Thursday Thirteen #3

After the unfortunate passing on of Heath Ledger two weeks ago, I realised that a number of people had passed away during my lifetime, and so, today’s Thursday Thirteen is a rather sombre one, as I recall those that have passed away in my 20 years here.

Disclaimer: As a couple of people mentioned on this list are notorious figures, I must stress this isn’t a list of persons I ‘like’ who have passed on, simply those that I have memories of.

1.) Heath Ledger
I’ll start with the most prominent in most people’s memories, an Australian actor who made it big in Hollywood, in a number of films. I admit to not having seen any of his films so far, but I’ll be going to see The Dark Knight in the Summer, and I’m sure it’ll be an especially poignant experience.

2.) John Peel
A highly influential and respected Radio 1 DJ, who even up until when he died, provided musical enjoyment to the masses, never shying away from what he thought was good music, even if it didn’t fit in with Radio 1’s ‘style’ at the time.

3.) Christopher Reeve
The man who made us believe a man could fly, and flew he did, up until he passed away from complications from his disability from a riding accident. I’m not a big Superman fan, but Mr Reeve brought the character to life in a way that still hasn’t been quite matched since.

4.) Myra Hindley
One of the two notorious Moors Murderers, and one of only a few women convicted to a full-life sentence. Constant press coverage ensured she was never out of the public eye over the years, and I feel there was a sigh of relief when she finally passed away.

5.) Mike Reid
Probably most famous as Frank Butcher from the British soap ‘Eastenders’, but aside from that he was a ‘risque’ stand-up comedian, and appeared in a number of TV shows across his career, including Doctor Who.

6.) Freddie Mercury
I was only around four years old when he passed away, and so it took another few years for the fact to sink in that I’d never hear a new use of his tremendous voice again. The man lived his life as an entertainer until the very end, attempting to record down as much vocal work as he could before he died so that the remaining members of Queen could carry on for one more album.

7.) Jeremy Beadle
This spot was originally going to somebody else, but I found out just before I started writing this that he had passed away during the past 24 hours. A prominent face on ITV during the 80’s and 90’s, he always brought a smile to my face when I was young, and he had an astounding knowledge of trivia that was hard to beat.

8.) Saddam Hussein
The ruler of Iraq for many years, and a symbol for the troops of both Iraqi wars to fight against. A man who went from the very top of society, with regal palaces and the like, to eventually being found alone and hiding in squalor, there’s not many downfalls that are on par for the amount of drama surrounding them.

9.) Benazir Bhutto
A prominent Pakistani politican, aiming to move the country towards a more democratic style of rule, despite constant barriers being erected by those who wanted to keep her down. She was rallying for an upcoming election, where she was a leading opposition candidate, when she was assassinated. A sady day for the world during the Christmas period, and the reaction from her supporters on the announcement of her death showed just how much she was admired.

10.) Ronnie Barker
Famous as one of the Two Ronnies, as well as his roles in Porridge and Open All Hours, he was a man who could always make you laugh, and the comedy world took a serious blow when he passed away.

11.) Robin Cook
One of the well-known faces of the ‘New Labour’ from 1997 onwards, Mr Cook was Foreign Secretary for four years, and Leader of The House of Commons afterwards up until his resignation in 2003 in protest over the Iraq War.

12.) George Harrison
Perhaps the least ‘public’ of The Beatles, he still managed to become the first to reach #1 in the charts after they split up. Well-known for incorporating Eastern influences into his music, and also releasing the first ever triple-album by a solo artist.

13.) My Great-Grandparents
Due to my family having a history of having children at a relatively young age, I’ve been blessed with being able to know more of my family than others have. Unfortunately, as time goes on, family members still have to pass away, and my great-grandparents were the first, both within a few weeks of each other. My great-grandfather was a bomb-disposal expert in London during the Second World War, whilst my great-grandmother worked in the hospitals there, treating the soldiers who had come back from the front.


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