Famous Londoners – Past & Present

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Dr. Frederick G. Banting

Dr. Banting first got his idea for using insulin to treat diabetes while living and working in London

Guy Lombardo

Born in London, Ontario, he went on to become the most popular band leader on the American music scene. His band, The Royal Canadians sold at least 100 million records and many remember with nostalgia the tradition of Guy Lombardo with his Royal Canadians playing at New York’s Waldorf Astoria on New Year’s Eve. Besides being a well-known musician, he also loved racing speed boats on Fanshawe Lake in London, Ontario as well as in many other competitions.

Hume Cronyn

Born in London, Ontario, Hume Cronyn was the fourth son of a well-known Member of Parliament. In memory of his father, his mother presented the University of Western Ontario with the observatory which is named for him. Although Hume studied law at McGill University, his true love was the theatre and he went on to become not only a great actor but also a screenwriter and theatre director. He married actress Jessica Tandy in 1942 and they were together until her death in 1994. They starred in many Broadway plays and movies together, including Ron Howard’s Cocoon. In 1994, he and his wife won the first Tony Award for lifetime theatrical achievement.

Paul Peel

This London, Ontario, artist famous for such paintings as “After the Bath” and “The Modest Model,” was the son of a marble cutter who also taught art. Paul went on to study in Paris where he supported a wife and two children by selling his paintings. He died of a sudden illness in 1892 shortly before he turned 32. Canadian interest in his work was revived in 1970 when several of his paintings were exhibited in London, Ontario.

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Slippery the Seal

His was originally called Cyril but was renamed following his adventures. Slippery escaped from his home in Storybook Gardens and eluded capture for ten days. He made it down the Thames River, past Detroit and was finally nabbed by staff at the Toledo Zoo near Sandusky, Ohio.

John H. Chapman

Born in London, Ontario, he is known as the father of the Canadian space program. He received his Master of Science degree from McGill University and became a tireless promoter of Canada’s space programs. In honour of his achievements, the headquarters of the Canadian Space Agency was renamed in 1996 to the John H. Chapman Space Centre.

Karen Baldwin

As Miss Canada, Karen Baldwin went on to become Miss Universe in 1982. She married actor Jack Scalia in 1987 – http://www.jackscalia.com – and they had two children before divorcing in 1996.

Jenny Jones

She began her career as rock musician but when on to pursue her dream of being a comedian when she won the grand prize on Star Search. She received national attention for her appearance in “Girls Night Out”, a comedy cabaret for women, and was offered her own talk show.
The Jenny Jones Show – www.jennyjones.com – is produced out of Chicago and is seen daily by millions.

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