ACTORS


Douglas Fairbanks                                                                                         Douglas Elton Ulman
1883 - 1939
Born: Denver, Colorado

Swash-buckling hero. Married to Mary Pickford.

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Morgan Fairchild                                                                                           Patsy Ann McClenny
Born: 3 February 1950
Dallas, Texas, USA


Best known as Jordan Roberts on the TV show "Falcon Crest" (1981-90).

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Jamie Farr                                                                                                   Jameel Farah
Born: 1 July 1934
Toledo, Ohio, USA

Perhaps the best known Arab-American celebrity. Starred as cross-dressing Maxwell Klinger in the TV show M*A*S*H (1972-83).

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Mia Farrow                                                                                                 Maria de Lourdes Villiers Farrow
Born: 9 February 1945
Los Angeles, California

Daughter of actress Maureen O'Sullivan, ex-wife of Frank Sinatra, this marriage helped her to score the role of Rosemary in "Rosemary's Baby". The director Roman Polanski had originally wanted Tuesday Weld to star. She had a well publicised, very ugly split from Woody Allen. Was married to conductor Andre Previn in the 70s, with whom she had twins.

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Barbara Feldon                                                                                           Barbara Hall
Born: 12 March 1941
Pittsburgh, USA


Feldon had a successful career as a model and commercial star before being spotted by Buck Henry, who wrote the part of 99 in the hit TV show "Get Smart", starring Don Adams.

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Sally Field                                                                                                Sally Mahoney
Born: 6 November 1946
Pasadena, California, USA

Actress, producer and director. Winner of two Academy Awards: "Norma Rae" (1979) and "Places In the Heart" (1984). Best known as the star of the TV shows "Gidget" (1965-66) and "The Flying Nun" (1967-70).

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WC Fields                                                                                              William Claude Dukenfield
Born: 29 January 1880
Philadelphia, USA
Died: 25 December 1946

Best known for his raspy voice and bulbous nose. Star of "The Dentist", "The Golf Specialist" and "Fatal Glass of Beer".

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Peter Finch                                                                                            Frederick George Peter Ingle-Finch
Born: 28 September 1916
London, England

Australian actor "Newsfront". Starred in Nevil Shute's "A Town Like Alice".

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Jodie Foster                                                                                           Alicia Foster
Born: 19 November 1962
Los Angeles, California

Oscar nominee at the age of 14 for "Taxi Driver", she has gone on to many starring roles in "Silence of the Lambs", "Nell", "Maverick" with James Garner but to name a few. Made her debut as a child model in the now famous "Coppertone" ad.

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Michael J Fox                                                                                       Michael A Fox
Born: 9 June 1961
Alberta, Canada

The 5'4" star of TV shows "Family Ties" and "Spin City" and the "Back to the Future" movies. Michael is one of Hollywood's most popular actors, choosing to depart the limelight to pursue his lobbying for a cure for Parkinson's Disease, from which he suffers.

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Jamie Foxx                                                                                          Eric Bishop
Born: 13 December 1967
Terrell, Texas, USA

Comedian, actor, musician. First achieved movie stardom in Oliver Stone's "Any Given Sunday" (1999). Most recently won a Best Actor Academy Award for his moving portrayal of music legend Ray Charles in "Ray" (2004).

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Dennis Franz                                                                                       Dennis Schlachta
Born: 28 October 1944
Illinois, USA

Dennis has played 28 police officers in his career (talk about being type-cast). Best known for his role as Andy Sipowicz on NYPD Blue. He starred in the remake of "Wings of Desire" with Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan.



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Cheryl Ladd                                                                                        Cheryl Jean Stoppelmoor
Born: 12 July 1951
Huron, South Dakota, USA

Started her career singing backup on the cartoon "Josie and the Pussycats". In 1997 she replaced Farrah Fawcett in the long-running "Charlie's Angels" (1976-81). Now writes children's books.

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Bert Lahr                                                                                            Irving Lahrheim
Born: 1895
New York City
Died: 1967

He played the Cowardly Lion in the classic 1939 movie, The Wizard Of Oz, co-starring with Judy Garland.

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Hedy Lamarr                                                                                      Hedwig Keisler
Born: 1913
Vienna, Austria


Films include "Algiers" (1938), "White Cargo" (1942), "Samson and Delilah" (1949).

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Dorothy Lamour                                                                                 Mary Leta Dorothy Slaton
Born: 10 December 1914
New Orleans, Lousiana

Best known for her performances in the five "Road" films (To Singapore, To Zanzibar, To Morocco, To Utopia, To Rio), which she made with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby.

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Burt Lancaster                                                                                 Stephen Burton Lancaster
1913-1994
New York City


Was a circus acrobat before making his Broadway debut in "A Sound of Hunting" (1945). His film debut followed quickly in "The Killers" (1946). He made many films, usually cast as swashbuckling, tough guy types but he formed his own production company to make films to test his dramatic skills. He received Academy Award Nominations for "From Here to Eternity" (1953), "Elmer Gantry" (1960), "The Birdman of Alcatraz" (1962) and "Atlantic City" (1980).

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Michael Landon                                                                               Eugene Maurice Orowitz
Born: 31 October 1936
New York
Died: 1 July 1991

Starred as "Little Joe Cartwright" for 14 years in hit TV show "Bonanza". Went on to continued success with "Little House On The Prairie", which he also wrote and directed, and then "Highway to Heaven" (again starring, writing and directing). While working in a warehouse a friend asked him to help with his audition at Warner Brothers Studio, the agents were not impressed with his friend, but Mike did so well that Warner Brothers signed him and sent him to acting school.The world lost one of its greatest talents when he died of pancreatic cancer.

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Stan Laurel                                                                                    Arthur Stanley Jefferson
Born: 16 June 1890
Ulverston, England
Died: 23 February 1965

One half of one of the best known slapstick comedy duos of all time: "Laurel and Hardy". See also Oliver Hardy.

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Piper Laurie                                                                                  Rosetta Jacobs
Born: 1932
Detroit, Michigan


Her films include "The Hustler" (1961), "Carrie" (1976), "The Thorn Birds" (TV 1983), "Tender is the Night" (1985), "Children of a Lesser God" (1986), "Tiger Warsaw" (1988), "Twin Peaks" (TV 1991).


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Bruce Lee                                                                                    Sai Fon by mother at birth and later renamed by mother as Jun Fan
Born: 27 November 1940
San Francisco, California
Died: July 20 1973 - result of hypersensitivity to a pain medication.

Leading martial arts expert. Successful film career with hits such as "The Big Boss", "Fists of Fury" had his first break on TV in the show "The Green Hornet" playing the role of Kato.

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Spike Lee                                                                                    Shelton Lee
Born: 20 March 1957
Atlanta, USA

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Janet Leigh                                                                                 Jeannete Helen Morrison
Born: 1927
California, USA

Her films include "Little Women" (1949), "Houdini" (1953), "My Sister Eileen" (1955), "The Vikings" (1958), "Psycho" (1960), "The Manchurian Candidate" (1962), "The Fog" (1980).

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Vivien Leigh                                                                                Vivian Mary Hartley
Born: 5 November 1913
Darjeeling, India

A legend was born when she won the coveted role of Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone With The Wind". She may have made only 20 films in the course of her career, but Vivien Leigh walked away with two Best Actress Oscars to prove that she had talent as well as good looks. Starred in Tennessee William's play "A Streetcar Named Desire".

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Tea Leoni                                                                                    Tea Pantleoni
Born: 25 February 1966
New York

Best known as the star of "The Naked Truth" (TV) and for her marriage to "The X-Files" star David Duchovny. Her latest venture onto the big screen is in Jurassic Park III, starring with Sam Neill.

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Jack Lemmon                                                                              John Uhler Lemmon III
Born: 1925
Boston, Massachusets

Graduated from Harvard University and served in the navy in WWII. An appearance on Broadway in 1953 brought him to the attention of Hollywood and he made his film debut in "It Should Happen To You" (1954). He quickly became established as one of the best comedy actors and went on to a 7 year collaboration with Billy Wilder starting with "Some Like it Hot" (1959). Other acclaimed performances were in "Days of Wine and Roses" (1962) and "The China Syndrome" (1979) His long association with Walter Matthau started with "The Fortune Cookie" (1969) and included "The Odd Couple" (1968) and many other films. He directed one film "Kotch" (1971) and periodically returned to the stage. He was nominated 8 times for an Academy award; he won Best Supporting Actor for "Mr. Roberts" (1955) and Best Actor for "Save the Tiger" (1973).


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Jerry Lewis                                                                                   Jerome Levitch
Born: 16 March 1926
Newark, New Jersey

Comedian, film maker, and humanitarian. Partnered with Dean Martin to be a hugely successful comedy team. Lewis went on to produce, direct and star in comedies such as "The Bellboy" (1960), "The Nutty Professor" (1963) and "The Disorderly Orderly" (1964).

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Jet Li                                                                                            Li Lian Jie
Born: 26 April 1963
Beijing, China

Star of martial arts movies.

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Gina Lollobrigida                                                                          Luigina Lollobrigida
Born: 4 July 1927
Subiaco, Italy

Best known as Italian sex bomb.

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Herbert Lom                                                                                Herbert Charles Angelo Kuchacevich ze Schluderpacheru
Born: 1917
Prague, Czechosolvakia

Made many films finding greatest fame from the Pink Panther series. His films include The Seventh Veil (1946), The Ladykillers (1950), El Cid (1961), Phantom of the Opera (1962), A Shot in the Dark (1964), Murder on the Rue Morgue (1972), The Return of the Pink Panther (1974), The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1977), Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978), The Lady Vanishes (1979) and Whoops Apocalypse (1986).


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Carole Lombard                                                                          Jane Peters
Born: 6 October 1908
Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA
Died: 16 January 1942 (plane crash)

Dramatic and comedic actress. Starred in "My Man Godfrey" (1936), "Nothing Sacred" (1937) and "They Knew What They Wanted" (1940)". First married William Powell, and later Clark Gable.

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Jack Lord                                                                                    John Joseph Patrick Ryan
Born: 30 December 1920
New York
Died: 21 January 1998 (heart failure)

Best known as tough cop Steve Garrett on the TV show "Hawaii Five-O".

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Traci Lords                                                                                 Nora Louise Kuzma
Born: 7 May 1968
Steubenville, Ohio

Best known as an under-aged Penthouse centrefold and adult film star, recently turned B-movie and TV actress. Nora copied her new surname from her favourite TV actor Jack Lord (Hawaii Five-O), which ironically, was itself a Famous Name Change.

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Sophia Loren                                                                             Sofia Scicolone
Born: 20 September 1934
Pozzouli, Italy

Best known as Italian film queen and sex symbol. Won an Oscar for "Two Women" in 1961. In 1991 she won an honorary Oscar for her movie career.

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Peter Lorre                                                                               Lazlo Lowenstein
1904-1964
Rosenberg, Hungary

Hungarian born in Rosenberg. He studied in Vienna where he acted with repertory companies giving one man shows and readings. He appeared in theatre in Berlin in 1928. His appearance as the pathetic child murderer in "M" (1931) set the seal on his subsequent career. A diffident, sad-eyed figure with a whispering, wheedling voice he was often typecast as smilingly sinister villians and outcasts.He moved to Hollywood in 1934 where his successes included "Casablanca" (1942) and "The Beast with Five Fingers" (1946).He made a series of 8 films as Mr Moto, a Japanese detective and also formed an unholy alliance with Sidney Greenstreet seen to best effect in "The Maltese Falcon" (1941) and "The Mask of Dimitrios" (1944). Other films include "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea" (1954) and "The Raven" (1963). He wrote and directed one film, "Der Velorene" (1951:The Lost One).


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Bela Lugosi                                                                             Bela Lugosi Blasko
1882 - 1956
Hungary

US film actor.

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Carol Lynley                                                                           Carole Ann Jones
Born: 13 February 1942
New York City


She was named at birth after screen legend Carole Lombard. Starred alongside Ann-Margret in The Pleasure Seekers. When she modelled she used the name "Carolyn Lee" and she wanted to use that as her stage name, but another acress already had it so she used the same sound with an altered spelling.



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John Wayne                                                                          Marion Michael Morrison
Born: 26 May 1907
Winterset, Iowa
Died: 11 June 1979

Best known as American movie icon and star of westerns. Wayne nearly always played the same character, a big tough but sensitive hero who talked straight and met the bad guys head on. Wayne won an Oscar for his role of Rooster Cogburn for the 1969 film "True Grit".

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Sigourney Weaver                                                                Susan Alexandra Weaver
Born: 8 October 1949
New York City

Star of the "Alien" films, also "Ghost Busters", "Half Moon Street', she began her career with a six-second bit in Woody Allen's "Annie Hall" for which she earned a meager $50. Chose her name from the novel "The Great Gatsby" in the hope that it would bring strange and exciting things into her life.

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Raquel Welch                                                                     Raquel Tejada
Born: 5 September 1940
Chicago

Her fur clad appearance in "One Million Years BC" was the stuff dreams were made of. Her first major role was in sci-fi film "Fantastic Voyage". She is better known for her sex-symbol status.

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Tuesday Weld                                                                    Susan Weld
Born: 27 August 1943
New York City

By the time she was 13 she was already a movie star, had attempted suicide, battled alcoholism, and suffered a nervous breakdown (eat your heart out Drew Barrymore). She began her career in Rock, Rock, Rock with Chuck Berry, her vocals were dubbed by Connie Francis, none-too convincingly.

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Adam West                                                                       William West Anderson
Born: 19 September 1928
Washington, USA

Best known as the original "Batman" on the very popular TV series of the same name. West was not too thrilled when he was not asked to participate in the hit "Batman" movies. See Michael Keaton.

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Gene Wilder                                                                       Jerome (Jerry) Silberman
Born: 11 June 1935
Milwaukee

Starred with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde. Won an Oscar nomination for his role in "The Producers", cast in the role by his comic mentor Mel Brooks.

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Bruce Willis                                                                         Walter Willison
Born: 19 March 1955
Idar-Oberstein, Germany

Best known as the star of the Die Hard movie series, and "the Sixth Sense". Married for 12 years to Demi Moore. Has recorded two blues albums and goes by the nickname of "Bruno". His first big break was in the TV hit show "Moonlighting" co-starring with Cybill Shepherd.

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Oprah Winfrey                                                                       Orpah Winfrey
Born: 29 January 1954
Kosciusko, Mississippi

Her name was meant to have been "Orpah" after a biblical figure in the book of Ruth. The Oprah Winfrey Show is one of the most popular television programs in history. In 1986, Winfrey founded Harpo Inc, her own production company. ("Harpo" is "Oprah" spelled backwards.) A talented actress, she is best known for "The Colour Purple" (1985), "Native Son" (1986) and the TV movie "The Women of Brewster Place" (1989).

In 1994, President Clinton signed the "Oprah Bill", a law designed to protect children from abuse.

In 1995 The "Oprah Winfrey Show" has won seven Emmy Awards for best talk show and Winfrey won an Emmy as best daytime TV host.

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Shelley Winters                                                                     Shirley Schrift
Born: 18 August 1920
St Louis, MO

One of the best-loved actresses of Hollywood's golden age. Won two best supporting actress Oscars for "Diary of Anne Frank" (1959) and "A Patch of Blue" (1965). Also nominated for her roles in "A Place in the Sun" (1951) and "The Poseidon Adventure" (1972). Also known for her "tell-all" biographies, and as one-time roommate of Marilyn Monroe.

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Ernie Wise                                                                             Ernest Wiseman
1925 - 1999
Born: Bramley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK

One half of the comedy duo "Morecambe and Wise", enjoyed success on TV with "The Morecambe and Wise Show".

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Natalie Wood Natasha                                                            Nikolaevna Gurdin
Born: 20 July 1938
San Francisco
Died: 29 November 1981

Star of "Rebel Without a Cause", (1955 with James Dean),"The Searchers" (1956 with John Wayne), "Spendor in the Grass" directed by Elia Kazan and "West Side Story" (both 1961) and "Inside Daisy Clover" (1965). She drowned mysteriously in 1981 off California's Catalina Island while vacationing with her husband Robert Wagner and actor Christopher Walken.

Wood was married twice to actor Robert Wagner.

POLITICAL FIGURES


Spiro Agnew                                                                                                      Spiro Theodore Anagnostopoulos
Born: 1918

39th Vice-President of the United States. Resigned when he was fined for income tax evasion.

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David Ben-                                                                                                        Gurion David Green
1886 - 1973

Polish born Israeli prime minister.

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Napoleon Bonaparte                                                                                          Napoleann Buonaparte
Born: 15 August 1769
Ajaccio, Corsica
Died: 5 May 1821

Crowned himself as Emperor of France. It is reported that he died from either stomach cancer, or from arsenic poisoning.

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Willy Brandt Herbert                                                                                         Ernst Karl Frahm
1913 - 1992

West German statesman and chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (1969-74). He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971.


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Chiang Kai-shek                                                                                              Chaing Chung-cheng
Born: 1887

Military leader and 1st President of Republic of China (1928-31) and again in 1948 until the overthrow by Mao Zedong in 1949.

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Ho Chi Minh                                                                                                   Nguyen Sinh Cung
Born: 19 May 1890
Vietnam, French Indochina
Died: 2 September 1969

Also called Nguyen Tat Thanh or Nguyen Ai Quoc, founder of the Indochina Communist Party (1930). President of North Vietnam from 1945 - 1969, one of the most influential communist leaders of the 20th century.

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Bill Clinton                                                                                                     William Jefferson Blythe
Born: 19 August 1946
Hope, Arkansas

42nd President of the USA and Govenor of Arkansas. Named after his father who was killed in a car accident 3 months before his birth. He later took his stepfather's name of Clinton. Will be best remembered not for his political achievements, but his marital indiscretions.

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Amor de Cosmos                                                                                           William Alexander Smith
Born: 20 August 1825
Nova Scotia, Canada
Died: 4 July 1897

His name translated means "Lover of the Universe". Became the second premier of BC in 1872, serving until 1874. He died in poverty in 1897.

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Emperor Haile Sellassie                                                                                 Ras Taf(f)ari Makonnen
Born: 23 July 1892
Harrar, Ethiopia

Officially known as Emperor Hailie Selassie (Power of the Trinity) King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, he abolished the slave trade in Ethiopia. His birth name has led to the saying "Rastafarian".

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Gerald Ford                                                                                                  Leslie Lynch King Jr
Born: 14 July 1913
Omaha, Nebraska

38th President of the United States of America. (1974-1977). Appointed to the Vice-Presidency after Spiro Agnew had been forced to resign. Ford is famous for granting Richard Nixon a full pardon of any crimes.

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Che Guevara Ernesto                                                                                    Guevara de la Serna
Born: 14 June 1928
Rosario, Argentina
Died: 9 October 1967 (shot)

Revolutionary/author. Best known as Latin American Marxist revolutionary.

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Ulysses S Grant                                                                                           Hiram Ulysses Grant
Born: 27 April 1822
Point Pleasant, Ohio
Died: 23 July 1885 (throat cancer)

18th President of the United States of America.

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Tenzin Gyatso (The Dalai Lama)                                                                   Lhama Thondup or Llama Dhondrub
Born: 6 July 1935
Takser, China

Spiritual and political leader of Tibet. Lhamo Dhondrub was, as Dalai Lama, renamed "Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso - Holy Lord, Gentle Glory, Compassionate, Defender of the Faith, Ocean of Wisdom."

He officially goes by the name of Tenzin Gyatso, which is the name under which he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.


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Gary Hart                                                                                                   Gary Hartpence
Born: 1948
Nebraska, USA

Former U.S. Senator Gary Hart 1984 Democratic Presidential candidate U.S. Senator from Colorado 1974-1986
Campaign Manager--George McGovern for President (1972)

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Vladimir Ilich Lenin                                                                                    Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov
Born: 10 April 1870
Simbirsk, Russia
Died: 21 January 1924

Founder of the Russian Communist Party, inspirer and leader of the Bolshevik Revolution (1917).

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Malcolm X                                                                                                Malcolm Little
Born: 19 May 1925
Omaha Nebraska
Died: 21 February 1965 (assasinated)

Political/Religious Leader. A leader of the 1960s black power movement. Following a 1964 pilgrimage to Mecca, Malcolm X converted to orthodox Islam, took the name "El-Shabazz Hajj Malik Shabazz" until his death once he converted to "orthodox" Islam, and broke with the Black Muslims who purportedly assassinated him in Harlem in 1965.

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Nelson Mandela                                                                                      Rolihlahla Mandela
Born: 18 July 1918
Qunu, Near Umtata, Transkei, South Africa

Given the name Nelson on his first day of school by his teacher. This was the custom among Africans in those days.

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Golda Meir                                                                                             Golda Mabovitz
1898 - 1978
Kiev, Ukraine

Prime Minister of Israel from 1969 - 1974. Her name change came about when she took her husband's name when she married. His original name was Myerson, and they both Hebraicised it to Meir.

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Nicholas II                                                                                               Nikolai Aleksandrovich
Born: 6 May 1868
Tasarskoye Selo (now Pushkin), Russia
Died: 16 July 1918 (executed)

The Last Emperor of Russia. He and his entire family were executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918, the last of the royal Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov line.

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Shimon Peres                                                                                         Shimon Persky

Prime Minister of Israel twice from 1984-1986 and then again in 1995 after the assasination of then Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Shimon Peres changed his name after the Israel war of independence when a whole group of leaders replaced their legal names by their underground code names. ("peres", by the way, means "vulture").

Among them were also former foreign minister Yigal Alon (born Pikovich) and former Chief of Staff and noted archeologist Yigael Yadin (born Sukeinik).

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Yizhak Shamir                                                                                        Yizhak Jazernicki
Born: 1915
Ruzinoy, Poland

Prime Minister of Israel (1983 - 1984 and 1986 - 1992). Shamir is the Hebrew name for thistle and flint.

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Joseph Stalin                                                                                         Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvilli
Born: 21 December 1879
Georgia, Russia
Died: 5 March 1953

Ruled the Soviet Union and transformed it into a major world power. Took the name of "Stalin" because of its meaning of "Steel".

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Leon Trotsky                                                                                         Lev Davidovich Bronshtein
Born: 7 November 1879
Yanovka, Ukraine, Russia
Died: 20 August 1940

Communist theorist and agitator, leader in Russia's October Revolution in 1917.

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Isoroku Yamamoto                                                                                Isoroku Sadayoshi
Born: 4 August 1884
Nagaoka, Japan
Died: 18 April 1943 (shot down by US forces)

Admiral. Best known as Japanese Admiral who planned the attack on Pearl Harbour. The US decoded a Japanese message that included Yamamoto's itinerary, his plane was ambushed and shot down.






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CORPORATIONS



Accenture                                                                                             Andersen Consulting

Initially criticised as one of the worst corporate name changes in history, Andersen Consulting (an extremely strong brand) became "Accenture" in 2001. The USD$100 million name change proved fortuitous soon after, when the word "Andersen" became synonymous with "accounting scandal".

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Airtran Airways                                                                                     ValueJet Airlines

An Atlanta-based budget airline which boomed from 1993 until grounded in 1996 following a crash in the Everglades.

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Altria                                                                                                   Philip Morris

The tobacco industry giant changed the name of its holding company to Altria in 2001, to disassociate itself from the negative image of cigarettes.

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AOL                                                                                                    (America Online)

Quantum Computer Services

Founded in 1985, and renamed America Online in October 1991. America Online soon became synonymous with "online service" and grew to become one of the world's largest Internet Service Providers. One of the highlights of the dot com boom/bust cycle was their ill-fated merger with Time Warner to create AOL Time Warner. Eventually in April 2006, America Online officially adopted its AOL abbreviation exclusively, and dropped "America Online".

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Bearing Point                                                                                      KPMG Consulting

In 2002, "Bearing Point" becomes the new global brand for KPMG Consulting and associated businesses, at an estimated cost of USD$45 million. KPMG had been formed in the late 80s from the merger of Peat Marwick International and Klynveld Main Goerdeler.

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Bluescope Steel                                                                                  BHP Steel

Following its demerger from BHP Billiton, the "Big Australian" changed its name from BHP Steel to "Bluescope Steel" in 2003.

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Google                                                                                               BackRub

The world's #1 search engine was created in 1996 under the name "BackRub". Larry Brin and Serge Page's technology went on to revolutionise the search industry, renaming their business and technology "Google" in 1998.

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Healthy Choice                                                                                   Diet Deluxe

An inspired re-branding decision if ever there was one.

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IBM                                                                                                  Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation

Renamed to International Business Machines (IBM) in 1924.

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INT Media Group                                                                                internet.com Corporation

On 29 May 2001, internet.com became the INT Media Group, "to more accurately reflect our current business model". Not to mention shaking off the burden of having "dot-com" in their corporate name.

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KFC                                                                                                 Kentucky Fried Chicken

The fast-food giant that Colonel Sanders created in 1956, changed its name in 1999. The three most popular theories as to why: (1) to remove the word "Fried" and create the perception of healthier food, (2) to remove the word "Chicken" under pressure from government food regulators, concerned about their livestock practices, and (3) to remove the word "Kentucky" because the debt-ridden Commonwealth of Kentucky trade-marked their name in 1990, and introduced significant licensing fees for companies wanting to use "its" name. You choose.

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LG                                                                                                   Lucky Chemical Industrial Corp and Lucky Goldstar

Korean consumer electronics manufacturer Lucky Goldstar shortened its name to "LG" in 1995 to create a corporate identity more suitable for an international marketplace. Famous for developing the first radio in Korea, early innovations in plastics, even a toothpaste that out-sold the US giant Colgate.

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Linspire                                                                                            Lindows

Linux software developer "Lindows" finally succumbed in 2004 to mounting pressure from Microsoft, who complained their business name was too similar to Microsoft's "Windows" franchise.

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McAfee Inc.                                                                                     Network Associates

When "McAfee Associates" and "Network General" merged in 1997, they took on the combined name "Network Associates International". However in mid-2004, after divesting a number of business units in order to concentrate on intrusion prevention, they reverted to their strongest brand name: McAfee.

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Monster Worldwide                                                                          TMP Worldwide

The recruitment firm TMP Worldwide adopted the name of its popular online jobs portal on the 1st of May 2003.

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Nintendo                                                                                         Marafuku Company and Nintendo Playing Card Company

Created in 1889, the Marafuku Company changed its name to Nintendo Playing Card Company in 1951, long before the advent of the video games that would make them famous.

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Nissan                                                                                            Datsun

This name change took 3 years to complete and a reported USD$30 million.

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Panasonic                                                                                      Matsushita Electric Corporation of America

On January 1st 2005, Japan-based Matsushita decided to adopt its most popular brand name as its new corporate name. "Panasonic" is to be gradually adopted globally, with the exclusion of the Japanese market where Matsushita is the stronger brand due to its links to the name of the founder: Konosuke Matsushita.

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Pepsi-Cola                                                                                     Brad's Drink


In 1893, a young pharmacist from North Carolina called Caleb Bradham began experimenting with a variety of soft drink recipes. One of these, comprising carbonated water, sugar, vanilla, rare oils, and cola nuts, bore his name: "Brad's Drink". In 1898, Brad's Drink was renamed "Pepsi-Cola", and what would become the world's most recognised "number 2" brand was born.



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Telstra                                                                                          Telecom

Australia's monopoly telecommunications carrier changed its name to "Telstra" for its international business in 1993, and followed suit for its domestic business in 1995.

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SCO Group                                                                                   Caldera International

In 2002 Caldera International adopted the name of their most popular product. The abbreviation SCO originally stood for "Santa Cruz Operation". In recent years SCO has isolated itself from the IT community by concentrating on intellectual property lawsuits instead of product development. So we expect another name change Real Soon Now.

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SEGA                                                                                         Service Game Company

Created in 1954 by Korean war veteran David Rosen, who saw the popularity of coin-operated games on military bases in Japan. The name was abbreviated to "SEGA" in 1965 for exports to the USA.

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Sony                                                                                           Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo K.K. (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation)

Established in 1946, the company name was changed to Sony Corporation in 1958. Producers of Japan's first transistor radio in 1955, and the world's first transistor television in 1960.

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Sprint                                                                                         United Telephone, Centel, Central Telephone, Carolina Telephone

One of the largest telecommunications businesses in the USA, consolidated various business names into "Sprint" in 1996.

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Starbucks Corporation                                                                Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spice and Il Giornale Coffee Company

Originally named after the coffee-loving first mate in Moby Dick, "Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spice" was established in 1971. In 1987 the original company was bought outright by its spin-off "Il Giornale", but the stronger of the two brands was retained for the company name.

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Yahoo                                                                                       Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web

Co-founders Jerry Yang and David Filo were PhD students at Stanford when they created what would become the world's #2 search engine and web directory. "Jerry's Guide" was soon renamed to Yahoo, which was an acronym for "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle".

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