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10 True Celebrity Stories You Might Not Know

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It can be interesting to learn facts surrounding the lives of celebrities, sports figures, and
famous film stars.  This list will discuss some celebrity stories and events that you
might not have heard.  The topics range from Michael Jordan to Johnny Cash, Tim Allen
and
Tim Donaghy.  We will also take a look at the classic films Halloween and Taxi
Driver.
  
  

10. A Michael Jordan Story

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At the beginning of the 1981 NCAA basketball season the North Carolina basketball
team was the national favorite.  They were led by legend Dean Smith and featured
freshman Michael Jordan.  On November 30, 1981, the team was to be on the cover of
sports illustrated and Smith was told to select four players to accompany him.  He
decided on Sam Perkins, Matt Doherty, Jimmy Black, and James Worthy.  The honor of
being selected for the cover became a competition among the NC players and to this day
Michael Jordan feels he deserved and wants that cover.  He made comments surrounding
the incident at his 2009 Hall of Fame induction.  Later that season Jordan hit the game
winning shot in the NCAA championship game.

9. The Origins of Travis Bickle

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Taxi Driver is a 1976 film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader.
The movie is set in New York City, soon after the Vietnam War.  In the film Robert De
Niro tackled the role of Travis Bickle, who was a socially inept loner with delusions of
grandeur and an unhealthy obsession with weapons.   Bickle’s character was strongly
based on the real life of Arthur Bremer.  Bremer grew up a lonely, socially awkward
young man who felt distanced from normal society.  Similar to Taxi Driver’s script
Arthur Bremer fantasized about assassinating a high ranking member of the U.S.
Government.
 
He first set his sights on Richard Nixon, but then turned his attention to Democratic
presidential candidate George Wallace.  Arthur Bremer attacked Wallace on May 15,
1972.  He stuck his .38 revolver in Wallace's abdomen and opened fire, emptying the
weapon before he could be subdued.  Bremer shot Wallace four times.  Wallace lost a
pint of blood and one bullet lodged in his spinal cord; the other bullets hit Wallace in
the abdomen and chest.  George Wallace was left paralyzed from the waist down, ending
his presidential hopes. 

8. A Rare Bird Gets Massacred

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The California Condor is a North American species of bird.  It is the largest land bird in North
America.  Currently, this condor inhabits only the Grand Canyon area, Zion National Park, and
western coastal mountains of California and northern Baja California.  It is one of the world's
longest-living birds, with a lifespan of up to 50 years.  Condor numbers dramatically declined in the
19th century due to poaching, lead poisoning, and habitat destruction.  Eventually, a conservation
plan was put in place by the United States government and they were reintroduced in the California
area.  The California Condor is one of the world's rarest bird species.  As of April 2009, there are
322 condors known to be living, including 172 in the wild.
  
 

One day recording legend Johnny Cash was driving his camper van through Los Padres National
Wildlife Refuge in central California.  After noticing an issue Cash pulled over and subsequently oil
from a cracked bearing had leaked onto the wheel and engulfing his car in flames.  The fire spread to
the nearby grass and Cash could do nothing to stop it.  It took over 400 firefighters, eight aerial
tankers, and four helicopters two days to put out the blaze.  The destroyed area was home to the endangered
California Condor and killed 49 of them.  The federal government sued Cash and eventually settled
for $82,000 dollars, which is miniscule in comparison to the nearly $30 million that the federal
government has spent trying to conserve Condors.

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7. Rosario Dawson Gets Her Big Break

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Actress Rosario Dawson was born in the slums of New York City.  Dawson’s mom was a plumber
and her dad worked construction.  When Rosario was an infant her parents broke into an abandoned
building on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, they installed plumbing and electrical wiring, in order
to turn the building into a squat in which Rosario would grow up.  At the age of 17 Dawson was 
sitting on her front porch when a young screenwriter named Harmony Korine approached her and
offered her a role in his new documentary, which would later gain the title Kids.  Korine was looking
for real life actors to represent the New York inner city teen population.  Rosario Dawson had no
acting experience, but stared in the film and has since become a multi-millionaire and well respected
actress.  The independent film Kids also helped launch the career of Chloe Sevigny.

6. Tim Donaghy Gets Beat Down in Jail

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In 2007, NBA referee Tim Donaghy was convicted of fixing professional basketball
games and sentenced to a 15 month sentence at the federal prison camp in Pensacola,
Florida.  In November of 2008 he was assaulted in jail and beat with a metal pipe. 
Donaghy was struck repeatedly on his legs and fractured his knee cap.  He suffered
severe injuries and will need surgery, but of course that is not provided in prison.
Donaghy’s attacker claimed ties to the New York mafia and told Tim that he should
have kept his mouth shut.

5. Julia Louis-Dreyfus Has Bank  

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus is an American actress and comedian best known for her role as
Elaine Benes on the hit sitcom Seinfeld, she also plays Christine Campbell on
The New
Adventures of Old Christine
.  Julia Louis’s father is William Louis-Dreyfus, a French
born American businessman who has an estimated net worth of $2.9 billion by Forbes
magazine.  He is one of the richest men in the world and the chairman of Louis Dreyfus
Energy Services.  Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the heiress to a multi-billion dollar estate.

4. 10 Cent Beer Night

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On June 4, 1974, the Texas Rangers were playing the Indians at Cleveland Municipal Stadium.
Before the game Indian’s management decided to mark the night with a special Ten Cent Beer
promotion.  The idea behind the promotion was to offer as many eight-ounce (237 mL) cups of
Stroh's beer as the fans could drink for just 10¢ each, thus increasing ticket sales.  The game had
special significance for both teams, as there had been a bench clearing brawl in a Rangers vs. Indians
game the week prior.  The Rangers took an early 5-1 lead in the game and the crowd was beginning
to get rowdy and drunk.  A woman ran out to the Indians' on-deck circle and flashed her breasts, and
a naked man sprinted to second base as Grieve hit his second home run of the game.  A father and
son pair ran onto the outfield and mooned the fans in the bleachers one inning later.  The fans pelted
the players and coaches with hot dogs and spit.
  
 

In the ninth inning a fan attempted to steal Texas outfielder Jeff Burroughs' cap. Confronting the fan,
Burroughs tripped, and Texas manager Billy Martin charged onto the field, his player’s right behind,
some wielding bats.   A large number of intoxicated fans some armed with knives, chains, and
portions of stadium seats that they had torn apart surged onto the field, some others hurled bottles
from the stands.  Ultimately, the game was forfeited to Texas on the orders of home plate umpire
Nestor Chylak because of the crowd's uncontrollable rowdiness, and because the game could not be
resumed in a timely manner.  It would be the last time an alcohol promotion would be used to
generate attendance at a sporting event.  Today it will cost $8 for the same sized beer.
 

3. Tim Allen Had How Much Cocaine at the Airport

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Tim Allen began his comedy career in 1975 at the age of 22.  He gained some early
success and appeared in local television commercials and various cable comedy shows.
On October 2, 1978, Allen was arrested in the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International
Airport in Michigan for possession of over 650 g (1.4 lb) of cocaine.  That is a lot of
coke to have at the airport.  He subsequently pleaded guilty, and provided the names of
dealers in exchange for a reduction in his sentence from possible life imprisonment to
three to seven years.  He ended up serving only 28 months in prison.
 
Tim Allen became internationally famous with the television series
Home Improvement
(1991-1999) on ABC, playing Tim "The Tool-Man" Taylor.  Today, he is a multi
millionaire and one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood.  He primarily plays roles in
children’s comedies.

2. Michael Myers Mask

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Tommy Lee Wallace was the production designer/co-editor on the 1978 classic
independent horror film Halloween.  The film is set in the fictional suburban
Midwestern town of Haddonfield, Illinois and takes place on Halloween.  It introduced
Michael Myers, who has become one of the most infamous serial murderers in cinema
history.  During production Wallace was given the job of finding a mask for Michael
Myers to wear.  He went to the local store and picked out a William Shatner Halloween
mask.  Wallace cut the eyeholes larger and rounder, removed the eyebrows and
sideburns, and spray painted it white.  Today, Michael Myers’ mask has become widely
recognized in popular culture.  If you look closely you can see the resemblance to
Shatner. 

1. Main Event - John Lovitz vs. Andy Dick

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On May 28, 1998, Phil Hartman was shot and killed by his wife Brynn as he slept in their Encino,
California home.  In the months prior to Hartman’s murder Brynn had begun using cocaine
heavily, a habit which she had recovered from in the past.  Rumors travel and it seemed that many
people, including actor/comedian John Lovitz felt that Andy Dick was in a small way responsible
for Hartman’s death because he had reintroduced Brynn to cocaine.  This has created bad blood
between the comedians.   In 2006, Dick approached Lovitz at a club, downed his guests' drinks,
and said, "I put the 'Phil Hartman hex' on you. You're the next one to die.”  Lovitz did nothing at
the time, but in June of 2007 he ran into Dick again and demanded an apology for the remark.
Andy Dick laughed it off, so Lovitz picked him up by the head and smashed his head into the bar
four or five times until blood poured out of his nose.  It was a true celebrity beat down.

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Copyright The List Blog - Top 10, All Rights Reserved, Posted September 13, 2009