The 10 Famous People You Didn't Know Were Really Huge Badasses
Looks can be deceiving. Just ask the woman you woke up next to who may or may not have a venereal disease, a very short-tempered pimp, or a penis. Likewise, some of the world's most daring and dangerous people often looked less threatening than an unarmed Girl Scout.
Source: Thomas Gibbons/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
By Danny Gallagher
10. Chef Julia Child
Saturday Night Love once poked fun of TV’s “Queen of the Kitchen” by portraying her as a high-pitched kitchen klutz whose veins and arteries turned into a blood geyser at the mere sight of a sharp knife. Believe it or not, she actually has a thicker skin than you might think.
The famed TV chef once worked for the Office of Strategic Services, the U.S. covert agency that later became the CIA. She oversaw the filing and transfer of covert documents and devised coding systems for espionage agents in the field, and also developed and tested a highly successful shark repellent that the military used to keep the underwater ankle biters from bumping into explosives during World War II. Just imagine, thanks to her dual training in undercover intelligence and culinary techniques, she probably knows more ways to kill a man with a spatula than any human being who ever lived.
9. Microsoft founder Bill Gates
Source: Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Bill Gates may look like the kind of kid from high school who had more face time with the toilets in the boys room than the entire student body's asses combined, but he’s done some things that even the biggest mouth-breathing jocks wouldn’t do.
After founding Microsoft and moving the entire operation to a rundown office in Albuquerque, Gates spent his spare time turning his driving record into a checkered history of traffic violations and unnecessary accidents. His craziest exploits involved breaking into construction sites in the dead of night and racing bulldozers, one of which he almost crashed into his newly purchased Porsche. These days, he spends his billions on Porsches that have been converted into living room ottomans.
8. Author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Writers always seem to be stereotyped as lazy, shiftless do-nothings who spend all day in front of their typewriters pounding out ridiculous stories as they shove bottomless bowls of munchies down their overrated throats. Believe me, I know what that’s like (I use a computer, not a typewriter, dumbass).
Doyle, however, lived a life that most writers don't have the talent to dream up for their stories. He was an avid sportsman who traded fists by boxing and playing hockey. He was such an avid skier that he helped popularize the sport in Switzerland. He tried to enlist in the military when World War I broke out, even though he was well over 50 and when the military turned him down, he joined in the effort by forming civilian defense brigades and rallying public support to provide Naval soldiers with life jackets. He even spent months at a time on whaling ships as the crew’s doctor and surgeon, an experience he sometimes described as “boring.” It’s too bad Doyle won’t be around when “lion rodeos” become popular, an experience he’d certainly describe as “mildly arousing.”
7. White House Chief-of-Staff Rahm Emanuel
Source: Win McNamee/Getty Images News/Getty Images
A lot of people, myself included, like to paint former vice president Dick Cheney as a heartless demon whose raw evil and gruff exterior could draw an apology out of the guy he accidentally shot in the face on a hunting trip. I’m man enough to admit that those are just exaggerated observations made solely for comedic effect. However, no amount of imagination could top the unrelenting craziness of Obama’s current “Cheney equivalent.”
Emanuel has a long, sordid history of crazy, self-destructive behavior, even by the standards of most D.C. politicians. His insanity goes well beyond his tough-as-nails attitude towards the political machine, a resume that includes getting back at an angry pollster by mailing the bastard a dead fish. As a teenager, he worked as a meat slicer at Arby’s and he accidentally cut off one of his fingers, a feat that’s even more impressive since he kept on working and even went swimming in a dirty lake before seeking medical attention. Then again, that may not be because of sheer will over pain. Arby’s customers probably wouldn’t even notice the gamey taste of a severed finger in one of their sandwiches.
6. Actor and comedian Kevin James
Source: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Most people try to improve their golf game by going to the driving range and whacking away at tees until the bar closes or the endless pitchers of beer causes them to pass out. “Paul Blart,” however, tries to improve his handicap by sparring with MMA fighters.
Even though he’s playing a UFC fighter for an upcoming sure-to-be slapstick comedy, he regularly trains and even spars with professional fighters and karate experts in his spare time to improve his golf game. He even straps on the padded gloves and goes toe-to-toe with heavyweights like his close personal friend Randy Couture. I say they are close because even my best friend wouldn't let me pound on their skulls with my fist, even if it was my birthday.