December 27th People

December 26th

12-27-1901 – 05-06-1992 Marlene Dietrich – Born in Schöneberg, Germany. She was a German-American actress and singer. In Berlin during the 1920s, she acted on stage and in silent films. Her performance in The Blue Angel (1930) brought her international fame and and a contract with Paramount Pictures. In 1939 she became a U.S. citizen and throughout WWII she was a high-profile frontline entertainer. In interviews, Dietrich stated that she had been approached by representatives of the Nazi Party to return to Germany, but turned them down flat. She was awarded the Medal of Freedom by the U.S. in 1945. Dietrich was bisexual who enjoyed the thriving gay scene of the time and drag balls of 1920s Berlin. Throughout her career she had an unending string of affairs with men and women, some short-lived, some lasting decades; they often overlapped. Her affairs included Gary Cooper, James Stewart, and Yul Brenner. She also had an affair with Mercedes de Acosta, who was Greta Garbo’s periodic lover. Other women she is rumored to have had an affair with include actresses Lili Damita, Claudette Colbert, Dolores del Rio, and singer Edith Piaf. She died in Paris at the age of 90.

12-27-1944 Dr. Bob Brown – Born in Oberon, Australia. He is an Australian former politician, medical doctor, environmentalist, former Senator, and former Parliamentary Leader of the Australian Greens. He was the first out gay member of the Parliament of Australia, and the first out gay leader of an Australian political party. Brown currently lives in Cygnet, Tasmania with his long-time partner, Paul Thomas, a farmer and activist whom he met in 1996.

12-27-1961 – 03-18-2016   Guido Westerwelle – Born in Bad Honnef, Germany. He was a German politician who served as Foreign Minister and was Vice Chancellor of Germany from 2009 to 2011. Westerwelle was the first openly gay person to hold these offices. A lawyer, he was a member of the Bundestag (German Parliament) from 2001 until 2011. On July 20, 2004, he attended Angela Merkel’s 50th birthday party accompanied by his life partner Michael Mronz. It was the first time he attended an official event with his partner and this was considered his public coming-out. Westerwelle died in 2016 from leukemia.

12-27-1973 Wilson Cruz – Born in Brooklyn, New York. He is an American actor, known for playing Rickie Vasquez on My So Called Life and the recurring character Genito on Noah’s Arc. As an openly gay person of Puerto Rican ancestry, he has served as an advocate for gay youth, especially gay youth of color. At the age of 19, Cruz came out to his parents. While his mother was shocked, she eventually accepted the news. His father threw him out of the house and Cruz spent the next few months living in his car and at the homes of friends. He later reconciled with his father.

12-27-1980 Oliver Callan – Born in Inniskeen, County Monaghan, Ireland. He is an Irish vocal and performance satirist as well as an impressionist. Callan is known as the creator of Callan’s Kicks, Nob Nation and for frequent appearances on the The Saturday Night Show. He is well known in Ireland and the UK for making fun of  celebrities and politicians on radio. According to the Irish Independent, his acerbic wit and talent for mimicry has made him a household name. Callan came out as gay live on The Saturday Night Show in October 2011.

12-27-1987   Lily Cole – Born in Torquay, Devon, England. She is a British model, actress, and entrepreneur. Cole pursued a modeling career as a teenager and was listed in 2009 by Vogue Paris as one of the top 30 models of the 2000s. Her distinctive red hair attracted significant media attention. At the 2004 British Fashion Awards, she was named “Model of the Year”. During the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, Cole was one of the British models wearing fashions created by British designers specifically for the event. Cole supports a variety of humanitarian and environmental causes. She is also part-owner of a London bookshop. In 2021, she came out as queer during an interview with the Sunday Times Style. Cole is also a vegetarian.

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