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Aldrin, Buzz

Trained at Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater, Sunset Crater &  Lowell Observatory

Married in Phoenix

(Edwin Eugene "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr., 1930.01.20-    )  NASA Astronaut, second person to walk on the moon, Ph. D, Colonel, USAF Ret.

In preparation for exploration of the moon, Buzz Aldrin and the other Apollo astronauts received hands-on geography instruction which included field trips to the Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater, and Sunset Crater in Arizona.  They visited the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff where they got their first close-up view of the moon through the telescope purchased by its founder Percival Lowell in 1896. 

Ali, Muhammad

Purchased home in Paradise Valley

(Cassius Marcellus Clay, 1942.01.17-    )  "The Greatest" professional boxer.

Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali when he was Cassius Clay, 1967.

In July 2005, Muhammad Ali and his wife, Yolonda, purchased a $1.6 million dollar, six bedroom home in Paradise Valley.  The comparatively modest home for Paradise Valley--just $200,000 more than the median price of homes there--is in a gated community south of Camelback Golf Club, and just 2 miles from heavyweight champion Mike Tyson's home.

In 1997 the Barrow Neurological Center in Phoenix named the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Research Center for Ali, who has visited the center frequently.  Ali has been treated for Parkinson's since 1982.

Allen, Rex

Born in Wilcox

Died in Tucson

(Rex Elvie Allen, 1922.12.31-1999.12.17)  Singing movie cowboy.

Rex Allen was the singing cowboy that replaced Roy Rogers at Republic Pictures.  In the title role for his first movie, The Arizona Cowboy (1950), he foiled a scheme to wreck an irrigation project and take farmer's land so that the villains could drill for the oil only they knew was there. 

Allen, Steve

Lived in Phoenix

Graduate of Phoenix Union High; Attended ASU

On-air personality on KOY Phoenix

(Stephen Valentine Patrick William Allen, 1921.12.26-2000.10.30)  Author, composer, host, musician, poet, playwright, performer.

Born on the day after Christmas in New York City, Steve Allen came to Arizona when he transferred to Phoenix Union High School from Hyde Park in Chicago.  In spite of a late start he still received credit in the yearbook for the Annual Staff, Journal Staff, Mor Follies, Entertainment Committee, and Scribble and Blot.  His trademark glasses are missing from his senior picture. 

Ameche, Don

Lived in Scottsdale

Died in Scottsdale

(Dominic Felix Amici, 1908.05.31-1993.12.06)  Actor.

Don Amechde
Don Ameche in Ragtime, 1938.

Like his brother Jim, Don started in New York radio, but traveled west to Hollywood to become a dapper leading man in movies of the 1930's and 40's. His most memorable role may be John Bickerson whose constant verbal sparing with his loud mouthed wife, Blanche, was heard on radio and a series of albums.

He retired to Scottsdale, but made a movie comeback in the 1980's with roles in Trading Places (1983) and Cocoon (1985). For his performance in Cocoon, he won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. He continued acting until days before his death of prostate cancer.

Ameche, Jim

Died in Tucson

(Dominic Felix Amici, 1915.08.06-1983.02.04)  Actor.

Jim Ameche was original Jack Armstrong in radio's Jack Armstrong, the All American Boy. Although the program ran from 1933 to 1951, he bowed out in 1938. He remained in New York working in radio while his brother Don went on to movies, taking over his brother's position of host and announcer for The Chase and Sanborn Hour.

In the 1957 film The Story of Mankind, he portrayed Alexander Graham Bell.  His brother portrayed Bell in the 1939 biography, The Story of Alexander Graham Bell.

He was 67 when died of lung cancer in Tucson.

Anderson, Pamela

Almost arrested on Route 66

Pamela Anderson
Pamela Anderson in 2009. Photo by Glenn Francis, .

(Pamela Denise Anderson, 1967.07.01-    )  Actor.

Born on Vancouver Island, Canada, Pamela gained media attention while attending a British Columbia Lions football game.  Cameramen spotted her taut Labatt's Beer T-shirt in the stands and broadcast her image on the stadium's wide screen.  Fans cheered, and she was taken to the 50-yard line to be introduced to the crowd.  Labatt's signed her to a commercial contract as the company's "Blue Zone" girl. 

Andrews, Julie

Treated in Tucson

Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins, 1964.

(Julia Elizabeth Wells, 1935.10.01-    )  Actor, singer.

The May 25, 1999 issue of the Globe claimed she was there because she was addicted to prescription drugs.  Her lawyers, threatening suit against the tabloid, say she was there to get counseling for ''problems with her singing voice as a result of throat surgery almost two years ago'' and ''the death of a beloved aunt who played a pivotal role in her childhood and professional development.''  She says that she simply wanted to help with "emotional issues surrounding my grief."  (The Globe later recanted and apologized for its story.)

Everyone can agree at least on one thing:  Julie Andrews was a guest at Tucson's exclusive Sierra Tucson clinic in 1999.

Arpaio, Sheriff Joe

Lives in Fountain Hills

(1932.06.14-    )  Maricopa County Sheriff.

Joseph Arpaio was elected sheriff of Maricopa County in 1992.  Things haven't been the same in the county jail since.  A champion of self promotion, the sheriff quickly became known as as "America's toughest sheriff."

Asner, Jules

Born in Tempe

Lived in Tempe

Graduated from McClintock High School in Tempe

Jules Asner
Jules Asner in 2009.  Photo by Nicolas Genin .

(Julie Ann White, 1968-    )  Model.

After graduating from McClintock High School in Tempe, Arizona in 1986, Jules went on to modeling and marriage. She married Edward Asner's son Matthew in 1992.  She divorced him four years later, but kept his name.

She was the original host of E!'s Wild On from 1997 to 1999. Her short movie resume (playing herself in two movies) may grow, since she married producer and director Steven Soderbergh (1963-    ) in 2003.

Astaire, Adele

Died in Tucson

(1896.09.10-1981.01.25)  Dancer, singer.

Adele Astair
Adele Astaire in 1919.

The younger sister and original dance partner of Fred Astaire (1899-1987) had a stroke and died in Tucson at the age of 84, or 83, or 82--her bios seem to have been some dancing around her birth date.

A lady erring on her age could be attributed to vanity, but keeping a dancing kid act viable for vaudeville is equally plausible. And the Astaire kids had quite a successful run in vaudeville.

Adele had been the bigger star, both on the vaudeville stage and when they transformed their act into a successful adult dance team on Broadway and the London stage.  She was a particular favorite of Great Britain's royals.

Adele retired from performing at the conclusion of their smash 1931 run in a revue on Broadway.  Adele got married and moved to Ireland taking up residence in Lismore Castle as Lady Charles Cavendish.  Fred went west to become Hollywood royalty. 

Astor, Mary

Married in Yuma

Mary Astor
Mary Astor in 1941.

(Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke, 1906.05.03-1987.09.25)  Actor.

When Mary Astor had appeared in about two-thirds of the 123 motion pictures she would eventually make, she flew to Yuma to marry the third of her four husbands.  There, on February 18, 1936, the 30-year-old actress married the 24-year-old Mexican sports figure Manuel del Campo.  Mary flew back to Los Angeles where at first she denied the marriage, and Manuel flew to his home in Mexico where he continued to deny the marriage.  They were divorced in 1941.

Autry, Gene

Owned ranches in Florence and Winslow, and TV stations KOOL in Phoenix and KOLD in Tucson

Gene Autry
Gene Autry c. 1940.

(Orvon Gene Autry, 1907.09.29-1998.10.02)   Singing movie cowboy.

Gene Autry was the nation's most popular movie cowboy in the 1930's.  In 1942, against the opposition of his studio and facing the loss of a civilian income in the range of $600,000 a year, the 35 year old Autry enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps.  He was assigned to Special Service at Luke Field, west of Phoenix. 

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