Later, Harry Bloom fled to England, where he met Sonia Copeland, who had been born in British India, but left in the 1950s. They married, and had a bouncing baby Floridian, but Harry passed away when Orlando was only 4. His mother then began dating a longtime family friend named Colin Stone.
A man with an oddly chiseled jawline ...
It was only a decade later, when Orlando turned 13, that his mother revealed to him that Stone was actually his real father. It turned out that Harry was infertile, so the couple asked Stone to step in and make them a baby, which he did the old-fashioned way. Right up until his teenage years, Orlando believed that his father was the renowned South African activist Harry Bloom, rather than the not-particularly-quite-so-renowned random guy Colin Stone. Of course, the vast majority of us are probably not the children of historical figures, so this isn't exactly a tragedy, but it must at least be a little disappointing.
Stephen Colbert Became a Comedian After His Family Died In A Plane Crash
Stephen Colbert, one of America's most beloved comedians, got his start just making his own mother laugh -- in the wake of the instant and devastating death of most of the rest of his family.
On September 11th, 1974, which would later become renowned as a bad day for air travel for entirely separate reasons, Stephen's father, noted academic and physician Dr. James W. Colbert Jr., and two of Stephen's brothers, were among the 72 passengers and crew that were killed in the crash of Eastern Air Lines Flight 212 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Stephen was the youngest of 11 children (Catholics), so there were still enough to go around, but his surviving siblings were already grown -- suddenly, it was just 10-year-old Stephen and his devastated mother, living together for the rest of his childhood.
Charleston County Post and Courier
Perfect comedy fodder!
The crash of Flight 212 also wound up introducing Stephen to the world of comedy. On the way back from the funeral for their father and brothers, one of his sisters got another sister laughing so hard that she fell onto the floor of the car, and that's when Stephen Colbert found his calling in life. He started telling jokes to cheer his mother up, and he spent many evenings listening to comedy albums that he had inherited from his dead brothers.
At 35, Colbert remembered a quote from Lord Of The Rings (a subject in which he is one of the world's foremost experts): "what punishments of God are not gifts?" He then realized that his success probably wouldn't have happened without the death of his father and brothers. He later said of the crash, "It's not the same thing as wanting it to have happened, but you can't change everything about the world. You certainly can't change things that have already happened."
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Montclair Film Festival
That's about the closest thing we can manage to optimism these days, so either take it, or lie down and wait for death. Your call.
Zachary Frey is a Sophomore at Cornell University. You can read his 10 most recent articles here.
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