What would you like your last words to be?
Famous Last Words: “I Still Live” (or, in Latin, “Adhuc Vivo”)
Caligula was an absolute nut! The product of too much inbreeding in Roman society. He has gone down in history as the craziest of the Roman Emperors’. Caligula was indiscriminate when it came to the chaos he invoked. Both peasant and noble alike faced his wrath.
Described as self-absorbed, angry, killed on a whim, and a man who indulged in too much spending and sex – especially with his own sister (Game of Thrones anyone?), Caligula was only in power for four years, and yet the tyranny he produced in those four years will stay in the history books for years. In fact, the movie of his life was so graphic it was banned in Australia in its original form, and has only been permitted to be distributed in a severely edited format (making it R18+ instead of X rated).
Caligula was assassinated when he was 28 years of age by members of the Praetorian Guard. He was stabbed 30 times by conspirators led by a man named Cassius. As he was being murdered, he was said to shout out “Adhuc Vivo” – meaning “I still live”! Unfortunately for him, not for very long.
Famous Last Words: “Why not? After all, it belongs to him”
Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin was born in 1889 to poverty stricken parents in London, England. He had a very hard early life, with a father who would disappear frequently and a mother who was committed to a mental asylum.
To escape from the tragedy of his life, he began performing, touring as a stage actor and comedian. His lucky break came when he was 19, being signed to the prestigious Fred Karno company. He was then taken to America, where his career took flight and he became a household name – something he still is over a century later.
Charlie wrote, directed, produced, edited, scored, and starred in most of his films.
During the great Communist (witch) hunt of the 1940’s and 50’s, nobody was safe from the ultimate accusation of being a communist, and Charlie certainly wasn’t. In 1947 the FBI opened an investigation on his activities and proclaimed him a communist and a traitor to America. This eventually led to him being exiled from America, so he and his family took up residence in a mansion in Switzerland. In 1972 he returned to the United States for the first time in 20 years to receive his honorary Academy Award.
Charlie fell very ill and his health continued to decline. Always one to make his mark, he left this life on Christmas Day in 1977. It is said that the priest, who was giving him his last rights, asked "may the lord have mercy on your soul". To which Charlie answered “Why not? After all, it belongs to him”.
On a side note, two motor mechanics stole Charlie Chaplin’s body in March 1978 (only 3 months after he had died) and demanded a million Swiss francs from the family for its return. They were captured 11 weeks later and his body reburied.
Put together by Ashley Hall 2013