Famous last words of famous and not-so-famous people
We have always been fascinated by what the big and famous people say. Do you ever wonder what those notables said right before their final moment?
Wikipedia here has a huge archive of the last words spoken by them. Some are funny, some profound, and some very sad.
Here's a sampling of the last words of celebrities and criminals.
Bessie Smith (1894 – 1937) the blues singer known as the Empress of the Blues died saying, "I'm going, but I'm going in the name of the Lord." The death was due to a car crash when she and Richard Morgan were traveling along U.S. Route 61 between Memphis, Tennessee, and Clarksdale, Mississippi.
John Wayne (1907 - 1979), the star of the Western movies died of stomach cancer at the age of 72 at the hospital in Los Angeles. He turned to his wife and said, “Of course I know who you are. You’re my girl. I love you." He had requested that his tombstone read "Feo, Fuerte y Formal", a Spanish epitaph meaning "ugly, strong, and dignified".
Actor and comedian W. C. Fields died in 1946, on Christmas Day - the holiday he despised. He last words: "God damn the whole friggin' world and everyone in it but you, Carlotta." He was speaking to Carlotta Monti, his girlfriend.
Frank Sinatra (1915 – 1998,) one of the best-selling musicians of all time died with his wife at his side at the hospital. His final words were "I'm losing."
After his death, in his honor, the lights on the Empire State Building in New York City were turned blue, the lights on the Las Vegas Strip dimmed, and the casinos stopped spinning for a minute.
Buddy Rich (1917 – 1987,) the American jazz drummer, billed as "the world's greatest drummer," died in 1987 of heart failure following surgery for a malignant brain tumor.
Before the surgery, a nurse asked him, "Is there anything you can't take?" to which Rich replied, "Yeah, country music."
Johnny Ace, (1929 – 1954,) a rhythm-and-blues singer, died of an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 25.
On his last day, Christmas Day in 1954, he was performing at the City Auditorium in Houston, Texas. During a break between sets, he accidentally killed himself while playing with a .32-caliber pistol. When told to be careful with the gun, Johnny said, "It's okay! Gun's not loaded... see?" but it was, and Johnny died at the peak of his career.
James W. Rodgers
"Bring me a bullet-proof vest." This was his last request before he was executed by the firing squad.
James W. Rodgers was a murderer who was sentenced to death by the state of Utah in 1957. His execution was the last one to be carried out by firing squad in the United States before capital punishment was halted by the U.S. Supreme Court. The death penalty was reinstated in 1976.
Thomas J. Grasso
Around three hours before the murderer Thomas J. Grasso was executed by lethal injection in Oklahoma in 1995, he wrote a poem titled "A Visit with Mystery":
Ready, willing and waiting am I
Asked for death but could not die
Each sunrise is one day less
I'll endure this horrible mess
As the poison drips into my veins
And from my body life does drain
I'll know then, once and for all
What "last call" means
When serving toxahol
His last meal was steamed mussels, steamed clams, a cheeseburger, spare ribs, strawberry milkshakes, and pumpkin pie, and meatballs - but he didn't get SpaghettiOs that he had requested. His last words were, "I did not get my SpaghettiOs, I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this."
Robert Alton Harris
Robert Alton Harris (1953 – 1992) was an American criminal and murderer. He was convicted of murdering two teenage boys in the San Diego area, for which he was executed at San Quentin State Prison in 1992. This was the first execution in California since 1967.
His famous last words: "You can be a king or a street sweeper, but everyone dances with the Grim Reaper."
"Beam Me Up" were the last words of Gary Burris, who was executed in 1997 for the murder of a cab driver in Indianapolis. The nude body of the victim was found in an alley near Fall Creek Parkway, face down with his hands tied behind his back, and stuck to the ground by a pool of his frozen blood.
James D. French was an American criminal who was executed in Oklahoma, in 1966, for killing a motorist who had picked him up from hitchhiking in 1958, and for killing his cellmate in the prison.
French was first jailed for killing the motorist. In the prison, he toyed with the idea of committing suicide but was too afraid. He decided to murder his cellmate hoping the state will then execute him. And he was executed by the electric chair in 1966.
His last words were: "How's this for your headline? 'French Fries'".
Marie Antoinette (1755 – 1793,) the last Queen of France before the French Revolution was convicted by the Revolutionary Tribunal of high treason. She was executed by guillotine on 16 October 1793. On her way to the guillotine, she stepped on her executioner's foot and said: "Pardonnez-moi, monsieur."
John Arthur Spenkelink
John Spenkelink (1949 – 1979,) a convicted American murderer was executed in 1979 - the first convict to be executed in Florida after capital punishment was reinstated in 1976. In the days leading up to his execution, he wrote these last words on various pieces of mail: “Capital punishment means those without the capital get the punishment.
George Appel who was executed in the 1920's for murdering a police officer said before his last breath - "Well, gentlemen, you are about to see a baked Appel"