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They Might Be Geordies: the 12 famous people who come from the North-East (but only barely) UK News

Rudolf Abel

Audience drama … Tom Hanks as James Donovan, Mark Rylance as Rudolf Abel and Billy Magnusson as Douglas Forrester

Born William Fisher, Rudolf Abel has been at the center of one of the greatest spy stories of the 21st century.

He grew up in Benwell, Newcastle, before attending Whitley Bay and Monkseaton High Schools, then becoming an apprentice draftsman at the Swan Hunter Shipyard. His family returned to their native Russia after the revolution and, taking the name Abel, joined the KGB and became a spy.

He was arrested in 1957 in New York City and sentenced to 30 years in prison, but was released four years later as part of a spy swap with American pilot Gary Powers.

His story was immortalized in the Steven Spielberg film Bridge of Spies, with actor Sir Mark Rylance winning an Academy Award although he admits he couldn’t do a Geordie accent and joked that the role should have gone to Sting.

Peter Higgs

Prof. Peter Higgs
Prof. Peter Higgs

The theoretical physicist won the Nobel Prize for his work on the mass of subatomic particles, with his theories proven by the Large Hadron Collider decades after he first posed them.

He was born in Elswick, Newcastle, although he left as a small child and seemed quite perplexed when he was granted freedom of the city in 2014.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Ludwig Wittgenstein, Brandling Park, Jesmond
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Brandling Park, Jesmond

Wittgenstein is widely regarded as one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century, whose work on logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language are widely studied to this day.

After fleeing his native Austria due to his Jewish heritage, he sought work in hospitals during World War II and ended up working as a laboratory assistant at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. While in town he lived in Brandling Park in Jesmond.

Hastings Banda

Hastings Banda was the Prime Minister and later President of Malawi, in power for 30 years but increasingly known for its very repressive style of government.

Banda received a medical degree in Edinburgh, then worked as a general practitioner at North Shields from 1941 to 1945. He sent his landlady Amy Walton a Christmas card every year until his death in the late 1960s.

While in Tyneside, he also began an unorthodox affair with the daughter of a patient that would last for many years and influence his anti-colonial policies.

Abhisit Vejjajiva

Abhisit Vejjajiva
Abhisit Vejjajiva

The Thai Prime Minister from 2008 to 2011 was born in Newcastle where his parents were both doctors.

He has said he would rather play for Newcastle United than be a politician, and his tenure has been marred by public protests, military crackdown and possible defeat at the polls.

José Maria de Eça de Queiros

One of the greatest European writers of all time, José Maria de Eça de Queirós has been ranked alongside Charles Dickens and Tolstoy.

Prior to his writing career he worked in the Portuguese consular service at Gray Street in Newcastle where his diplomatic duties included dispatching dispatches on the unrest in the Northumberland and Durham coalfields.

Commenting on his time in England, he said: “Everything in this society is distasteful to me – from his limited thinking to his indecent way of cooking vegetables.

Harriet martineau

Martineau Guest House in Tynemouth is named after political writer Harriet Martineau, who stayed there in the mid-1840s
Martineau Guest House in Tynemouth is named after political writer Harriet Martineau, who stayed there in the mid-1840s

The 19th century writer is described as the first female sociologist and her books were the favorites of a young Queen Victoria

She spent six years in Tyneside, first in a house in Old Eldon Square, then in a shelter in Tynemouth (now named Martineau Guest House in her honor).

His time in the area has been spent primarily recovering from serious illness and has inspired his work Life in the Sickroom.

Winslow Homer

Life line painting by Winslow Homer
Life line painting by Winslow Homer

One of the first paintings you’ll see upon entering the American National Art Gallery in Washington DC is a 19th century scene from Cullercoats Beach, North Tyneside.

It was painted by Winslow Homer – one of the best artists in US history – who spent two years living in Cullercoats as part of its thriving artist colony. His stay in the Northeast greatly influenced his style of painting.

Henri Travers

Henry Travers as Clarence the Angel, left, and James Stewart as George Bailey are seen in a scene from It's a Wonderful Life.
Henry Travers as Clarence the Angel, left, and James Stewart as George Bailey are seen in a scene from It’s a Wonderful Life.

It’s a Wonderful Life is one of the most beloved movies of all time, starring Henry Travers as the angel Clarence Odbody, convincing James Stewart’s George Bailey that he touched the life of his community. .

Travers was born in Prudhoe, Northumberland, and moved to West Woodburn and then to Berwick, where he trained as an architect before taking the stage and having a successful acting career both on stage and on the screen. He won an Oscar nomination for his role in …

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This notice was published: 2021-06-18 23:00:00

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