Became the constitutional monarch of 16 countries and the Supreme Governor of the Church of England after her coronation in 1953. She became the longest reigning monarch in British history.
One of the earliest and most enduring sex symbols of Hollywood, Marilyn Monroe was a talented actress who began a career as a model before foraying into films. The product of a broken home, she did not even know the identity of her biological father. Named as Norma Jeane Mortenson at birth, she spent most of her childhood in foster homes as her mother was mentally unstable and incapable of raising her daughter on her own. The little girl endured a harsh childhood marked by abuse and apathy due to which she suffered from several mental problems later in her life. As a young woman she stared modeling for The Blue Book Modeling Agency and soon became a very successful model thanks to her striking beauty and grace. Eventually she moved on to films, initially appearing in minor roles before bagging more substantial ones. She soon developed an image of a sex symbol by appearing without clothes for the ˜Playboy' magazine. As an actress she acted in several successful films like ˜The Asphalt Jungle', ˜The Seven Year Itch', and ˜The Prince and the Showgirl'. However the final years of her brief life were marked by mental illnesses and alcoholism. Her life was snuffed out untimely when she was just 36 by an overdose of sleeping pills.
Sir James Wilson Vincent Savile, popularly known as Jimmy Savile, was an English DJ, radio and television personality, and fundraiser. Jimmy was one of Britain's biggest stars who started his career playing records, followed by managing dance halls and later becoming a DJ on radio and television. He rose to fame after he started presenting the ˜BBC' show ˜Jim'll Fix It,' which ran for more than 15 years. In the show, Jimmy arranged ways to fulfill the dreams of regular people, mostly, children. That clearly exhibited his love for mankind. Being a philanthropist, he was associated with several fundraisers and charity shows for which he was later awarded the ˜OBE' in 1971. He was also knighted in 1990 for his efforts to change people's lives. At the time of his death, he was praised for his fund-raising efforts, but hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse were made against him after his death. The police made investigations into the allegations and described him as a ˜predatory sex offender,' who had allegedly abused more than 500 people from 1955 to 2009, most of them children and young girls.
Hugh Hefner was an American adult magazine publisher best known for being the founder of Playboy Enterprises. He is credited to have revolutionized the adult entertainment industry with the introduction of the ˜Playboy' magazine and eventually extended his enterprise to include television and internet ventures. When he published the first issue of the magazine, featuring Marilyn Monroe in 1953, he had no idea of how popular the publication would become. ˜Playboy' enjoyed instant success”the first issue sold more than 50,000 copies”catapulting both the magazine and its founder to widespread popularity. Before founding the immensely successful yet equally notorious magazine, Hefner had been a journalist for ˜Esquire' and had also served in the World War II. Born into a conservative family in Chicago, he studied psychology, creative writing and art in college and embarked on a career as a journalist. However, he left his job after being refused a raise and went on to found the adult magazine that would take the entertainment world by storm. Not surprisingly, Hefner epitomizes the lifestyle promoted by his magazine and has had a string of sexy models as his girlfriends. But his life was not just about sex; he was also a well-known political activist and a philanthropist who contributed generously to several causes.
For six decades now, David Attenborough has been the voice of natural history programmes around the world. His contributions in broadcasting and wildlife film-making are unparalleled. His penchant for taking on new projects and turning them into universally acclaimed broadcasts is what makes him a legend in his field. Even his most vehement critics cite his programmes as the epitome of public service broadcasting. He is the first known broadcaster to have treated this subjects with a great deal of sincerity, researched latest discoveries, gained the trust of the scientific community, introduced innovative shots, focused on events, and consciously restricted his on-screen presence. Such is the impact of his wildlife series that he has been hailed as ˜the great communicator' and ˜the peerless educator'. However, he has received criticism about presenting a very false picture of idyllic wilderness, which draws attention away from the threat of encroachment that humans pose on wild flora and fauna. He cites overpopulation and creationism as the primary causes of environmental problems and the decline of wild life diversity.
Fidel Castro was one of the most prominent communist leaders of the last century. He was the Prime Minister, President and Commander-in-Chief of Cuba and made the country a one-party socialist state. Castro started off as a rebellion against right-wing governments in the Dominican Republic and Colombia and in a matter of time became the leader of the communist revolution and ruled Cuba for almost 6 decades. In his almost six-decade long career, Castro moved from the rank of being a ˜political illiterate' to being a ˜pro politician'. Adopting anti-imperialistic politics, Castro led the Cuban Revolution and successfully overthrew Fulgencio Batista, the US-backed President of Cuba. He developed strong ties with the Soviet Union, which further irked the U. S. A, which US attempted to remove him, by economic blockade, assassination and counter-revolution but none of these had an impact on Castro and his rule remained strong. Castro implemented various socialistic reforms including introduction of the central economic planning and expansion of the healthcare and education. Castro also served as the Secretary General of the Non Aligned Movement and the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba.
Andy Griffith was an actor, television producer, writer and a singer. He was one of the most famous television personalities of the last few decades. ˜The Andy Griffith Show', which entertained the audiences for nearly eight years, was his most famous show and took him to great heights of success. With a humble beginning as a comedian, Griffith proved his versatility by starring in several roles. His portrayals of villainous characters in several television films received huge appreciation while he was already a star in the field of comedy. As time passed by, he took up more challenging roles and executed them in the best possible manner. A veteran of Broadway, he had come a long way from shackles of poverty to become one of the celebrated individuals of television. His character of ˜Andy Taylor', the protagonist in the ˜The Andy Griffith Show', is perhaps his most reminisced role and the highlight of his career. However, Griffith never allowed himself to be typecast and moved ahead to act in movies. He was also a country and gospel singer and even won a Grammy.
Chuck Berry or Charles Edward Anderson Berry was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. He is known as the 'Father of Rock-n-Roll' and is regarded as one of the most popular and influential performers in the 'rhythm-and-blues' and 'rock-and-roll' music in the era of 1950s, '60s and '70s. His distinctive sounds from the guitar, vivid descriptions of teenage life, and the melodic virtuosities of the piano player (Johnnie Johnson) have served as a source of inspiration for every rock-and-roll band for more than half a century. He helped create rock and roll from rhythm and blues by combining clever lyrics, precise diction, characteristic country-western music devices, electronic effects and magnificent stage shows. Growing up with a family proud of its African-American and Native-American ancestry and singing in the choir of the Antioch Baptist Church could very well have been his inspiration. He says he borrowed his technique and guitar riffs from 'T-Bone Walker'. Legendary bands like The Beatles, Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys have covered numerous songs by Berry. Later on, he stopped recording albums, but played regularly on tours and on 'one-man' shows accompanied by independent musicians and bands
Widely known for being social media star <a title='Ross Smith' href='/famous/ross-smith.htm'>Ross Smith</a>'s grandmother and frequent collaborator. She initially appeared on his Vine account, before moving to Instagram.
Melvin James Kaminsky, popularly known as ˜Mel Brooks', is a famous American comedian, director, producer, screenwriter, actor, composer and lyricist. He was born in a Jewish household in New York. He served in the US military as a corporal for sometime but later started to play piano and perform stand-up comedy acts in Borscht Belt resorts. From there on his talent for comedy was recognized and he was hired to write for the comedy series ˜Your Show of the Shows'. Brooks did writing for many sitcoms during the early creative period of his life and once he was quite settled with Hollywood and fame, he ventured into directing movies, like: ˜The Producers', ˜Young Frankenstein', ˜The Twelve Chairs', etc. He started his own production company under the name of ˜Brooksfilms' and produced a number of non comedy films. He also produced, wrote and directed many Broadway musicals. He is one of the few artists in Hollywood who has received Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards. He recently received AFI Life Achievement Award and three of his films are ranked in the American Film Institute's list of the top 100 comedy films of all-time.
Harper Lee was an American author who is renowned for her novel ˜To Kill a Mockingbird'. She did not seem to have many companions during her childhood except her neighbour and friend Truman Capote. Lee's mother probably had some psychological ailments and this left a profound impact on her. Truman also faced domestic problems and the two found an outlet in each other to pour out these grievances which later came out through their writings. Lee wanted to become a writer and to chase this dream she dropped out from her course as an exchange student and tried to pursue her literary career. However, she encountered many obstacles in this path, the major challenge being financial instability. To earn a living and also continue her writing, she took up a job at the airlines. This deterred the aspiring writer from focussing on her writing completely, and she struggled to strike a balance between her work and passion for writing. As they say ˜Where there is a will, there is a way', she was helped by friends in her pursuit when as a Christmas gift, she received a handsome amount which was enough for her to quit her job and focus on writing. She then penned her novel ˜To Kill a Mockingbird' which became a bestseller and is still sought after by readers
Jerry Lewis, the comedian who rose to fame as one of the wildly popular duo ˜Martin and Lewis' during the 1950s is more than just a funny man”he is also an accomplished actor, film producer and screenwriter. The son of professional entertainers, he was introduced to the world of show business when he was just five years old. By the time he was in his teens he had developed his own comic routine, ˜Record Act', an exaggerated mime of popular songs. He met <a title='Dean Martin' href='/famous/dean-martin.htm'>Dean Martin</a>, a nightclub singer with whom he formed the comedy pair, Martin and Lewis. The pair performed at nightclubs before making their transition to radio, films and television. Famous for their slapstick comedy and exaggerated physical acts, the duo reached the heights of popularity when they appeared in a series of comedy films. In spite of working as a team, each member carved his own individual niche which enabled both to embark into successful solo careers after the team dissolved. Jerry appeared in ˜The Delicate Delinquent'”his first film without Martin”which went on to become a huge hit and established him as a solo actor. The actor eventually moved on to film direction and production winning the Best Director of the Year award eight times in Europe.