It’s time for Top Ten Thursdays, which is hosted by Tamara over at Confessions of a part-time working mom, and this week the topic is famous people which is a huge category. To cut it down I decided to think about it as the top ten famous people that I would invite to a dinner party with me and my beloved, and I should add that they can be either dead or alive. I love hearing who other people would invite to dinner and can be a really good way of getting to know someone.
I did my best to cut it down to just ten but found it too difficult so I’m going to cheat slightly with two lists – one is my dinner party for people who have already died, and the other for famous people who are still alive.
Starting with the dead list.
1. Joan of Arc (1412-1431): I have always been fascinated by this amazing girl – as a teenager she led an army against the English, defeated them and enabled the then Prince Charles to be crowned King, and then was captured, tried as a witch, and burned at the stake at the age of 19. Incredible but tragic. It is only fitting that in 1920 she was canonized by Pope Benedict XV.
2. John F Kennedy (1917-1963): A reputation as a womaniser but actually quite an incredible man who overcame being badly injured in the war to go on and be a man who fought for equal rights and world peace. On a trip to the USA in the early 90’s I got to visit JFK’s grave in Arlington cemetery.
3. Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993): Classic elegance, great actress, and UNICEF ambassador for children – who wouldn’t want her at their dinner party. It might be slightly awkward between her and JFK as apparently they dated briefly but I’m sure they’ll get over it. I thought I’d include my favourite clip from Breakfast at Tiffany’s where the poor cat must have been drugged for it to allow itself to get so wet and then be squashed between Audrey and George (dishy) Peppard.
4. Jim Morrison (1943-1971): The quintessential bad boy, Morrison lived the life of sex, drugs, rock and roll. I love so many of the Doors songs with my favourite being Riders on the Storm which was the last song that Morrison recorded before taking time off to go to Paris with his long time love Pamela Courson, where he died a few weeks later. He’s buried in Pere Lachaise cemetery and yes I have visited his grave.
5. Maya Angelou (1928-2014): An amazing woman who overcame adversity and did so much with her life and whose poetry and quotes I absolutely love. She was awarded over 50 honorary degrees and President Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom which is the highest honor a civilian can receive in America.
6. Michael Hutchence (1960-1997): Lead singer of INXS and so sexy (don’t worry, my beloved knows I think that).
7. Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928): A really inspiring woman who was a leading figure in the suffragette movement for equal rights for women including the right to vote. Emily did see this achieved before her death. One of my favourite quotes from Emily Pankhurst is:
8. Errol Flynn (1909-1959): Incredibly handsome movie star who was born in Tasmania (where I’m from) and was a bit of a lad both on screen and off. Flynn claimed he slept with 10,000 women and when he died at the age of 50 the coroner said that he had the body of a man at least 30 years older.
9. Anne Sullivan (1866-1936): Who?? Anne Sullivan is the amazingly incredible woman who taught the blind, deaf, and dumb Helen Keller how to communicate with the world. When I was young I read the book Helen Keller’s Teacher and I was so moved by what Anne Sullivan achieved with her life despite her own eyesight and health problems that I still think of her on a regular occasion.
10. Freddie Mercury (1946-1991): The flamboyant lead singer of Queen who died way too young. Slightly quirky looking but in a mesmerizing way and with an incredible voice. The clip I’ve included is the last video that Freddie filmed before his death and I remember the first time I watched it as it made me cry – it’s incredibly poignant.
There you have it, my top ten of deceased people I’d invite to dinner. Have you noticed that all my women are very strong and have really made an impact on the world in ways that have inspired me. The men, well they would definitely liven up any dinner party with their outgoing personalities, great music, and a little bit of womanising from JFK and Errol.
Onto my dinner party list of famous people that are still alive.
1. Hugh Jackman: Gorgeous and Australian – what more could you want. I was so pleased when he was cast as the lead in Les Miserables as he was perfect for the role.
2. Ruby Wax: American comedian who campaigns for better mental health. I love her comedy and I love her even more for how she has coped with her own depression and now wants to improve things for others.
3. Michael J Fox: I loved him as Alex P Keaton on Family Ties as he saw me through my teens and I wanted him for a best friend. He’s a great actor but I love him even more for the way he has handled living with Parkinson’s. His book, Lucky Man, is the best autobiography I have ever read and I would recommend it to everyone.
4. Melissa Etheridge: Amazing woman and fantastic singer and so glad I got to see her perform live last year. She has been through breast cancer and famously performed at the Grammy’s with no hair, singing Janis Joplin’s Piece of My Heart. Melissa’s response to the Orlando shooting in the Pulse nightclub was to write an amazing song – please listen as it’s beautiful and the words are so true.
5. Robert Downey Jr: Another bad boy who went off the rails big time but has come back even better. He starred in one of my favourite films of all time, Heart and Souls (1993) – watch it if you haven’t seen it, and I loved him so much in Ally McBeal. I’ve never seen any of the Iron Man films because they’re not my thing but he’s perfect as Sherlock Holmes.
6. Ellen Degeneres: Another strong, incredible woman who does so much good with the money she earns from her fame. She campaigns against bullying, global warming, and is speaks out about inequality in a way that ordinary people can understand.
7. Simon Le Bon: Lead singer of Duran Duran and his face used to be all over my walls when I was a teenager, so he would have to be at my dinner party. Simon is one of those rare creatures in the world of popular music who has stayed married to the same woman, celebrating 30 years of marriage to Yasmin last December.
8. Jane Goodall: A woman who has spent her life caring for and campaigning for animals. Jane has worked with chimpanzees for most of her life but also speaks out for all animals and encourages everyone to do what they can as “everyone can make a difference”.
9. Dalai Lama: The 14th Dalai Lama, born Lhamo Dhondup, was recognised as the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama at the age of two! He’s now in his 80’s but still such a figure for peace and unification in the world and I think the world needs more of that and the Dalai Lama loves chocolate which makes him even more human. Here is one of his quotes that would be good for us all to remember:
10. Michelle Obama: Some people might think this a really odd choice for an Australian living in Scotland but I think Michelle Obama is an amazing woman in the way she supports her husband, the obvious love they share, and for the initiatives she has backed whilst in the position of first lady. Also, she has the ability to reach the everyday person in how she acts – in other words she’s not a snob. If you’ve never seen her on the Ellen Degeneres show then you should google her as she’s amazing, especially the episode where she does press ups.
What do you think? Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? It’s a fun thing to think about, so give it a try. Now, pop over to Tamara’s blog, Confessions of a part-time working mom, to see what my fellow bloggers have come up with for the top ten of famous people.
Until next time, be good, stay safe, and make sure you practice compassion this week.
Pamela & Ken