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Where Are They Now? What 8 former-celebs are up to

1. Steve Perry

He was the frontman for probably the greatest guilty pleasure arena rock band of the 70s and on any given Saturday night his voice can be heard lilting out of speakers in countless bars across the country. Although Steve Perry left Journey in the mid-90s, he has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years strictly off the popularity of "Don't Stop Believing." In 2005, the Chicago White Sox adopted the song as their unofficial anthem and Perry traveled with the team as they swept the Houston Astros to win the World Series. Then in 2007, Perry allowed the song to be used in the final episode of The Sopranos. Do you think he knows if Tony got whacked?

Steve Perry sings "Don't Stop Believing" with the world champion White Sox:

2. Little Mikey

Three brothers sit around the breakfast table and watch as the youngest devours a heaping bowl of Life cereal, causing one of the brothers to exclaim, "He likes it! Hey Mikey!" The once-famous Mikey is child actor John Gilchrist, who became the subject of an urban legend shortly after the commercial's debut. A rumor began to circle that Gilchrist had died when his stomach exploded from simultaneously consuming Pop Rocks candy and soda. The myth was quickly debunked, but still resurfaces every few years even though Gilchrist is alive and well. Little Mikey returned to his roots for a 2000 relaunch of the now classic commercial. No word if he still likes Life cereal.

Little Mikey's Life commercial:

3. Pat Benatar

Most people would like to remember Pat Benatar as the voice behind such 80s standards as "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" and "Heartbreaker". But the truth of the matter is that she'll be remembered more for her fashion sense than her music. Her on-stage personal of a spandex-clad temptress actually derived from a vampire costume she had worn to a Halloween party. She found that the audience went wild when she performed her usual cadre of songs in black tights and heavy eyeliner. Thus, the Benatar look was born. Like most of her fellow 80s rockers, Pat Benatar has fallen out of favor with the public in recent decades and reduced to compilation albums and nostalgia tours. She did, however, manage to make this guest spot on The Young and The Restless last year.

Pat Benatar on The Young and the Restless:

4. Shaun Cassidy

He's best known as the half brother of 70s teen sensation David Cassidy, but little brother Shaun was somewhat of a celebrity in his own right"¦ if you measure one's success by the number of bad TV shows they appeared in (The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries and Breaking Away to name a few). Of course today the Cassidy brothers are long forgotten throwbacks to an era that produced Leif Garrett and The Bay City Rollers, yet Shaun managed to find a second career working behind the camera. He has found work as a writer/producer on a series of marginal TV shows, none of which is notable, and in July, his first foray into half hour comedy, Ruby and the Rockits, premiered on the ABC Family network. Lucky for Shaun that his brother David is the show's star.

Here's Shaun Cassidy performing his top ten hit, "Hey Deanie," on an episode of the The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries. Look how much fun the audience is having!

5. George Wendt

Aside from Kelsey Grammar, George Wendt is the only cast member who's made a lucrative post-Cheers career off his indelible character Norm Peterson, or as his friends like to call him, "Norm!" He has reprised the character on The Simpsons, Frasier, even an episode of Family Guy. In recent years, Wendt has juggled his time between live theater, he starred in the Broadway production of Hairspray in 2008, and guest roles on some of the most significant pop culture mainstays produced in the last 20 years. Wendt made several appearances as Bob Swerski in the widely popular Chicago "Superfans" sketch on SNL and was the screaming father alongside Macaulay Culkin in the music video for Michael Jackson's "Black or White".

"Black or White" video:

6. Marvin Lee Aday (Meat Loaf)

The portly presence behind Bat Out of Hell and Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell, is also an accomplished actor, appearing in over 50 movies and TV shows. He was memorable as Bob, the lovable lump with man boobs, in Fight Club, and even had a small part as a bouncer in Wayne's World (He also played Eddie in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but you knew that already). Meat Loaf will always be remembered for his 1977 rock opus, Bat Out of Hell, which consistently sells over 200,000 copies a year, making it the third best selling album worldwide behind Thriller and AC/DC's Back in Black. Meat Loaf made a return to his musical roots, releasing Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster is Loose in 2006, but the album received poor reviews and was largely forgotten. Perhaps "The Meat" should stick to doing A1 commercials, which he has done, despite that I can't find them on YouTube.

7. Larry Wilcox (the other CHiP)

The other CHiP, Larry Wilcox, left the popular TV show in 1982 to focus on his production company, Wilcox Productions, and various other business ventures. He briefly ran a pharmaceutical company in the mid-90s and today serves as the CEO of a successful software company out of Nevada. Wilcox twice returned alongside Erik Estrada as Officer Jon Baker; once in 1993's National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1 and then again in TNT's ill-fated reunion movie, CHiPs 99.

TV Promo for CHiPs 99:

8. Lisa Whelchel

A born-again Christian since the age of 10, Lisa Whelchel has appeared in few acting roles since her days as the preppy Blair Warner on The Facts of Life. Today, Whelchel devotes her life to her family and faith and has authored several books on mothering. She did, however, briefly return to acting in 2001's made-for-TV movie The Facts of Life Reunion.

Here Whelchel reunites with her Facts of Life co-star Kim Fields on Good Morning Texas:

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Ralph Heimans/Buckingham Palace/PA Wire via Getty Images
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Pop Culture
The Cult of Prince Philip
Ralph Heimans/Buckingham Palace/PA Wire via Getty Images
Ralph Heimans/Buckingham Palace/PA Wire via Getty Images

For seven decades, Prince Philip has been one of the more colorful figures in Britain's Royal Family, prone to jarring remarks and quips about women, the deaf, and overweight children.

"You're too fat to be an astronaut," he once told a boy sharing his dream of space travel.

British media who delighted in quoting him are still lamenting the 96-year-old's recent retirement from public duties. But the people of the Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu are likely to be optimistic he'll now have the time to join them: They worship him as a god and have based a religion on him.

Followers of the Prince Philip Movement, which started in the 1960s, believe that the prince was born to fulfill an ancient prophecy: that the son of an ancient mountain spirit would one day take the form of a pale-skinned man, travel abroad, marry a powerful lady, and eventually return to the island. When villagers saw the prince’s portrait, they felt the spirit in it, and when he visited Vanuatu in 1974, they were convinced.

Chief Jack Naiva, a respected warrior in the culture, greeted the royal yacht and caught sight of Philip on board. "I saw him standing on the deck in his white uniform," Naiva once said. "I knew then that he was the true messiah."

True believers assign large world movements to the machinations of Philip. They once claimed his powers had enabled a black man to become president of the United States and that his "magic" had assisted in helping locate Osama bin Laden. The community has corresponded with Buckingham Palace and even sent Philip a nal-nal, a traditional club for killing pigs, as a token of its appreciation. In return, he sent a portrait in which he’s holding the gift.

Sikor Natuan, the son of the local chief, holds two official portraits of Britain's Prince Philip in front of the chief's hut in the remote village of Yaohnanen on Tanna in Vanuatu.
TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images

The picture is now part of a shrine set up in Yaohnanen in Vanuatu that includes other photos and a Union flag. In May 2017, shortly after the Prince announced his retirement, a cyclone threatened the island—and its shrine. But according to Matthew Baylis, an author who has lived with the tribe, the natives didn't see this so much as a cause for concern as they did a harbinger of the prince's arrival so he can bask in their worship.

To date, Prince Philip has not announced any plans to relocate.

A version of this story ran in a 2012 issue of Mental Floss magazine.

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Chloe Efforn
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Animals
John Lennon Was a Crazy Cat Lady
Chloe Efforn
Chloe Efforn

John Lennon was crazy about cats, and though he owned a couple of dogs (Sally and Bernard) over the years, he was better known for getting by with a little help from his feline friends.

1. ELVIS

Growing up, Lennon's beloved mother, Julia, had a named cat after Elvis Presley, whom Julia and John were both crazy about. The Lennons later realized they had misnamed Elvis when "he" gave birth to a litter of kittens in the cupboard, but they didn't change the cat's name based on that small mistake.

2. AND 3. TICH AND SAM

He had two other cats as a boy growing up in Liverpool: Tich and Sam. Tich passed away while Lennon was away at art school (which he attended from 1957 to 1960), and Sam was named after famous British diarist Samuel Pepys

4. TIM

One day, John Lennon found a stray cat in the snow, which his Aunt Mimi allowed him to keep. (John's Aunt Mimi raised him from a young boy through his late teenage years, and he affectionately referred to her as the Cat Woman.) He named the marmalade-colored half-Persian cat Tim.

Tim remained a special favorite of John's. Every day, he would hop on his Raleigh bicycle and ride to Mr. Smith's, the local fishmonger, where he would buy a few pieces of fish for Tim and his other cats. Even after John became famous as a Beatle, he would often call and check in on how Tim was doing. Tim lived a happy life and survived to celebrate his 20th birthday.

5. AND 6. MIMI AND BABAGHI

John and his first wife, Cynthia, had a cat named Mimi who was, of course, named after his Aunt Mimi. They soon got another cat, a tabby who they dubbed Babaghi. John and Cynthia continued acquiring more cats, eventually owning around 10 of them.

7. JESUS

As a Beatle, John had a cat named Jesus. The name was most likely John's sarcastic response to his "the Beatles are bigger than Jesus" controversy of 1966. But he wasn't the only band member with a cat named Jesus: Paul McCartney once had a trio of kittens named Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

8. AND 9. MAJOR AND MINOR

In the mid-1970s, John had an affair with his secretary, May Pang. One day, the studio receptionist brought a box of kittens into the recording studio where John and May were. "No," John immediately told May, "we can't, we're traveling too much." But she picked up one of the kittens and put it over her shoulder. Then John started stroking the kitten and decided to keep it. At the end of the day, the only other kitten left was a little white one that was so loud no one else wanted it. So they adopted it as well and named the pair Major and Minor.

10. AND 11. SALT AND PEPPER

John owned a pair of black and white cats with his wife Yoko Ono. As befitting John's offbeat sense of humor, many places report he christened the white cat Pepper and the black one Salt.

12. AND 13. GERTRUDE AND ALICE

John and Yoko also had two Russian Blue cats named Gertrude and Alice, who each met tragic ends. After a series of sicknesses, Gertrude was diagnosed with a virus that could become dangerous to their young son, Sean. John later said that he held Gertrude and wept as she was euthanized. 

Later, Alice jumped out of an open window in the Lennons' high-rise apartment at the Dakota and plunged to her death. Sean was present at the time of the accident, and he remembers it as the only time he ever saw his father cry.

14., 15. AND 16. MISHA, SASHA, AND CHARO

In later years, John also owned three cats he named Misha, Sasha, and Charo. Always an artist at heart, John loved to sketch his many cats, and he used some of these pictures as illustrations in his books.

This piece originally ran in 2012.

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