Prem Tinsulanonda

Prem Tinsulanonda was Thailand’s prime minister from 1980 through to 1988. His time as leader saw rapid economic expansion, Thailand asserting its heft on the international scale, and numerous attempts on his life from various generals. He personally dealt with China to encourage them to stop funding Communist insurgents in the country, and offered amnesty […]

Irene Sutcliffe

Irene Sutcliffe had a 60-year career on our TV screens, from a Sunday Night Theatre appearance in 1953 through to character roles as an old biddie well into the mid-2010s. She was also a regular on stage, even making her West End debut opposite Katherine Hepburn in GB Shaw’s The Millionairess. However, it’s as the downtrodden cornershop […]

Machiko Kyo

The first of two hits in quick succession for veteran theme team Dead Continent, Machiko Kyo was one of Japan’s most venerated actresses. Starting her career off as a dancer in the post-WW2 era, she soon found herself in demand as a supporting actress specialising in playing feudal-era noblewomen. However it was as the raped […]

Jack Cohen

By day, Jack Cohen was a reproductive scientist, whose main contribution to the field was an explanation of why men produce so many redundant sperm. But he was also a close friend of DDP alumni Terry Pratchett (the pair met at a science-fiction convention when Cohen spilled his pint over the big-hatted fantasy doyen). Cohen […]

Murray Gell-Mann

In the midst of all those A-list celebs dying, how about we bring the mood down with a Nobel winner? Murray Gell-Mann took the gong home for Physics in 1969 thanks to his work on the theory of elementary particles. The pre-eminent theoretical physicist of his era, his main contribution to the scientific world was […]

Judith Kerr

Judith Kerr’s father, the theatre critic Alfred Kerr, was a prominent opponent of Adolf Hitler and one of the many whose books were burned in public during the early 1930s. Unsurprisingly, the family decided that was a good time to leave Germany. Arriving in England, Judith became a Red Cross worker and an artist, working […]

Niki Lauda

It’s a story so remarkable it has to take centre-stage in every piece written about Niki Lauda’s death, and the DDP is no different. During the 1976 German Grand Prix, 29-year-old Lauda was looking to gain an advantage on his rival for that year’s Drivers’ Championship (and his rival in life) James Hunt. Instead, he […]

Herman Wouk

The trinity of departing bed-blockers, alongside Day and Pei, is completed by the non-rhyming Herman Wouk. Born into a working class Jewish family in the Bronx, Wouk spend the pre-war era working as a joke-writer for US radio comics. While serving in the Pacific theater, he begin writing his first novel: Aurora Dawn, which was […]

Nan Winton

Born Nancy Wigginton, Nan Winton was working as a continuity announcer when, in June 1960, she became the first woman to read the news on the BBC (ITV had a female newsreader, Barbara Mandell, from its launch date). However, audiences at the time thought a woman reading the news on state television was “too frivolous” […]

Tommy Donbavand

In 2017, the children’s author Tommy Donbavand published Tommy v Cancer: One Man’s Battle Against the Big C, detailing his fight against inoperable stage 4 throat cancer. Last month, he published Tommy v Cancer Round 2: One Man’s Battle Against the Big C (Again) after being diagnosed with inoperable stage 4 lung cancer, following a fight against sepsis […]