Bill Macy

Born Wolf Garber and raised in a working-class Jewish family, Bill Macy didn’t get anything close to a break in the acting world until he was well into his late 30s. He bagged a role as Walter Matthau’s understudy in Once More, With Feeling on Broadway, and spent another 15 years as a character actor […]

Alicia Alonso Martinez

Cuban born, Alicia Alonso Martinez moved to New York at the age of 16 to marry her lover and attempt to break into the ballet market Stateside. Her career was nearly brought to a premature end when she nearly ruined her eyesight by dancing while recovering from a retinal operation, despite being told to rest […]

Elijah Cummings

Somewhat belatedly, Donald Trump has come around to the Bill Clinton school of dealing with people who could get you impeached… Elijah Cummings was born to sharecropper parents in South Baltimore. He had a political streak from a young age, being involved in the desegregation of a local swimming pool when he was just 11. […]

Luigi Colani

Falling down the back of the sofa upon death (you’ll miss me as gamerunner when I’m gone), Luigi Colani actually carked it – and was reported widely on – in September. But he’s here on the DDP now. German-born but (very) Italian of blood, Colani was one of the design world’s true mavericks. Cutting a […]

Leah Bracknell

Nelson Mandela, Zsa Zsa Gabor… Leah Bracknell. Yep, the British soap doyen joins the other two as only the third person atop the Drop 40 to die since it was established in 2010. And while the others were silvertops who’d spent years, if not decades, teetering on the brink of death, our Leah was a […]

Richard Huckle

And so the DDP gets its first murder victim of 2019… Really, when your actual defence lawyer calls you one of the worst sex offenders in British legal history, things aren’t too likely to end up with gin and tonic on the lawn. Richard Huckle was a devout Baptist with no criminal record before he […]

Alexey Leonov

Alexey Leonov was behind one of the great checkmarks in the space race “to do” list. On March 18, 1965, he became the first man to conduct a spacewalk, spending 12 minutes outside the Voshkod 2 craft. It was meant to be a much shorter walk, with Leonov tasked only with taking some photos of […]

Juliette Kaplan

With the autumn nights drawing in, some of the more fastidious among you may have already started pencilling their longlists for the 2020 DDP. If so, Juliette Kaplan was probably the first name you had to cross out. The former Coronation Street and Last of the Summer Wine actress had made the papers a-plenty in recent weeks […]

Andres Gimeno

Andres Gimeno was the man who made Spain an international tennis powerhouse. He was a highly skilled amateur when, in 1960s, the International Lawn Tennis Federation voted not to professionalize. He switched sides and began playing as a pro on the breakaway circuit – earning a whopping $16,000 a year, plus expenses. The tennis world […]

Rip Taylor

Perhaps best (only?) know to a UK audience as the camp old lad who pops up at the end of the Jackass movies, Rip Taylor was television royalty on the other side of the Atlantic. Like many comedians of his generation, he got his first break while on military service and performing in USO shows. […]