Unfortunately, even our beloved celebrities cannot escape the ultimate certainty of death. Whether they’re actors, singers, superstar athletes, or TV personalities like Bob Barker, death shows no favoritism. In this intriguing compilation, we will focus on older stars and ponder whether they will conquer the challenges of 2023. While it may seem a touch macabre, death is simply a natural part of the grand tapestry of life.
Enchanting the lineup are Tony Bennett and Bob Newhart, both flourishing in their remarkable 90s. Joining them are political figures such as Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. Eva Marie Saint, a luminous star from Hollywood’s Golden Age of cinema, shines brilliantly at the impressive age of 98. And we cannot overlook June Spencer, celebrated for her unforgettable role in the BBC Radio 4 soap opera The Archers, astonishingly reaching the awe-inspiring age of 103.
Feel free to explore the captivating 2023 destiny list and share your spirited speculations. It’s all in the spirit of amusement, and you can always return later in the year to discover if your intuitions were spot on.
1. Henry Kissinger
Henry Alfred Kissinger, a well-known American politician, diplomat, and geopolitical consultant, held significant positions in the United States government under the administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He served as both the Secretary of State and the National Security Advisor. Born in Germany, Kissinger and his family fled Nazi Germany in 1938, escaping as Jewish refugees. He assumed the role of National Security Advisor in 1969 and became the U.S. Secretary of State in 1973.
Kissinger’s efforts in negotiating a ceasefire in Vietnam earned him the controversial 1973 Nobel Peace Prize, which caused two committee members to resign in protest. However, after the ceasefire failed, Kissinger unsuccessfully attempted to return the prize. Known for his practice of Realpolitik, Kissinger played a significant role in shaping U.S. foreign policy from 1969 to 1977. He pioneered the policy of détente with the Soviet Union, facilitated the establishment of relations with the People’s Republic of China, engaged in shuttle diplomacy to resolve the Middle East’s Yom Kippur War, and negotiated the Paris Peace Accords, effectively ending U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
Throughout his career, Kissinger has been associated with controversial policies such as U.S. involvement in the 1973 Chilean military coup, providing Argentina’s military junta with a “green light” during their Dirty War, and supporting Pakistan during the Bangladesh War despite the ongoing genocide committed by his allies. After leaving government, he founded Kissinger Associates, an international geopolitical consulting firm. Additionally, Kissinger has authored numerous books on diplomatic history and international relations.
Despite his accomplishments, Kissinger remains a divisive figure in American politics, often criticized as a war criminal by journalists, political activists, and human rights lawyers. However, a 2014 survey conducted by Foreign Policy magazine revealed that 32.21% of “America’s top International Relations scholars” considered Henry Kissinger the most effective U.S. Secretary of State since 1965.
Birthplace: Germany, Fürth
2. Rosalynn Carter
Eleanor Rosalynn Carter, also known as Rosalynn Carter, was the First Lady of the United States from 1977 to 1981. She was married to President Jimmy Carter. Throughout her life, she has been a strong advocate for various causes, making her a prominent figure. During her time in the White House, she actively participated in politics, attending Cabinet meetings and providing valuable advice to her husband. Additionally, she played a significant role as an envoy, representing the United States in Latin America and other parts of the world.
Birthplace: Georgia, USA, Plains
3. Joyce Randolph
Joyce Randolph, or Joyce Sirola as she was born on October 21, 1924, is an American actress who gained fame for her role as Trixie Norton in the classic television sitcom The Honeymooners. Trixie Norton, played by Joyce Randolph, became her most recognizable and beloved character.
Birthplace: Michigan, USA, Detroit
4. Glynis Johns
Glynis Johns, born on October 5, 1923, is a retired Welsh actress who has made a mark in the world of stage, television, and film. Not only that, she is also a talented dancer, pianist, and singer. Interestingly, Glynis was born in Pretoria, South Africa while her parents were on tour.
When it comes to her career, Glynis is widely recognized for her portrayal of Desiree Armfeldt in the Broadway production of A Little Night Music. Her outstanding performance in this role earned her a prestigious Tony Award. Another notable role that she is remembered for is as Winifred Banks in Walt Disney’s beloved musical movie, Mary Poppins. In both of these roles, Glynis mesmerized the audience with her beautiful singing voice, showcasing songs that were crafted specifically for her. One of these songs is the iconic “Send In the Clowns,” composed by the talented Stephen Sondheim. Another notable song she performed was “Sister Suffragette,” written by the Sherman Brothers.
Glynis’s talent and dedication have not gone unnoticed, as she received an Oscar nomination for her exceptional work in the 1960 film, The Sundowners. One of the distinctive features of Glynis’s performances is the unique breathy quality of her husky voice, which adds an extra touch of charm to her on-screen presence. Moreover, her cheerful and lively persona has also contributed to her popularity among fans and critics alike.
Birthplace: Pretoria, South Africa
5. Alan Greenspan
Alan Greenspan, born on March 6, 1926, is an American economist who served as Chair of the Federal Reserve of the United States from 1987 to 2006. Currently, he works as a private adviser and provides consulting for firms through his company, Greenspan Associates LLC.
Initially appointed by President Ronald Reagan in August 1987, Greenspan was reappointed at successive four-year intervals until his retirement on January 31, 2006. This made his tenure the second-longest in the position, behind William McChesney Martin.
Before joining the Federal Reserve Board, Greenspan had a career in consulting. While he maintained a low-key public presence, positive media coverage elevated his profile, leading some observers to compare him to a “rock star”. However, Democratic leaders of Congress criticized him for allegedly politicizing his office by supporting Social Security privatization and tax cuts, which they believed would increase the deficit.
Some critics have suggested that the easy-money policies implemented by the Federal Reserve under Greenspan’s leadership were a major factor behind the dotcom bubble and the subsequent subprime mortgage crisis, which occurred shortly after his departure. The Wall Street Journal even stated that these events “tarnished his reputation”. On the other hand, economist Robert Shiller argues that the speculative frenzy that caused the housing bubble was originally unleashed by the stock market, and that real estate became the primary outlet once stocks began to decline. Greenspan himself contends that the housing bubble was a global phenomenon triggered by the steep decline in long-term interest rates, rather than solely the result of low-interest rates.
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
6. George Soros
George Soros, Hon (born Schwartz György; August 12, 1930) is a Hungarian-American investor and philanthropist. He has made significant contributions to his philanthropic agency, Open Society Foundations, with a net worth of $8 billion as of February 2018. Born in Budapest, Soros survived Nazi Germany-occupied Hungary and moved to the United Kingdom in 1947. He attended the London School of Economics, earning both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in philosophy.
Soros began his business career by working at various merchant banks in the United Kingdom and the United States before establishing his first hedge fund, Double Eagle, in 1969. The profits from this fund provided the initial capital to start his second hedge fund, Soros Fund Management, in 1970. Quantum Fund, previously known as Double Eagle, became the primary firm that Soros advised. At its inception, Quantum Fund managed $12 million in assets, which increased to $25 billion by 2011, representing the majority of Soros’s net worth.
Soros gained the moniker “The Man Who Broke the Bank of England” due to his successful short sale of £10 billion during the 1992 Black Wednesday UK currency crisis, resulting in a profit of $1 billion. Drawing from his studies in philosophy, Soros applied Karl Popper’s General Theory of Reflexivity to capital markets. This approach allowed him to gain insights into asset bubbles, fundamental and market values of securities, as well as value discrepancies used for shorting and swapping stocks.
Beyond his investment activities, Soros is renowned for his support of progressive and liberal political causes. Through his foundation, the Open Society Foundations, Soros has donated over $11 billion between 1979 and 2011 to various philanthropic endeavors. By 2017, his donations totaled $12 billion and focused on initiatives to combat poverty, increase transparency, and support scholarships and universities worldwide. Soros played a significant role in the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe during the late 1980s and early 1990s and established one of Europe’s largest higher education endowments for the Central European University in his Hungarian hometown.
While Soros’s extensive funding of political causes has garnered attention, particularly from European nationalists, false claims have emerged from some American conservatives, portraying him as a dangerous “puppetmaster” behind various global plots. These claims, once relegated to the fringes, have increasingly entered mainstream Republican politics, as reported by The New York Times in 2018.
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Age: age 89