Alf Smith

Time for a generic “really old person” death. Alf Smith was the joint holder of the “oldest man in the UK” title, and the oldest man in Scotland, up until him deciding to die at the age of 111 and 128 days. He credited his longevity to “porridge and a sense of humour”, and upon […]

Harley Race

Harley Race got his break in professional wrestling as a teenager, working as the chauffeur for the 800lb “world’s largest wrestler” Happy Humphrey. Within two decades he would be regarded as the best worker and arguable the biggest draw in the industry, defending the NWA World Heavyweight title across the globe and drawing in every […]

Harold Prince

Blame it all on the nights on Broadway, as king of the Great White Way Harold Prince is no longer on the throne. Modern musical theatre was effectively created by the man known colloquially as “Hal”, with stagings of shows like “The Phantom of the Opera”, “Company” and “Sweeney Todd” all down to him. He […]

Beji Caid Essebsi

The great-grandson of a Sardinian nobleman who converted to Islam after being kidnapped by Barbary corsairs, Beji Caid Essebsi was one of the major figures in Tunisia’s political history. He moved to France to practice law in his mid-20s, where he found regular work defending Tunisian nationalist politicians against their colonial masters. Upon Tunisia’s independence, […]

Christopher Kraft Jr

Two days after the 50th anniversary of the moon landings, Christopher Kraft Jr took a final giant leap into the great beyond. In 1958 he was recruited to the Space Task Group, a team dedicated to putting the first man into space. They failed that task – beaten by the Ruskies – but Kraft’s skills […]

Li Peng

And so it’s time to bring Li Peng to a conclusion… Peng served as China’s premier between 1987 and 1998, during the presidencies of Yang Shangkun and Jiang Zemin. A favourite of party elders such as Deng Xiaoping and Chen Yun, Peng was strongly opposed to any market reforms in the country. This put him […]

Paul Krassner

At the age of six, violin prodigy Paul Krassner became the youngest ever person to play Carnegie Hall. However, he drifted away from music during his higher education years and instead became raptured with the comedy of Lenny Bruce. Krassner was briefly a stand-up himself (under the name Paul Maul), but had much more impact […]

Rutger Hauer

Voted the greatest Dutch actor of all-time in a 1999 poll, Rutger Hauer was a cult star across the globe. He originally had his sights set on a career as a military medic, but left the armed forces over his refusal to handle deadly weapons. Instead he became an actor: first on Dutch television, and […]

Jeremy Kemp

Jeremy Kemp was part of the original Z-Cars cast, the ground-breaking TV cop show that changed the way episodic drama was tackled in the UK. However, he left the show during its second season – allegedly because he found wearing the police uniform too uncomfortable. He went on to become a prolific character actor both sides […]

David Hedison

Born Albert Hedison, our hero was made to change his name while doing the publicity rounds for his breakthrough TV show, 1959’s Five Fingers. Choosing “David”, which was his middle name, Hedison went on to have a near-60-year career on the big and small screen, with supporting roles in both The Fly and The Greatest Story Ever Told. […]