Day in History 12 November – Duncan II – William Holden

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On this day in 1094, King of Scots, Duncan II, died at the Battle of Mondoynes.  Born Donnchad mac Maíl Coluim before c. 1060.  Son of Malcolm III (Máel Coluim mac Donnchada) and his first wife Ingibiorg Finnsdottir, widow of Thorfinn Sigurdsson.  About 1093–1094 Duncan married Uchtreda of Northumbria, daughter of Gospatric, Earl of Dunbar and Northumbria.  Duncan deposed his uncle Donald III but reigned for only six months.  He was succeeded by Donald III.  I am very proud of my Scottish heritage.  In My Defens, God Me Defend!  The Final Footprint – There are two, contradictory accounts about the burial place of Duncan II. One reports him buried at Dunfermline Abbey, the other at the isle of Iona at Iona Abbey.  Dunfermline occupies the site of the ancient chancel and transepts of a large medieval Benedictine abbey, which was sacked in 1560 during the Scottish Reformation and permitted to fall into disrepair. Part of the old abbey church continued in use at that time and some parts of the abbey infrastructure still remain to this day.  Dunfermline Abbey is one of Scotland’s most important cultural sites. The ancient burial ground at Iona Abbey, called the Rèilig Odhrain (Eng: Oran’s “burial place” or “cemetery”), contains the 12th century chapel of St Odhrán, restored at the same time as the Abbey itself.  It contains a number of medieval grave monuments.  The abbey graveyard contains the graves of many early Scottish Kings, as well as kings from Ireland, Norway and France.  Iona became the burial site for the kings of Dál Riata and their successors.  Other notable final footprints at Dunfermline include; Saint Margaret of Scotland, Edgar, Alexander I, David I, Malcolm IV, Alexander III, and Robert The Bruce.

williamHolden-portraitOn this day in 1981 Academy Award winning actor William Holden bled to death from a head wound suffered in a fall in his apartment in Santa Monica, California at the age of 63.  Born William Franklin Beedle, Jr. in O’Fallon, Illinois on 17 April 1918.  In my opinion, one of the most popular movie stars of all time, Holden was one of the biggest box office draws of the 1950s.  Holden won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1953 for his role in Stalag 17, and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor for his role in the 1973 television film The Blue Knight.  Holden starred in some of Hollywood’s most popular and critically acclaimed films, including such blockbusters as Sunset Boulevard, The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Wild Bunch, Picnic, The Towering Inferno, and Network.  He was named one of the “Top 10 Stars of the Year” six times (1954–1958, 1961).  Holden married actress Ardis Ankerson (stage name Brenda Marshall) (1941 – 1971 divorce).  They served as best man and matron of honor as the only guests at the wedding of Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis.  During the filming of Sabrina (1954), Audrey Hepburn and Holden became romantically involved.  Holden met French actress Capucine in the early 1960s.  The two starred in the films The Lion (1962) and The 7th Dawn (1964).  They began a two-year affair.  In 1972, Holden began a nine-year relationship with actress Stefanie Powers.  My favorite Holden movies; Sabrina (1954), The Horse Soldiers (1959) and The Wild Bunch (1969).  The Final Footprint – Holden had dictated in his will that the Neptune Society cremate him and scatter his ashes in the Pacific Ocean.  No funeral or memorial service was held, per his wishes.  For his contribution to the film industry, Holden has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 1651 Vine Street.  He also has a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.

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