Quiz about On Christmas Day in the Mourning
Quiz about On Christmas Day in the Mourning

On Christmas Day in the Mo(u)rning Quiz


Christmas is usually a time of cheer, but sadly for some it has been a less pleasant time. Here are ten famous people for whom Christmas Day was their last.

A multiple-choice quiz by Snowman. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Author
Snowman
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
319,772
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
3194
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: piet (10/10), VivTriv (8/10), Guest 180 (10/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Described by no less a figure than George Bernard Shaw as "the only genius to come out of the movie industry", his eventful life began in South London before he was spotted on a tour of America and given his big break. His 'tramp' is possibly the most iconic figure of the silent era. Exiled after falling foul of Senator McCarthy's anti-Communist witch hunts, he lived out his final days in Switzerland, where he died on Christmas Day in 1977, aged 88. Who was he? Hint

Charles Chaplin
Buster Keaton
Stan Laurel
Bob Hope

2. Christmas Day, 2006 saw the death of the man dubbed "The Godfather of Soul" for his role in the birth of funk music. He first came to prominence when his band "The Famous Flames" took over as headliners on an R&B tour after Little Richard quit show business to become a preacher. He crossed over into mainstream chart success with hits in the 1960s such as "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag". Who was this man, the self-styled "hardest working man in show business"? Hint

George Clinton
Curtis Mayfield
Bobby Byrd
James Brown

3. Of all the revolutions that swept through the Warsaw Pact countries in the second half of 1989, Romania's was the last and the bloodiest. The president refused to recognise the inexorable wave of change crossing Eastern Europe. When he was booed by a crowd gathering in University Square, he seemed bewildered and reacted by turning the army against the people. Within days, his grip on power had been loosened and he was arrested. He was rapidly tried and found guilty. Who was this old style leader who was executed along with his wife by firing squad on Christmas Day, 1989? Hint

Nicolae Ceausescu
Todor Zhivkov
Eric Honecker
Gheorghe Apostol

4. Born in Barcelona in 1893, this artist was one of the founders of Surrealism in art although he refused to become part of the movement. His work was dedicated to the principle of the "assassination of painting" across a variety of media including paintings, ceramics, bronze sculptures and murals. One of his best known works, the "World Trade Center Tapestry" was lost in the attacks of September 11th. Who was this artist, who died on Christmas Day, 1983? Hint

André Masson
Enrique Tábara
Joan Miró
Salvador Dalí

5. A winner of four Open Championships at Prestwick in the 1860s and 1870s, his record may have become even more impressive but he passed away at the tender age of 24. The third of his triumphs saw him just pip his father, himself a four-time winner of the tournament, to the title. He died, appropriately, at the home of golf, St Andrews, on Christmas Day, 1875. Who was this golfing pioneer who was the first name etched on the famous "Claret Jug"? Hint

Willie Park
Old Tom Morris
Young Tom Morris
Harry Vardon

6. A hard-working businessman, whose name is synonymous with the cylinder pin-tumble design of lock that he invented, his first designs were specifically created for banks. His innovations, such as the "Magic Infallible Door Lock", allowed his business to expand rapidly. He died in New York City on Christmas Day, 1868 after suffering a heart attack during a business trip to win the right to install his locks in one of the city's new skyscrapers. Who was this businessman, whose name can be found on the front doors of houses around the world? Hint

Linus Yale, Jr.
David Banham
Colin Mortice
Walter Schlage

7. Despite his on-screen persona being that of a curmudgeonly and acerbic sop, this actor and vaudevillian was a huge star in 1930s and 40s America due to his appearances as characters as diverse as Mr. Micawber and Egbert Sousč. His view on life was best summed up in a line from his 1941 film, "Never Give a Sucker an Even Break"; "I was in love with a beautiful blonde once, dear. She drove me to drink. That's the one thing I'm indebted to her for." Who was this comic actor, who died in 1946 on Christmas Day (a day he claimed to hate) and who supposedly wanted his epitaph to read, "on the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia"? Hint

Moe Howard
Bud Abbott
W.C. Fields
Groucho Marx

8. Once lauded as "the most exciting woman alive", her successful career took a huge knock when she criticised the Vietnam War at an official function at the White House in 1968. She excelled in several entertainment fields, as a dancer, singer and actor, including a stint as Catwoman in the TV series, "Batman". Which multi-talented entertainer, whose biggest musical hit, ironically, was "Santa Baby", died on Christmas Day in 2008? Hint

Eartha Kitt
Rosemary Clooney
Julie Newmar
Mae West

9. Born in Germany in 1873, he was dubbed "The Father of Neuroscience" following his study of chemical and electrical impulses in the human body. His discovery of the chemical neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, led to the award of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1936. Forced to flee Germany in 1938, he arrived in the USA in 1941 and remained there until his death on Christmas Day, 1961. Who was this pioneering scientist? Hint

Otto Loewi
Alois Alzheimer
Sigmund Freud
Julius Axelrod

10. "Little Ole Wine Drinker Me" may not have been his best known song, but it is the one that best represented his public persona. A member of the Rat Pack, he had continued success from the 1950s through to the 1970s as a singer, comedian and actor on TV and film. The death of his son in air crash in 1987 led to a gradual withdrawal from public life. He died on Christmas Day 1995 owing to complications from lung cancer. Who was this Las Vegas legend? Hint

Dean Martin
Peter Lawford
Frank Sinatra
Sammy Davis, Jr.


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Described by no less a figure than George Bernard Shaw as "the only genius to come out of the movie industry", his eventful life began in South London before he was spotted on a tour of America and given his big break. His 'tramp' is possibly the most iconic figure of the silent era. Exiled after falling foul of Senator McCarthy's anti-Communist witch hunts, he lived out his final days in Switzerland, where he died on Christmas Day in 1977, aged 88. Who was he?

Answer: Charles Chaplin

Chaplin acted as writer, director, producer and star of the majority of his movies. Once sound came into the cinema's lexicon, he added the position of score composer to his many roles. Chaplin's greatest successes came in the silent era. His most popular character, the Tramp, stayed silent even after the advent of the talkies. Chaplin believed that the magic of the character would be lost if his voice were to be heard. The Tramp was finally retired after 1936's "Modern Times" and Chaplin embraced the talkies with his next film "The Great Dictator" in 1940.

Chaplin's time in Hollywood came to an abrupt end in 1953. Having long been a target for the House Committee on Un-American Activities, when Chaplin left the US for the UK premiere of the film "Limelight", FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover, had his permit to return revoked, due to his alleged communist leanings. As a consequence, "Limelight" remained unreleased in the United States until 1972. Eventually in 1973, Chaplin won his first Oscar for best musical score for "Limelight", although he had received two honorary Oscars previously.
2. Christmas Day, 2006 saw the death of the man dubbed "The Godfather of Soul" for his role in the birth of funk music. He first came to prominence when his band "The Famous Flames" took over as headliners on an R&B tour after Little Richard quit show business to become a preacher. He crossed over into mainstream chart success with hits in the 1960s such as "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag". Who was this man, the self-styled "hardest working man in show business"?

Answer: James Brown

Brown broke new musical ground in so many different ways that a few sentences here could never do his achievements justice. His music influenced countless future musicians across countless styles. His landmark singles include "I Got You (I Feel Good)", "Cold Sweat" (to many, the first ever funk record) and "Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud".

As well as his remarkable achievements in music, Brown had an impressive record of social activism. He used his fame and box office draw to support community programs as varied as school drop-out prevention, civil rights and anti-violence. He was credited with helping to keep the peace on the streets following the assassination of Martin Luther King by performing a concert that was broadcast free on television.
3. Of all the revolutions that swept through the Warsaw Pact countries in the second half of 1989, Romania's was the last and the bloodiest. The president refused to recognise the inexorable wave of change crossing Eastern Europe. When he was booed by a crowd gathering in University Square, he seemed bewildered and reacted by turning the army against the people. Within days, his grip on power had been loosened and he was arrested. He was rapidly tried and found guilty. Who was this old style leader who was executed along with his wife by firing squad on Christmas Day, 1989?

Answer: Nicolae Ceausescu

Ceausescu made a swift rise through the ranks of the Romanian Workers' Party thanks to a spell sharing a prison cell with his predecessor as General Secretary, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej. Once he assumed power in 1965, Ceausescu became a popular leader both with his people and with the Western world. His moves to distance Romania from Soviet rule, by taking a back seat in the Warsaw Pact and establishing an independent foreign policy, saw him viewed by the West as a liberal. However, this was far from the truth. In contrast to the rest of the Eastern Bloc, Romania remained a staunchly Stalinist state and the secret police ruled with an iron rod.

By 1989, Ceausescu and his wife and deputy Prime Minister, Elena, were deeply unpopular throughout Romania. Their policies had left huge pockets of extreme poverty across the country, a severe orphan crisis and a disproportionately huge population of HIV-infected children. Though the rest of communist Europe was cascading towards revolution, Ceausescu remained oblivious to the possibility that Romania might follow suit.

On December 21st, Ceausescu spoke to a large crowd gathered in Bucharest's central square. He was responding to demonstrations in the city of Timisoara by attempting a show of mass support in the capital. When he was barracked by the crowd, his expression betrayed his surprise and encouraged the demonstrations to spread. The next day, Ceausescu fled the capital before being captured and handed over to the army. He was tried by a hastily arranged court on Christmas Day and sentenced to death. There was no shortage of volunteers for the firing squad and they were eager to do their job. The gunman opened fire on the Ceausescus before they were in position and blindfolded. Their dead bodies were shown to the nation on state television to confirm both their deaths and the death of Communist rule in the country.
4. Born in Barcelona in 1893, this artist was one of the founders of Surrealism in art although he refused to become part of the movement. His work was dedicated to the principle of the "assassination of painting" across a variety of media including paintings, ceramics, bronze sculptures and murals. One of his best known works, the "World Trade Center Tapestry" was lost in the attacks of September 11th. Who was this artist, who died on Christmas Day, 1983?

Answer: Joan Miró

Though he is most associated with Surrealism, Miró's works embraced many different styles. His earliest works showed the influence of his friend, Pablo Picasso's Cubist style, as well as Dadaism and Fauvism. He signed the Surrealist manifesto in 1924 and was described by André Breton as "the most surrealist of us all", but he refused to be tied to the Surrealist label, believing it compromised his artistic freedom.

Having left Spain during the Civil War period to live in Paris, he returned when the Nazis invaded and settled in Mallorca. It was from this base that he expanded the media in which he worked, beginning with ceramics and bronze. In his later years, he demonstrated a preference for creating large public works, many of which were originally installed in public buildings in the United States.

The Joan Miró Foundation opened a centre in his native Barcelona in 1975 where a large collection of his works can be seen.
5. A winner of four Open Championships at Prestwick in the 1860s and 1870s, his record may have become even more impressive but he passed away at the tender age of 24. The third of his triumphs saw him just pip his father, himself a four-time winner of the tournament, to the title. He died, appropriately, at the home of golf, St Andrews, on Christmas Day, 1875. Who was this golfing pioneer who was the first name etched on the famous "Claret Jug"?

Answer: Young Tom Morris

The "Claret Jug", officially known as The Golf Champion Trophy, was commissioned for the 1872 Open Championship. Prior to this tournament, the winner of The Open was presented with the Championship Belt. Young Tom Morris's wins in 1868, 1869 and 1870 meant that he was presented with the Belt outright and a new trophy was required. The Claret Jug was never presented to Morris as it had not been completed in time for the 1872 tournament, but his name was engraved onto it subsequent to his victory.

As well as being the place where he died, St. Andrews was the scene for Morris's birth, in 1850. His father, Old Tom Morris, was the greenkeeper at the golf course from 1860 to his death in 1908.
6. A hard-working businessman, whose name is synonymous with the cylinder pin-tumble design of lock that he invented, his first designs were specifically created for banks. His innovations, such as the "Magic Infallible Door Lock", allowed his business to expand rapidly. He died in New York City on Christmas Day, 1868 after suffering a heart attack during a business trip to win the right to install his locks in one of the city's new skyscrapers. Who was this businessman, whose name can be found on the front doors of houses around the world?

Answer: Linus Yale, Jr.

Linus Yale, Jr. joined his father's lock shop in his late twenties. He quickly demonstrated a flair for mechanical invention, improving upon the designs his father had created. The pin-tumble design of lock was patented by Linus Yale, Sr. in 1848. In 1861, Yale Jr. patented his improved version and it is this latter version that is still used as the basis for many cylinder locks today.

Yale Jr. created the Yale Manufacturing Company in 1868 and it soon became the premier lock company in the US. Unfortunately, Yale did not get to see its great successes as he suffered a heart attack on Christmas Eve of the same year and died the next day. Though some sites list his date of death as December 24th, "Yale Genealogy and History of Wales" lists it as 25th December.

Linus Yale, Jr. was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006.
7. Despite his on-screen persona being that of a curmudgeonly and acerbic sop, this actor and vaudevillian was a huge star in 1930s and 40s America due to his appearances as characters as diverse as Mr. Micawber and Egbert Sousč. His view on life was best summed up in a line from his 1941 film, "Never Give a Sucker an Even Break"; "I was in love with a beautiful blonde once, dear. She drove me to drink. That's the one thing I'm indebted to her for." Who was this comic actor, who died in 1946 on Christmas Day (a day he claimed to hate) and who supposedly wanted his epitaph to read, "on the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia"?

Answer: W.C. Fields

An old vaudeville saying was "I'd rather be dead than play Philadelphia again." Fields was a native of Philadelphia and once quipped, in an interview with "Vanity Fair" said he wished his epitaph to read, "Here lies W. C. Fields. I would rather be living in Philadelphia."

Fields was a latecomer to the movies, making his debut when already in his thirties. His characters tended to be hen-pecked husbands with a sharp tongue who spent much of their time staring at the bottom of a bottle. In his vaudeville days, Fields had been teetotal, as he feared that drink would interfere with his ability to juggle. However, he always kept a bottle of alcohol at hand so that people would come and visit him in his dressing room. Gradually, the liquor became a regular part of his own intake and informed and inspired a lot of his best performances.
8. Once lauded as "the most exciting woman alive", her successful career took a huge knock when she criticised the Vietnam War at an official function at the White House in 1968. She excelled in several entertainment fields, as a dancer, singer and actor, including a stint as Catwoman in the TV series, "Batman". Which multi-talented entertainer, whose biggest musical hit, ironically, was "Santa Baby", died on Christmas Day in 2008?

Answer: Eartha Kitt

When Kitt told Ladybird Johnson, wife of the President, "You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed. No wonder the kids rebel and take pot," it caused outrage amongst certain sectors of US society. Offers of work at home dried up and led to Kitt moving to Europe.

Orson Welles was the man who described Kitt as "the most exciting woman alive." He had cast her as Helen of Troy in his production, "Time Runs", which was based on Marlowe's "Dr. Faustus". The play raised Kitt's profile and enabled her to achieve significant success in the music charts.

She took over as Catwoman in TV's "Batman" from Julie Newmar. Given the descriptions of her feline grace that had been applied to her throughout her career, it seemed a role she was destined to play.
9. Born in Germany in 1873, he was dubbed "The Father of Neuroscience" following his study of chemical and electrical impulses in the human body. His discovery of the chemical neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, led to the award of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1936. Forced to flee Germany in 1938, he arrived in the USA in 1941 and remained there until his death on Christmas Day, 1961. Who was this pioneering scientist?

Answer: Otto Loewi

Loewi shared his Nobel Prize with Sir Henry Dale, an English pharmacologist whom he met in 1902, whilst working in the laboratory of renowned physiologist, Ernest Starling, the co-discoverer of human hormones. The discovery of acetylcholine was the culmination of work that had also seen Loewi discover the chemical transmission of nerve impulses in 1921. His work revolutionised the view of the human sympathetic nervous system.

Julius Axelrod won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1970, also for work in the field of neurotransmission. Alois Alzheimer first described the disease of "presenile dementia" that would later bear his name. Sigmund Freud was the Austrian pioneer of psychoanalysis.
10. "Little Ole Wine Drinker Me" may not have been his best known song, but it is the one that best represented his public persona. A member of the Rat Pack, he had continued success from the 1950s through to the 1970s as a singer, comedian and actor on TV and film. The death of his son in air crash in 1987 led to a gradual withdrawal from public life. He died on Christmas Day 1995 owing to complications from lung cancer. Who was this Las Vegas legend?

Answer: Dean Martin

Martin achieved success across an array of entertainment fields. He started out as a nightclub crooner in the 1940s. His profile grew after he teamed up with comedian Jerry Lewis in 1946. Their act grew into a hugely popular comedy double act and they were rewarded with their own radio show in 1949. A contract to make films in Hollywood soon followed and their partnership soon became the biggest draw in the US.

The act broke up acrimoniously in 1956. Though Martin initially struggled in the wake of Lewis's continued success, he re-positioned himself as a serious actor with some success. One of those successes, "Some Came Running", teamed him with fellow crooner, Frank Sinatra, for the first time. The pair became firm friends and this friendship formed the basis of the development of the Rat Pack, the group of friends who became the must-see performers in Las Vegas throughout the 1960s.
Source: Author Snowman

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