April 15: Celebrities

Births

Today would have been composer Michael Kamen’s 70th birthday

Michael_KamenMichael Kamen (April 15, 1948 – November 18, 2003) was an American composer (especially of film scores), orchestral arranger, orchestral conductor, songwriter, and session musician. In 1985, Kamen won a BAFTA for Best Original Television Score for Edge of Darkness and he won a Grammy (with Metallica) for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for “The Call of Ktulu”, conducting the San Francisco Orchestra on the band’s album S&M (1999).

Rastafarian poet Benjamin Zephaniah is 60 today

Benjamin_ZephaniahThe son of a Barbadian postman and a Jamaican nurse, Benjamin Zephaniah was born in Birmingham and, being dyslexic, he left school at 13 unable to read or write. His poetry, which he calls “street politics” is influenced by the music and poetry of Jamaica. He is a vegan and animal rights activist.

Find out more at benjaminzephaniah.com.

Also born today in…​

Joe_Davis
1901: snooker & billiards champion, Joe Davis (died 1978)

Elizabeth_Montgomery
1933: Bewitched actress, Elizabeth Montgomery (died 1995)

Marty_Wilde
1939: 1960s rock n roll singer, Marty Wilde

Jeffrey_Archer
1940: author and ex-MP, Jeffrey Archer

Dave_Edmunds
1944: Musician, Dave Edmunds

Emma_Thompson
1959: British actress, Emma Thompson

Samantha_Fox
1966: Bitish singer and ex-Page 3 girl, Samantha Fox

Deaths

Carry On legend Kenneth Williams died 30 years ago today

Kenneth_WilliamsKenneth Williams (February 22, 1926 – April 15, 1988) was an English actor, best known for his comedy roles and in later life as a raconteur and diarist. He was one of the main ensemble in the Carry On films, and appeared in many British television programmes and radio comedies, including series with Tony Hancock and Kenneth Horne.

Williams served in the Royal Engineers during World War II, where he first became interested in becoming an entertainer. After achieving national fame in Hancock’s Half Hour, appearing throughout the radio series’ run, he sustained continued success with 26 appearances in Carry On films, and subsequently kept himself in the public eye with chat shows and other television work.

Though Williams was fondly regarded in the entertainment industry, he suffered from depression and found it hard to come to terms with his homosexuality, leading to his death after an overdose. He kept a series of diaries throughout his life that achieved posthumous acclaim.

Other stars who died this day in…

Arthur_Lowe
1982: Dad’s Army actor, Arthur Lowe (born 1915)

Tommy_Cooper
1984: British comic magician, Tommy Cooper (born 1921)

Greta_Garbo_-_1935
1990: Swedish/ American actress Greta Garbo (born 1905)

Leslie_Charteris
1993: “The Saint” creator, Leslie Charteris (born 1907)

John_Curry
1994: British figure skater, John Curry (born 1949)
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