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 Larger Than Life

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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Larger Than Life   Tue 14 Feb 2017, 19:02

Having just seen the film about Liberace, I mused about the other several flamboyant characters who have left their  colourful splodgy  marks on the human time trail. Many seem to burn out their lives  early but memory of them lingers long.  Perhaps Res Hist posters might remind us of some.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Larger Than Life   Tue 14 Feb 2017, 20:50

I watched an online documentary (on YouTube) recently about the Fatty Arbuckle scandal.  I had heard of it but never really read up on it.  It seemed a very unfortunate chain of events...the silent film comedian Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle gave a party where a young woman died.  I won't go into all the details but he was put on trial for murder - there were two trials with hung juries and then a third trial where he was acquitted.  It seemed to me that he probably was not guilty but mud stuck and it was some years before he worked in Hollywood again and died in his 40s not long after he had signed a contract to work again.  I know that's not exactly the sort of flamboyance you were thinking of Priscilla.

If we are thinking of talented persons who die before their time, in recent years I can think of Amy Winehouse.  She had something about her that was individual I felt - a lot of modern "popular" singers seem to be interchangeable for looks and way of presenting their music.


Last edited by LadyinRetirement on Wed 15 Feb 2017, 10:47; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Edited to say I thought Roscoe Arbuckle was most likely INNOCENT. My original post gave the wrong impression.)
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Larger Than Life   Tue 14 Feb 2017, 22:48

Notoriety that stems from revelations, LIR, also indicates a possibly outrageous life style. Hollywood was a fine breeding pond for it - and possibly still is. Lavish wealth is tinder to the fire - but not always. I have known larger than life people who always lit any room they entered (Include funerals in that). Though not born of wealth, drugs or an such thing some personalities can do this. But knowing some of them well, I also know that away from a crowd such people can be almost morose - and that mood too can be as pervasive.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Larger Than Life   Wed 15 Feb 2017, 10:43

Thanks for engaging in (virtual) conversation, Priscilla - though I did make a blooper in my earlier comment by saying "guilty" rather than "not guilty" (have edited it now).  In my younger days I met some girls who while not being Hollywood beauties never had problems in attracting members of the opposite sex by dint of personality (not saying they were ugly - just not fitting into the Hollywood type that is held up as ideal; though that is often faked somewhat I think).

Some time ago I think mention was made on the RIP thread of Robin Williams (as in the late comedian, not the lady who writes "how to" computer books).  He could make other folk laugh but seems he was prone to periods of sadness.  Going further back there was Tony Hancock - another comedian who had bouts of depression.

I used to consider myself a good judge of character but I'm not so sure now.  I never met the late Jimmy Saville (lucky me) but although I thought him eccentric I never twigged that he was evil. Since the unsavoury revelations about him have come to public notice a number of people have said he always gave them the creeps.  I thought he was odd but he never freaked me out.
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MadNan
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PostSubject: Re: Larger Than Life   Wed 15 Feb 2017, 11:30

I have to nominate the late great Freddy Mercury (aka Farokh Bulsara - nearly said Barry there until I realized that was the name of the guy wrongly convicted of the murder of Jill Dando).

Freddy was immense and had a stage presence second to none.  I had the privilege of seeing Queen in concert and it was amazing.  Unfortunately the extremes of his lifestyle caught up with him at a time when there was no effective medication for HIV Aids.
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PostSubject: Re: Larger Than Life   Wed 15 Feb 2017, 11:32

Outrageous people appear to get away with outrageous behaviour to others. Of Saville I know but one thing - he was kind to his mother in one aspect, at least. She enjoyed coach holidays and on one befriended a woman in our town. Thereafter the woman had several holidays paid  to accompany his mother for company. 
One thing I  learned after an entire overseas community was taken in by an audacious fraudster was to check references. We were all so impressed by the cockney who had made it to the top and no one wanted to be thought a snob with disparaging remark but with a glib tongue and false credits a true charlatan headed a mammoth project for a while. Even when sussed and turfed out that same day he managed to sell the luxury company  motor yacht to 7 people all of whom met on a jetty at about the time his plane left with him along with 7 thick wodges of cash in his briefcase. That company could have found out much earlier by checking any one of his several audacious claims.
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PostSubject: Re: Larger Than Life   Wed 15 Feb 2017, 16:14

Dick Turpin was - as his song from Horrible Histories makes clear - a nasty piece of work: he was a horse thief, a poacher and a murderer. Yet Turpin is remembered even today as a folk hero - a true English "character". Lord knows why.



Turpin certainly had - like Liberace -  the showman's instinct; he was paraded through the streets of York before his execution, and he waved and bowed to the  cheering crowds who apparently loved every minute of the villain's grand finale. He even hired five "professional mourners" who - like a troupe of outrageous dancers - dramatically climbed up the steps of the scaffold with him - a sort of Highwayman's version of Stairway to Heaven. Liberace would have been proud of him. No idea if Black Bess was at the scene - the 18th century equine equivalent of Liberace's gold-plated Rolls Royce.
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PostSubject: Re: Larger Than Life   Thu 16 Feb 2017, 18:41

I think there used to be MP's for whom many would stay back to hear, engaging characters of wit, presence and interesting view. I doubt there are any now.
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