Oh, and once he bought a dead whale to a New Jersey port. People weren't cool with that.
Sharks now tremble in fear at the sight of a gold hoop earring, which is why they avoid suburban malls and time travel to the 1980s.
October 25: The Man Behind Deep Throat
No, not Watergate whistleblower Mark Felt, he died two months later. We're talking about porn director Gerard Damiano, the guy known for directing the Deep Throat porno. Prior to that, his career path went in the usual way: shoe shine boy, navy, then x-ray technician, then hairdresser, set hand on a horror film, pornographer. He also appeared in many of his films, in non-sexual roles.
It's hard to get accurate counts, but there are claims that it took in $100 million or more. It was said to be one of the first porno films with a plot and high production values, setting an example that not a single subsequent porno would bother to follow.
November 20: The Mother of the Slinky
When we think of people who invent toys, we think of a Wonka-esque magical character, full of fun and surprises, but with none of Gene Wilder/Jonny Depp's unsettling undertones. Betty James, namer of the slinky, didn't really fit this image.
Instead, she was leafing through a dictionary one day, as all care-free, fun-loving people will do, and saw the word "slinky." This reminded her of an upturned torsion spring her husband had mentioned offhand about a year earlier. When your life is constant thrills and joy, we're assuming you don't remember shit like "honey, this spring fell over today, and it was super weird!"
Anyway, he had the idea to sell it as a toy, but she had the idea to name it the Slinky, which was actually more important because the toy itself sucked. Though it does appear her husband had all the wackiness that she lacked, leaving the family in 1960 to join a religious cult in Bolivia.
Congestive heart failure.
That guy we talked about earlier, desperately searching his house for the next tinned spaghetti-esque million-dollar idea? He's now reading a dictionary, highlighting and muttering to himself.
December 18: The "First Lady of Star Trek"
Majel Barrett has appeared in every incarnation of the Star Trek franchise. She's also the widow of Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek.
Seriously, if you've seen any of the movies or TV shows, you've seen her. Or at least heard her - she was the voice of the ship's computer. She also played Deanna Troi's flamboyant mom in The Next Generation.
She almost killed Spock.
In the original Star Trek pilot, she played the "Number One" on the bridge, and was the cold, logical character while the character Spock was just some weird alien guy in the background. We're sure the fact she was banging the producer had nothing to do with her getting the role. Test audiences hated her, and so they dropped her character and instead fleshed out Spock to become the unfeeling Vulcan we all know and love.
For people you've kinda heard of who aren't dead, check out Where Aren't They Now: The 7 Strangest Post-Sitcom Careers and Where Aren't They Now?: 5 Post-Star Wars Careers Almost as Pathetic as Mark Hamill's.