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Old 08-23-2002, 03:45 AM
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: El Paso, Texas
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Famous 'illegitimate' children list

I use 'illegitimate' for the lack of a better word...its certainly better than the b-word.

Anyway I just wanted to compile a list...for personal reasons. I suppose if we count children of celebrities in the last ten years it would be too long! Lets limit it to people who became famous in their own right, or just maybe children of famous people who had a baby out of wedlock when it was still very scandalous (like Ingrid Bergman).

The ones I can think of are...

William the Conqueror
Oprah Winfrey
Fidel Castro
Sophia Loren

and as far as 'illegitimate' parents...

Thomas Jefferson (Sally Hemmings is a whole other issue I suppose), Grover Cleveland, and Warren Harding...of course some dispute those. I think every president has been accused of that at one time or another.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Also while adopted children are often assumed to be born out of wedlock, I don't think they were usually described as 'illegitimate' as children: but of course have their own unique issues to deal with in many cases - if they learn of their background.

And to make the thread more germaine to the 'Cafe Society'...fictional characters or literary works are ok too if significant to the topic.
Old 08-23-2002, 10:53 AM
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Alexander Hamilton
Old 08-23-2002, 11:28 AM
SD Curator of Critters
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Henry Morton Stanley, African explorer
Willy Brandt, German politician
Jack Nicholson
Old 08-23-2002, 11:45 AM
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IIRC, David Bowie was born out of wedlock, but his biological parents did marry not long afterwards.

Although probably not illegitimate, rock singer Eddie Vedder had came from particularly bizarre and Gothic beginnings. His parents divorced while he was a baby, and his mother quickly remarried an old high school sweetheart. The truth of young Eddie's paternity was not revealed to him until his late teens, after his biological father died and his mother and stepfather divorced.
Old 08-23-2002, 09:50 PM
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Eric Clapton - as far as I know he never knew his father.
For years his mother told him, she was his sister, and his grandmother was his mother. The truth came out eventually, but Clapton was a young man by then. How's that for twisted.
Old 08-23-2002, 10:20 PM
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I remember reading something about Clapton's father, who was eventually revealed to have been living in Canada. He died before Clapton knew who he was though.
Old 08-24-2002, 02:59 PM
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Sarah Bernhardt, IIRC
Old 08-24-2002, 03:10 PM
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Desiderius Erasmus was an illegitimate child. Lady Mary Wroth, a semi-famous seventeenth century poet, had a notorious affair with her cousin which resulted in the birth of two illegitimate children; Aemilia Lanyer, another semi-famous woman poet, probably had an illegitimate son (she married before he was born, but her husband seems not to have been the father). Ben Jonson may have had several illegitimate kids, but there were so many Johnsons in 17th-century London that it's hard to be sure.

The nice thing about being a grad student is you get to know a lot of gossip about dead people.
Old 08-24-2002, 04:24 PM
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Posts: 252
Ones not yet mentioned:

John James Audabon
Giovanni Boccacio
Giovanni Casanova
Paul Cezanne
Pope Clement VII
Macauley Culkin
Bobby Darin
Frederick Douglass
Alexander Dumas fils
George Foreman
Jean Genet
James Kier Hardie
Billie Holliday
Bo Jackson
Jesse Jackson
T.E. Lawrence
Jack London
Anna Magnani
Tobey Maguirre
Rod McKuen
Maria Montessori
Shaquille O'Neal
Evita Peron
Fransisco Pizzaro
August Strindberg
Richard Wagner
Booker T Washington
Reggie White
Old 08-24-2002, 04:52 PM
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you sure about Shaq? There are a lot of news stories about his father.
Old 08-24-2002, 05:23 PM
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Shaq speaks highly of his stepfather and in fact calls him his father. Shaq was born out of wedlock.
Old 08-24-2002, 05:38 PM
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The Bastard in Bastard out of Carolina. Most likely.

Pearl in The Scarlet Letter.

And there have got to be others, but that's all I can think of as far as fictional characters go.
Old 08-24-2002, 05:46 PM
Join Date: Apr 2001
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Fictional characters? How about Mordred? Or Edmund (in King Lear)? Both rather nasty individuals, but hey, you didn't say "positive role models"...

BTW, semi-famous seventeenth-century poet Willam Davenant claimed to be Shakespeare's illegitimate son, though that one is dubious at best.
Old 08-24-2002, 06:12 PM
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Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's
Old 08-24-2002, 07:39 PM
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I know I've heard the story about Clapton and his Sister/Mom is true about Bobby Darin. Could that be incorrect? Also, I've met Oprah's Dad. His name is Winfrey and they know each other!
Old 08-24-2002, 08:20 PM
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Yes, it is true about Bobby Darin, it made him kill himself.
Old 08-24-2002, 08:58 PM
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Originally posted by Intaglio
Yes, it is true about Bobby Darin, it made him kill himself.
You're half right- that is his family history, but he didn't kill himself. Complications during heart surgury. Certainly, though, the shock of the discovery can aggrevate a heart condition.

Jack Nicholson also was grown before he discovered that his 'sister' Lorraine was his mother.
Old 08-25-2002, 03:48 PM
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Alec Guiness
Old 08-25-2002, 05:36 PM
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John Paul Jones
Old 08-25-2002, 05:42 PM
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Leonardo da Vinci
Old 08-25-2002, 07:21 PM
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P.D.Q. Bach.
Old 08-26-2002, 08:46 AM
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Serial killer Ted Bundy. Another person who thought his mother was his sister. There's some speculation that his mother's father was also his father, but his mother denies it.
Old 08-26-2002, 09:04 AM
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Interesting, the websites are divided on whether or not Vernon Winfrey ever married Vernita Lee. Nonetheless, Oprah would make this list in her own right, as she gave birth to a daughter in her early teens (I can't recall whether the baby was stillborn or died soon after birth) - the circumstances regarding the baby's conception were the subject of one of her programmes a few years ago.
Old 08-26-2002, 09:30 AM
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Minor point of clarification - Maria Montessori was born to married parents. It was her son, Mario, who was illegitimate - the result of an affair with a married colleague. Maria M never married.
An American flodnak in Oslo.
Do not open cover; no user serviceable parts inside.
Old 08-26-2002, 10:42 AM
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I don't think that Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Roselini were married when Isabella Roselini was born, but I could be mistaken.
Old 08-26-2002, 11:51 AM
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What? No one's mentioned Marilyn Monroe yet?

Also, actress Mariska Hargitay, daughter of Jayne Mansfield and, supposedly, Mickey Hargitay. She's admitted her biological father is Italian singer and producer Nelson Sardelli, but she doesn't like to publicize it, as she is so close to MickeyŚone reason I'll not be able to do a book on Jaynie, dammit.
Old 08-26-2002, 02:38 PM
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Robert Burns had an illegitimate daughter. He fought to get custody of her, and she was raised by his mother. He wrote a poem called A Poet's Welcome to his Love-Begotten Daughter on her birth:

Welcome, my bonie, sweet, wee dochter!
Tho' ye come here a wee unsought for,
And tho' your comin I hae fought for
Baith kirk and queir;
Yet, by my faith, ye're no unwrought for ---
That I shall swear!

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