Wednesday, March 29, 2006

World's Oldest Celeb Passes


Hollywood Thoughts marks the sad passing of one of the world’s most interesting celebrities…

While known internationally, he obtained rock-star status in India where he was considered a national icon.

His celebrity derived mainly from his slow and easy-going personality… but was also due to his incredible longevity.

His name was Addwaita— which means “the one and only” in the Bengali language. When Addwaita passed last Wednesday, he was reported to have been 250 years old. He was the world’s oldest living inhabitant.

A bit of background…

According to Indian official Subir Chowdhury, documents exist to prove that Addwaita was brought to India as a youngster by English sailors from his native Seychelle Islands in the 1700’s. For a time, he lived with Lord Robert Clive (pictured above) of the East India Company—where it was whispered in private circles that he was a sort of “play thing for the Lord’s personal enjoyment.” Clive, of course, was instrumental in establishing British colonial rule in India before he finally returned to England in 1767.

Over time, the pair had grown distant, so it came as no surprise when Addwaita chose to not follow Clive to Britain. Instead, Addwaita preferred to stay in India where he continued to reside at Clive’s former garden estate. Addwaita remained there until moving into his current -– and only -- home in 1875.

Addwaita was a confirmed vegetarian, and most consider that to be his secret to longevity— even though he was, for most of his life, a ‘big guy’ who weighed nearly 260 pounds. Ultimately, liver failure was the cause of Addwaita’s passing.

Caretakers had noticed that he hadn’t been feeling well, and had been keeping an eye on him. They discovered his lifeless body early Wednesday…

…in his enclosure at the Calcutta Zoo.

Addwaita was an Aldabra tortoise. And that, as they say, is the rest of the story.



(Last known photo of Addwaita)

:::

FUN FACT:

Addwaita was significantly older than Harriet, a 176-year-old Galapagos tortoise who lives at the Australia Zoo. According to the zoo's Web site, Harriet was taken from the island of Isla Santa Cruz by Charles Darwin in the 19th century.

Aldabra tortoises come from the Aldabra atoll in the Seychelle islands in the Indian Ocean, and often live to more than 100 years of age. Males can weigh up to 550 pounds.

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