The Quick 10: 10 Celebrities Who Didn't Go from Rags to Riches

While a fair number of celebrities come from classic rags-to-riches stories, or at least Gap-to-Gucci stories, there are also some who were born into wealth and success. I'm not saying that they didn't make it in their own right "“ I think our #1 spot on the list has certainly made his own name for himself. But the people on today's Q10 definitely had some connections and privileges that the average person didn't.

anderson1. Anderson Cooper is Gloria Vanderbilt's son, which definitely resulted in a privileged lifestyle: he was photographed by Diane Arbus as a baby, appeared on The Tonight Show at the age of three and modeled for Ford Models between the ages of 10 and 13. But life wasn't all rosy: his dad died when he was just 10 and his older brother committed suicide by jumping out of the window of a 14th-floor apartment building when Anderson was just 21. He graduated from Yale and hoped to get his foot in the door at ABC just answering phones, but couldn't even get that job. Eventually he landed a gig with Channel One as a fact checker and has been on the rise ever since.
2. Chevy Chase's dad, Ned Chase, was a prominent book editor in Manhattan and his mother was the heiress to a plumbing fortune (I didn't know there were plumbing fortunes, either). His parents divorced when he was just four, and each parent re-married "“ his dad, in fact, married into the Folgers coffee family. Despite this, Chevy says he was raised in an upper-middle class family and that his wealthy maternal grandfather didn't leave any money to his mother. He has also stated that his mother and step-father abused him as a child.

3. Carly Simon's dad is the "Simon" of Simon and Schuster: he co-founded it.

4. Barbara Walters is the daughter of Lou Walters, who founded the famous "Latin Quarter" nightclub. As the result of owning such a glamorous joint, celebrities were at her house all of the time and she spent a lot of time at the clubs. "This is where I spent Thanksgiving and Christmas and birthdays and prom nights," she once said. As rich as her dad once was, she said he was also very good at losing it all because of the business gambles he took.

bogie5. Humphrey Bogart's father, Belmont DeForest Bogart, was a heart and lung surgeon. His mother, Maud Humphrey, was a well-known illustrator who studied with James Whistler and was later the art director for a fashion magazine. They lived in a brownstone on the Upper West Side and had a summer home that sat on 55 acres in upstate New York. Because of his family connections, he was admitted to the Phillips Academy prep school in Andover, Mass. But he got expelled. He was raised to believe that, as a profession, acting was uncouth and beneath him. But the late hours and adoring
girls appealed to him, and thus we have one of the greatest film actors of all time.
6. Paul Giamatti is the son of A. Bartlett Giamatti, former Major League Baseball Commissioner and a former President of Yale University. He did, indeed, attend Yale University and was a member of the Skull and Bones society.

7. Linda McCartney was an heiress, but not to the obvious. Her maiden name was Eastman, and when she once told a reporter that her family had nothing to do with the Eastman-Kodak company, Paul feigned being upset and said, "What? I've been had!" But Linda was an heiress: her mother was Louise Lindner Eastman, whose dad founded Lindner Department Stores.

plimpton8. George Plimpton was the son of Francis Plimpton, the Plimpton in the law firm Debevoise and Plimpton, one of the most well-known law firms in the world. Their clients include CNN, Coca-Cola, the NFL, NBC, Sony, the New York Times and Yahoo!
9. Glenn Close's father was once the personal physician to Mobutu Sese Seko, the President of Zaire. Her grandfather was an investment banker and director of the American Hospital Association who was first married to Post Cereals' heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post. This didn't make her the heiress to the Post fortune, though "“ Glenn's mother was her father's second wife.

10. Oliver Stone's father was a prominent stockbroker in New York. His dad was anxious for him to follow in the family footsteps and arranged for him to attend all of the best schools and even work at a French financial exchange. He was admitted to Yale but dropped out twice, although he eventually attended film school at NYU. As you can see, that worked out for him.

Bleat Along to Classic Holiday Tunes With This Goat Christmas Album

Feeling a little Grinchy this month? The Sweden branch of ActionAid, an international charity dedicated to fighting global poverty, wants to goat—errr ... goad—you into the Christmas spirit with their animal-focused holiday album: All I Want for Christmas is a Goat.

Fittingly, it features the shriek-filled vocal stylings of a group of festive farm animals bleating out classics like “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” The recording may sound like a silly novelty release, but there's a serious cause behind it: It’s intended to remind listeners how the animals benefit impoverished communities. Goats can live in arid nations that are too dry for farming, and they provide their owners with milk and wool. In fact, the only thing they can't seem to do is, well, sing. 

You can purchase All I Want for Christmas is a Goat on iTunes and Spotify, or listen to a few songs from its eight-track selection below.

What Are the 12 Days of Christmas?

Everyone knows to expect a partridge in a pear tree from your true love on the first day of Christmas ... But when is the first day of Christmas?

You'd think that the 12 days of Christmas would lead up to the big day—that's how countdowns work, as any year-end list would illustrate—but in Western Christianity, "Christmas" actually begins on December 25th and ends on January 5th. According to liturgy, the 12 days signify the time in between the birth of Christ and the night before Epiphany, which is the day the Magi visited bearing gifts. This is also called "Twelfth Night." (Epiphany is marked in most Western Christian traditions as happening on January 6th, and in some countries, the 12 days begin on December 26th.)

As for the ubiquitous song, it is said to be French in origin and was first printed in England in 1780. Rumors spread that it was a coded guide for Catholics who had to study their faith in secret in 16th-century England when Catholicism was against the law. According to the Christian Resource Institute, the legend is that "The 'true love' mentioned in the song is not an earthly suitor, but refers to God Himself. The 'me' who receives the presents refers to every baptized person who is part of the Christian Faith. Each of the 'days' represents some aspect of the Christian Faith that was important for children to learn."

In debunking that story, Snopes excerpted a 1998 email that lists what each object in the song supposedly symbolizes:

2 Turtle Doves = the Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings = the first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation
7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

There is pretty much no historical evidence pointing to the song's secret history, although the arguments for the legend are compelling. In all likelihood, the song's "code" was invented retroactively.

Hidden meaning or not, one thing is definitely certain: You have "The Twelve Days of Christmas" stuck in your head right now.


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