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Wagner, Robert

Married in Scottsdale

(Robert John Wagner, 1930.02.10-    )  Actor.

Robert Wagner married Natalie Wood on December 28th, 1957 at the Scottsdale United Methodist Church, 4140 North Miller. A reception followed a few blocks west at the Ramada Valley Ho resort, 6850 East Main, Scottsdale. 

Walsh, Kate

Raised in Tucson

Attended the University of Arizona

Kate Walsh
Kate Walsh, 2008. Photo by watchwithkristin .

(Kathleen Erin Walsh, 1967.10.13-    )  Actor.

Kate grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and eventually matriculated at the University of Arizona.

If she had followed the career path of her character, Dr. Addison Montgomery, in the ABC dramas Grey's Anatomy (2005-    ) and Private Practice (2007-    ), she would have gone on to U of A's medical school.  Instead, she got involved in regional theater and dropped out.

Warhol, Andy

Passed through Oracle

Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol in 1963.

(Andrew Warhola, 1928.08.06-1987.02.22)  Artist, director.

Andy Warhol was famous for avant-garde art--from Campbell's soup cans to Marilyn Monroe icons--but he also made incredibly unwatchable films, such as the 1963 cult "masterpieces," Eat (nearly an hour of a man eating a mushroom) and Sleep (8 hours of a man sleeping).

In 1968, Warhol brought his film company to Rancho Linda Guest Ranch in Oracle, Arizona, to film "Lonesome Cowboys."  The FBI followed.

Wayne, John

Ranched in Stanfield

John Wayne
John Wayne, 1959.

(Marion Michael Morrison, 1907.05.26-1979.06.11)  Actor.

John Wayne owned a number of ranches in Arizona, including the "Red Eye Ranch" operated by his Red River Land Company, in Stanfield.

Wead, Doug

Carpetbagged to the 6th Congressional District

(1946-    )  Author, Assemblies of God evangelist, Vice President Bush's liaison to the Christian Right, close friend and advisor to George W. Bush for 14 years.

Author, politician and one-time Assemblies of God minister Doug Wead evidenced a consistency in character in his national fifteen minutes of fame and in his brief venture into Arizona politics.  In February 2004, Wead received much national press attention when he released secretly recorded tapes of phone conversations with his "friend" George W. Bush to promote his book, All the Presidents' Children. The book, which just happens to bear the same title as a book released by Larry D. Underwood in 2002, delves into the effect of having a father who is president.  Wead said that he recorded his conversations with George W. because he viewed the then Texas Governor as a historic figure. Less than pleased, the White House released the statement, "The governor was having casual conversations with someone he believed was his friend."

A dozen years earlier, Doug Wead ran for Congress in Arizona's 6th Congressional District as a "Barry Goldwater Republican."  Explaining his interest in Arizona, Wead said Goldwater's presidential candidacy encouraged him to visit Arizona in 1964.  It only took him 28 years to "move" to the state just in time to qualify for a run for Congress.  His idol, Barry Goldwater, whose picture hung in Wead's office, saw it differently. "Hell," Goldwater stated bluntly, "the Republican fellow came here from Washington because he thought he could practically steal the seat.  Hadn't been here long enough to spell Arizona before he announced."   Goldwater endorsed Wead's opponent, a Democrat, who won.  Wead left the state promptly after his loss.  Perhaps Goldwater saw something in Wead's character that George W. missed.

Wheeler, Quentin

Dean at Arizona State University

(    -    )  Arizona State University entomologist.

Quentin Wheeler was named Vice President and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University in 2006, but that is not the fame which brought him to the attention of these pages. 

In 2005, while he was keeper of entomology at the Natural History Museum in London, he discovery of 65 new species of slime-mold beetle of the genus Agathidium, along with a co-slime-mold beetle discoverer.  As a discoverer of a new species he was entitled to give the beetles their scientific names, using any name he chose. 

He named one after Darth Vader and others for President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, for which he received national press coverage.  He has said that he intended the naming of the slime-mold beetles as a compliment.

White, Danny

Born in Mesa

Graduate of Westwood High School and Arizona State University

Lives in Gilbert

(1952.02.09-    )  Football player, coach.

Danny White, the Dallas Cowboy's quarterback from 1976 to 1988 who took them to three NFC East titles (1979, 1981, 1985) and into the playoffs five times, is a long time Arizona resident living in Gilbert.

Williams, Kenneth J.

Lived in Phoenix

(    -    )  FBI special agent.

If they had listened FBI special agent Kenneth Williams, the World Trade Center twin towers in New York might still be standing.  Williams was the FBI agent stationed in Phoenix that penned the July 2001 "Phoenix memorandum" warning of Islamic extremists taking flight lessons in Arizona. He was also instrumental in the arrest of Kingman resident Michael Fortier for his role in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, which killed 168 people.

Williams, Ted

Frozen in Scottsdale

(Theodore Samuel Williams, 1918.08.30-2002.07.05)  Baseball player, fighter pilot.

Ted Williams
Ted Williams, 1949.

Ted Williams, aka "Teddy Ballgame," "The Splendid Splinter" and "The Kid," was number nine on Boston Red Sox in a two decade baseball career starting in 1939, with time out for two stints in the military.  Williams spent three years as a Navy pilot during World War II, and two years as a Marine pilot in Korean conflict.  On about half of the Korean missions, he was John Glenn's wingman.  He was said to be the best baseball hitter in the world (last major leaguer to hit over .400), the best fighter pilot, and the best fly-caster.

Wilson, Dennis

Arrested in Tucson for contributing to the delinquency of a minor

(1944.12.04-1983.12.28)  Drummer, singer, composer.

The good looking drummer for the very popular Beach Boys came by his "bad boy" image the old fashion way--he earned it.  When the group which achieved national popularity in the 1960's came to Tucson for a concert 1978, police found a sixteen year old girl in Dennis' hotel room.  The girl, exactly half Dennis' age, had called her parents saying that she could not leave.  Dennis was arrested for investigation to contributing to the delinquency of a minor.  Dennis was released on $1,000 bond. He plead not-guilty and maintained that the incident was a setup.  Charges were eventually dropped when the girl and her parents declined to press charges.  Dennis' evening adventure cost him a reported $100,000 in attorney's fees.

Winchell, Walter

Lived in Phoenix

Died in Phoenix

Walter Winchell
Walter Winchell, 1953.

(Walter Winchel, 1897.04.07-1972.02.20)  Gossip columnist.

Winchell was a newspaper columnist credited with inventing the gossip column.  He took his column to national radio in 1932 which he began with the memorable "Good Morning, Mr. and Mrs. North and South America and all the ships at sea ... let's go to press!"  From 1959 to 1963 his distinctive voice provided narration for the popular television series The Untouchables.

Winningham, Mare

Born in Phoenix

(Mary Megan Winningham, 1959.05.16-    )  Actor and singer.

Mare Winningham was born in Phoenix, but left almost immediately for Northridge, California--not necessarily of her own free will.

Wood, Natalie

Married in Scottsdale

Natalie Wood
Natalie Wood, c. 1960.

(Natasha Nikolaevna Zakharenko, 1938.07.20-1981.11.29)  Actor.

Natalie Wood married Robert Wagner on December 28th, 1957 at the Scottsdale United Methodist Church, 4140 North Miller. A reception followed a few blocks west at the Ramada Valley Ho resort, 6850 East Main, Scottsdale. 

Wood, Ron

Treated in Tucson

Ron Wood
Ron Wood, 2007. Photo by Kevin Dooley .

(1947.06.01-    )  Guitarist.

The youngest member of The Rolling Stones received treatment for alcoholism and cocaine addiction at Tucson's Cottonwood de Tucson in spring 2002.

World, Jimmy Eat

Founded in Mesa

Jimmy Eat World
Jim Adkins performs with Jimmy Eat World, 2008. Photo by Thedeamonhog .

(1993-    )  Band.

Mesa resident and singer/guitarist Jim Adkins (born in Mesa, 1975.11.10-    ) founded the strangely named band in 1993, enlisting drummer and friend-since-kindergarten Zach Lind (1975.11.10-    ), guitarist Tom Linton (born in Mesa), and bass player Mitch Porter.

Wright, Frank Lloyd

Lived at Taliesin West, Scottsdale

Died in Phoenix

(1867.06.08-1959.04.09)  The world's most famous architect.

In 1926 the career of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright was at a low ebb.  He had few projects pending.  Taliesin, his headquarters and home, had been seized by the Bank of Wisconsin which moved livestock onto the complex.  His personal life was hardly better.  Separated from his second wife and amid bitter divorce proceedings, Wright and his three decades younger future third wife were arrested near Minneapolis for violating the Mann Act.  A call to come to Phoenix would mark the rebirth of his career and a new direction in his life.

Wrigley, William Jr.

Wintered in Phoenix

Died in Phoenix

William Wrigley, Jr.
William Wrigley, Jr.

(1861.09.30-1932.01.26)  Entrepreneur.

In 1928 the founder and advertising genius of the world's largest chewing gum company began construction on a nearly 20,000 square foot home on the outskirts of the small desert town of Phoenix.  The home, dubbed La Colina Solano (sunny hill), was a 50th anniversary present to his wife, intended to be a part-time "winter cottage" where they could enjoy the warm desert winters and entertain wealthy friends and dignitaries. 

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