Plumbers do the dirty work that we’d prefer to avoid. When a toilet overflows or a drain becomes clogged, some Angelenos roll up their sleeves and get to work; the rest of us call the best plumber Los Angeles has to offer. While most people probably aren’t familiar with the history of plumbing, there are some intriguing, unlikely figures that populate its story. (Did you know that famous character actor, Bob Hoskins was a plumber before he starred in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Neither did we!).
To take a break from our normal blog format – and because unnecessary lists are fun – here are some famous folks you might not have known were plumbers.
5. Michael Flatley
His birth name might not be familiar, however you’re surely acquainted with self-appointed Lord of The Dance! Michael Flatley ascended to fame with the riverdance, the 1990s phenomenon combining theatrical dancing with traditional Irish music. Later, he left the riverdancers to become a solo-touring powerhouse. But his famous dexterity on his feet overshadowed his original skill with his hands. Flatley started as a plumber, working for his dad’s business, Dynasty Plumbing.
4. John Gotti
Sure, John Gotti was infamous for his alleged role in multiple murders, extortion attempts and tax evasion schemes… and that’s probably how history should remember him. However, interested parties may be surprised to hear that he was once a plumbing supply salesman. If you’d like to ask his opinion about which low-flow fixtures are right for your toilet, you’ll have to visit him in prison where he waits out 5 consecutive life sentences.
3. Thomas Crapper
You can’t talk famous plumbers without a shout out to Crapper. In World War I, he supplied toilets to men in the field. After soldiers started referring to the toilets as “crappers”, his monument in history was pretty much sealed. Whether he welcomed the reputation or not is unclear, but it’s hard not to give him props for his major contribution to the world.
2. Ozzy Osbourne
It’s almost impossible to picture Ozzy Osbourne doing anything but bellowing out Black Sabbath tunes, or stumbling through sentences. But reportedly the heavy metal singer knew his way around a wrench, as a former plumber (was “Crazy Train” a metaphor for an uncontrollable, burst sewer line??). Would you hire him to work on your pipes now?
1. Mario and Luigi
Ties might be considered a cop out, but it’s just too hard to choose between these 2 stars of the video game, Super Mario Brothers. Topping our list at number 1, they’ve become synonymous with fixing New York City’s most mysterious plumbing problems (as well as jumping super high, flying, and saving princesses). They got so famous that they even crossed over into a live action film. (We admit that, as Los Angeles residents, we’re a little biased towards the Hollywood film industry).