Lucette Destouches

Another death that slipped through the cracks (hey, we’re preparing for the big handover and entries for the 2020 Derby Dead Pool are now open if you look over there), allow us to correct that. Lucette Destouches was a dancer and the wife of modernist writer/fascist Louis-Ferdinand Celine. When he wasn’t busy moaning about Jews […]

Jonathan Miller

On the same day that fellow Oxbridge smart-arse Clive James checked out, we waved goodbye to Jonathan Miller. Born into an agnostic Jewish family of writers, Miller went to Cambridge to study natural sciences. While there he got involved in the Footlights, the university’s amateur theatrical club, and went on to direct their landmark musical […]

William Ruckelshaus

The so-called “Saturday Night Massacre” took place on October 20, 1973. It ended with three “deaths” on the night, but led inexorably to a significantly bigger casualty down the line, eventually claiming the scalp of President Richard Nixon. Nixon had urged Attorney General Elliot Richardson (died 1999) to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox (died 2004) […]

Don “Nick” Clifford

An estimated 400 workers were employed between 1927 and 1941 at Mount Rushmore, carving the faces of four American presidents into one of the country’s most-famous landmarks. And until last week, Don “Nick” Clifford was the final surviving carver. His speciality was drilling holes for dynamite positioning, helping to shift large chunks of cliff-face in […]

Clive James

On a busy day for the Grim Reaper in the UK, Clive James claimed top billing – and was the 12th name to go on this year’s Drop 40. James was the last of his kind – an intellectual who traded in his literary aspirations for the glamour of the cheapest kind of television. Part […]

Michael J. Pollard

Michael J. Pollard was one of Hollywood’s great sidekicks, an actor who could always be called upon to use his goofy mannerisms or chubby babycheeks in contrast to a film’s A-lister main star. He was alongside Steve Martin in Roxanne, Bill Murray in Scrooged, Oliver Reed in Hannibal Brooks and, perhaps most famously, Warren Beatty in Bonnie and Clyde. His […]

Harrison Dillard

The 2018 DDP was mildly marred by the lack of a qualifying obituary for 1950s athlete and former “fastest man in the world” Lindy Remigino. No such issues this time out, however, as Harrison Dillard bursts through that final tape and is met by a gaggle of obituary writers. Serving in the all-black 92nd Infantry […]

Colin Skipp

COLIN’S HEART SKIPPS A BEAT British actor Colin Skipp has died aged 80 after a long period of ill health. Skipp was a voice actor best known for playing the role of Tony Archer in never-ending BBC radio soap The Archers. Skipp first took on the role of the farmer in 1967 and held it […]

Jean Fergusson

Just a month or so after the death of Juliette Kaplan, who played her rival Pearl in Last of the Summer Wine, Jean Fergusson has followed her in that great bathtub down the hill. Fergusson had a 50+-year career on both the stage and screen: Olivier-nominated for her depiction of Hylda Baker in She Knows You Know […]

Niall Toibin

The comedian and actor Niall Toibin was born in 1929 to an Irish-speaking family, a trait that secured him work in his later career (including 1978’s Poitin, the first feature film to be filmed entirely in the language). But he was no slouch in English, and after a brief spell in the Irish civil service […]