The film 42, a biopic about baseball legend Jackie Robinson, opens Friday in Canada. Robinson was the first black man to play in Major League Baseball, joining the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 and going on to play for 10 seasons before retiring in 1956. Not that Robinson is an unusual name, but talking about Jackie Robinson in the office suddenly had us listing off all the famous people with that name that came into our heads. There were a surprising number of them. A rundown of famous Robinsons:
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Jackie Robinson: All-star infielder, barrier-buster and Medal of Freedom winner.
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Frank Robinson: All-star MLB outfielder from 1956 to 1976, first black man to manage an MLB team; hit 586 home runs.
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Brooks Robinson: The "human vacuum cleaner" won 16 Golden Gloves in a row at third base for the Baltimore Orioles and also knocked 268 balls out of the park.
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Robinson Canó: All-star New York Yankee second baseman was born in the Dominican Republic and named after Jackie Robinson.
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Larry Robinson: "Big Bird" was a star of the Montreal Canadiens dynasty in the 1970s and is considered one of the greatest NHL defencemen ever. His lifetime plus-minus of +730 is a league record.
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Sugar Ray Robinson (right): He’s only considered the greatest boxer of all time.
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Betty Robinson: The first woman to win a gold medal in track and field (100-metre dash) at the Olympics. She won gold in 1928, was left in a coma after a plane crash in 1931 and came back to win gold again in 1936.
The New York Times
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Bill (Bojangles) Robinson: Brilliant and pioneering American tap dancer and entertainer who fought racism his whole life and died in 1949. Not connected to the Mr. Bojangles in that famous pop song, the one whose dog up and died; he up and died.
Lyle Stafford/The Globe and Mail
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Smokey Robinson: As lead singer and songwriter for Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, he produced 26 top-40 hits in the 1960s alone. Please Second That Emotion.
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Edward G. Robinson: Badass American actor who invented the Hollywood film gangster in movies like Little Caesar and Key Largo. He was born Emanuel Goldenberg.
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Tony Robinson: British actor. If you’re a fan of the British comedy Blackadder, you know him as Baldrick, and right now you’re smiling.
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Bruce Robinson: He wrote and directed the cult British film Withnail & I, which makes him something of a god.
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Chris (right) and Rich (left) Robinson: Chris sings and Rich plays guitar in the Black Crowes, a rock band that has sold 30 million albums. Chris was married to actress Kate Hudson for six years.
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Mrs. Robinson: Older married woman who seduces a young, doughy Dustin Hoffman in the film, The Graduate. Anne Bancroft played Mrs. Robinson; there will never be another.
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Robinson Crusoe: Shipwrecked British adventurer who fights cannibals and converts heathens. One becomes his personal assistant; Crusoe names him ‘Friday.’