Five People Born on March 19

Today is March 19, 2010 and the 78th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar.  There are 286 days left in the year 2010. According the Mayan calendar, there are 1008 days till the end of the current cycle.  On this date, in 1916, 8 US planes take off after Pancho Villa, the first air-offensive in US history.    Here are five people that share a birthday on this day:

Dr. David Livingstone (1813-1873)
English explorer and missionary immortalized in the words of Henry Morton Stanley, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”  Livingstone was a bit of a hero in Victorian England.  He was considered a Protestant martyr, had a “rag to riches” story, was known as an anti-slavery supporter, and of course, was a bit of an Indiana Jones-type character.  His big expedition was to delve into the heart of “darkest Africa” in a quest to find the source of the Nile River.  In his journeys, he was the first European to find the Mosi-oa-Tunya Falls (which he renamed the Victoria Falls) and the first westerner to journey across Africa from the Atlantic to the Indian oceans.  While he was traveling to these foreign locations, he was spreading trade and Christianity in his wake – things the local leaders did not find threatening, so they let him pass.  His journey to the source of the Nile (which was also done by Sir Richard Francis Burton – also born on this date in 1821), he found himself in dire straits.  His guides had left him, he lost his supplies, and was suffering from pneumonia and cholera.  He was missing for 6 years when HM Stanley, an envoy from the New York Herald newspaper found him on the shores of Lake Tanganyika and uttered his famous greeting.  Livingstone’s response was “Yes, and I feel thankful that I am here to welcome you.”  Livingstone would stay in Africa, where he died two years after the famous meeting from malaria and internal bleeding brought on by dysentery. 

Irving Wallace (1916-1990)
American author and screenwriter, Irving Wallace is best known for his books, The Chapman Report (1960), The Prize (1962), and The Word (1972).  After World War Two, Wallace started writing in magazines, but found a much more lucrative career as a screenwriter.  He collaborated on such films as The West Point Story (1950), Split Second (1953), Meet Me At The Fair (1953), and The Big Circus (1959).   More importantly (at least to me) was the fact that Irving Wallace created a series of non-fiction books with his wife and children, called The People’s Almanac and The Book of Lists.  These series were very popular during the 1970s and an inspiration for MyFiveBest.   Wallace died of pancreatic cancer in 1990 at the age of 74.

Patrick McGoohan (1928-2009)
This American-born actor was raised in England and Ireland and had an extensive stage and film career.  Later audiences may remember him as the evil King of England, known as Edward the Longshanks in the 1995 Mel Gibson film, Braveheart.  In the 1960s, he starred in the television series Danger Man (renamed Secret Agent in the US) and The Prisoner.  The latter series influenced such television shows as The Simpsons, Babylon-5, and Lost.  It was a cerebral-based series where a prisoner, named Number Six, is trying to escape a place called “The Village”. 

Ursula Andress (Born 1936)
Swiss actress and 1960s sex symbol, Ursula Andress will always be the iconic, swimsuit-clad Honey Ryder in James Bond’s Dr. No (1962).    Her entrance from the Caribbean Sea, in the film, has been noted as one of the Top 100 Sexiest Moments in Cinema.  She would later play in the Bond-parody, Casino Royale (1967) as Vesper Lynd.  Andress also has appeared with Elvis Presley in 1963’s Fun in Acapulco, The Blue Max (1967) and Clash of the Titans (1981).  On television, she has appeared for one season on Falcon Crest (1987-1988), playing Madame Malec.  


Bruce Willis (Born 1955)
Born Walter Bruce Willis in West Germany, Willis is an actor of film and television and a producer.  He is well-known in the role of John McClane from the movie series Die Hard, which rocketed him to fame on the silver screen in the 1980s.  He has appeared in over sixty films including: Sin City, Pulp Fiction, and The Sixth Sense.  His movies have grossed more than $3 billion in North America, placing him as the seventh highest-grossing lead actor of all time. Willis used to have a stutter, which he worked hard to overcome to be an actor.  His success came in 1985, when he co-starred opposite Cybill Shepherd in television’s Moonlighting.  The show lasted until 1989 while Willis starred on the silver screen during the same time period.  Following the success of the movie Die Hard (1988), Willis soon landed the voice of the talking baby in the movies Look Who’s Talking? (1989) and Look Who’s Talking, Too? (1990).   These movies would also star John Travolta, with whom Willis would later appear in the Quentin Tarantino classic, Pulp Fiction (1994).  Considered to be one of the best action stars of the 1980s-1990s, Willis continues to make films, expanding his reach from comedy to action to drama.