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8 Trail-Blazing Female Firsts In Sports

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Last week, ESPN announced that Jessica Mendoza would serve as one of their full-time Sunday Night Baseball analysts for the 2016 season. The former Olympic softball player made headlines last October as the first broadcaster of a nationally televised postseason game when she called the wild card contest between the Yankees and Astros.

Although athletics are anything but fully integrated, there are fewer and fewer glass ceilings left to be broken as pioneers like Mendoza get their due. Take a look at a few historic female firsts across the sporting spectrum.

1. HELENE HATHAWAY ROBISON BRITTON // FIRST FEMALE MLB TEAM OWNER

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In 1912, Britton inherited a controlling interest in the St. Louis Cardinals from her uncle, who, along with her father, was responsible for the St. Louis Browns becoming the Cardinals. She took on the role of team president, as well, after divorcing the previous president, Schuyler P. Britton, in 1917. She is credited with being one of the first owners to host “Ladies Days” at the ballparks, but there is little record of how involved she was with the day-to-day operations of the franchise.

“Being a woman owner of a baseball club was difficult at first,” she is quoted as having said [PDF]. “It was also new to me, even though I had heard and talked baseball all my life. I loved it, though." Britton also said she regretted selling the team in 1918.

2. JOAN WHITNEY PAYSON // FIRST WOMAN TO FOUND AN MLB TEAM

With all due respect to Mrs. Britton, this is not quite as minor a distinction as it may seem. Payson's lifelong involvement in the game was personally motivated (even if funded by her family’s considerable wealth). In the 1950s, she started buying shares of the New York Giants. When the owners were debating on whether to move the team west in 1957, she and her ally M. Donald Grant led the charge to keep them in New York. After the Giants relocated to California, she was approached about purchasing a team for a possible third baseball league. Ultimately the proposed Continental League fizzled, but when New York was offered a National League expansion team, Payson ended up owning 80 percent of the stake.

The shareholders all gathered in her Manhattan apartment to name the team. And although Payson herself preferred the “Meadowlarks,” it was at this meeting that the Mets were born. For the rest of her life, Payson was both an active owner and a dedicated fan of the team. When she couldn’t be at games—which she watched from a box just behind first base—she carried a portable radio with her, even hiding it in her purse at high society events. She kept score so meticulously that she taught her chauffeur her specific technique so that he could fill out scorecards and airmail them to her when she couldn’t be at the game. Players loved her, especially when the Mets grew from the laughingstock of the NL in the early ‘60s to World Champions in ’69. And, just a few years before her death, she succeeded in bringing her favorite player from the Giants's New York era—Willie Mays—back to the city in a Mets uniform.

3. NANCY LIEBERMAN // FIRST WOMAN TO COACH A MEN'S PRO BASKETBALL TEAM

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Lieberman has earned a lot of “firsts” in her long and illustrious basketball career. She was on the U.S. team for the Olympics’ first-ever Women's Basketball tournament at the 1976 Montreal games (for which she and the team took home silver medals). She became the first woman to play pro basketball with men when she joined the now-defunct United States Basketball League in 1986. And when she was hired as the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks’ D-League affiliate, the Texas Legends, in 2009, she not only became the first woman head coach of a men’s pro basketball team, she became the first woman to coach a men’s pro team in any sport.

"In 1986, my goal was not to be a girl playing in a men's league, it was to be a player in a men's league," she said at the time. "In 2010, I don't want to be a woman who is coaching men, I want to be a coach who is coaching."

From head coach she transitioned to assistant GM of the Texas Legends. Just this past summer, she broke into the NBA as the assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings—the second woman to serve as a full-time assistant coach in the league, after Becky Hammon broke through in 2014. 

4. SARAH THOMAS // FIRST FULL-TIME FEMALE NFL REFEREE

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Thomas, who was hired as part of referee Pete Morelli’s crew at the start of this season, has to have an asterisk next to her “first.” In 2012, Shannon Eastin became the first woman to officiate an NFL game—but her opportunity came when a failure to reach a collective bargaining agreement forced a lockout of the league’s regular referees and she was ousted from her role once the strike was over. Thomas, on the other hand, was discovered by an NFL scout after 16 years of officiating grade school, high school, and college football games.

"When I got started in this 17 years ago, I had no idea that there weren't any females officiating," Thomas said in 2013 when she was still among the 21 finalists in the NFL officiating development program. "I never set out to become the first female official in the NFL."

5. MICHELE ROBERTS // FIRST WOMAN TO LEAD A MAJOR PROFESSIONAL-SPORTS UNION

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The former public defender and Washington D.C. litigator was elected executive director of the National Basketball Players Association in 2014 almost unanimously. And almost immediately, she began making waves for her frank criticisms of league business staples like the salary cap—which she calls “un-American.”

She’s loved basketball since her humble beginnings in a South Bronx housing project. But it’s her legal expertise that got her the job—Washingtonian magazine called her the “finest pure trial lawyer in Washington”—and the 400-plus players she represents are hoping she’ll be able to broker a deal more favorable to their interests than the one her predecessor struck to end the 2011 lockout. She’ll get a chance to prove herself when the current labor agreement expires in 2017, but until then, she’s making a name for herself as an outspoken trailblazer. When presenting her candidacy to the NBA players, she assured them that her "past is littered with the bones of men who were foolish enough to think I was someone they could sleep on.”

6. GAYLE SIERENS // FIRST WOMAN TO CALL PLAY-BY-PLAY IN THE NFL

In 1987, NBC executive Michael Weisman offered Sierens, an anchor for the Tampa NBC affiliate, the chance to make history as the first woman to call play-by-play for an NFL game. It was pretty clearly a publicity stunt—Weisman had also experimented with an announcer-less game a few years prior, though he denied this move was for publicity, citing the timing didn't make sense for that—but Sierens rose to the challenge. She spent months training during the preseason with legendary broadcaster Marty Glickman in preparation for the big game, and although the December 27 showdown between the Seahawks and Chiefs was unmemorable on the field, Sierens excelled on the broadcast. Her performance earned an invite back to call six games the following season in 1988. But the same year as the big game, Sierens had gotten married and gotten pregnant. Plus, her Tampa day job didn’t appreciate major sporting assignments calling her away. So Sierens had to choose whether to stay on with Channel 8 in Florida or else pursue broadcasting with the NFL. She turned down the chance to do more play-by-play and went on to have a long career in Tampa and almost no regrets.

"What I do have," she said after retiring, "are what-ifs." Since that game in 1987, no other woman had called play-by-play for the NFL until a preseason game in 2015, but before Beth Mowins became the second female announcer, Sierens worried that she missed her chance to break open that barrier.

"I don't know why a woman hasn't been able to break into that. It’s sad for me. It's sad that it didn't happen sooner. I hope that my performance was good enough that it merited other women being given the chance. But maybe it wasn't. Maybe everybody thought it was fun and cute and a great idea, but that's not really how we want to hear our games. I don't know. I may never know the answer to that. But I surely hope that someone soon gets an opportunity."

7. MANON RHÉAUME // FIRST WOMAN TO PLAY IN AN NHL EXHIBITION GAME

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Then-20-year-old Rhéaume didn’t care that her invite to an NHL training camp in 1992 was largely a publicity stunt to aid the brand new Tampa Bay Lightning. As the first woman to play for a Junior A men’s hockey game in Canada the year before, she knew she had real talent, and was eager for any opportunity to play at a higher level.

“A lot of people said that was just a publicity thing,” Rhéaume recalled last year. "But I had to wake up and face those shots every single day."

On September 23 she played one period as goalie in a preseason game against the St. Louis Blues, allowing two goals on nine shots. The following year, Tampa Bay invited her back for another exhibition game, this time against the Boston Bruins, in which she once again allowed two goals over one period.

She parlayed that experience into five years in the now-defunct International Hockey League, becoming the first woman to play in a regular season professional game along the way. These days, she’s consulting on a biopic about her career.

8. ROBIN HERMAN // FIRST FEMALE SPORTS REPORTER IN A LOCKER ROOM

The debate about women in male locker rooms still rages on to this day. But it all started 40 years ago when Robin Herman, a 23-year-old reporter for The New York Times who had already been part of women’s history as a graduate of Princeton’s first female class, finally convinced the NHL to let her and other female reporters into the locker room for post-game interviews. The first concessions came at the 1975 All-Star Game in Montreal. Herman and Montreal radio reporter Marcel St. Cyr stole the show when they entered the locker room following the game.

"I kept saying, 'I’m not the story; the game is the story,'" Herman recalled in 2010. "But of course that wasn’t the case. The game was boring. A girl in the locker room was a story."

The All-Star Game didn’t change Herman’s experience on the hockey beat overnight. Later that same season, she wrote an article for the Times [PDF] reflecting on having been turned away for interviews, even in the wake of that historic entry. Even the Rangers—one of the teams she’d interviewed in their locker rooms following the All-Star Game—had put the issue to a vote at the demand of the athletes' wives. They voted against female reporters in the locker room.

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25 Fascinating Facts About Breaking Bad
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On January 10, 2008, Breaking Bad made its debut. Though it didn’t premiere to over-the-top ratings, over the course of five seasons, it morphed into a television phenomenon—thanks in large part to word of mouth and the increasing popularity of binge-watching. At its most basic level, it’s the story of a soft-spoken chemistry teacher who, after being diagnosed with lung cancer, risks everything he has worked for to make sure his family will be taken care of in the event of his death. But, like all great TV shows, the story is really not that simple. And it evolves over time, with each season somehow—and miraculously—managing to top the one before it.

Regularly cited as one of the greatest television series of all time (Rolling Stone ranked it number three on its list of the 100 best shows, right in between Mad Men and The Wire), here are 25 things you might not have known about Breaking Bad, in honor of its 10th anniversary.

1. LOTS OF NETWORKS PASSED ON IT, INCLUDING HBO.

In 2016, it was announced that Vince Gilligan is working on a limited series about Jim Jones for HBO. But the “It’s not TV” network wasn’t always so hot on Gilligan. In a 2011 interview, Gilligan shared that he pitched Breaking Bad to HBO, and that it was “the worst meeting I’ve ever had.”

"The trouble with Hollywood—movies and TV—is people will leave you dangling on the end of a meat hook for days or weeks or months on end,” Gilligan said. “That happened at HBO. Like the worst meeting I ever had … The woman we [were] pitching to could not have been less interested—not even in my story, but about whether I actually lived or died.”

HBO wasn’t the only network that ultimately said no to Walter White: Showtime, TNT, and FX all passed on Breaking Bad, too, for various reasons.

2. THE NETWORK REALLY WANTED MATTHEW BRODERICK TO STAR.

It’s impossible to imagine Breaking Bad with anyone other than Bryan Cranston in the lead role, but he wasn’t as well known when the series kicked off, and AMC wanted a star. They were particularly interested in casting either Matthew Broderick or John Cusack in the lead.

"We all still had the image of Bryan shaving his body in Malcolm in the Middle,” a former AMC executive told The Hollywood Reporter about their initial reluctance to cast Cranston. “We were like, 'Really? Isn't there anybody else?’” But Gilligan had worked with Cranston before, on an episode of The X-Files, and knew he had the chops to navigate the quirks of the part. The network brass watched the episode, and agreed.

"We needed somebody who could be dramatic and scary yet have an underlying humanity so when he dies, you felt sorry for him,” Gilligan said. “Bryan nailed it."

3. JESSE PINKMAN WASN’T SUPPOSED TO LIVE PAST SEASON ONE.

Aaron Paul in 'Breaking Bad'
Doug Hyun/AMC

While Breaking Bad ultimately ended up being largely about the tumultuous partnership between Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, Jesse wasn’t originally intended to be a major character. While it’s often stated that he was supposed to be killed off in episode nine, and that it was the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike that saved him, Gilligan set the record straight in 2013, saying it became clear much earlier than that that Jesse’s character—and his relationship to Walter—was integral to moving the show forward.

“The writers’ strike, in a sense, didn’t save him, because I knew by episode two—we all did, all of us, our wonderful directors and our wonderful producers,” Gilligan said. “Everybody knew just how good [Aaron Paul is], and a pleasure to work with, and it became pretty clear early on that that would be a huge, colossal mistake to kill off Jesse.”

When asked during a Reddit AMA about how he would have felt if Jesse had been killed off in season one, Paul posited that, “My career would be over. And I would be a sobbing mess watching week to week on Breaking Bad.”

4. THE WRITERS STRIKE DID CHANGE THE STORY ARC FOR SEASON ONE, WHICH TURNED OUT TO BE A GOOD THING.

The Writers Strike did end up shortening the show’s first season, which forced Gilligan to cut two episodes that would have seen Walter’s transformation into Heisenberg happen much more quickly—and violently. Gilligan was glad it worked out the way it did.

“We had plotted out all our episodes before the show ever went on the air, and we didn't know how well the show would be received,” Gilligan told Creative Screenwriting. “Not knowing how the public would take to it, you tend to want to be a little more sensational. You want to really keep the show exciting and interesting and keep 'em watching. All of that to say that those last two episodes, because of that, would have been really big episodes, and would have taken the characters into a hugely different realm than that they were already in, and it would have been a hard thing to come back from, coming into season two.”

“We're not just doing those two episodes coming into season two,” he added. “We threw those out completely and we're starting somewhere else. We're building more slowly than we otherwise would have built. I think that's really good, because I know we've all had our favorite shows that were really interesting up to a certain point, but maybe they just go too far, and then there's no going back from it. To me, the trick is to do as little as possible with the characters, and yet keep them as interesting as possible. It's a real balancing act.”

5. THE DEA HELPED OUT, AND EVEN TAUGHT BRYAN CRANSTON AND AARON PAUL HOW TO COOK METH.

Because of the subject matter, the show’s creators thought it was only right to inform the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) what they were making—and welcome their help. “We informed them—with all due respect and consideration—that we’re doing this show, and ‘Would you like to be a part of it in a consultancy in order to make sure that we get it right?’” Cranston told High Times. “They had the choice to say, ‘We don’t want anything to do with it.’ But they saw that it might be in their best interest to make sure that we do it correctly. So DEA chemists came onboard as consultants and taught Aaron Paul and me how to make crystal meth.”

6. THE SCIENCE IS SOUND, BUT NOT PERFECT. AND THAT WAS INTENTIONAL.

Vince Gilligan and Bryan Cranston on the set of 'Breaking Bad'
Doug Hyun/AMC

Dr. Donna Nelson, a chemistry professor at the University of Oklahoma, began serving as a science advisor on the show midway through the first season, and was tasked with making sure the show got its science right—or, at least as “right” as is safe.

“I don’t think there’s any popular show that gets it 100 percent right, but that’s not the goal,” Nelson told Mental Floss in 2013. “The goal is not to be a science education show; the goal is to be a popular show. And so there’s always going to be some creative license taken, because they want to make the show interesting.”

Of course—particularly with a show about drug-making—you don’t want to give viewers a primer on how to start their own meth empires. “In the case of Walter White, his trademark is the blue meth,” Nelson said. “In reality, it wouldn’t be blue; it would be colorless. But this isn’t a science education show. It’s a fantasy. And Vince Gilligan did a fantastic job of getting most of the science right. And I am just thrilled with that. I think Vince Gilligan is a genius, and you can quote me on that!”

7. THAT ICONIC BLUE METH IS ROCK CANDY.

Whenever you see Walter and Jesse’s signature blue meth, what you’re actually seeing is blue rock candy. More specifically: blue rock candy from The Candy Lady, a boutique candy store in Albuquerque. (They have a whole line of Breaking Bad-inspired treats, which they sell under The Bad Candy Lady line.)

8. GUS FRING’S ROLE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE MUCH SMALLER.

Initially, Giancarlo Esposito wasn’t interested in taking on the role of Gus Fring, which was a much smaller part in the beginning. “I had not seen Breaking Bad, but my manager at the time told me it was his favorite show,” Esposito told TIME. “My wife said I should I try it, but it was a guest spot and I’ve done a lot of guest spots. I wanted to develop a character. But I did one episode and then I agreed to do two more with the caveat that I wanted to be part of a filmmaking family.”

When Gilligan offered him another seven episodes for season three, Esposito countered that he wanted a bigger role. “There was some negotiating and I ended up doing 12,” Esposito said. “I wanted to create a character who became intrinsic to the show. And at some point, I realized that I had slid into the Breaking Bad family. Vince told me that I changed the game and raised the bar for the show. And I’m proud of that, but I could only do that because of the depth of the writing and due to the chemistry between Bryan Cranston and myself. And their writing inspired me to think, to create someone who was polite, threatening and poignant.”

9. GIANCARLO ESPOSITO CHANNELED HIS INNER EDWARD JAMES OLMOS.

Giancarlo Esposito in 'Breaking Bad'
Ursula Coyote/AMC

In the mid-1980s, Giancarlo Esposito made a few guest appearances on Miami Vice. The experience clearly had an effect on him, as he used Edward James Olmos’s character from that series, Lieutenant Martin Castillo, as a model for Gus Fring.

“Eddie did very little and he was very convincing,” Esposito told the Toronto Sun. “I also thought he was a bit flat, but he did very, very little in playing [Castillo] and I thought it was really effective. Juxtaposed to Philip Michael [Thomas] and Don [Johnson], who were at times a bit full of themselves but were doing a little bit of acting, Eddie was just doing his job. And I wanted Gus to be in that mode."

10. GILLIGAN GOT SOME HELP FROM THE WALKING DEAD CREW FOR FRING’S FINAL EPISODE.

Fring’s final sendoff is one of the most memorable visual images from the entire series—and they were able to enlist the help of some true gore experts. “Indeed we did have great help from the prosthetic effects folks at The Walking Dead,” Gilligan told The New York Times. “And I want to give a shout-out to Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger, and KNB EFX, those two gentlemen and their company, because their shop did that effect. And then that was augmented by the visual effects work of a guy named Bill Powloski and his crew, who digitally married a three-dimensional sculpture that KNB EFX created with the reality of the film scene. So you can actually see into and through Gus’s head in that final reveal. It’s a combination of great makeup and great visual effects. And it took months to do."

11. YES, AARON PAUL DOES SAY “BITCH” A LOT—BUT PROBABLY NOT AS MUCH AS YOU THINK.

While any Jesse Pinkman impression ends with a “bitch,” by one calculation, Paul uses the word a total of 54 times throughout the series. Which, considering there are 62 episodes, seems a little on the low side.

12. PAUL RELEASED A “YO, BITCH” APP.

Aaron Paul in 'Breaking Bad'
AMC

Even if that above number seems underwhelming, Pinkman’s favorite add-on became so synonymous with Paul that, in 2014, the actor released an app called Yo, Bitch.

13. WALTER’S BOSS AT THE CAR WASH IS A CHEMIST IN REAL LIFE.

Marius Stan, who played Bogdan, Walter’s boss at the car wash, wasn’t a familiar face to many of the show’s viewers. That’s because the series was his (and his eyebrows’) acting debut. In real life, rather coincidentally, he has a PhD in chemistry and, according to a Reddit AMA, is a “Senior Computational Energy Scientist at Argonne National Lab—which is one of the national laboratories under the U.S. Dept. of Energy—and a Senior Fellow at the University of Chicago, the Computation Institute."

14. WALTER WHITE’S ALTER EGO IS A NOD TO A REAL PERSON.

Walter White’s drug kingpin alter ego, Heisenberg, is a nod to Werner Heisenberg, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who developed the principle of uncertainty.

15. HEISENBERG’S SIGNATURE HAT WAS A MATTER A PRACTICALITY. 

Bryan Cranston in 'Breaking Bad'
Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

Heisenberg’s porkpie hat came to identify Walter White’s dark side, but it originated from a very practical place. “Bryan kept asking me, after he shaved his head, ‘Can I have a hat?’ because his head was cold,” Kathleen Detoro, the show’s costume designer, explained. “So I would ask Vince and he kept saying no; Jesse wore the hats. Finally, Vince said, ‘I think there’s a place …’ It was Bryan asking for a hat, me asking Vince, and then Vince figuring out where in the story it makes sense: It’s when he really becomes Heisenberg.” (If you want to buy your own Heisenberg hat, it was made by Goorin.)

16. THE WHITES’ HOUSE HAS BECOME A TOURIST ATTRACTION—AND LOTS OF PIZZA HAS BEEN THROWN ON THE ROOF.

Though Walter White and his family live at 308 Negra Arroyo Lane, the home that you see in exterior shots is actually located at 3828 Piermont Drive NE, a private home in Albuquerque that has become a pretty major tourist attraction. Many fans, caught up in the excitement of seeing the home where Walter White managed to hurl the world’s largest pizza onto the roof in one swift move, have attempted to recreate that scene—leaving the home’s owner with a regular mess.

In 2015, Gilligan appealed to the show’s fan base to refrain from throwing pizza onto the home’s roof. “There is nothing original, or funny, or cool about throwing a pizza on this lady’s roof,” Gilligan said. “It’s been done before—you’re not the first.”

“And if I catch you doing it, I will hunt you down,” added Jonathan Banks, in true Mike Ehrmantraut fashion.

17. CRANSTON MANAGED TO GET THAT PIZZA THROW IN ONE TAKE.

Speaking of that infamous pizza scene: It really was Cranston who threw it, and he managed to do it in one take. Gilligan called it a “one-in-a-million shot.”

18. TUCO GAVE JESSE A CONCUSSION.

A fight scene between Jesse and Tuco (Raymond Cruz) turned serious when Cruz ended up accidentally knocking Paul unconscious. “Yeah, Raymond Cruz who played Tuco gave me a concussion during the episode ‘Grilled,’ where Tuco takes Walt and Jesse to his shack in the middle of nowhere where we meet the famous Uncle Tio,” Paul said in a Reddit AMA. “Tuco takes Jesse and he throws him through the screen door outside, and if you watch it back you'll notice that my head gets caught inside the wooden screen door and it flips me around and lands me on my stomach and the door splinters into a million pieces. Raymond just thought I was acting so he continued and kicked me in the side and picked me up over his shoulder and threw me against the house, but in reality I was pretty much unconscious ... I kept pleading to him, saying ‘stop.’ The next thing I know I guess I blacked out and I woke up to a flashlight in our eyes and it was our medic. And then I hopped up acting like nothing wrong, but it appeared like I was drunk, and I kept saying, ‘Let's finish the scene’ but then my eye started swelling shut so they took me to the hospital. Just another fun day on the set of Breaking Bad!”

19. JANE’S DEATH WAS THE HARDEST SCENE FOR PAUL TO SHOOT.

When asked about the hardest scene to shoot during a Reddit AMA, Paul said that it was Jane’s death. “I honestly think the hardest scene for me to do was when Jesse woke up and found Jane lying next to him dead,” Paul said. “Looking at Jane through Jesse's eyes that day was very hard and emotional for all of us. When that day was over, I couldn't be happier that it was over because I really, truly felt I was living those tortured moments with Jesse.”

The scene was hard on Cranston, too, who reportedly spent 15 minutes crying after filming was complete.

20. MIKE’S DEATH WAS HARD FOR EVERYONE.

Jonathan Banks in 'Breaking Bad'
Frank Ockenfels/AMC

When asked about filming his final scene, Jonathan Banks shared that, “The crew on the set that day all wore black armbands all day long. There are a lot of friends on that crew. It was an emotional day to say the least on set—a lot of tears. Tough day, brother.”

21. JESSE’S TEETH STILL BOTHER GILLIGAN.

When asked about whether he had any regrets about the show or any of its storylines, Gilligan admitted to one: "One thing that sort of troubled me, looking back over the entirety of the show: Jesse's teeth were a little too perfect. There were all the beatings he took, and, of course, he was using meth, which is brutal on your teeth. He'd probably have terrible teeth in real life."

22. WARREN BUFFET RESPECTS WALTER WHITE’S BUSINESS ACUMEN.

Warren Buffet was a fan of the series, and even showed up to its fifth season premiere. On the red carpet, he expressed admiration of Walter White’s entrepreneurship, calling him "a great businessman," and saying that, "he’s my guy if I ever have to go toe-to-toe with anyone."

23. THERE ARE 62 EPISODES IN TOTAL—A NUMBER THAT HAS A SPECIAL MEANING. 

The cast of 'Breaking Bad'
Frank Ockenfels/AMC

Over the course of five seasons, Breaking Bad produced a total of 62 episodes—which is no arbitrary number. The 62nd element on the periodic table is Samarium, which is used to treat a range of cancers, including lung cancer.

24. THE FINAL DEATH TOLL IS PRETTY IMPRESSIVE.

Though you may have underestimated the number of times Jesse uttered “bitch,” you might be surprised by how many people were killed throughout the show’s entire run: 270. (BuzzFeed created a thorough breakdown of some of the most memorable ones.)

25. IN 2016, A METH COOK NAMED WALTER WHITE WAS WANTED BY THE AUTHORITIES.

In 2016, a 55-year-old man named Walter White rose to the top of Tuscaloosa, Alabama’s most wanted list for manufacturing and selling meth. Though White wasn’t a teacher, there have been other real-life stories that mirrored Walter White’s descent into the criminal underworld: In 2012, a chemistry teacher named William Duncan was arrested for selling meth; in 2011, Irina Kristy, a 74-year-old math professor, was arrested for running a meth lab.

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7 Things You Might Not Know About Audrey Hepburn
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Though she’ll always be known as the little-black-dress-wearing big-screen incarnation of Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, there’s probably a lot you don’t know about Audrey Hepburn, who passed away in Switzerland on January 20, 1993.

1. HER FIRST ROLE WAS IN AN EDUCATIONAL FILM.

Though 1948’s Dutch in Seven Lessons is classified as a “documentary” on IMDb, it’s really more of an educational travel film, in which Hepburn appears as an airline attendant. If you don’t speak Dutch, it might not make a whole lot of sense to you, but you can watch it above anyway.

2. GREGORY PECK WAS AFRAID SHE’D MAKE HIM LOOK LIKE A JERK.

Hepburn was an unknown actress when she was handed the starring role of Princess Ann opposite Gregory Peck in 1953’s Roman Holiday. As such, Peck was going to be the only star listed, with Hepburn relegated to a smaller font and an “introducing” credit. But Peck insisted, “You've got to change that because she'll be a big star and I'll look like a big jerk.” Hepburn ended up winning her first and only Oscar for the role (Peck wasn’t even nominated).

3. SHE’S AN EGOT.

In 1954, the same year she won the Oscar for Roman Holiday, Hepburn accepted a Tony Award for her title role in Ondine on Broadway. Hepburn is one of only 12 EGOTs, meaning that she has won all of the four major creative awards: an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. Unfortunately, the honor came to Hepburn posthumously; her 1994 Grammy for the children’s album Audrey Hepburn’s Enchanted Tales and her 1993 Emmy for Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn were both awarded following her passing in early 1993.

4. TRUMAN CAPOTE HATED HER AS HOLLY GOLIGHTLY.

Blake Edwards’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s may be one of the most iconic films in Hollywood history, but it’s a miracle that the film ever got made at all. Particularly if you listened to Truman Capote, who wrote the novella upon which it was based, and saw only one actress in the lead: Marilyn Monroe. When asked what he thought was wrong with the film, which downplayed the more tawdry aspects of the fact that Ms. Golightly makes her living as a call girl (Hepburn had told the producers, “I can’t play a hooker”), Capote replied, “Oh, God, just everything. It was the most miscast film I’ve ever seen. It made me want to throw up.”

5. HOLLY GOLIGHTLY’S LITTLE BLACK DRESS SOLD FOR NEARLY $1 MILLION.

Audrey Hepburn in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'
Keystone Features, Getty Images

In 2006, Christie’s auctioned off the iconic Givenchy-designed little black dress that Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s for a whopping $923,187 (pre-auction numbers estimated that it would go for between $98,800 and $138,320). It was a record-setting amount at the time, until Marilyn Monroe’s white “subway dress” from The Seven Year Itch sold for $5.6 million in 2006.

6. SHE SANG “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” TO JFK IN 1963.

One year after Marilyn Monroe’s sultry birthday serenade to John F. Kennedy in 1962, Hepburn paid a musical tribute to the President at a private party in 1963, on what would be his final birthday.

7. THERE’S A RARE TULIP NAMED AFTER HER.

Photo of Audrey Hepburn
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

In 1990, a rare white tulip hybrid was named after the actress and humanitarian, and dedicated to her at her family’s former estate in Holland.

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