Anne Hamilton-Byrne

The late 1960s was the heyday of the drug-taking messianic brainwashing cult, and Australia got its own slice of the action in the shape of Anne Hamilton-Byrne. A former yoga teacher who believed she was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ, AHB’s “The Family” cult adopted a string of children from orphanages and social services. They […]

Pat Bowlen

Born into a family who made it rich as Canadian wildcat oildrillers, Pat Bowlen played as a wide-receiver while at the University of Oklahoma, but never had the chops to be a professional American footballer. So instead he bought a team: the Denver Broncos to be precise, in 1984. His tenure brought three Super Bowls, […]

Fay McKenzie

It may have taken a few months for her obituary to come through, but they all count the same… Fay McKenzie was the last known surviving woman to have acted in the 1910s (she played a baby in the 1919 Gloria Swanson movie Station Content). However, she went on to make a serious name for herself […]

Philomena Lynott

The grave of Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott, in Dublin’s St. Fintan’s Cemetery, is the most-visited gravesite in all of Ireland. And those who made the pilgrimage would often be greeted by Philomena Lynott, his mother, who spent large amounts of time maintaining his grave. Before leaving, she would kick the headstone because he “was […]

Sylvia Miles

Due to her love of the high life and free alcohol, Sylvia Miles was the origin of the phrase “she’ll turn up to the opening of an envelope” (the aphorist in question was her friend, veteran gossip columnist Earl Wilson). But she was more than just a party girl. The wrong side of 40 when […]

Grace Catherine Jones

It’s one of the minor quirks of longevity that two of the people that have held the title “Britain’s Oldest Person” shared the same name: Grace Jones. The original carked it back in November 2013, and has now been joined by Grace Catherine Jones of Broadway. The likelihood of that trio being joined in super-centenarianity […]

Gabriele Grunewald

And we have a new deadpool leader… Gabriele Grunewald was an American middle-distance runner, specialising in the 800 metres. She turned pro in 2010, one year after she was first diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma. Over the following decade, while still competing in track athletics, she had her thyroid and salivary glands removed, a six-inch […]

Ralph Benjamin

One has to feel some sympathy for the theme team Stiff Upper Lip, a line-up of 20 World War II veterans. So far two of their selections – both unique picks – have departed this mortal coil without a qualifying obituary, in the shape of Conway Berners-Lee and Jim Russell. And it was looking like […]

Dr. John

Few artists, let alone musicians, came to represent their home region as much as Mac Rebennack, better known as Dr. John. His medley of blues, boogie-woogie and old-time medicine show ephemera has become, for many, the platonic ideal of New Orleans culture. It very nearly didn’t happen that way, however. Dr. John was originally a […]

Lennart Johansson

Lennart Johansson was the man in charge of international football at a team when money was being siphoned away from the smaller sides towards the bigger teams, player (and agent) demands were seen as more important than financial stability, and the stench of corruption followed a number of surprisingly well-funded smaller FAs. Thank God we’ve […]