The Who2 Blog

The Day Nobody Was Born

December 6th is a special day at it’s the only day of the year on which nobody in our database was born. That’s 2843 famous people (and counting) and none of them born on December 6th.The 6th has been the lone holdout for a couple of years now. Even February 29 is well represented by rapper Ja Rule and Mother Ann Lee of the Shakers, among others.

Disney at 105

Animation pioneer Walt Disney died 40 years ago, but were he still living he’d be 105 today. Disney was born the same year as jazz great Louis Armstrong and chemist Linus Pauling. They both outlived him, but they were all outlasted by romance novelist Barbara Cartland, also of the class of ’01, who lived to the ripe old age of 100.Happy birthday, Walt!

Craig Breaks the String

Daniel Craig, the latest actor to play superspy James Bond, seems to be getting rave reviews for Casino Royale — even in China.

More Ageless Wonders

Among the results of last night’s American general elections: Ted Kennedy was elected to an eighth term as a senator from Massachusetts, and West Virginia’s Senator Robert Byrd was elected to a ninth term. (It’s a bittersweet year for Byrd: his wife, Erma Ora Byrd, passed away this spring after 68 years of marriage.)

Mysterious Larry HagEman

We’ve recently added profiles of Broadway star Mary Martin and her son, Dallas star Larry Hagman. Research on both profiles showed confusing factoids: Martin’s birthdate was variously reported as December 1, 10, or 11, and Hagman’s birth name was widely reported to be “Hageman.”Religion and Broadway Editor Hans Holznagel went on the case. His report:

“Leonid Hambro, 86, Pianist With an Astounding Memory, Dies”

That’s the title on this fascinating New York Times obituary of someone we’d never heard of before. You can read the full obituary here. (Registration is required, but it’s free. The obit remains free only for seven days, though.)

Mary Martin, Ageless Wonder

Religion and Broadway editor Hans Holznagel has just completed a new profile of Mary Martin, one of the brightest stars of the American stage in the 1950s. She created the title role of Peter Pan on Broadway in 1954, and of Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music in 1959.

James Cromwell, Biopic Guy

Helen Mirren is winning deserved salutes as Queen Elizabeth II in the new film The Queen (now coming to a theater near you). God save the Queen and DCI Tennison anyway.

Cory Lidle and Thurman Munson

The sad death of Cory Lidle in a plane crash has reminded many baseball fans of the 1979 death of another Yankee, Thurman Munson, in a single-plane crash. Lidle was still a Yankee newcomer, having joined the team this summer. Munson was a baseball player of the old school, mustachioed, burly and competitive, and he was also the first Yankee to be designated team captain since the legendary Lou Gehrig in the 1930s.

New! First Name Index

Vivien, Jessica, Charlie and Matt: These are some of the early popularity leaders in our new Who2 First Name Index.

The Mark Foley Email Scandal

What to say about disgraced congressman and political bombshell Mark Foley? He’s already become the story of the week and possibly the story of the 2006 U.S. elections, somehow trumping Iraq, the economy, new revelations about 9/11, and everything else.

New This Week

Among this week’s new profiles on Who2:Conquistador Hernando De SotoFirefly actress Gina TorresNew Japanese PM Shinzo AbeGnarly poet Charles BukowskiGnarly witch trial victim Bridget BishopTerrorist chief Ayman al-Zawahiri

So Long, (Alleged) Tokyo Rose

Iva Toguri D’Aquino, who was convicted of being the “seductress of the shortwave,” Tokyo Rose, has died at age 90.

Japan’s Two New Youngsters

Japan’s new prime minister, Shinzo Abe, is the country’s youngest PM since World War II. He’s still 52, mind you, but that counts for young in the slow-moving world of Japanese politics. He’s a charmer, and the job is in his blood: his granddad, Nobusuke Kishi, was prime minister of Japan from 1957-60. Add your own “Honest Abe” joke here.

The Who’s New Reviews

Rock legends The Who seem to be getting great reviews on their new tour. The latest come from Boston.

Patricia Kennedy Lawford, 1924-2006

Patricia Kennedy Lawford, sister to political heavyweights and former wife to a movie star, died on Sunday in Manhattan. She was 82 and her death was attributed to pneumonia.

Ann Richards, Former Governor of Texas

Ann Richards has died of esophogeal cancer at age 73.Richards made a famously feisty keynote address at the Democratic convention in 1988, telling listeners that Republican candidate George Bush was “born with a silver foot in his mouth.” She was elected governor of Texas two years later, serving from 1991-95.

Glenn Ford Dies

Remembering the stern everyman actor Glenn Ford, who has died in Beverly Hills at age 90.

Who2: Not the Album?

Pete Townshend has been teasing us for two years with his claims that the next album from The Who would be titled Who2.But it was too good to last. Now Pete says that it was all a gag.

Karr Didn’t Do It

John Mark Karr did not kill JonBenet Ramsey. That was the announcement made on 28 August 2006 by Boulder County District Attorney Mary Lacy.Despite the DA’s earlier suspicions, and despite Karr’s claim to reporters that he “was with JonBenet when she died,” Karr’s DNA did not match with DNA found at the scene of the crime.