Quiz about Shy Not Retiring
Quiz about Shy Not Retiring

Shy, Not Retiring Trivia Quiz


These are ten famous people throughout history who achieved great heights, in spite of the incredible shyness from which they suffered at times. Have fun!

A multiple-choice quiz by Creedy. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
Creedy
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
347,454
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Easy
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
4047
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 207 (10/10), Leedswba4 (6/10), Guest 47 (8/10).
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. The sixteenth President of the USA, this gentle giant of a man suffered from unbearable shyness in the company of strangers, especially around women. Who was he? Hint

John Adams
Abraham Lincoln
John Tyler
James Buchanan

2. This inspiring woman was lonely and isolated as a child. She was reared by her grandmother from an early age following the deaths of both her parents. Insecure, yearning for affection and considering herself ugly, she went on to become the wife of a great American President (1933-45), and forged a brilliant public career of her own. Who was she? Hint

Mamie Eisenhower
Jacqueline Kennedy
Eleanor Roosevelt
Bess Truman

3. This amazing man patented an astonishing number of inventions during his life. As a child, however, and partly related to a disability he had, he was painfully shy and wanted to become an actor to escape his reality. Who was he? Hint

Henry N. Cobb
Walter Houser Brattain
Charles Babbage
Thomas Edison

4. It's strange but sometimes wonderful how a setback in one's youth can ultimately benefit most of mankind. If this man hadn't been struck in the face with a hockey stick when he was a boy, the world may never have experienced powered, heavier than air flight. Who is he? Hint

Leonardo da Vinci
Wilbur Wright
Joseph-Michel Montgolfier
David Schwarz

5. A very accomplished pianist as a young woman, it was her chronic shyness and stage fright that prevented this British "Queen of Crime" from forging a career as a concert pianist. It was to her pen she turned for consolation, and millions of readers have enjoyed her work ever since. Who is she? Hint

Agatha Christie
Edith Wharton
Anne Bronte
Margaret Twain

6. He was plagued with partial deafness from his childhood as a result of an ear infection. By the time this great future Australian colonial author was fourteen, he had gone completely deaf. With works such as "The Loaded Dog" and "Water Them Geraniums" to his credit, who was he? Hint

Banjo Patterson
Mary Gilmore
Henry Handel Richardson
Henry Lawson

7. This very famous Scottish actor, who was born in 1930, is noted for the strong and powerful movie characters he has always played. Yet as a young man, he was scrawny, short, and very shy. Who do you think he could be? Hint

Ewan McGregor
Sean Connery
Billy Connolly
Mel Gibson

8. This English philosopher, poet and author was another person prone to bouts of overwhelming shyness during his life. In 1798, he gave us the revolting work of an albatross strung around a mariner's neck. Who was he? Hint

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Charles Lamb
William Wordsworth
Benny Hill

9. This British actor was born in 1907 and died in 1989. Not only was he a brilliant Shakespearian performer, his acting skills covered all movie categories as well. Once married to the beautiful but unstable actress, Vivien Leigh, who was he? Hint

John Gielgud
Laurence Olivier
Alec Guinness
Ben Miller

10. This lady with the magnificent operatic voice suffered from acute shyness from when she was a small child, because her mother forced her to constantly perform in front of strangers. Who was she? Hint

Maria Callas
Eidhneach O'Dempsey
Madonna
Roseanne Barr




Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The sixteenth President of the USA, this gentle giant of a man suffered from unbearable shyness in the company of strangers, especially around women. Who was he?

Answer: Abraham Lincoln

He led his country through a great crisis, he ended the barbaric practice of slavery, and he forged the way for the country's modernisation of its economy. Yet Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), about whom so much has been written and discussed, suffered from an almost crippling shyness all his life. He came from a poor background, born into a family who all lived, at one stage, in a one room log cabin in Kentucky. To make matters worse, his family's religious background frowned heavily on the practices of dancing and drinking alcohol, so Lincoln didn't even have that outlet to help ease his way into the social world. Furthermore, his formal schooling consisted of only one year, and this from itinerant teachers only. Added to this, he was tall, ungainly, sombre of nature, and had no particular knowledge of good dress.

Yet this amazing man became an avid reader, educated himself, and through sheer hard work, study and determination, rose to the greatest position in the land. These abilities didn't include skill with the ladies however. He was usually especially awkward and tongue-tied around them. He did try but his first love died before they could get to the altar. His second love, with his hearty endorsement, decided to call the wedding off. And he was full of the deepest gloom when his third relationship managed to make it to the altar. He told a friend on that joyous day that he thought he was going to hell. Their marriage was reasonably happy though, even if Mary Lincoln did bash him on the head once with a piece of wood. However, following the early deaths of three of their sons, Lincoln fell into the deepest depression. He pulled through this after a time. The amazing thing about him was that, in spite of the shyness that plagued him all his life, he was an incredibly skilled politician and could speak fluently and powerfully to vast crowds of perfect strangers. My favourite story about Abraham Lincoln was the time he visited a group of injured soldiers during the great struggle between the north and south. Reaching down to one young lad lying exhausted and spent in his bed, Lincoln patted him gently on the head. Then, with his eyes filling with tears, he murmured, "Poor lad, poor lad".
2. This inspiring woman was lonely and isolated as a child. She was reared by her grandmother from an early age following the deaths of both her parents. Insecure, yearning for affection and considering herself ugly, she went on to become the wife of a great American President (1933-45), and forged a brilliant public career of her own. Who was she?

Answer: Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) struggled with chronic shyness for the first part of her life. Deprived of parental love and approval, which is an essential element in the forming of a positive self-image in children, she often described herself as ugly. Additionally, so old-fashioned was her behaviour, she was given the less than flattering nickname of "Granny". Just what a shy child needs to boost her confidence. She was tutored privately as well, further enhancing her sense of isolation and difference, and negatively impacting on her ability to freely interact with people. However, when she was fifteen, her aunt insisted she be sent to a private finishing school in London, and it was here that Eleanor's life and perception of self began to change.

She was lucky to have as the headmistress of that school a strong and highly educated feminist. This woman took one look at the shy, gauche girl before her, and set to work. When Eleanor finally graduated from that institution two years later, she was polished, self-assured and confident. Returning to the United States, she would shortly after meet and marry the young Franklin Roosevelt, who was her fifth cousin once removed. That took place in 1905 and the marriage was initially a very happy one, with Eleanor content to play the role of wife and mother. In 1918 however, Eleanor's life changed dramatically once again. On discovering that her husband was having an affair, she was devastated, but, although the marriage survived, it was from this point that she took complete charge of her own life and destiny.

She began to stand in for her husband on various occasions; became involved with the Women's Trade Union League; was influential in the establishment of a minimum wage and the abolition of child labour; became a leader of the New York State Democratic Party; gave endless public talks on various matters of importance; held weekly press conferences (some 350 all up); wrote a regular nation wide newspaper column ("My Day") for almost thirty years; worked on improving the African-American relationships; supported civil rights; wrote various magazine articles; co-chaired a national civil defence committee during the war years; constantly visited military and civil centres; opposed the interning of Japanese-American citizens; visited war zones in the Pacific; and toured Latin American countries in an attempt to boost relationships with the United States.

Following Roosevelt's early death while still in the Presidency, she was appointed to the General Assembly of the U.N. as an American delegate. She eventually became the chairperson on their Commission of Human Rights, helping draft the universal declaration of this important work. She refused an invitation to run for public office in America, but still carried out an endless number of international and national speaking engagements. During her lifetime of work in the public arena, she was awarded a staggering number of 48 honorary degrees, various other awards and honours, and the United Nations Human Rights Prize. Not too bad at all for a little girl who was given the nickname "Granny", and who thought she was ugly and unloved.
3. This amazing man patented an astonishing number of inventions during his life. As a child, however, and partly related to a disability he had, he was painfully shy and wanted to become an actor to escape his reality. Who was he?

Answer: Thomas Edison

Edison (1847-1931) was partially deaf from a young age. This was the result of a bout of scarlet fever, and recurring ear infections which were left untreated, when he was small. This inability to hear greatly hampered his short foray into world of public education. His teacher, during the extremely short period of education Edison had (only three months), put the boy's lack of attention down to being mentally slow. If only he knew. It was Edison's mother who oversaw his education from that point, and he remembered this with the deepest gratitude all his life. However, the fact that he was deaf and often missed what was going on around him isolated the child, and led to the development of his acute shyness.

His dreams of becoming an actor were put aside because of his deafness-related high-pitched voice, and his shyness. Instead, Edison tried various alternative forms of employment, always preferring those that gave him a great deal of solitude. This solitude allowed him the peace and uninterrupted tranquility to work on his experiments on the side. He would go on to become one of the world's foremost inventors. On his death, he had more than 1,000 patents registered under his name, and had the amazing record of having founded fourteen companies to produce these. Thomas Edison - a shy man with a hearing impairment, who turned his disability to an advantage that has ultimately benefited most of mankind, in one way or another, ever since.
4. It's strange but sometimes wonderful how a setback in one's youth can ultimately benefit most of mankind. If this man hadn't been struck in the face with a hockey stick when he was a boy, the world may never have experienced powered, heavier than air flight. Who is he?

Answer: Wilbur Wright

Wilbur Wright (1867-1912) didn't begin life as a shy lad. In fact he was always known to be vigorous, happy and athletic. Just as he was entering his teen years, however, while playing ice hockey with a group of friends one day, he was accidentally smashed in the mouth with a hockey stick.

The force of the blow removed most of his front teeth. From from that period on, he became withdrawn and shy. He refused to go to university and stayed within his home for several years, seldom emerging and extremely reluctant to meet anyone new.

While this sounds more like some trauma related psychological illness, severe shyness in fact is classed as a social anxiety/phobia. Still, it seems strange in Wilbur's case. He eventually overcame whatever was having such a drastic effect upon him, and, sprouting a large moustache to hide his mouth, joined his brother in the printing business Orville (1871-1948) had set up. Because bicycles were all the craze at this period in history, this eventually led to the brothers becoming extremely interested in this form of transport.

As a result, they set up their own bicycle manufacturing firm, and, with the profits gleaned from this, began to buy and experiment in the manufacture of airplanes. In 1903, their first powered, controllable, heavier than air machine took to the skies, and the rest, as they say, is history. Wilbur died in 1912 from typhoid fever, at the age of 45. Orville, after a long lifetime of involvement in the aircraft business, died in 1948 from heart failure. Neither brother ever ventured into matrimony. Wilbur, commenting on this, said that, "he did not have time for both a wife and an airplane". Four years before he died, Orville took his last flight in a plane in 1944. This was in a Lockheed Constellation machine, and was piloted, of all people, by Howard Hughes. Orville remarked of this plane that its wingspan was "longer than the distance of his first flight".
5. A very accomplished pianist as a young woman, it was her chronic shyness and stage fright that prevented this British "Queen of Crime" from forging a career as a concert pianist. It was to her pen she turned for consolation, and millions of readers have enjoyed her work ever since. Who is she?

Answer: Agatha Christie

As a child, Agatha never attended public schooling of any sort, but was tutored from home instead. She was a contented child, however, surrounded by the love of her mother, much older sister, and grandmother. It was this isolation from the society of children her own age that would prove to be the contributing factor in the development of the girl into a great mystery writer. Even though she encouraged the girl's early writing and vivid imagination, her mother was concerned at the long hours of isolation the child experienced. One of the games she constantly played was called "The School". She populated this imaginary school with imaginary friends of her own age, and they were her constant companions for years. This was the deciding factor in Agatha's mother's decision to send her daughter to a school in Paris when she turned sixteen.

The girl studied singing and piano there (which she loved), French (which she mastered) and ballet (which she detested). Prior to this move, she had studied piano from when she was old enough to understand its process, and was more than competent at this instrument. Her chronic stage fright and shyness however prevented her developing her skills further as a professional pianist. Agatha's mother had also encouraged the girl's writing skills as well as she grew older, and it was this skill that gave us the great crime writer Agatha Christie eventually became.

Agatha Christie was born in 1890 and died in 1976. At her life's conclusion she had written 66 detective novels, 14 short story collections and a number of plays that had achieved success in London's West End. She is recorded in the "Guinness Book of World Records" as "the best-selling novelist of all time...her novels have sold roughly four billion copies" and her works come in third, after the great Shakespeare and the greater Bible, as the most published books in the world. Her play "The Mousetrap" has been constantly performed since 1952 at one of London's top theatres. 60 years after its first staging, it was still going strong "after more than 24,600 performances". Her first crime story was "The Mysterious Affair at Styles" (1920) in which we first meet her detective, the lovable and brilliant Hercule Poirot. The last detective novel she wrote was "Postern of Fate" and was published in 1973. Two further crime novels, written 40 years prior to her death, were published in 1975 and 1976. These were "Curtain" and "Sleeping Murder" respectively.
6. He was plagued with partial deafness from his childhood as a result of an ear infection. By the time this great future Australian colonial author was fourteen, he had gone completely deaf. With works such as "The Loaded Dog" and "Water Them Geraniums" to his credit, who was he?

Answer: Henry Lawson

This deafness, and the very troubled family life he had been born into, led to Lawson (1867-1922) remaining pitifully shy for the rest of his life. The one piece of good fortune he did have as a child was to have two exceptional teachers. They went out of their way over his schooling days, to teach Henry as much literature and poetry as they could - on a one to one basis. This instilled in the small, lonely child a love of the written word that would remain with him all his life. His was not a happy life however. The troubled marriage of his parents practically guaranteed that.

Despite visiting various medical specialists, nothing could be done about his hearing loss. He worked with his father as he grew older, and studied at night hoping to gain his matriculation so that he could attend university. Once again his hearing problems held him back, and he failed to graduate. Finally, he began to drink. With the confidence this gave him, he found the courage to start seeing a young woman whom he eventually married. This marriage failed miserably as his drinking worsened. At the same time he began to experience periods of such black depression that he had to be hospitalised periodically. By now, though, he had also started to write and submit his works to various magazines and newspapers.

This led to his employment at one of Australia's top weekly magazines, the "Bulletin". In this work, he would eventually travel all around the countryside, experiencing Australia's colonial rural existence at first hand. Far from being the romantic and heroic idyllic existence as portrayed in the works of other writers, Lawson saw its harshness, cruelty, heartbreak, endurance and bravery instead. This travel by Lawson into our outback has been described by modern Australian writers as "the most important trek in Australian literary history". It was the foundation from which sprang Lawson's famous short stories and other writings. He first published a collection of these in his work "While the Billy Boils" in 1896. And they're brilliant. There's no other word for it. They're true, raw, heart-breaking, and yet, at times, incredibly funny. They never, for one second, let the reader go. They bring early Australia to a vibrant life in a way that has never been equalled. Lawson most definitely deserves the title "Australia's Greatest Writer".

Lawson died unhappy, broke, and very ill. Over his life, he'd been jailed periodically for failure to support his ex-wife financially, jailed for drunken behaviour, institutionalised for his mental illnesses, and kept isolated in his perpetually silent world. Any existing photographs of him that can be seen today show a man with lonely and desperately sad eyes. His life as a man was a failure by all accounts. Yet, the words that poured from his pen still blaze across our skies today - truth united with his very own Southern Cross.
7. This very famous Scottish actor, who was born in 1930, is noted for the strong and powerful movie characters he has always played. Yet as a young man, he was scrawny, short, and very shy. Who do you think he could be?

Answer: Sean Connery

Over the course of his career, the burly Scotsman has won one Oscar, two BAFTAs, and three Golden Globes. He's probably best known for playing the improbable character James Bond in seven different movies. This is somewhat unfortunate, because his acting skills are far greater than those displayed in these movies.

Connery's ancestors actually came from Ireland to live in Scotland. Just to mix his genes up a little bit more, one side of Connery's family is Catholic, while the other is Protestant. Connery was very small in size at school, and shy to boot, and it wasn't until he hit his late teen years that he did something about this. He put himself through a course of intensive body building training. In the interim, before he branched out into acting, he also worked as a milkman, joined the Royal Navy for a short stint, drove a lorry, became a lifeguard, did a little bit of modelling, and, of all things, also polished coffins.

He was still being described by those who knew him in his mid teen years as a rather shy young man. One of the artists he modelled for, a Richard de Marco, wrote of Connery that he was "very straight, slightly shy, too, too beautiful for words, a virtual Adonis". No wonder Connery headed straight for the gym! This resulted, physically, in his finally being known as "Big Tam" to his mates. He also grew taller during this time until he reached his ultimate height of six foot, two inches. Official sites relating to Connery state that he eventually came third in a Mr Universe contest, and once defeated a gang of six hoods single-handedly when they attacked him.

Sean Connery branched into acting in the late 1950s. Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, initially didn't want Connery to play the role of his hero, and remarked of Connery that he was too big and unrefined. However, after the success of the first Bond film "Dr No" (1962), Fleming wrote a Scottish heritage into Bond's family line. After his success as that character, Connery refused to play him any longer, stating that he was "fed up to here with the whole Bond bit". It was from this time that we saw a much more accomplished actor emerge. He won a BAFTA for "The Name of the Rose" in 1986; an Oscar for "The Untouchables" in 1987; and played many other powerful roles which all added to his acting reputation. In 2011, he retired from all further public appearances, both as an actor or a speaker.

Knighted by the Queen in 2000, Connery has spent much of his spare time pushing for Scotland's independence as a separate country once again! He also played his favourite game of golf until his health began to deteriorate following a tumour on his kidney and ongoing heart problems. What with all his acting awards, Connery has also been described in various polls as "Scotland's Greatest Living National Treasure" and "Sexiest Man of the Century" and "Sexiest Man Alive". Pretty good, wouldn't you agree, for a shy young fellow who used to polish coffins for a living?
8. This English philosopher, poet and author was another person prone to bouts of overwhelming shyness during his life. In 1798, he gave us the revolting work of an albatross strung around a mariner's neck. Who was he?

Answer: Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Coleridge (1772-1834) had an unhappy childhood, filled with various debilitating illnesses that seemed to be unceasing. It was these illnesses that held him back from joining in healthy outside children's games. He consequently drew more and more into himself, surrounded by the consolation of many books. To make matters worse, Coleridge's father died when Coleridge was only eight, and the child was sent away for some years to a charity institution in London for his schooling. He remained there for years, studying and writing his lonely poetry, and was seldom allowed back home because his mother couldn't deal with his oppressive clinginess. Poor child. It's not at all to be wondered at, given the circumstances of his childhood, that, by the time he reached adulthood, he was described by those who knew him as a man "who suffered from crippling bouts of anxiety and depression".

To make matters worse, Coleridge had become addicted to laudanum as a child, when he was given this drug to help cope with his illnesses. This was the trendy drug of the time, and was used to treat just about everything under the sun. Unfortunately it also contained ten percent of opium - and Coleridge remained addicted to opium for the rest of his life. He wrote many of his works under its influence.

The events of his life that unfolded over the years that followed make interesting reading, however, and have an almost Emily Bronte-ish quality to them. His meeting and long friendship with the poet William Wordsworth was a short respite from the gloom that always seemed to be his lot. In 1798 they published their great work "Lyrical Ballads" which heralded in the birth of the Romantic era in writing. Fortunately, Wordsworth contributed most of the poems to this work, with Coleridge only contributing four. These included his "Rime of the Ancient Mariner", a depressing work if ever I read one.

By 1808, he was consuming at least two quarts of laudanum a week, had separated from his wife (an unhappy marriage of course), had fallen out with Wordsworth, lost most of his money, and had put himself into the permanent care of a doctor. Yet he continued to write. From his long years of reading and study, he had a truly remarkable knowledge of "law, philosophy, philosophy, morals and history". His opium addiction was such, however, that many of his discourses, lectures and written works were long and rambling - and most people couldn't understand them. Those who did would describe Coleridge as a "giant among dwarfs". I think he was an acquired taste. Unfortunately my taste buds prefer Vegemite. His great work, for which he will always be remembered among the intellectual set, is "Biographia Literaria". This was published in 1817 and deals with a variety of profound subjects, poetry and literary works. He died in 1834 from a combination of various illnesses. Some of these were undoubtedly associated with his opium addiction. The literary world has been debating ever since whether this brilliant sad and tortured man was a junkie, or a genius.
9. This British actor was born in 1907 and died in 1989. Not only was he a brilliant Shakespearian performer, his acting skills covered all movie categories as well. Once married to the beautiful but unstable actress, Vivien Leigh, who was he?

Answer: Laurence Olivier

Laurence Olivier has been described as the greatest actor of the 20th century, and there wouldn't be too many people who would disagree with this. Yet, as a child, he was shy and withdrawn with hardly anyone capable of reaching him except his mother. His father was strict with him to the point of cruelty, and he was also subject to a severe religious upbringing at the same time. To make matters worse, his mother died when he was twelve years old. It's surprising he didn't develop into a serial killer, given that background. Instead the boy, as he grew older, found love, acceptance and self-fulfilment in acting. Strangely enough, his father supported him in this.

By the time he was nineteen, Olivier was acting professionally in minor roles. One year later, he was playing Hamlet and Macbeth in the plays of the same name. He continued to favour stage acting to that of film - for which he felt a deep scorn - but was eventually lured into this form of acting as well. His breakthrough role in that arena was his portrayal of Heathcliffe opposite Merle Oberon's Catherine in the 1939 film production of Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights". He spent the rest of his life alternating between film and stage roles, brilliant in every single appearance, and with an intensity to his screen presence that held your eye, no matter how old he grew, or which role he played. The list of his awards, and vast number of nominations, is way too long to include here, beyond briefly mentioning they include four Oscars, five Emmys, three Golden Globes and three BAFTAs.

His last performance - at the age of 81 - was playing an old soldier, now confined to a wheelchair, in the 1989 film "War Requiem". He died in the same year. The ashes of this magnificent actor who gave his entire life to stage and screen, are interred in "Poet's Corner" in Westminster Abbey, London - one of the very few actors to receive this honour. Just as an interesting final note: He rests now in the same magnificent building as many of the great men throughout British history whose lives he portrayed in theatre and film.
10. This lady with the magnificent operatic voice suffered from acute shyness from when she was a small child, because her mother forced her to constantly perform in front of strangers. Who was she?

Answer: Maria Callas

Callas (1923-1977) grew up in a very poor neighbourhood of New York, to Greek parents who fought constantly. To a father who didn't particularly want another daughter; and to a mother, who, once she realised the amazing potential of the child's unique voice, constantly bullied her to perform in front of strangers. When Maria was thirteen, her parents split up, and her mother took Maria and her sister and moved back to Greece. Many years later, Maria would say of her strained relationship with her mother that "My sister was slim and beautiful...and my mother always preferred her. I was the ugly duckling, fat and clumsy and unpopular...It is a cruel thing to make a child feel ugly and unwanted...I'll never forgive her for taking my childhood away. During all the years I should have been playing and growing up, I was singing and making money (for them)."

In addition to this, her mother forced Maria to go out with strange men during the occupation of Greece in World War Two to get "money and food" for the family. She also never forgave her mother for this form of prostitution forced upon her. As she grew older, her magnificent voice was trained and moulded in Greece by Maria Trivella, who refused to charge the girl because of her astonishing vocal abilities. A description of those vocal abilities from that time states that Maria's voice was "warm, lyrical, intense; it swirled and flared like a flame and filled the air with melodious reverberations like a carillon". Wow! Coming from voice trainers, that comment is like being given a free pass to heaven.

By 1938, Callas was performing professionally. She concluded her first public appearance as an operatic singer with a duet from the opera "Tosca", a role she would go on through the years to claim as her own. Her singing style was dramatic and riveting. Combined with her voice and its astonishing range, this earned her superlatives such as "God-given" and "The Greatest Operatic Star in the World". Performance after performance followed in every great opera house all over the world, and in her debut in each one, the plaudits continued to be heaped upon her. Her voice is a strange one to listen to on old recordings however. It almost repels at the same time it fascinates. It has a strange compelling quality, that, if one had to analyse it objectively, could almost be described as shrill. Yet, it wasn't shrill at all, and that's the continuing fascination of the voice of Maria Callas. It was completely unique.

Half way through her career, she slimmed down dramatically from her weight of 200 pounds because she felt her voice was being hampered by her weight - and because she'd been publicly humiliated by being made to weigh herself in public. Being Maria however, she went over the top with this, losing more than a third of her body weight in all. A peculiar rumour that circulated about this dramatic weight loss was that she had swallowed a tapeworm! This of course was completely false. It was a combination of chicken, salads and sensible eating that did the trick - as she often stated, somewhat indignantly. With a personal life just as complicated and tortured as any of the great operatic figures she presented on stage (and which makes fascinating reading), Maria Callas gave her final performance in November, 1974, in Japan. She died of a heart attack in 1977. Some say she died of a broken heart. Somehow, given her life, this would be much more appropriate.
Source: Author Creedy

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