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Six degrees: Manny Pacquiao

Amanda Choong

 

Manny Pacquiao (right) does not want the public to think of his November match against Brandon Rios at the Venetian Macao’s Cotai Arena as a retirement party. After an 11-month hiatus, the Filipino boxing legend is keen to prove he is still in fighting shape. Having been named by Time magazine as one of the world’s most influential people in 2009, Pacquiao has been a congressman in the Philippines since 2010 and even appears on postage stamps in the country. Last year, he was immortalised in a song, Manny Pacquiao, recorded by rapper Victor Vazquez …

 

On stage, the Californian-born artist answers to the name Kool A.D. Though his solo efforts have received praise, Vazquez is better remembered as a member of unconventional hip hop group Das Racist. During a television appearance in 2010, the group stated that pop artist Lady Gaga was “clearly illuminati”. Vazquez met bandmate Himanshu Suri when they were students attending Wesleyan University in Connecticut, a US institution whose publishing house once hired as an editor literary giant T.S. Eliot …

 

The Nobel Prize-winning writer was in the vanguard of the modernist movement in literature. He typically employed a stream-of-consciousness style of writing, which many critics interpret as an expression of his personal life. Writer Carole Seymour-Jones, in her book Painted Shadow, attributes the despairing tone of Eliot’s poem The Waste Land to his difficult relationship with his first wife, Vivienne Haigh-Wood. This unhappy marriage became the subject of a 1984 play, Tom and Viv, which was later adapted into a film, starring Miranda Richardson and Willem Dafoe …

 

Dafoe has built a name for himself as a character actor, often in the role of the villain. Weary of being typecast, however, he once stated that baddie roles “lack a certain depth” and he admits to having relished playing the heroic Sergeant Elias in Vietnam war film Platoon. Dafoe provided the voice of Gill in Finding Nemo, the animated Disney-Pixar film in which the loveable fish with the very short memory, Dory, was introduced. Dory was voiced by comedian Ellen DeGeneres …

 

“I’m a lesbian, an Aquarian and a vegetarian,” is how the multiple Emmy Award-winning DeGeneres describes herself. In 2010, the stand-up comedian, actress and television host, who came out publicly on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1997, served as an ambassador for the charity Farm Sanctuary’s Adopt-A-Turkey Project, asking people to “adopt a turkey instead of eating one” at Thanksgiving. A prank on The Ellen DeGeneres Show last year saw customers in a high-street store being sold perfume by a mystery employee – David Beckham …

 

Every player wishes they could bend it like Beckham on the football pitch. The Englishman hung up his boots in May, however. Having already established his name in retail (specifically with men’s underwear), he now looks set to conquer the food industry, too – he has opened a restaurant in London with foul-mouthed chef Gordon Ramsay. With so many income streams, then, it is no surprise that Becks still occupies a comfortable eighth spot on Forbes’ 2013 list of the world’s highestpaid athletes, beating out – at No 14 – boxer Manny Pacquiao.

 

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