all over the world, said, "Yeeeee, what's up doc?"  From that point on, doctors were able to address him with the cartoon character persona and he would respond until he came out of the coma.  The "What's up doc" line stuck with him until his death in July of 1989.

Woody Harrelson.   An A-List actor of such films as The People vs Larry Flynt, Anger Management and Natural Born Killers, few know Woody Harrelson's father was a contract killer.  Charles Harrelson was convicted of killing Federal Judge John H. Wood, Jr. and a grain dealer named Sam Degalis Jr.  Woody had little, if anything, to do with his father as a result. Charles Harrelson died in the maximum security prison in Florence, Colorado of heart disease in March of 2007. 

James Earl Jones.    A character actor throughout most of his career, he is best known for having one of the most iconic voices in history (This Is CNN).  What many people do not know is that Mr. Jones was a severe stutterer as a child.  He was so ashamed of it, he remained completely silent for almost eight years.

I admit I knew none of the above except the information about Woody Harrelson's father.  I saw a documentary about his father killing a federal judge, the first known case of an assassination of a federal judge.  These are just a few strange facts I've found in research on the internet about famous people.  I'm sure there are many more. 


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