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 the New Hollywood kicked in, she specialised in roles playing the ageing broad. In Midnight Cowboy she’s the veteran hooker who gets the better of Jon Voight, while in 1975’s Farewell, My Lovely she was a former starlet reduced to trading information for a bottle of bourbon. Both roles won her Oscar nominations. She was also one of New York’s leading female chess players in the late 1960s, placing in numerous tournaments.