LEGEND: TOM CRUISE

1. We Could Be Watching The Latest ‘Tom Mapother’ Film

‘Cruise’ is actually Tom’s middle name, with his real last name being ‘Mapother’.

2. He Had An Abusive Father…

Cruise has described his father as an abusive one, “a bully coward”. He left his mum when he was young, so Tom took up local jobs (like mowing neighbours’ lawns) to help his mom with the bills.

3…And Was Bullied At School

Cruise was regularly bullied, and had to attend 15 different schools in 10 years.

4. He Could Have Been A Priest

Cruise didn’t always want to be an actor, in fact aged 14 he planned on becoming a Catholic Priest, attending a Seminary (basically a college where you study theology). It didn’t work out however as he got kicked out for stealing alcohol.

5. He Could Also Have Been A Wrestler

Cruise was a wrestler in high school and originally planned on going professional. However, a knee injury meant that he had to quit the wrestling team, and that’s when he took up drama classes and his interest in acting begun.

6. He Held A Number Of Regular Jobs…

Before he got his big break, Tom worked as a bus boy, porter and table cleaner.

7…And Claims Scientology Cured His Dyslexia

Yes, Cruise used to suffer from dyslexia, but says he was cured by Scientology.

8. He Dressed Up In A Bra And Heels To Accept An Award

In 1994, he was awarded man of the year by ‘Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Club’, known for its productions that feature Harvard men in drag. Rising to the occasion, he accepted the award wearing a bra and heels.

9. He Auditioned For A New Wife

Cruise split up with Penelope Cruz in 2004 because she was unwilling to fully embrace Scientology. It is understood that he then allowed the organization to audition actresses to be his future spouse, all under the guise of ‘casting’ for a Mission: Impossible film.

10. He Doesn’t Like Psychologists

It has been reported that when Cruise was filming War of the Worlds he overheard Steven Spielberg praising a psychiatrist who had helped a family member, causing him to send a Scientology group to picket the psychiatrist’s office. He has also publicly criticized Brooke Shields for her documented use of antidepressants. This is all because Scientology states that psychologists are ‘antisocial enemies of the people’.

11. He Was A Box Office First

Cruise is the first actor to appear in five consecutive films that grossed more than $100 million in the US. These were A Few Good Men, The Firm, Interview with the Vampire, Mission: Impossible and Jerry Maguire.

12. He Could End Scientology If He Wanted To

Tom Cruise is the main face of Scientology in the world today, and in early 2017, Leah Remini in an interview with Bill Maher stated that because of his high standing, he “has the power to end Scientology if he wanted to”.

13. He Could Have Been Iron Man…

Cruise was in talks to play the popular iron-clad Avenger, but can you imagine anyone other than Robert Downey Jr. in the role?

14…And He Has A Day Named After Him In Japan

Yes, in Japan the 10th of October is’ Tom Cruise Day’. This is mainly down to the large number of times he has visited the country.

LEGEND: DAVID BOWIE

David Bowie was born in London on January 8, 1947 as David Robert Jones. But as he readied to embark on his musical career as a teen, there was a problem: Davy Jones, the lead singer of The Monkees, was already a known quantity in the music industry, and the aspiring artist was afraid they might be confused. So David Jones changed his name to David Bowie.

In 1967, 14-year-old Sandra Dodd sent Bowie what would be his first fan letter from America, in which she asked him about his name. Bowie quipped: “In answer to your questions, my real name is David Jones and I don’t have to tell you why I changed it. ‘Nobody’s going to make a monkey out of you’ said my manager.”

2. NO, HIS EYES WERE NOT TWO DIFFERENT COLORS.

While people often claim that Bowie had heterochromia, a genetic condition that results in having two different colored eyes, that is incorrect. Both of his eyes are blue; the ocular oddity that you do notice is what is known as aniscoria, or a permanently dilated pupil—which happened when Bowie was 15 years old and got into a fight with his friend, George Underwood, over a girl. “I was so aggrieved I walked over to him, basically, turned him around and went ‘whack’ without even thinking,” Underwood explained. (His fingernail sliced into Bowie’s eye.)

Fortunately, there were no hard feelings; the two later collaborated on an album as The King Bees and Underwood went on to design the album covers for some of Bowie’s most famous records, including The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

3. THAT WASN’T THE ONLY TIME BOWIE’S EYE TOOK A BEATING.

In 2004, while performing in Oslo, Norway, a “fan” threw a lollipop onto the stage, which somehow managed to strike Bowie in the eye—and get stuck. A member of his crew was able to remove it, and Bowie went on with the concert. Rebel rebel indeed.

4. HE WAS BOYHOOD FRIENDS WITH PETER FRAMPTON.

Despite Bowie being more than three years older than Peter Frampton, the two struck up a friendship as youngsters. Both attended Bromley Technical High School, where Frampton’s dad was Bowie’s art teacher. The two shared a unique bond over music, and remained close friends until Bowie’s death. “He really introduced me, along with George Underwood, to Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran, people I wasn’t aware of at that age,” Frampton once said of his childhood friend. The two would collaborate a number of times over the years.

5. BOWIE AND ELTON JOHN WERE PALS AS TEENS, TOO.

Back in their teens—when Bowie was still known as David Jones and Elton John went by Reginald Kenneth Dwight—the two future rock icons became fast friends and would frequently get together to talk about music. But shortly after Bowie’s death, John admitted that they had a falling out and hadn’t talked much in about 40 years.

“David and I were not the best of friends towards the end,” John said. “We started out being really good friends. We used to hang out together with Marc Bolan, going to gay clubs, but I think we just drifted apart. He once called me ‘rock ’n’ roll’s token queen’ in an interview with Rolling Stone, which I thought was a bit snooty. He wasn’t my cup of tea. No; I wasn’t his cup of tea.”

6. AS A TEEN, BOWIE FOUNDED THE SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO LONG-HAIRED MEN.

In 1964, when he was just 17 years old, Bowie formed The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men, an organization aimed at protesting the treatment that he and other men with long hair received on the streets of London. He took the matter seriously, as you can see from the BBC interview above.

That BBC spot led to an interview with the London Evening News, where Bowie explained that the organization was “really for the protection of pop musicians and those who wear their hair long. Anyone who has the courage to wear their hair down to his shoulders has to go through hell. It’s time we were united and stood up for our curls.”

7. HIS FIRST HIT, “SPACE ODDITY,” WAS PERFECTLY TIMED.

On July 11, 1969, Bowie released the single “Space Oddity.” The timing could not have been more perfect. Nine days after its release, the BBC ran the song over its coverage of Apollo 11’s lunar landing. It would end up being his first big hit in the UK.

8. HIS BROTHER WAS A MAJOR INSPIRATION FOR HIS MUSIC.

In 1985, Bowie’s half-brother Terry Burns, who battled mental health issues throughout his life, escaped from the hospital where he had been admitted and killed himself. In Nicholas Pegg’s The Complete David Bowie, the writer revealed that Burns had quite an impact on Bowie’s writing. He was reportedly the inspiration for a number of his songs, including “Aladdin Sane,” “All the Madmen,” and “Jump They Say.”

9. BEING ZIGGY STARDUST LED HIM TO QUESTION HIS SANITY.

3rd July 1973: David Bowie performs his final concert as Ziggy Stardust at the Hammersmith Odeon, London. The concert later became known as the Retirement Gig

EXPRESS/GETTY IMAGES

Though Bowie had many alter egos over the years, Ziggy Stardust was the most famous of them. From 1972 to 1973 he toured in character as the glam rock persona until he abruptly announced that he would be retiring Ziggy during a concert in 1973. “Not only is this the last show of the tour, but it’s the last show that we’ll ever do,” Bowie said of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

He later admitted that Ziggy “wouldn’t leave me alone for years. That was when it all started to go sour … My whole personality was affected. It became very dangerous. I really did have doubts about my sanity.”

10. FOR A TIME, HE FEARED A WIZARD MIGHT STEAL HIS URINE.

Four years after his Ziggy Stardust period, Bowie became the Thin White Duke. It was during this period that he struggled with both drug and emotional problems. In David Buckley’s book, Strange Fascination: David Bowie—The Definitive Story, the author wrote that by 1975, Bowie was “living a cocooned existence [in Los Angeles], disconnected from the real world.” He was apparently subsisting on a diet of peppers and milk, and exhibited some truly strange behaviors—like keeping his urine in his refrigerator so that “no other wizard could use it to enchant him.”

LEGEND: HUGH JACKMAN

Ever since making his professional acting debut in the Australian drama Law of the Land nearly 25 years ago, and appearing as Wolverine for the first time in Bryan Singer’s X-Men (2000), Hugh Jackman has rightfully earned his title as “one of the nicest guys in Hollywood.”

Whether flexing his action muscles as Wolverine, getting emotional (and musical) in Les Misérables, or showing off his dance moves in The Greatest Showman, Jackman can seemingly do it all.

In celebration of the Oscar nominee’s 50th birthday, here are 10 things you might not have known about Hugh Jackman.

1. RUSSELL CROWE WAS THE FIRST CHOICE TO PLAY WOLVERINE.

Actors Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe attend the UK Premiere of 'Noah' at the Odeon Leicester Square on March 31, 2014 in London, England

DAVE J HOGAN, GETTY IMAGES FOR PARAMOUNT PICTURES INTERNATIONAL

After all these years, it’s hard to imagine Wolverine as anyone other than Hugh Jackman. However, it’s all thanks to Russell Crowe—who was actually the first choice for the role—that Jackman got the role.

Crowe instead suggested that his friend, a then-unknown Australian actor named Hugh Jackman, take his place. Despite the recommendation, Dougray Scott was selected to play Wolverine, but due to last-minute scheduling conflicts with his role in Mission: Impossible 2, Scott was forced to drop out. Finally, Jackman was given the role—and the rest is history. (Looks like the third time really is the charm.)

2. JACKMAN CREATED A FOUNDATION TO HELP FARMERS.

The Laughing Man Foundation“supports coffee farming communities by investing in programs that clear the way to health, growth, and success for coffee farmers and their families.” The Foundation was started by Jackman after he met an Ethiopian coffee farmer named Dukale his family. The meeting inspired Jackman to create Laughing Man Coffee and The Laughing Man Foundation to support families like Dukale’s.

3. HE MET HIS WIFE ON THE SET OF HIS FIRST MAJOR ACTING JOB.

Jackman’s first real TV break was in 1995 on a one-season, 10-episode prison drama called Correlli. In the series, Jackman played an inmate named Kevin Jones, who had an ongoing flirtation and romance with his psychologist, played by his now-wife, Deborra-Lee Furness. Jackman and Furness’s romance blossomed both on and off-screen, and the two tied the knot one year later. They have been married ever since, and have two children together.

4. JACKMAN’S MOTHER LEFT HIS FAMILY AT AN EARLY AGE.

Although Jackman was born in Australia, his parents are natives of England. Jackman is the youngest of five children, and when he was eight years old, his mother left his family and moved back to England, leaving his father to raise him and his siblings alone.

Five years later, Jackman’s father went to England in the hopes of reconciling with his wife. “”Dad went off to England to bring her back, but by this point she was married to someone else, with a kid,” Jackman told The Hollywood Reporter. “It was really complicated. So when Dad arrived back—not three weeks later, as planned, but five days later—I just knew. I was old enough to go, ‘This is not happening.'”

Jackman has admitted that he used the anger he felt about that abandonment, especially how strongly he felt it as a teenager, to help him play Wolverine.

5. HE DREAMED OF BEING A JOURNALIST.

Hugh Jackman (C) gives a televison interview at the Japanese premiere of 'The Wolverine' in Tokyo on August 28, 2013

KAZUHIRO NOGI, AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Jackman attended the University of Technology in Sydney, where he studied communications in the hopes of becoming a journalist. Back then it was his goal to become an international freelance journalist. However, by the time Jackman’s senior year rolled around, he found he was a few credits short. He added a drama class to his schedule, and we think you can guess what happened next.

6. HE PLAYS SEVERAL INSTRUMENTS AND PRACTICES MEDITATION AND YOGA TO RELAX.

Though it’s probably not surprising given his obvious musical talent, Jackman plays three instruments: the piano, the guitar, and the violin. Additionally, given how stressful life in the spotlight can be, Jackman says he has been practicing Transcendental Meditation for nearly 30 years now. Jackman’s Kate and Leopold co-star, Meg Ryan, turned him on to yoga, another source of relaxation for the actor.

7. HE’D LOVE FOR TOM HARDY TO BE HIS WOLVERINE SUCCESSOR.

JAMES MANGOLD – © 2017 MARVEL. TM AND © 2017 TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX FILM CORPORATION.

In 2015, MTV UK asked Jackman who he’d like to replace him for the role of Wolverine if there were to be a reimagined, younger version of the character. Though Jackman joked about not wanting to give the producers any ideas to replace him so easily, without skipping a beat, he said Tom Hardywould be his pick.

8. JACKMAN HOLDS A SUPERHERO WORLD RECORD.

As of 2016, Jackman has held the record for playing the same superhero the most times in a live-action film franchise, as he was the only character/actor to appear in all seven chapters of the X-Men series.

9. HE HAS BEEN A FAN OF MUSICALS SINCE HE WAS A KID.

Jackman’s love of musical theater started blossoming when he was just 10 years old. He saw a high school performance of Man of La Mancha, which started it all. Since then, he has had major roles in musical films including Les Misérables and The Greatest Showman.

10. HE HAS A MAN CRUSH ON GEORGE CLOONEY.

Lastly, and probably the most entertaining fact about Jackman, is that if he were a woman, he’d like to date George Clooney. Yes, this is a question the actor was asked back in 2015, which he quickly answered. Ever the gentleman, he offered his apologies to Clooney’s wife, Amal.

LEGEND: JAMES DEAN

Very few young actors in Hollywood history have been able to reach the legendary status of James Dean. The rebellious actor only starred in three films during his short career, but the impression he made on brooding teenage audiences was unmatched. His sensitive bad boy image has captivated both men and women for decades. In fact, over 60 years have passed since his tragic death, and yet he is still remembered as one of the greats, a cultural icon for the troubled and disillusioned.

James Dean’s life was short and stormy. The image above is reputed to be the last official photo taken of the actor, taken on the day of his death. In it, he sits in the driver seat of his Porsche 550 Spyder with friend and mechanic Rolf Wutherich. We’ve rounded up a few facts about the enigmatic star, so read on to discover 22 things you didn’t know about James Dean.

1. James Byron Dean was born on February 8, 1931.

James Dean

2. He was only 24 years old when he died in a car accident in 1955.

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3. James Dean’s parents were of mostly English ancestry, with smaller amounts of Scottish, German, Irish and Welsh.

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4. His mother enrolled him in tap dance lessons at the age of three, and she also taught him to play the violin.

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5. Dean was very close to his mother, and she was the only person capable of understanding him. She died of cancer when he was 9 years old.

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6. After his mother died, he was sent to Indiana to live on his aunt and uncle’s farm.

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7. He rarely talked to his father.

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8. Dean’s performance in school was exceptional, and he was a popular student.

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9. He played baseball and basketball in his early days.

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10. Dean’s first television appearance was in a Pepsi Cola television commercial.

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11. He quit college to act full-time.

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12. In New York City, Dean worked as a stunt tester for the game show Beat The Clock, but was fired for performing the tasks too quickly.

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13. For a time, Dean dated Liz Sheridan, an actor who later become well-known for her role as Helen Seinfeld, Jerry’s mother on “Seinfeld” .

14. In 1954, Dean became interested in developing a car racing career.
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15. One of Dean’s favorite instruments to play was the bongo drums.

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16. He had a difficult time reading.

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17. When he wasn’t acting or racing cars, Dean liked to practice magic tricks.

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18. Dean was extremely near-sighted and could barely see without his glasses.

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19. Dean died less than one month before the release of his most well-known and iconic film “Rebel Without a Cause”.

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20. He got a speeding ticket two hours before his death.

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21. He was the first actor to ever get a posthumous acting nomination in Academy Awards history. He was nominated for Best Actor for his role in “East of Eden”.

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22. He later received his second posthumous Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his role in “Giant”.

LEGEND: JOHN WAYNE

Although he never fired a bullet in combat or rescued a damsel in distress, John Wayne is remembered as a hero, the kind of guy your grandfather looked up to. Wayne had a vast filmography, appearing in nearly 250 movies. Some of his best roles were taken on when he was in his late sixties. Below are 10 facts about an American icon, from his brush with the KGB to rumors about his colon.

10Stalin Ordered His Death

Joseph Stalin was quite the film buff and found himself outraged at the anti-communist sentiments Wayne expressed in the late 1940s. Reportedly, he ordered a hit on the movie star, dispatching two KGB assassins in 1951. But the FBI were wise to the plot and intercepted the two hit men. The agency also allegedly foiled other plots to kill Wayne, including a sniper attack when he visited Vietnam in 1966.

As evidence that Stalin was responsible, we have, first, the word of an unnamed Soviet source. But we also have the word of Stalin’s successor, Premier Nikita Khrushchev. When Khrushchev met John Wayne in 1958, he apologized for the incident, telling him, “That was the decision of Stalin in his last mad years. I rescinded the order.” 

Read more fascinating stories about John Wayne’s incredible life in the official biography John Wayne: The Life and Legend at Amazon.com!

9Cancer

Photo via Stanford School of Medicine

Wayne’s greatest film successes came as a Wild West lawman. His most inappropriately cast role, on the other hand, was surely the Mongol warlord Genghis Khan in the 1956 film The Conqueror. The movie was excruciatingly unwatchable on its own, and its ugly legacy makes it even worse.

Much of the film was shot on location in Utah, downwind of Nevada’s nuclear test sites. In the years that followed, nearly half of the people on set were diagnosed with cancer, including two of Wayne’s own sons. John himself battled cancer in his later years (he coined the term “The Big C”). In 1964, pulmonary cancer cost him four ribs and his entire left lung. He died of stomach cancer on June 11, 1979, aged 72. 

Wayne dismissed the “Curse of The Conqueror.” He believed his cancer was a consequence of smoking. This makes perfect sense; he had a six-packs-a day-habit. 

In 1985, Wayne’s estate allowed the use of his name for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, which advocates various programs to fight the disease.

8Marion And The Duke

Photo credit: Fox Film Corporation

John was born Marion Robert Morrison on May 26, 1907. His parents had a strange affinity for the name “Robert,” and they decided to squirrel it away for the next child, so Marion’s middle name was changed to Michael. 

When Marion roamed the neighborhood, he never went anywhere without his Airedale terrier Duke at his side. The two were such constant companions that local firefighters began calling the boy “Little Duke.” The nickname stuck for life. He certainly preferred it to the feminine “Marion.” (Another famous Marion who hides behind a nickname is Death Row Records founder Marion “Suge” Knight). 

When the man began working in film, studio bigwigs were no more impressed with his name than he was. He appeared as “Duke Morrison” in 1929’s Words and Music, and in 1930, director Raoul Walsh and Fox Studios executive Winfield Sheehan started billing him as “John Wayne.” The young actor had no say in the matter, and he was largely ambivalent about the name. He preferred to go by “Duke” with those in his inner circle.

7Football Career

Photo credit: John Wayne Enterprises

John Wayne stood at 193 centimeters (6’4″). That’s tall today, and for a man born over 100 years ago, it was massive. Young Marion easily scored a football scholarship to the University of Southern California, playing as an offensive tackle. Then, as now, college athletes weren’t paid, and Coach Howard Jones found him a job working for Fox Studios as a laborer and prop man. 

While out body surfing with a friend on Balboa Beach just before the start of his junior year, Marion got caught up in a huge wave and smashed against the sand, badly injuring his shoulder. He tried to continue football, but he was too hurt to play well. Coach Jones moved him down on the roster and denied him his meals. Hungry and strapped for cash, the young man quit football and devoted all his time to Fox Studios. 

6Draft Dodging

Many of John Wayne’s major roles showed him as a war hero, but he never actually served in the military. Born in 1907, he was too young to participate in World War I. By the time the US entered World War II, he was 34 years old and just beginning to become famous. 

He also had health issues, including a bad back (from performing his own stunts), chronic ear infections, and the torn shoulder muscle that derailed his football career. Had he actually undergone a physical, he might have been classified as 4-F, or unacceptable for military service. Instead, his studio successfully applied for him to receive a 3-A deferment (“hardship to dependents”) because he had a family. 

Given his fame, Wayne would likely have been granted a ceremonial role if he had enlisted. Yet he likely he did more for the war effort by appearing in films that glamorized the military. He also applied to work for the OSS during the war, and he spent months doing USO appearances for the troops.

5Chess

One of Wayne’s favorite pastimes was playing chess. He was a skilled player but was not beyond using duplicitous means if he could get away with it. 

While shooting 1970’s Chisum, he became friendly with Christopher Mitchum, the son of Hollywood legend Robert Mitchum. John invited Christopher to play chess, and the young man was flabbergasted to find Wayne was cheating, moving two pieces simultaneously while using his big hands to block Chris’s view. 

At first, Christopher didn’t know what to do, and he complained to veteran actor Ed Faulkner, who’d worked with Wayne on several projects. Ed advised Christopher to call John out on it. 

The next game, John was up to his old tricks, and Christopher told him, “Excuse me, Duke, but you’re cheating.” Wayne was unperturbed, responding, “Well, I was wondering when you were going to say something. Set ’em up. We’ll play again.” 

4Wayne’s Boxer Relative

Photo credit: Túrelio/Wikimedia

American boxer Tommy Morrison briefly held the WBO and ICB heavyweight championship titles. He portrayed mulleted Tommy “The Machine” Gunn, the main antagonist, in Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky V. He also happened to be John Wayne’s grandnephew, and he went by the nickname “The Duke.”

While Morrison had some success in the ring, he seemed almost doomed from the start. His father was an abusive alcoholic, and his mother had gone on trial for murder. His older brother Tim did 15 years in prison on a rape conviction. In 1996, Morrison announced that he’d contracted HIV due to a “permissive, fast, and reckless lifestyle.” 

In the years that followed, he dropped out of boxing and had frequent brushes with the law. He also went through a survivalist phase in which he slept in a cave, convinced the world would soon end. In 2006, he emerged to say that the original HIV tests had actually been false positives, and he was free of the disease. He tested negative in 2007, likely due to tampering with blood samples. In 2011, Quebec required him to take a supervised blood test if he wanted to box in the province, and he refused. 

Morrison in fact still had HIV, and he did very little to fight his infection. HIV-positive Magic Johnson reached out to him, but he didn’t respond. He only spent a month taking the AZT antiviral drug. Morrison withered away and died of AIDS-related complications in 2013 at age 44 after spending over a year bedridden. 

3Yakima Canutt

Photo credit: United Artists

Many stuntmen in Western films were former rodeo workers. The most legendary of them all was no doubt Yakima Canutt, a rodeo world champion. Canutt worked closely with John Wayne over the years, and perhaps their greatest innovations were in creating methods to produce exciting, realistic fight scenes. Fights in early films had been noticeably lame, generally no more than stiff, one-punch knockouts.

But John Wayne owes an even deeper debt of gratitude to Canutt. Many of his signature mannerisms—the squinting, the towering saunter, the drawling, deliberate speech pattern—were copied directly from Yakima. 

Canutt suffered innumerable injuries, including broken ribs and legs. A horse fell on top of him, severing his intestines, and a bull’s horn ripped his face open. Yet despite all that, he died of natural causes, aged 89. 

2Bald

John Wayne would seem the last person to adopt the typical Hollywood affectation over appearance. You would have never seen him at the plastic surgeon trying to preserve his youth with Botox. But after his hair began thinning in the 1940s, he did begin wearing a wig for movies and certain public appearances, probably at the request of the studio. Yet he made no secret that he was bald; when hanging out with family and friends, he would always go au naturel, and he was not shy about being filmed or photographed without his hairpiece. 

In 1974, he appeared at Harvard University, where he unflinchingly stood up to a fusillade of questioning from the student body. Though pushing 70, he had a ball with the kids. One student asked, “Where did you get that phony toupee?” He replied, “It’s not phony. It’s real hair. Of course, it’s not mine, but it’s real.” 

1Red Meat

Photo credit: RKO Radio Pictures

Perhaps the most laughably disturbing rumor about John Wayne was that, upon his death, an autopsy found several pounds (40, say some sources) of undigested red meat lodged in his digestive tract. 

The story checks all the boxes of a tantalizing urban legend—a famous personality, death, dietary excess, bowel movements (or lack thereof). However, it can be immediately dismissed without even considering the biological impossibilities. John Wayne was 72 years old when he died and had been ravaged by cancer for a long time. There was little doubt that he’d succumbed to natural causes, so he didn’t receive an autopsy. 

Unfortunately, this story could be applied to Elvis Presley, who died at the young age of 42. Elvis had a congenital twist in his colon and a history of drug and laxative abuse. When he died, he had a great deal of chalky feces lodged in his colon.

LEGEND: LIONEL MESSI

Lionel Messi is undoubtedly one of the greatest footballers in the world. His skills are amazing and have won him accolades in the football world. 

Here are eight facts about the Argentinian football maestro.

1. The Argentinian was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency at a young age. He signed with FC Barcelona and moved to Spain at the age of 13 and the football club agreed to pay for his treatment, according to his contract.

2. He made his debut for FC Barcelona on November 16, 2003.

Photo Courtesy: FC Barcelona

3. He has the won the European Golden Shoe award in four seasons — 2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2016-17.

4. Messi set the all-time record for most goals scored in a single season for a major European football league with 73 goals.

5. He won the Golden Ball award for the best player of the 2014 World Cup.

Photo Courtesy: WRUF

6. The Argentinan star is the founder of the Leo Messi Foundation, which aims to improve healthcare and education for children.

Fundacion Leo Messi

7. Messi was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

8. He was placed No 2 in Forbes’ list of highest paid athletes.

LEGEND: TOM SELLECK

Many Tom Selleck fans know him best from his ’80s TV hit “Magnum P.I.” Others may know him best as Monica’s boyfriend, Dr. Richard Burke, on “Friends,” as Peter Mitchell from the 1987 hit film “Three Men and a Baby” or, more recently, as Police Commissioner Frank Reagan on the TV series “Blue Bloods.”

Throughout his long career in show business, the actor has had his share of ups and downs but has managed to stay out of the tabloid magazines and remain devoted to his family. Here are some fun facts you may not know about this Hollywood legend.

He Dropped Out Of College To Pursue Acting

Selleck was born in Detroit but grew up in Southern California. While attending the University of Southern California, Selleck belonged to the Sigma Chi fraternity and also worked as a male model to pay the bills. However, he ended up dropping out in order to pursue an acting career. He signed a contract with 20th Century Fox just three credits shorts of a business degree.

He’s A Veteran

From 1967 to 1973, Selleck served in the California Army National Guard. He was a sergeant in California’s 160th infantry regiment. Later, the actor appeared on recruiting posters for the California National Guard.

He Was A Contestant On ‘The Dating Game’

One of Tom Selleck’s first TV appearances was as a contestant on the game show “The Dating Game” in 1965. He appeared again in 1967, losing both times. Perhaps it was because he wasn’t sporting his lucky mustache!

His Mustache Has A Major Presence

When you think of Selleck, chances are you think about the actor’s most defining feature. His famous mustache even has its own Facebook page, where it is listed as a “Public Figure” and has more than 40,000 followers. As you probably figured, without his mustache, Selleck is almost unrecognizable!

He Has Been Married Twice

His first marriage to model and actress Jacqueline Ray ended in 1982, after 10 years. During the marriage, Selleck adopted Ray’s son, Kevin, from a previous relationship.

He Was A Struggling Actor Until His Mid-30s

Tom Selleck was 35 when he got his big break. As the star of “Magnum P.I.,” a crime drama about a private investigator living in Hawaii, Selleck was thrust into the spotlight. Before that, the actor had starred in six other TV pilots that did not take off.

He Worked As A Handyman

When an actors’ strike delayed filming on “Magnum P.I.” for six months, Selleck was already in Hawaii ready to begin filming. He had already signed a lease on an apartment, so he worked as a handyman for his landlordin order to make ends meet.

He Might Have Been Indiana Jones

The role of Indiana Jones in the “Raiders of the Lost Ark” was originally offered to Selleck. However, CBS forced the actor to pass on the movie due to a conflict with his “Magnum P.I.” contract. Selleck revealed the story in 2014 when talking to David Letterman.

He Met His Second Wife After Seeing Her Perform In ‘Cats’

Tom Selleck has been married to his second wife, Jillie Mack, for more than 30 years. They met in 1983 after Selleck saw her in a London performance of “Cats.” He credits their successful marriage to his choice to put his family before his career.

He Had A Secret Wedding

In 1987, Selleck and Mack married in a private ceremony in a 24-hour wedding chapel near Lake Tahoe in Nevada. They used the aliases “Tom Jenkins” and “Suzie Mark” so the press wouldn’t find out. They also only took Polaroid photos of the wedding, so that no one could get ahold of the negatives.

He Played Basketball In College

At 6 feet 4 inches tall, it’s not surprising that young Tom Selleck gravitated toward basketball. When he was a student at the University of Southern California, he played for the school’s men’s basketball team.

He Briefly Dated Mimi Rogers

Before marrying Jillie Mack, Selleck dated actress Mimi Rogers. Rogers would later go on to marry another ’80s heartthrob, Tom Cruise. Selleck met Mack not long after his breakup with Rogers, according to People magazine.

Some People Confuse Him With Burt Reynolds

Because of their mustaches and similar features, some people have confused Tom Selleck with the late Burt Reynolds. You can see why below.

He Lives On An Avocado Ranch

LEGEND: ARNIE

The worst thing I can be is the same as everybody else. I hate that.”

Actor. Producer. Businessman. Philanthropist. Activist. Bodybuilder. Politician.

For an immigrant who was initially known primarily for his ability to lift very heavy things, Arnold Schwarzenegger has had an incredible life that has included being one of the biggest action stars the world has ever known as well as serving two terms as the Governor of California. Despite being from Austria, he is the human embodiment of the American Dream.

Here are a few things you may not have known about “The Governator.”


45. Party Pooper

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s father, Gustav, served in World War II as a Hauptfeldwebel, after voluntarily joining the Nazi Party in 1938. He was later discharged in 1941, after suffering a bout of malaria.

How’s that for a bummer to start this list? Not that we’re in any way implying that the choices Arnold’s father made are reflective of who Arnold is. Still, you have to admit it’s surprising to learn that one of your favorite actors is the son of a National Socialist!

 Germany during World War 2.

44. In Rod We Trust

According to Schwarzenegger, his parents were very strict.

Here’s how he described it: “Back then in Austria, it was a very different world… if we did something bad or we disobeyed our parents, the rod was not spared.”

Physical ramifications for bad behavior were just par for the course in the Austria of Arnold’s youth.

43. It’s Meinhard Knock Life

Arnold’s father, Gustav, had a clear preference for his eldest son, Meinhard. It apparently stemmed from his unfounded suspicion that Arnold was not his biological son.

Oof. That would make family dinners pretty brutal.

42. Somewhere to Put the Magnets

Schwarzenegger’s family was not well off. Even by the standards of Austria between World War 1 and 2.

Arnold has recalled that one of the highlights of his youth was the day his family bought a refrigerator. As in, the thing that keeps your food cold.

Cool.

41. Basically the Plot of “Big”

Schwarzenegger started lifting weights when he was 14 years old.

How does that happen? Well, his dad wanted him to be a police officer, while his mother wanted him to go to trade school. Obviously, they weren’t considering the third option: become an internationally renowned bodybuilder-cum-political activist.  Hence, with the wisdom of a 14-year old, he decided to make a career out of being an absolutely massive human.

Seems to have worked out so far.

40. Breaking, Entering, and Lifting

He was so dedicated as a teenager that when the local gym was closed he would break in to work out. “It would make me sick to miss a workout,” he said. “I knew I couldn’t look at myself in a mirror the next morning if I didn’t do it.”

That sounds… healthy.

39. Behind Barbells

Schwarzenegger served in the Austrian Army for a year, as part of the mandatory service requirement for all 18-year old Austrian males. He went AWOL during basic training so he could compete in the Junior Mr. Europe contest and spent a week in military prison.

38. Don’t Skip Leg Day!

In his first Mr. Universe competition, Schwarzenegger came second to Chester Yorton because Yorton’s leg definition was judged to be superior.

37. The Big Bang

With a new training regimen that sculpted his legs into text book examples of perfect human legs, Schwarzenegger took his first Mr. Universe title at the age of 20, the youngest ever.

36. Who Knew?

Back when Arnold was still adjusting to speaking a new language, he frequently told his English coach, Roger C. Field, about his biggest ambition: that he was “going to become the greatest actor.”

That says a lot about Schwarzenegger’s character. At a time when many people would be struggling with the simple hardship of getting used to life in a new country, Arnold was already dreaming about and working towards becoming an actor… in a language he barely knew!

 

35. Scaling Mount Olympus

At the age of 23, Schwarzenegger captured his first Mr. Olympia title, which he would go on to win another six times.

34. Arnold Got Stoned… Kind Of

Arnold once won the Munich stone-lifting contest, in which he lifted a 560 lb stone between his legs.

Never heard of a stone-lifting contest? You’ve been missing out. It’s basically exactly what it sounds like: dozens of absolutely massive gentlemen struggle to lift up hunks of rock, all in front of an adoring crowd.

It’s basically the geological olympics.

33. Not That There’s Anything Wrong with That

In 1977, Arnold made an interesting life decision: he posed nude for the gay magazine “After Dark.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with the magazine’s demographic. You just have to assume that, had he known he would one day run for political office, Arnold may have wanted to negotiate the “nude” part of the job.

32. TMI

Schwarzenegger struggled with anxiety and learned how to overcome it when a friend taught him Transcendental Meditation.

31. Hulk Sad

Schwarzenegger was convinced to compete in his 6th Mr. Olympia in 1975 by filmmakers George Butler and Robert Fiore to make the bodybuilding documentary Pumping Iron.  He handily beat Lou Ferrigno, the future Hulk, and then retired from bodybuilding until 1980.

30. Kleenex

Schwarzenegger admitted to using anabolic steroids when they were legal. He called the drugs “tissue building.”

29. Mute Button

In his first film, “Hercules in New York,” Schwarzenegger’s accent was so thick that his lines had to be dubbed after production. In his second film, he played a deaf-mute.

28. Don’t Stop Believing

Schwarzenegger has discussed his early struggles in developing his acting career: “It was very difficult for me in the beginning – I was told by agents and casting people that my body was ‘too weird’, that I had a funny accent, and that my name was too long. You name it, and they told me I had to change it. Basically, everywhere I turned, I was told that I had no chance.”

27. Set it to Cimmerian

Schwarzenegger broke through with the 1982 sword-and-sorcery epic “Conan the Barbarian” which was a box office hit. This was followed with a sequel, “Conan the Destroyer,” which did not destroy at the box office.

26. He’ll be Back

In 1984, Arnold appeared in James Cameron’s “The Terminator,” in what many would say is his career’s signature role.

25. Show Me the Money

When he did, indeed, come back as the title character in 1991’s “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” he hit his commercial peak as the Terminator sequel was the highest grossing film of that year with a box office of $519.8 million.

24. An Argument for Immigration

In 1993, he was named by the National Association of Theater Owners as the “International Star of the Decade.” Not bad for an immigrant with a weird shaped body, a too long name, and a funny accent.

23. Conan the Republican

Schwarzenegger became a Republican because the Democrats of the 1960s were far too similar to the Austrian socialists he had left behind in his home country. He was inspired hearing Nixon talking about free enterprise, getting the government off your back, and strengthening the military.

22. He’s Here to Pump… You Up!

Arnie’s first political appointment was as chairman on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

21. The Cimmerian Candidate

When Schwarzenegger first announced his candidacy for the 2003 California recall election for Governor of California, it made national and international news, with budding comedians in the media quickly dubbing him “The Governator” and “The Running Man”… and referring to the ensuing recall election as “Total Recall.”

Ha!

20. Landslide

Schwarzenegger won the election by 1.3 million votes becoming only the second foreign-born governor of California since 1862.

19. Political Rollercoaster

Schwarzenegger won some early political victories by repealing an unpopular increase in the vehicle registration tax and preventing driver’s licenses from being issued to illegal immigrants. However, he started to feel backlash when powerful state unions began to oppose him. After a special election he called in 2005, in which four ballot measures he sponsored were defeated, Schwarzenegger accepted personal responsibility and later commented, “no one could win if the opposition raised 160 million dollars to defeat you.” It was later found that the unions’ use of compulsory fundraising during the campaign had actually been illegal. Vindication!

18. Reaching Across the Aisle

Against the advice of his fellow Republican strategists, Schwarzenegger appointed Susan Kennedy, a Democrat, as his Chief of Staff.

17. Take Two

As he moved towards the political center, Schwarzenegger won re-election with 56% of the vote compared to 38.9% for his opponent Angelides. It was a margin of well over a million votes.

16. Gasta La Vista

In 2006, Schwarzenegger signed the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, creating the nation’s first cap on greenhouse gas emissions. He also signed another bill prohibiting large utilities and corporations in California from making long-term contracts with suppliers who do not meet the state’s greenhouse gas emission standards. The two bills were part of a plan to reduce California’s emissions by 25%.

15. Small Shoes to Fill

In addition to fighting global warming through politics, Schwarzenegger also took steps to reduce his personal carbon footprint by adapting one of his Hummers to run on hydrogen and another to run on biofuels.

14. We Can Dream

Because he is not a natural born American citizen, Schwarzenegger cannot run for president. However, he was portrayed as the president in both “The Simpsons” and “Demolition Man.”

13. True Lies

In an April 2010 report, ethics watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington named Schwarzenegger one of the 11 “worst governors” in the United States because of various ethics issues during his terms as governor.

12. Can’t Please Everyone

Although he began his tenure as governor with a record-high 89%, he left with a record low 23%.

11. Leaf Him Alone

In an interview with GQ magazine in October 2007, Schwarzenegger said, “Marijuana is not a drug. It’s a leaf. My drug was pumping iron, trust me.” His spokesperson later said the comment was meant to be a joke. A hilarious joke. If you’re high.

10. Your Clothes. Give Them To Me Now!

During his initial campaign for governor, allegations of sexual and personal misconduct were raised against Arnie, dubbed “Gropegate,” because the name “Predator” had already been taken.

9. Putting the Buff in Buffet

Schwarzenegger is quite the savvy businessman, starting with bricklaying business, then a mail order business, a real estate investment venture, a chain of international theme restaurants, a shopping mall, a sports festival, and a movie production company. Before his divorce, he was worth anywhere between $400 and $800 million.

8. Little Hummer Boy

Schwarzenegger was the first civilian to purchase a ‘Humvee’. He was so enamored with the vehicle, that he lobbied AM General to produce a street-legal, civilian version, which they did in 1992. Because when Arnie wants a Hummer, he gets a Hummer.

7. It’s Me or the Kennedy

Schwarzenegger was in an open relationship with Sue Moray, a Beverly Hills hairdresser’s assistant, when he met Maria Shriver at a tennis tournament. He dated both women for a year until Moray issued an ultimatum. Schwarzenegger ended up marrying Shriver. So… oopsies.

6. What Dreams May Come

Schwarzenegger has apparently been lobbying legislators for a possible constitutional change that would allow him to run for president or has been considering filing a legal challenge to the provision. A Columbia University law professor noted that while, “the law is very clear, it’s not a hundred percent clear that the courts would enforce the law rather than leave it to the political process.” “The Simpsons” already predicted Donald Trump. Perhaps they can go two for two.

5. Now with 50% More Heart!

Schwarzenegger was born with a bicuspid aortic valve, an aortic valve with only two leaflets. A normal aortic valve has three leaflets. In 1997, he opted for a replacement heart valve made of his own transplanted tissue, opting against a permanent mechanical valve as it would limit his ability to exercise and physical activity.

4. Elephant Love

Arnold’s safari vehicle was charged by an elephant while he was in South Africa. Arnold, being an absolute legend, chuckled as the elephant chased the vehicle, then took some time to talk about how important elephant conservation is.

“I couldn’t have written this safari encounter better if it was a movie. I’m absolutely in awe of these beautiful, strong animals, even though some of us had to change our pants after this. We need to stop killing them — take a photo, not a shot. Would you rather be able to experience these creatures or a hunk of ivory? I thought so.”

You can check out the video of the elephant encounter below.

3. Last Action Hero

In 2004, Schwarzenegger saved a drowning man in Hawaii by swimming out and bringing him back to shore.

2. Trying Abstinence on for Size

Schwarzenegger did not vote for Donald trump in the 2016 US Presidential election, the first time he did not vote for the Republican candidate since becoming a citizen in 1983.

1. The Baena of Maria’s Existence

Twenty-five years after marrying Arnold, his wife Maria Shriver was horrified to learn that he had actually slept with the housekeeper Mildred Patricia Baena. Not only that, but he had fathered a son with her fourteen years earlier, which his wife didn’t know about.

Although Baena was the housekeeper, Shriver kept the house.

LEGEND: TOM HARDY

Tom Hardy, in full Edward Thomas Hardy, (born September 15, 1977, London, England), British actor who was known for his striking good looks, idiosyncratic personality, and cerebral performances in both cult films and mainstream blockbusters.

Hardy’s childhood and early adulthood gave little indication that he would one day become a movie star. He was expelled from school, was arrested for joyriding while in possession of a gun, and became addicted to drugs and alcohol while still a teenager. In 1998 he won a televised modeling competition, which led to an industry contract. He began his acting studies at Drama Centre London but was again expelled. Nevertheless, in 2001 he earned small roles in the television miniseries Band of Brothers and in the film Black Hawk Down. Hardy’s career failed to truly take off, however, until after he entered a drug rehabilitation program in 2003 following a crack-induced collapse on a London street.

Hardy then appeared in a number of plays and British TV miniseries, notably Oliver Twist (2007; as Bill Sikes) and Wuthering Heights (2009; as Heathcliff). His first major film role was in RocknRolla (2008), in which he played Handsome Bob, a homosexual gangster, but his breakthrough came that same year with his next film, Bronson, a fictionalized biography of Charles Bronson, a man known as Britain’s most notoriousand violent prisoner. Hardy’s tour de force performance, which featured him frequently stripping down both literally and emotionally, was widely praised and led to his return to Hollywood with scene-stealing roles in the films Inception (2010) and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011). After starring in the well-received mixed martial arts dramaWarrior (2011) and the romantic comedy dud This Means War (2012), Hardy reunited with his Inception director, Christopher Nolan, to play Bane, the muscle-bound anarchist who faces off against Batman in the comic-book blockbuster The Dark Knight Rises (2012).

Following the biggest box-office hit of his career to date, Hardy made a typical (for him) move back to the art house, starring as the title character in Locke (2013), a film that takes place almost entirely in a car, with Hardy as the only character who appears on-screen for the entire movie. In 2015 he starred in George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road as Max Rockatansky, a role that was made famous in the 1980s by Mel Gibson. Hardy put his own stamp on the character and helped make the film revival a massive critical and commercial hit. Also in 2015 he earned acclaim as John Fitzgerald, a villainous trapper, in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant. For his performance, Hardy earned his first Academy Award nomination, for best supporting actor. In his next film, Dunkirk(2017), he portrayed a British fighter pilot involved in the evacuation of Allied troops from France during World War II. The highly praised drama was directed by Nolan. Hardy then returned to comic-book movies with Venom (2018), in which he assumed the lead role of Eddie Brock and his titular alter ego.

During this time, Hardy continued to occasionally appear on television. He had a recurring role on Peaky Blinders, a series about British gangsters in the early 1900s. With his father, Chips Hardy, and Steven Knight, he created the miniseries Taboo(2017– ). The period drama starred Hardy as an adventurer who is believed to have died but instead returns home to seek revenge against various foes.

LEGEND: TONY HAWK

Tony Hawk, in full Anthony Frank Hawk, (born May 12, 1968, San Diego, California, U.S.), American professional skateboarder who—through his technical innovations, successful equipment and apparel companies, and tireless promotional work—helped the sport of skateboarding enter the mainstream at the end of the 20th century.

Hawk, who even as a child had little patience for failure, began skateboarding at age 9. He started entering competitions at age 11 and made an instant impression with his creativity and daring. His parents were supportive of his new hobby, and they later organized the California Amateur Skateboard League and the National Skateboard Association to help provide legitimacy to the sport. Hawk was 14 when he signed with the Powell Peralta professional team and starred in the famous Bones Brigade videos.

Though Hawk was an accomplished street skater, his reputation rested on his skills as a “vert” (vertical) skater. During the 1980s and ’90s, he dominated skateboarding competitions. He won 73 titles and was named the top vert skater every year from 1984 to 1996. He also invented dozens of moves, including the ollie-to-Indy, the gymnast plant, the frontside 540-rodeo flip, and the Saran wrap. In one of skateboarding’s defining moments, Hawk executed a 900 twist (2 1/2 turns) at the 1999 X Games, a feat that had previously never been performed.

In the early 1990s, Hawk started Birdhouse, a skateboard and accessories manufacturer, and Blitz, a skateboard products distributor. The companies were a success, and he soon became involved in other ventures. In 1998 he and his family created a line of children’s skate clothing, Hawk Clothing, and that same year he struck a deal with the software company Activision to develop a skateboard-themed video game. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater debuted in 1999, and it (and subsequent versions) generated more than $1 billion in sales, making it among the most successful video games of all time. Tony Hawk, Inc., was formed to oversee all of Hawk’s enterprises.

Though Hawk retired from competition in 1999, he remained active in promoting the sport and his products. In 2002 he created Tony Hawk’s Boom Boom HuckJam, a traveling show of choreographed skateboarders, BMX bikers, motorcycle stunt riders, and popular punk bands. That year the Tony Hawk Foundation was founded to help develop skate parks in low-income neighbourhoods. Hawk also wrote several books on skateboarding, and his autobiography, Hawk: Occupation: Skateboarder (cowritten with Sean Mortimer), was published in 2000.