Celebrity picks for Derby Dead Pool 2003


Adams, Jonathan
Date and place of birth unknown
Actor, artist, songwriter and cabaret performer. Played Dr Everett Scott in the Rocky Horror Show. His birthday is 14 Feb, but he never reveals in which year he was born.


Akihito of Japan, Emperor
Born 23 December 1933
(Tokyo, Japan)
First son of Emperor Hirohito, acceded to the Imperial throne on the death of his father in 1989.


Albert, Eddie
Born 22 April 1908
(Rock Island, Illinois, USA)
Actor - Oliver Douglas in the American TV series "Green Acres".


Alice, Princess
Born 25 December 1901
(London, England)
Duchess of Gloucester, born Lady Alice Christabel Montagu Douglas Scott.


Ali, Muhammad
Born 17 January 1942
(Louisville, Kentucky, USA)
Born Cassius Marcellus Clay, ditched his "slave name" in 1964. Won an Olympic gold boxing medal at age 18 and went on to become world heavyweight champion. Now suffering from Parkinson's Disease.


Allen, Woody
Born 1 December 1935
(Brooklyn, New York, USA)
Comedy film actor/writer/director, born Allen Stewart Konigsberg.


Amin, Idi Idi Amin is no longer with us
Born in Koboko, Uganda (exact date unknown)

Died 16 August 2003
(Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)

Age at death: 78
Ugandan national heavyweight boxing champion for 9 years. Seized power of his country in a military coup in 1971 and held it for 7 years. Finally got his arse kicked by the Tanzanian army after trying to invade their country, and ended his life in exile in Saudi Arabia. His exact date of birth is unknown, but he was almost certainly born in either 1924 or 1925.


Arafat, Yasser
Born 24 August 1929
(Cairo, Egypt (some say Jerusalem, Israel))
PLO leader, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and, since 1996, president of the Palestinian Council governing the West Bank and Gaza Strip.


Armstrong, Neil
Born 5 August 1930
(Wapakoneta, Ohio, USA)
First man on the moon...or actor in an unconvincing Hollywood film set, depending on who you believe.


Astin, John
Born 30 March 1930
(Baltimore, Maryland, USA)
Actor - Gomez Addams in "The Addams Family" and The Riddler in the '60s TV adaptation of "Batman".


Attenborough, Sir Richard
Born 29 August 1923
(Cambridge, England)
Oscar-winning film director, general luvvie, and brother of David.


Ball, Lesley
Date and place of birth unknown
Wife of former England footballer Alan Ball. Suffering from ovarian cancer.


Barrymore, Michael
Born 4 May 1952
(Bermondsey, London, England)
Entertainer and game show host, born Kiernan Michael Parker. In March 2001, an unfortunate incident involving a dead homosexual in his swimming pool wrecked his career and made some DDPers feel that suicide may be on the cards.


Baxter, Raymond
Born 25 January 1922
(place of birth unknown)
Former presenter of BBC TV science programme "Tomorrow's World".


Beefheart, Captain
Born 15 January 1941
(Glendale, California, USA)
Musician, born Don Glen Vliet (later changed to Don van Vliet). Teenage friend of Frank Zappa, and, like Zappa, didn't enjoy much commercial success, but he and his Magic Band influenced many other artists.


Bell, Judy
Born in Wichita, Kansas, USA (exact date unknown)
Former president of the United States Golf Association. Diagnosed with cancer in September 2001.


Bentsen, Lloyd
Born 11 February 1921
(Mission, Texas, USA)
Decorated WWII pilot, US senator for Texas, and Secretary of the Treasury under the Clinton government.


Bernhard of the Netherlands, Prince
Born 29 June 1911
(Jena, Germany)
Married Princess Juliana, the heiress to the Dutch throne, in 1937, having been conveniently granted Dutch nationality the previous year, à la Phil the Greek. Juliana became Queen in 1948, and abdicated in 1980.


Best, George
Born 22 May 1946
(Belfast, Northern Ireland)
Boozy, womanising ex-Manchester United and Northern Ireland footballer, who famously claimed to have slept with 3 Miss Worlds. Still a DDP favourite despite an apparently successful liver transplant in July 2002.


Biggs, Ronnie
Born 8 August 1929
(Lambeth, London, England)
Sentenced to 30 years for his part in the 1963 Great Train Robbery, but escaped from Wandsworth Prison after only 15 months and ended up living in Brazil, from where he could not be extradited. In failing health, he returned to Britain in 2001 for medical treatment and was promptly arrested.


Bikel, Theodore
Born 2 May 1924
(Vienna, Austria)
Actor ('The African Queen', 'My Fair Lady', etc) and singer of Yiddish folk songs. Resident in the US since 1954.


bin Laden, Osama
Born 10 March 1957
(Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
17th of about 52 (!) children of a multi-millionaire Saudi construction magnate, al-Qaeda terrorist leader bin Laden was already on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, but on September 11th, 2001, he secured his position at no. 1 on this list. Despite this, he's a questionable DDP pick, due to the difficulty of establishing his whereabouts and hence whether he's alive or dead.


Bishop, Joey
Born 3 February 1918
(The Bronx, New York, USA)
Born Joseph Abraham Gottlieb. Last surviving member of the so-called Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr et al). Later hosted his own chat show on American TV. Credited with coining the phrase "son of a gun".


Bongo, Ali
Born in India (exact date unknown)
Magician, born William Wallace in 1929 - a direct descendant of the Scottish folk hero of the same name. Author and illustrator of several books on comedy magic.


Booth, Tony
Born in Liverpool, England (exact date unknown)
Born 1931. Political activist, actor (most notably in 'Till Death Us Do Part'), ex-alcoholic, ex-husband of the late Pat Phoenix and father of Cherie Blair.


Botterell, HJL "Nap" HJL "Nap" Botterell is no longer with us
Born 7 November 1896
(Ottawa, Canada)

Died 3 January 2003
(Toronto, Canada)

Age at death: 106
First World War fighter pilot. HJL = Henry John Lawrence.


Boycott, Geoff
Born 21 October 1940
(Fitzwilliam, Yorkshire, England)
Notoriously slow-scoring Yorkshire and England cricketer. Now an equally dull cricket commentator.


Bradbury, Ray
Born 22 August 1920
(Waukegan, Illinois, USA)
Sci-fi author, best known for "Fahrenheit 451".


Brady, Ian
Born 2 January 1938
(Glasgow, Scotland)
Moors Murderer, in prison since 1966, having been caught just 4 weeks after the death penalty for murder was abolished in the UK. Keeps going on somewhat half-hearted hunger strikes. Since the death of his accomplice, Myra Hindley, in 2002, DDP interest in him has picked up .


Brando, Marlon
Born 3 April 1924
(Omaha, Nebraska, USA)
Double Oscar-winning veteran actor ('A Streetcar Named Desire', 'The Godfather', 'Apocalypse Now', etc etc).


Brown, James
Born 3 May 1933
(Macon, Georgia, USA)
"Ow! I feel good!" yelled the Godfather of Soul on his 1966 hit "I Got You", but his recent poor health suggests he may have spoken too soon.


Bush (snr), George
Born 12 June 1924
(Milton, Massachusetts, USA)
Son of a senator and related to 4 previous US Presidents. Made his fortune in the oil industry and got involved in Texan politics before becoming US ambassador to the United Nations, vice-President under Ronald Reagan from 1980-88, and President from 1988-92. Was sometimes lambasted for not being overly bright, but then his son Dubya came along…


Bygraves, Max
Born 16 October 1922
(Rotherhithe, London, England)
Wartime radio comedian, later turned stage entertainer, singer, and over-user of the phrase "I wanna tell you a story".


Caesar, Sid
Born 8 September 1922
(Yonkers, New York, USA)
'50s and '60s comedian and star of American TV. Later appeared in a diverse range of films, including Grease and Cannonball Run II.


Callaghan, James
Born 27 March 1912
(Portsmouth, England)
Labour MP for South Cardiff from 1945-80, held various Cabinet posts before becoming Prime Minister from 1976-79.


Campbell, Menzies
Born 22 May 1941
(Glasgow, Scotland)
Former Olympic runner and holder of the British 100 metres record. Lib Dem MP for North East Fife since 1987. Diagnosed with cancer in November 2002.


Carney, Art Art Carney is no longer with us
Born 4 November 1918
(Mount Vernon, New York, USA)

Died 9 November 2003
(Chester, Connecticut, USA)

Age at death: 85
Stage, TV and film actor, best known as Ed Norton in long-running US TV series "The Honeymooners". Not to be confused with the actor Ed Norton, mind you.


Carter, Jimmy
Born 1 October 1924
(Plains, Georgia, USA)
Peanut-farming President of the US of A from 1977-81.


Cash, Johnny Johnny Cash is no longer with us
Born 26 February 1932
(Kingsland, Arkansas, USA)

Died 11 September 2003
(Nashville, Tennessee, USA)

Age at death: 71
Country & western singer, dubbed "The Man In Black". Suffered intermittent (often drug-related) health problems from the '60s onwards, and had a double heart by-pass operation in 1988, before losing out to diabetes-related respiratory failure in 2003.


Castro, Fidel
Born 13 August 1926
(Mayari, Cuba)
Lawyer and political activist who overthrew the military dictatorship of Cuba in 1959 and declared himself leader. A Marxist-Leninist and sworn enemy of the USA ever since the 1961 Bay of Pigs incident.


Chiang Kai-shek, Madame Madame Chiang Kai-shek is no longer with us
Born 6 March 1897
(Hainan Island, China)

Died 23 October 2003
(Manhattan, New York, USA)

Age at death: 106
Born Soong Mei-ling. Widow of Chiang Kai-shek, who was President of China and later governor of Taiwan. Lived in the US for many years.


Chuganji, Yukichi Yukichi Chuganji is no longer with us
Born 23 March 1889
(Chikushino, Kyushu, Japan)

Died 28 September 2003
(Ogoori City, Kyushu, Japan)

Age at death: 114
Retired silkworm breeder and - until 28 September - the world's oldest living man.


Clarke, Sir Arthur C
Born 16 December 1917
(Minehead, Somerset, England)
Scientist, sci-fi author, co-writer of "2001: A Space Odyssey", TV presenter, and alleged kiddie-fiddler. Long-term resident of Sri Lanka.


Clough, Brian
Born 21 March 1935
(Middlesbrough, England)
Boozy, red-cheeked, blunt-talking former football manager.


Connery, Sir Sean
Born 25 August 1930
(Edinburgh, Scotland)
Actor, director and producer. Worked as a coffin-polisher before becoming the first James Bond and playing him in 7 films. Knighted in 2000.


Cooke, Alistair
Born 20 November 1908
(Manchester, England)
The BBC's former correspondent in the US. Reported on American political and cultural affairs in his weekly "Letter From America" radio show for half a century.


Cox, Archibald
Born 17 May 1912
(Plainfield, New Jersey, USA)
Harvard law professor and special prosecutor in the Watergate affair of 1973.


Crick, Francis
Born 8 June 1916
(Northampton, England)
One half of the Crick & Watson double act which discovered the DNA molecule in 1951.


Crowe, Russell
Born 7 April 1964
(Wellington, New Zealand)
Actor who had to wait 15 years after appearing in Aussie soap "Neighbours" to get his big cinematic break, which came when he starred in "Gladiator".


Curtis, Tony
Born 3 June 1925
(The Bronx, New York, USA)
Hollywood actor - star of over 100 films and made-for-TV movies, from classics such as "Some Like It Hot" and "The Count of Monte Cristo" to the less impressive "Lobster Man from Mars". Born Bernard Schwartz, five times married, including to Janet Leigh - a marriage which produced Jamie Lee Curtis.


Cutler, Ivor
Born 15 January 1923
(Glasgow, Scotland)
Poet, author, humourist, songwriter, singer, actor, and raconteur, apparently.


Daisley, Paul Paul Daisley is no longer with us
Born 20 July 1957
(Acton, London, England)

Died 18 June 2003
(place of death unknown)

Age at death: 45
Labour MP for Brent East and leader of Brent Council. Reported as "very ill" in October 2002, and indeed died of cancer in June '03.


Deedes, Bill
Born in Saltwood Castle, Kent, England (exact date unknown)
Former editor of the Daily Telegraph, MP for Ashford, Minister for Information in Harold McMillan's Government, and golfing partner of Denis Thatcher. Suffered a stroke (no pun intended) in 2001.


Delors, Jacques
Born 20 July 1925
(Paris, France)
President of the European Commission from 1985-95.


Dennis, Les
Born 12 October 1954
(Liverpool, England)
Former host of Family Fortunes and the inappropriately-named Les Dennis Laughter Show. More recently known for appearing on Celebrity Big Brother, and for splitting up with his wife, Amanda Holden, who'd been shagging that bloke off Men Behaving Badly.


Devonshire, The Duke of
Born 2 January 1920
(place of birth unknown)
Andrew Robert Buxton Cavendish, KG, PC, MC, OAP.


Diddy, P
Born 4 November 1970
(Harlem, New York, USA)
Sean Combs, aka Puff Daddy, aka P. Diddy. Da baddest rapper wit da stupidest collection of names.


Dodd, Ken
Born 8 November 1927
(Liverpool, England)
End-of-the-pier stand-up comedian turned TV star and surprisingly successful singer. Not remotely funny to anyone under the age of about 70. Will 2003 be the year he says "tatty bye" for the last time?


Douglas, Kirk
Born 9 December 1916
(New York, USA)
Born Issur Danielovitch Demsky. Has appeared in over 100 films, spanning almost 60 years, and still going. Father of Michael.


Drake, Charlie
Born 19 June 1925
(London, England)
Born Charles Springall. Archetypal chirpy Cockney who enjoyed a successful comedy and music career in the '50s and '60s despite being a ginger shortarse.


Ebsen, Buddy Buddy Ebsen is no longer with us
Born 2 April 1908
(Belleville, Illinois, USA)

Died 6 July 2003
(Torrance, California, USA)

Age at death: 95
Actor who didn't really make it big until his mid-fifties, when he took the role of Jed Clampett in "The Beverly Hillbillies".


Ecevit, Bulent
Born 28 May 1925
(Istanbul, Turkey)
Turkish politician who had a bit of a rollercoaster career, being Prime Minister 4 times, but also banned from politics for 10 years at one point and banged up in prison by the military a couple of times. Ousted from power for probably the last time in November 2002. Now suffering from ill health.


Ederle, Gertrude Gertrude Ederle is no longer with us
Born 23 October 1905
(New York, USA)

Died 30 November 2003
(Wyckoff, New Jersey, USA)

Age at death: 98
Swimmer, who, by the age of 19, had set various world records, won an Olympic gold medal, and become the first woman to swim the English Channel.


Elam, Jack Jack Elam is no longer with us
Born 13 November 1916
(Miami, Florida, USA)

Died 20 October 2003
(Oregon, USA)

Age at death: 86
Prolific, odd-looking actor who usually played a bad guy, often in cowboy movies.


Elizabeth II, Queen
Born 21 April 1926
(London, England)
Queen of the UK, basically. Not a popular DDP pick, possibly because her late mother's longevity suggests she may have 25 years left in her yet.


Eszterhas, Joe
Born 23 November 1944
(Csakanydoroszlo, Hungary)
Hollywood scriptwriter, best known for "Basic Instinct". Has undergone treatment for throat cancer, caused by heavy smoking.


Fahd of Saudi Arabia, King
Born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (exact date unknown)
Born any time between 1920 and 1924, depending on which source you choose to believe. Has suffered from ill health ever since a severe stroke in November 1995.


Fender, Freddy
Born 4 June 1937
(San Benito, Texas, USA)
Born Baldemar Huerta. Writer/crooner of blues as well as traditional Mexican songs. Suffering from hepatitis C, had a kidney transplant in January 2002, but still needs a new liver. Any volunteers?


Ferguson, Major Ronald Major Ronald Ferguson is no longer with us
Born 10 October 1931
(London, England)

Died 16 March 2003
(Basingstoke, Hampshire, England)

Age at death: 71
Polo-playing, upper-crust farmer and father of Sarah. Suffering from prostate cancer. Update: ...or was, until it finally claimed him in March '03.


Ferraro, Geraldine
Born 26 August 1935
(Newburgh, New York, USA)
American Congresswoman who stood unsuccessfully for Vice-President in 1984.


Finney, Tom
Born 5 April 1922
(Preston, England)
Preston North End and England footballer of the 1940s and '50s. Famously never booked, let alone sent off, in his 20-year playing career.


Foot, Michael
Born 23 July 1913
(Plymouth, England)
Dishevelled left-wing journalist, long-time Labour MP, and leader of the Labour Party from 1980-83.


Ford, Sir Edward
Date and place of birth unknown
Former private secretary to King George VI.


Fox, Michael J
Born 9 June 1961
(Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)
Pint-sized actor of "Back To The Future" fame. Diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991.


Franklin, Gretchen
Born 7 July 1911
(Covent Garden, London, England)
Actress, best known as the mother-in-law in "George and Mildred" and Ethel Skinner in "EastEnders".


Fredriksson, Marie
Born 30 May 1958
(Össjo, Sweden)
Lead singer with Roxette. Had a cancerous brain tumour removed in September 2002.


Gabor, Zsa Zsa
Born 6 February 1917
(Budapest, Hungary)
Nine-times married, cop-slapping actress. In a coma since a collision between her car and a lamp-post on Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard in November 2002.


Garcia Marquez, Gabriel
Born 6 March 1928
(Aracataca, Colombia)
Latin American writer, author of "La Hojaresca" and "One Hundred Years of Solitude". Won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.


Gates, Bill
Born 28 October 1951
(Seattle, Washington, USA)
Absurdly rich and much-vilified chairman of Microsoft.


Gorbachev, Mikhail
Born 2 March 1931
(Privolnoye, Stavropol, Russia)
Joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1952, rising steadily to become its General Secretary from 1985-91 and President of the USSR from 1990-91. Has a map of Italy tattooed on his head for some reason.


Graham, Rev Billy
Born 7 November 1918
(Charlotte, North Carolina, USA)
Travelling evangelist who has been preaching his doctrine of sin and salvation around the world for almost 60 years. Diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1992.


Greer, Germaine
Born 29 January 1939
(Melbourne, Australia)
Six-foot tall, tub-thumping feminist Aussie writer, best known for her book "The Female Eunuch" and her frequent appearances on chat shows, where she tries to make out that she isn't that scary really.


Grier, Rosey
Born 14 July 1932
(Linden, New Jersey, USA)
Former New York Giants football player, Christian minister, guitar-strumming folk singer and actor, who, despite his poncey name, is in fact a large hard bloke, Rosey being short for Roosevelt. Happened to be standing next to Sirhan Bishara Sirhan when the latter shot and killed Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, whereupon he promptly disarmed and captured him.


Hackett, Buddy Buddy Hackett is no longer with us
Born 31 August 1924
(Brooklyn, New York, USA)

Died 30 June 2003
(Malibu, California, USA)

Age at death: 78
Baby-faced stand-up comedian and comic actor, born Leonard Hacker. Star of "The Music Man" and "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" among many other lesser-known movies.


Hagman, Larry
Born 21 September 1931
(Fort Worth, Texas, USA)
Son of famous actress Mary Martin. His own career took off with a part in the '60s US sitcom "I Dream of Jeannie", and he went on to star as JR Ewing in "Dallas" and "Knots Landing". An active anti-smoking campaigner, he's nevertheless not averse to the odd drink or ten, and needed a liver transplant in 1995 due to cirrhosis.


Hall, Monty
Born 25 August 1923
(Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)
Host of various American game shows, well-known (over there, at least) for presenting "Let's Make a Deal".


Haughey, Charles
Born 16 September 1925
(Castlebar, Co Mayo, Ireland)
Former accountant who turned to politics and was elected to the Dáil (Irish Parliament) in 1957, becoming Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of the Republic of Ireland 3 times in the 1980s and early '90s.


Havel, Vaclav
Born 5 October 1936
(Prague, Czechoslovakia)
Political dissident and human rights activist who was imprisoned 4 times, spending almost 5 years behind bars for his views. Elected President of Czechoslovakia in 1989 and President of the Czech Republic in 1992.


Hawking, Stephen
Born 8 January 1942
(Oxford, England)
Born on the 300th anniversary of Galileo's death. Whilst studying at Oxford, was diagnosed with a rare and progressive neuromotor disease, which has left him in a wheelchair, talking like a Dalek. Now a world-famous theoretical physicist who specialises in studying black holes , and wrote the incomprehensible "A Brief History of Time".


Healey, Denis
Born 30 August 1917
(Bradford, Yorkshire, England)
Bushy-eyebrowed Labour MP who rose to join Harold Wilson's Cabinet, then became Chancellor of the Exchequer, before taking his seat in the House of Lords in 1992 as Baron Healey of Riddlesden.


Heath, Edward
Born 9 July 1916
(Broadstairs, Kent, England)
Leader of the Conservative Party from 1965-75 and Prime Minister from 1970-74.


Hepburn, Katharine Katharine Hepburn is no longer with us
Born 12 May 1907
(Hartford, Connecticut, USA)

Died 29 June 2003
(Old Saybrook, Connecticut, USA)

Age at death: 96
Hollywood actress, four-times Oscar winner and star of over 70 films from the 1930s to the 1990s, including classics such as "The African Queen" and "On Golden Pond". Unfortunately, like many ageing thesps, she then fell into the trap of believing that it's better to accept any old role than admit your career's over, and hence appeared in crappy docu-films like "Michael Jackson: The Legend Continues" and "America's Most Heart-Pounding Movies".


Heston, Charlton
Born 4 October 1924
(Evanston, Illinois, USA)
Chisel-featured star of 150 films and TV series, among them "The Ten Commandments", "Ben Hur" and "The Planet of the Apes". Now a sad, shambling shadow of his former self who fronts the American National Rifle Association, believes that it is "man's God-given right" to own guns, and makes a point of organising NRA rallies in towns where multiple shootings have recently occurred.


Higgins, Alex
Born 18 March 1949
(Belfast, Northern Ireland)
Irish snooker player. Famously volatile, a heavy drinker and smoker. Known as "Hurricane" due to his rapid style of play, which he adopted because he was trying to finish the frame before last orders.


Hillary, Sir Edmund
Born 20 July 1919
(Auckland, New Zealand)
Kiwi mountaineer, explorer and bee-keeper. One of the first two-man team to reach the summit of Mount Everest, later member of the first overland crossing of Antarctica.


Hird, Thora Thora Hird is no longer with us
Born 28 May 1911
(Morecambe, Lancashire, England)

Died 15 March 2003
(Twickenham, Greater London, England)

Age at death: 91
Made her name in wartime films, but then had a fairly undistinguished acting career before reinventing herself in later life as a religious TV presenter ("Praise Be!"), no-nonsense old lady ("Last of the Summer Wine"), and tireless promoter of Stannah stairlifts. A perennial DDP favourite, and now, in her 90s, looking very frail indeed, but somehow she just keeps hanging on in there. Update March '03: Oh no she doesn't.


Hoffman, Dustin
Born 8 August 1937
(Los Angeles, California, USA)
Diminutive actor with a reputation for being difficult to work with. Has played a wide range of roles in his 80 or so movie and TV appearances, including a crippled street hustler in "Midnight Cowboy", a transvestite in "Tootsie" and an autistic bloke in "Rain Man".


Hogan, Hulk
Born 11 August 1953
(Augusta, Georgia, USA)
Born Terry Gene Bollea. Professional wrestler since 1978. A part in "Rocky III" and a move to the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) made him a star, and he proceeded to be at the centre of wrestling's transition from slightly suspect minority sport to multi-billion dollar camp pantomime spectacle.


Hongo, Kamato Kamato Hongo is no longer with us
Born 16 September 1887
(Amami-Oshima, Japan)

Died 31 October 2003
(Tokunoshima, Japan)

Age at death: 116
Retired sugar cane farmer and formerly world's oldest living person. Her key mistake may have been taking up alcohol during her 90s.


Hope, Bob Bob Hope is no longer with us
Born 29 May 1903
(Eltham, London, England)

Died 28 July 2003
(Toluca Lake, California, USA)

Age at death: 100
Lived in England for just 5 years before his parents emigrated to the US. Was a stage dancer and comedian before embarking on an acting career which saw him make almost 200 film and TV appearances, including "Some Like It Hot", "The Greatest Show On Earth" and "Not With My Wife, You Don't!". How we laughed. Spent much time entertaining the forces in the field in World War 2 and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Joint second most popular pick in DDP2003, and finally obliged the waiting punters a couple of months after reaching his century.


Hope, Delores
Born 27 May 1909
(The Bronx, New York, USA)
Former singer and wife of Bob Hope since 1934.


Houston, Whitney
Born 9 August 1963
(East Orange, New Jersey, USA)
Singer who claims to have been influenced by soul and R&B, and indeed is the daughter of gospel/blues singer Cissy Houston and niece of Dionne Warwick, although to listen to her brand of anodyne mass-market pop, you'd never guess. Has a famously rocky marriage to fellow singer Bobby Brown, and was erroneously reported dead in September 2001.


Howard, Kirsty
Born 22 September 1995
(place of birth unknown)
Little girl from Manchester, born with a rare heart defect. Was befriended by the Beckhams, as if she hadn't already suffered enough, and hence became a "triumph over tragedy" story for the tabloids. Presented the Queen with the torch/baton at the 2002 Commonwealth Games.


Hussein, Saddam
Born 28 April 1937
(Tikrit, Iraq)
President of Iraq since 1979. Started the first Gulf War in 1980 by attacking Iran. Triggered the second Gulf War by ordering the invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Now, with George Dubya on his case, looks set to make it a hat-trick of conflicts.


Jackson, Michael
Born 29 August 1958
(Gary, Indiana, USA)
Once a cute kid in a group with his brothers, then a hugely successful pop star in his own right, now a flaky-faced, monkey-loving, baby-dangling, kiddie-fiddling one-man freak show.


John Paul II, Pope
Born 18 May 1920
(Wadowice, Poland)
Born Karol Joseph Wojtyla. A sportsman in his youth, but decided to carve out a career in the Catholic church. Ordained a priest in 1946, archbishop of Krakow in 1964, and Pope in 1978. His frailty has become increasingly obvious in recent years, and has made him joint second most popular DDP pick this year.


Johnson, Holly
Born 19 February 1960
(Khartoum, Sudan)
African-born former frontman of '80s Scouse popsters Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Was diagnosed with HIV in the late '80s, but treatment has kept it at bay ever since, and he continues to work in the music industry.


Johnson, Lady Bird
Born 22 December 1912
(Karnack, Texas, USA)
Born Claudia Alta Taylor. Widow of former US President Lyndon B. Johnson.


Juliana of the Netherlands, Princess
Born 30 April 1909
(The Hague, Netherlands)
Queen of the Netherlands from 1948-80. Spent the war years as "reserve Queen" in Britain and Canada. Ascended to the throne on the abdication of her mother, and herself abdicated in favour of her daughter.


Karzai, Hamid
Born 24 December 1957
(Kandahar, Afghanistan)
Pashtun leader whose anti-Soviet, anti-Taliban views persuaded the Americans to install him as leader of Afghanistan's interim government in December 2001. Much more importantly, he has won praise from the Gucci fashion house for his trademark green and white coat and rather funky ceremonial hat.


Keel, Howard
Born 13 April 1919
(Gillespie, Illinois, USA)
Singer and actor who worked with Rodgers & Hammerstein and starred in various MGM musicals before landing the part of Clayton Farrow in 'Dallas'.


Keeshan, Bob
Born 27 June 1927
(Long Island, New York, USA)
Actor and producer responsible for the success of the long-running US children's programme 'Captain Kangaroo'.


Kelly, Matthew
Born 9 March 1950
(Manchester, England)
Former host of UK TV shows 'Game For A Laugh' and 'Stars In Their Eyes', whose career came down crashing down around his ears in late 2002 when various unsalubrious accusations were made about his sexual preferences. "Tonight, Matthew, you're going to be accused of kiddie-fiddling."


Kennedy, George
Born 18 February 1925
(New York, USA)
Tall, well-built bit-part actor who has been in over 100 films and 50 TV programmes, but, somewhat depressingly for him, remains best known as Leslie Nielsen's police squad sidekick in the three Naked Gun movies.


Kennedy, Ludovic
Born 3 November 1919
(Edinburgh, Scotland)
Writer and broadcaster - former presenter of Independent Television News and regular contributor to Newsweek magazine.


Kerr, Deborah
Born 30 September 1921
(Helensburgh, Scotland)
Stage and screen actress who went from playing prim-and-proper British ladies to an adultress in 'From Here To Eternity'. Another notable role was that of Mrs Anna in 'The King And I'. Quit movies in 1968, apparently appalled at the explicit sex and violence of the day.


Kiel, Richard
Born 13 September 1939
(Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Absurdly tall (7'2") actor who played steel-toothed baddie Jaws in the James Bond films 'The Spy Who Loved Me' and 'Moonraker'.


King, Stephen
Born 21 September 1947
(Portland, Oregon, USA)
Horror writer - 'Carrie', 'The Shining', 'It', 'Misery' etc.


Kissinger, Henry
Born 23 May 1923
(Fürth, Germany)
Secretary of State in the US government under Presidents Nixon and Ford. Shared the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize for helping to broker a ceasefire in Vietnam - ironic, given that he'd been part of the government that started the war in the first place.


Knievel, Evel
Born 17 October 1938
(Butte, Montana, USA)
Motorbike stuntman, born Robert Craig Knievel, who is listed in the Guinness Book of Records for having broken the most number of bones in his body. Wisely retired and took up painting after an attempted jump over a tank full of sharks went badly wrong in 1976.


Kreindler, Lee Lee Kreindler is no longer with us
Born 11 March 1924
(place of birth unknown)

Died 18 February 2003
(New York, USA)

Age at death: 78
Prominent lawyer in the Lockerbie inquest.


Lange, David
Born 4 August 1942
(Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand)
Former lawyer who served as Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1984-89, before retiring from politics in 1996.


Langford, Bonnie
Born 22 July 1964
(Hampton Court, Surrey, England)
Squeaky-voiced, lisping child star who won Hughie Green's "Opportunity Knocks" 'talent' contest and became a member of Equity at the age of 6. Went on to tread the boards on Broadway and in the West End by her early teens, and appeared in "Just William" and "Doctor Who". Had a nervous breakdown in the late '80s.


Lansbury, Angela
Born 16 October 1925
(London, England)
British stage and screen actress, who has spent most of her working life in the US, often playing characters much older than herself. Best known as Jessica Fletcher in the long-running TV detective series 'Murder, She Wrote'.


Lauder, Estee
Born 1 July 1908
(Queens, New York, USA)
Born Josephine Esther Mentzer, the ninth child of a Jewish immigrant family living in New York. Started the cosmetics firm that bears her adopted name in the 1940s.


Laughlin, Tom
Born 10 August 1931
(Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)
Actor whose most successful films by far were 'Billy Jack' (1971) and its sequel 'The Trial of Billy Jack' (1974), after which his career bombed. Was credited in films under 9 different aliases, including, bizarrely, Mary Rose Solti. Announced in 1992 that he was going to run for President, but no-one took him seriously.


Lewis, Jerry
Born 16 March 1926
(Newark, New Jersey, USA)
Actor, writer, director, producer and composer, born Joseph Levitch. Formed a partnership with Dean Martin and made 18 films with him in 10 years, before going on to have his greatest success in 'The Nutty Professor' (1963). Now suffering badly from diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis, and looking increasingly infirm.


Lloyd Webber, Andrew
Born 22 March 1948
(London, England)
Started composing music when still at school, and met Tim Rice in 1965. Together they wrote the scores for, among others, 'Jesus Christ Superstar', 'Evita', 'Cats' and 'Phantom of the Opera'. Three times married, most famously to Sarah Brightman, and older brother of classical musician Julian.


Lom, Herbert
Born 9 January 1917
(Prague, Bohemia (now Czech Republic))
Actor, born Herbert Charles Angelo Kuchacevich ze Schluderpacheru, but decided that Lom was less of a mouthful, and he may just have been right. Usually played supporting roles, including Peter Sellers' long suffering boss Charles Dreyfus in the Pink Panther movies. Moved into horror films in the 1970s, none of which were particularly memorable.


Lovell, Sir Bernard
Born 31 August 1913
(Oldland, Gloucestershire, England)
Pioneer of wartime radar and radio astromony. Responsible for the building of the Jodrell Bank radio telescope in Cheshire.


Lyttleton, Humphrey
Born 23 May 1921
(Buckinghamshire, England)
Jazz musician and quizmaster on Radio 4's 'Sorry, I Haven't Got A Clue'. Still touring and performing with his band.


Malden, Karl
Born 22 March 1912
(Gary, Indiana, USA)
Serbian immigrant (real name Mladen Sekulovich) and former steelworker who became a bit-part movie actor. However, he was better known as Detective Lieutenant Mike Stone in the '70s TV series 'The Streets of San Francisco'.


Mandela, Nelson
Born 18 July 1918
(Umtata, South Africa)
Leader of the African National Congress, which was outlawed in 1948, when apartheid was legalised in South Africa. He was imprisoned for allegedly being involved in a bomb plot, and spent 27 years inside, before being freed as part of President FW de Klerk's reforms in 1990. Mandela himself became President from 1994-99.


Maradona, Diego
Born 30 October 1960
(Lanús, Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Short, fat Argie footballer whose 'Hand of God' antics knocked England out of the 1986 World Cup. Now a cash-strapped recovering cocaine addict.


Marceau, Marcel
Born 22 March 1923
(Strasbourg, France)
Thanks to the lack of sophistication of the French sense of humour, Marceau has managed to make a living as a mime artist for over 50 years , mainly playing his white-faced Ronald McDonald lookalike character, Bip. With self-conscious irony, he had the only speaking part in Mel Brooks' film 'Silent Movie' (1976).


Marcos, Imelda
Born 2 July 1929
(Manila, Philippines)
Former beauty queen, lavish-living, obsessive shoe-collector and widow of former Filipino president Ferdinand Marcos. After his death, she was acquitted of embezzlement in the US, but convicted of the crime of 'graft', whatever that is, in the Philippines.


McCarthy, Eugene
Born 29 March 1916
(Watkins, Minnesota, USA)
Trained as a Benedictine monk before entering US politics and making a name for himself as a liberal intellectual. Notably argued against the communist witch-hunts instigated by his unrelated namesake Joe McCarthy, and against the Vietnam War. Was a senator from 1959-71, and ran unsuccessfully for President in 1976.


Miller, Arthur
Born 17 October 1915
(New York, USA)
Playwright ('Death of a Salesman') and ex-husband of Marilyn Monroe.


Mills, Sir John
Born 22 February 1908
(Felixstowe, Suffolk, England)
Veteran actor (Oh What A Lovely War, Ryan's Daughter, Gandhi etc). Grandfather of Crispian Mills, lead singer of Kula Shaker.


Minnelli, Liza
Born 12 March 1946
(Los Angeles, California, USA)
Daughter of Judy Garland, and moderately successful singer/stage actress in her own right. Has suffered from ill health in recent years as a result of drug abuse, and has been a regular visitor to rehab clinics. Married film producer David Gest in March 2002.


Mitchell, Warren
Born 14 January 1926
(London, England)
Actor who will forever be associated with the part he played as the bigoted Alf Garnett in the long-running British sitcoms "Till Death Us Do Part" (alongside Tony Booth) and its sequel "In Sickness and in Health".


Monkhouse, Bob Bob Monkhouse is no longer with us
Born 1 June 1928
(Beckenham, Kent, England)

Died 29 December 2003
(Eggington, Bedfordshire, England)

Age at death: 75
Comedian and wise-cracking gameshow host who has presented just about every British TV quiz show you can think of.


Montalban, Ricardo
Born 25 November 1920
(Mexico City, Mexico)
MGM matinee idol who went on to play Mr Roarke in the TV series "Fantasy Island". His performance as Khan Noonien Singh in 1982's "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" was a reprisal of his role in a guest appearance on "Star Trek" back in 1967. He also popularised the phrase "rich, Corinthian leather" in his TV commercials for Chrysler in the 1970s.


Montefiore, Hugh
Born 12 May 1920
(place of birth unknown)
Liberal theologian of the 1960s, TV pundit and former Bishop of Birmingham. Converted from Judaism to Christianity at the age of 16.


Moody, Ron
Born 8 January 1924
(London, England)
Film, stage and TV actor, born Ronald Moodnick, remembered for his role as Fagin in 1968's film version of "Oliver!".


Moore, Patrick
Born 4 March 1923
(Pinner, Middlesex, England)
Eminent astronomer and xylophone-player, who has presented every one of BBC television's "The Sky at Night" programmes (which makes him the world's longest-serving presenter). Big mates with Brian May out of Queen, due to their shared interest in space, he was knighted by the Queen in 2001.


Moore, Roger
Born 14 October 1927
(Stockwell, London, England)
The cheesiest of the actors to have played international man of mystery James Bond, he took over from Sean Connery in 1973, appearing in seven Bond films until 1985's "A View to a Kill". The ageing dinner-jacketed eyebrow-raiser now seemingly maintains the Bond persona for real, by living in Switzerland and Monte Carlo with his Swedish wife Christina “Kiki” Tholstrup, a former air stewardess.


Morariu, Corina
Born 26 January 1978
(Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Tennis player who was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia in 2001, but fought back to compete at grand-slam level in 2002.


Moriarty, Michael
Born 5 April 1941
(Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Film and TV actor (and occasional musician), probably best known for his role in the series "Law and Order".


Mosley, Diana Diana Mosley is no longer with us
Born 17 June 1910
(place of birth unknown)

Died 11 August 2003
(Paris, France)

Age at death: 93
Last of the "Mitford Girls". Widow of, and apologist for, fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley, who she married in Goebbels' drawing room in 1936. Imprisoned during WWII, recently-released MI5 files show that she was considered a greater threat than her husband.


Mugabe, Robert
Born 22 February 1924
(Kutama, Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe)
President of Zimbabwe, constantly immersed in allegations of vote-rigging and incitement to violence, whose primary gift to the world is the idea that "it's ok to be the president and wear a baseball cap". There has been at least one alleged plot to assassinate the Marxist-when-it-suits-him leader.


Murdoch, Rupert
Born 11 March 1931
(Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)
American media tycoon who used to be Australian, but cynically switched nationalities for business purposes. Diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000.


Newton, Jack
Date and place of birth unknown
Golfer whose career was somewhat curtailed as a result of walking into an aeroplane propellor, leading to the loss of an arm and an eye, and the circulation of various tasteless jokes involving the word "handicap". (Who are we calling tasteless?) Went on to become a course designer and TV commentator.


Norden, Denis
Born 6 February 1922
(Hackney, London, England)
Clipboard-wielding comedy scriptwriter, "raconteur" and presenter of TV programmes such as "It'll Be All Right on the Night" and "Denis Norden's Laughter File".


Ogilvy, Sir Angus
Born 14 September 1928
(place of birth unknown)
Husband of Britain's Princess Alexandra, he seemingly spends his time being a patron of various charities.


Ollerenshaw, Dame Kathleen
Born 1 October 1912
(Manchester, England)
Mathematician, educationalist & local politician. Former Lord Mayor of Manchester.


Omar, Mullah
Born in Noudi, Afghanistan (exact date unknown)
Taliban leader, born some time around 1959, whose current whereabouts are unknown. He has always refused to be photographed or filmed, and there are doubts concerning the credibility of the few photographs or stills which have been published.


O'Neal, Ryan
Born 20 April 1941
(Los Angeles, California, USA)
Actor who first made his name on TV, in US soap opera "Peyton Place", before going on to appear in numerous Hollywood films such as "Love Story" and "Barry Lyndon". Father of Tatum, Griffin and (by Farah Fawcett) Redmond, he was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia in 2001 .


Osbourne, Sharon
Born 10 October 1953
(London, England)
Wife and manager of Ozzy, she suddenly rose to prominence in 2002 as a result of MTV's "The Osbournes", and was diagnosed with colon cancer around the same time.


Packer, Kerry
Born 17 December 1937
(Sydney, New South Wales, Australia)
Billionaire media mogul, whose empire was originally built on "Women's Weekly" magazine. In 1977 he enraged the "sporting establishment" with his breakaway World Series Cricket. He spent nine months in an iron lung at the age of six, as a result of catching polio, and spent six (or seven, depending who you believe) minutes clinically dead in 1990 following a heart attack (or stroke, depending who you believe). A compulsive gambler who surfaces in a news story every couple of years either winning, losing or betting some record amount in richly anecdotal circumstances.


Page, Bettie
Born 21 April 1923
(Nashville, Tennessee, USA)
Arguably the most famous pin-up model in history, who "disappeared" from the public eye in 1957. The reclusive nature of her subsequent life has helped to fuel her status as a cult icon, though it's done nothing to boost her bank balance, by all accounts.


Painting, Norman
Born in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England (exact date unknown)
Actor, born some time in 1924, who has played the part of Phil Archer in BBC Radio 4's soap "The Archers" since 1950. And he's a vice-president of the Tree Council, apparently.


Paisley, Rev Ian
Born 6 April 1926
(Armagh, Northern Ireland)
Loud-mouthed leader of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party and loud-mouthed leader of Northern Ireland's Free Presbyterian Church. Not to be confused with his son - Ian Paisley, Jnr. - who is also a member of the DUP.


Palmer, Arnold
Born 10 September 1929
(Latrobe, Pennsylvania, USA)
Golf maestro, whose business interests include Arnold Palmer Enterprises, the Palmer Course Design Company, the Arnold Palmer Golf Management Company, and the Arnold Palmer Golf Academy (idea for a film). He also helped raise money for the foundation of Orlando's Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Women.


Papon, Maurice
Born 3 September 1910
(Gretz-Armainvilliers, France)
Collaborator with the Nazis in France's wartime Vichy government. Helped to round up Jews for deportation to concentration camps. Conveniently started informing against the Nazis when it became obvious that they were losing the war. Found guilty of crimes against humanity in 1998 and sentenced to imprisonment, but freed on health grounds in September 2002.


Parks, Rosa
Born 4 February 1913
(Tuskegee, Alabama, USA)
The black woman who, in 1955, refused to be moved out of her seat for a white passenger, thereby sparking the Montgomery bus boycott and, ultimately, the dismantling of segregation in the USA.


Patch, Harry
Born 17 June 1898
(Combe Down, Bath, England)
WWI veteran. Gave vivid recollections in several documentaries, notbably BBC's "The Trench".


Payne, Cynthia
Born 24 December 1932
(Bognor, England)
Brothel madam whose clients included various high-profile celebrities, including (of course) MPs. As a result of the notoriety gained by her 1980 court case, two films ("Personal Services" and "Wish You Were Here") were made about her life.


Peck, Gregory Gregory Peck is no longer with us
Born 5 April 1916
(La Jolla, California, USA)

Died 12 June 2003
(Los Angeles, California, USA)

Age at death: 87
Hollywood actor who starred in such classics as "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "The Omen", and managed to appear in both the original and the remake of "Cape Fear". Latterly devoted his time to the Los Angeles Library Foundation, of which he was an honorary director, until his death from natural causes in June '03.


Peel, Sir John
Date and place of birth unknown
The Queen's former gynaecologist, rather than the veteran British radio presenter.


Petersen, Oscar
Born 15 August 1925
(Montreal, Canada)
Jazz pianist whose recent autobiography is called "A Jazz Odyssey" - from which it's safe to conclude he's not seen "Spinal Tap". Still working today, though he has had problems with arthritis and suffered a stroke in 1993.


Philip, Prince
Born 10 June 1921
(Corfu, Greece)
Gaffe-prone "Phil the Greek" also has Danish and German blood.


Phillips, Leslie
Born 20 April 1924
(Tottenham, London, England)
Comic actor who inherited the "Doctor in..." role from Dirk Bogarde and appeared in a number of the "Carry on..." films. Apparently he also plays the voice of "the Sorting Hat" in the "Harry Potter" movies, whatever that means.


Pierre, The Abbe
Born 5 August 1912
(Lyon, France)
French Catholic priest and MP, born Henri-Antoine Groués. Former member of the Résistance and National Assembly. Founded the Emmaus Community in 1949 to help the homeless, and his work influenced people like Sue Ryder and Leonard Cheshire. Has somewhat dubious right-wing views.


Pinochet, Augusto
Born 25 November 1915
(Valparaíso, Chile)
Former Chilean dictator, installed by a violent US-backed coup in 1973. His regime, finally ousted in 1988 (though he remained commander-in-chief of the army for a further 10 years), was responsible for thousands of murders and "disappearances". He survived an assassination attempt in 1986 and recently has been ruled physically and mentally unfit to stand trial, both in the UK (where he spent over a year under house arrest) and in Chile. So it seems he's probably got away with it all.


Pinter, Harold
Born 10 October 1930
(Hackney, London, England)
Ground-breaking playwright ("The Caretaker" and "The Birthday Party" being his best-known works), stage director, and screenwriter (e.g. "The Last Tycoon" and "The French Lieutenant's Woman"). Having originally trained as an actor, he has recently taken up performing again, both on stage and in the occasional film (e.g. the dodgy 1999 adaptation of "Mansfield Park"). A campaigner for leftist political causes (despite accepting a CBE and a Companionship of Honour from the Queen), the heavy smoker was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in 2002.


Pryor, Richard
Born 1 December 1940
(Peoria, Illinois, USA)
Influential and foul-mouthed stand-up comic who went on to play film roles ranging from the excellent ("Stir Crazy") to the execrable ("Another You"). Attempted suicide in 1980, though for the purposes of "publicity" this was presented as an accidental fire started while freebasing coke. Presumably he then fired his PR agency, if that's their idea of a cover-up. Has suffered from multiple sclerosis for over 15 years, though in 1997 he still managed to put in a good performance in David Lynch's "Lost Highway".


Putin, Vladimir
Born 7 October 1952
(Leningrad (now St Petersburg again), Russia)
President of Russia, former head of the FSB (the federal security services), and before that a KGB agent in East Germany. A big fan of sambo (a Russian martial art), he was Leningrad sambo champion on a number of occasions.


Rainier of Monaco, Prince
Born 31 May 1923
Head of state of tiny country since 1949. Widower of Princess Grace and father of various deviant children.


Reagan, Nancy
Born 6 July 1921
(New York, New York, USA)
Born Anne Frances Robbins, and subsequently nicknamed Nancy, the former First Lady took the surname Davis after her mother's remarriage. Apparently she gives her date of birth as 6 July 1923, though in reality it was two years earlier. She had a relatively short and uneventful career as an actress which ended when she married Ronald Reagan in 1958. Since then she has been known for her anti-drugs campaigning and her dubious astrological beliefs.


Reagan, Ronald
Born 6 February 1911
(Tampico, Illinois, USA)
Former US president who appeared in a suspiciously large number of mediocre movies during his previous career as an actor. More recently he has developed Alzheimer's disease, which according to many reports is in a very advanced stage - for example, he is said to be unaware that his daughter Maureen (by first wife Jane Wyman) is dead.


Richards, Keith
Born 18 December 1943
(Dartford, Kent, England)
The guitar-playing Rolling Stone with the distinctive death-warmed-up constitution.


Richard, Wendy
Born 20 July 1946
(Middlesbrough, Cleveland, England)
TV actress who has appeared in many a British sitcom over the last 40 years, most notably in "Are You Being Served?" Since 1985 she has played Pauline Fowler in the BBC soap "EastEnders". She has had two brushes with cancer, most recently in 2002.


Riefenstahl, Leni Leni Riefenstahl is no longer with us
Born 22 August 1902
(Berlin, Germany)

Died 8 September 2003
(Poecking, Bavaria, Germany)

Age at death: 101
Hilter's favourite film-maker (and alleged lover), who filmed Nazi rallies but always denied being a Nazi herself.


Roddick, Anita
Born 23 October 1942
(Littlehampton, Sussex, England)
Tediously do-gooding founder of The Body Shop (a chain of cosmetics shops, in case you weren't aware). Her grandchildren are named (we're not making this up) Maiya Hopi, Atticus-Finch and O'sha Sophia Bluebell. Says it all, really.


Romney, The Earl of
Born 22 November 1910
(place of birth unknown)
Aristo. Last seen pottering around Channel 4's "The House", charming the socks off the film-makers.


Rooney, Mickey
Born 23 September 1920
(Brooklyn, New York, USA)
The young Joe Yule, Jr (as he was then named) had already appeared as Mickey McGuire in 50 short films by the time he was 13. He has followed a fairly busy acting schedule since then, but has never really regained the same recognition as an adult. He underwent surgery for a perforated colon in 1999.


Ross, Diana
Born 26 March 1944
(Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Motown diva, of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" fame. The former Supreme is no stranger to the law, and was recently busted for drink-driving.


Salinger, JD
Born 1 January 1919
(New York, New York, USA)
Writer of (for the most part) short stories, whose only novel - "Catcher in the Rye" (1951) - is the basis of his literary reputation. The same novel was also famous as being the book that Mark Chapman was holding when he murdered John Lennon. Rumours that Salinger (who hasn't published anything since 1965) is in fact the same person as the similarly reclusive Thomas Pynchon (author of novels such as "V" and "Gravity's Rainbow", all published since 1965) are, sadly, unfounded. JD = Jack Daniels. Actually, that's not true: it's really Jerome David.


Saunders, Dame Cicely
Born 22 June 1918
(Barnet, Hertfordshire, England)
Founder of the Hospice movement, which provides care for patients with incurable diseases.


Savile, Sir Jimmy
Born 30 October 1926
(Leeds, Yorkshire, England)
Former DJ, presenter of "Top of the Pops", and most famously, the cigar-wielding, shellsuit-wearing presenter of his own TV show for kids, "Jim'll Fix It".


Schlesinger, John John Schlesinger is no longer with us
Born 16 February 1926
(London, England)

Died 24 July 2003
(Palm Springs, California, USA)

Age at death: 77
Won the Best Director Oscar for the 1969 classic "Midnight Cowboy". He never subsequently attained the same level of success, though he kept busy in both film (e.g. "Pacific Heights", 1990) and television (e.g. "Cold Comfort Farm", 1995). Before his career took off, he served in the Army Entertainment Unit alongside comics Stanley Baxter and Kenneth Williams, with whom he remained close friends.


Schmeling, Max
Born 28 September 1905
(Klein-Luckow, Brandenburg, Germany)
Heavyweight boxing champion from 1930 to 1932 (in fact for just two fights). At one stage he was close to Hitler and was happy to be regarded as an Aryan role-model; though later it seemed that matters were not so clear-cut, after it emerged that he had sheltered two Jewish teenagers in his hotel room during Kristallnacht. Managed to KO Joe Louis in 1936; but lost the 1938 rematch, which the media took to symbolise the defeat of fascism by democracy.


Schumacher, Michael
Born 3 January 1969
(Hürth-Hermülheim, Cologne, Germany)
Ralf's smarter older brother, who has won the Formula 1 world championship enough times to drain the EU champagne lake dry. Lives in Switzerland, and apparently his favourite drink is apple juice mixed with sparkling water. Life in the fast lane!


Schumacher, Ralf
Born 30 June 1975
(Hürth-Hermülheim, Cologne, Germany)
Unspectacular Formula 1 driver, currently residing in Austria, presumably to keep out of the shadow of his brother.


Scruggs, Earl
Born 6 January 1924
(Flint Hill, North Carolina, USA)
Banjo-playing bluegrass musician whose style gradually became more rock-oriented after splitting from his musical partner Lester Flatt in 1969. Together they'd formed the Foggy Mountain Boys, generally regarded as the all-time definitive bluegrass band, and presumably the inspiration for the "hilarious" Soggy Bottom Boys in the Coen brothers' "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" - generally regarded as the all-time most overrated film.


Searle, Ronald
Born 3 March 1920
(Cambridge, England)
Cartoonist, illustrator of the original "St. Trinian's" books, and former prisoner of war. His work is arguably indistinguishable from that of Gerald Scarfe and Ralph Steadman, though Searle can unarguably claim to have come first.


Shawcross, Lord Lord Shawcross is no longer with us
Born 4 February 1902
(Giessen, Germany)

Died 10 July 2003
(Sussex, England)
Lawyer and policitian. Chief British prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, and one of the first UK delegates to the UN. He was Attorney General in the Attlee government, and for some time before his death was the oldest member of the House of Lords. Random fact - he was born on the same day as American aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh.


Sheene, Barry Barry Sheene is no longer with us
Born 9 November 1950
(London, England)

Died 10 March 2003
(Queensland, Australia)

Age at death: 52
Fomer motorcycling champion, and latterly a motorsports commentator on Australian TV. Improbably, he appeared in "Tosca" alongside Maria Callas for three seasons at Covent Garden's Royal Opera House. At one point, as a result of his chosen sport, he had to endure metal plates in both knees, a bolt in his left wrist and 28 screws in his legs. He was diagnosed with throat and stomach cancer in 2002. Update March '03: Lost his battle against said cancer more quickly than expected - some say because of his rejection of conventional drugs in favour of homeopathic remedies.


Shields, Carol Carol Shields is no longer with us
Born 2 June 1935
(Oak Park, Illinois, USA)

Died 16 July 2003
(Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)

Age at death: 68
Novelist and academic. Moved to Canada in 1957, where she spent the rest of her life and became officially Canadian. Born - or perhaps née - Carol Warner, "The Stone Diaries" won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1993. Finally died in July after a 5-year battle against breast cancer.


Shriver, Sargent
Born 9 November 1915
(Westminster, Carroll County, Maryland, USA)
Former US ambassador to France and vice-presidential candidate, perhaps best known for founding the Peace Corps in 1961.


Sihanouk, King
Born 31 October 1922
(Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
Crowned King of Cambodia in 1941, but then abdicated 14 years later - in favour of his father. However, he subsequently became prime minister and was elected head of state in 1960 - only to be overthrown by a coup in 1970. Five years later the Khmer Rouge took control, and Sihanouk was head of state once more. But whaddaya know, almost immediately he'd been forced out of office. Then what happens? In 1982 he teams up with the Khmer Rouge (after they've been booted out by the Vietnamese) and becomes president in exile of the government of Democratic Kampuchea. He returned to Cambodia in 1991, and two years later, guess what? He's reinstated as King of Cambodia. Thoughout all of this, he somehow found the time to direct, produce and score 28 films. The saxophone-playing Tom Jones fan suffers from diabetes, heart problems, and colon cancer.


Smith, Liz
Born 11 December 1925
(Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, England)
A latecomer to the world of TV/film acting, who didn't get her first screen role until the age of 45. Now specialises in playing batty old ladies and appearing on camp chat shows (An Evening with Lily Savage, So Graham Norton) as...er...a batty old lady.


Solzhenitsyn, Alexander
Born 11 December 1918
(Kislovodsk, Russia)
Exiled from the USSR for 20 years, the massively-bearded dissident writer and winner of the 1970 Nobel Prize for Literature eventually returned home to Russia after the fall of communism. He was operated on for a tumour in the 1950s while at a labour camp in Kazakhstan, and was reportedly "near death" in 1953. Admitted to hospital at the end of 2002 amid speculation that he had suffered a stroke, it was revealed early in 2003 that he was simply being treated for high blood pressure.


Stanton, Harry Dean
Born 14 July 1926
(West Irvine, Kentucky, USA)
Versatile character actor who has appeared in films such as "The Green Mile", "Repo Man" and "Paris, Texas." He also sings and plays guitar in his own band.


Starkey, Lee
Born 17 November 1970
(Hammersmith, London, England)
Daughter of Ringo Starr, who has undergone treatment for two brain tumours. Nominally in the fashion business, though at one time she worked at Tower Records in London.


Stewart, Rod
Born 10 January 1945
(Highgate, London, England)
Past-his-prime rock star who pays young blondes to pretend to like him. Best-known hits include "Maggie May", "You Wear It Well" and the mildly sickening "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?". Far superior, though, is the classic "Stay With Me", which he co-wrote and recorded while a member of The Faces. Underwent surgery in 2000 after suspected thyroid cancer.


St Laurent, Yves
Born 1 August 1936
(Oran, Algeria)
One of the leading figures in twentieth-century fashion, who started out working for Christian Dior at the age of 17, and went on to set up his own label in 1962. He is credited in particular with revolutionising women's fashion in the 1960s. Retired early in 2002, explaining that he had been "battling ill health and depression" for many years. Not surprising when you consider that he reportedly used to get through 150 cigarettes and 20 cans of soft drink a day.


Stone, Sharon
Born 10 March 1958
(Meadville, Pennsylvania, USA)
Best known for her role in 1992's "Basic Instinct", though one should not overlook that stand-out performance in "Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol". She suffered a brain aneurysm in 2001, the same year that her husband Phil Bronstein (editor of the San Francisco Chronicle) had his foot attacked by a komodo dragon in Los Angeles zoo.


Born 8 June 1921
(Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia)
Former president of Indonesia, whose family are constantly embroiled in allegations of corruption (particularly his son Tommy, who was jailed for 15 years in 2002 for murdering a supreme court judge). Rarely seen in public nowadays, he has had numerous health problems in recent years, involving several strokes and various kidney, liver and heart complaints, although it has been suggested that these were invented to avoid having to turn up in court. Like many Indonesians, he only uses one name.


Sykes, Eric
Born 4 May 1923
(Oldham, Lancashire, England)
Comic actor who has also written and directed a number of silent films (most recently "The Big Freeze" in 1993, in which he starred alongside Bob Hoskins). Like numerous other comics of his generation, he started out by entertaining the troops during World War II. Those glasses he wears aren't for his eyesight - apparently they serve only to disguise a bone-conduction hearing aid.


Tarmey, Bill
Born 4 April 1941
(Ardwick, Manchester, England)
Played the character of Jack Duckworth in ITV soap "Coronation Street". In 1976 he suffered a "massive heart attack" and ten years later had to undergo bypass surgery.


Taylor, Elizabeth
Born 27 February 1932
(Hampstead, London, England)
Movie star and only friend of Michael Jackson. She has broken her back four times, had surgery for a brain tumour, and was once pronounced dead during the filming of "Cleopatra", following which she had an emergency tracheotomy. She has been married 940 times.


Tebbit, Lord Norman
Born 29 March 1931
(Ponders End, London, England)
Outspoken former chairman of the Conservative Party, whose unemployed father famously "did not riot, he got on his bike and looked for work". Here's one of his more famous, though not wholly memorable, quotes: "The word 'conservative' is used by the BBC as a portmanteau word of abuse for anyone whose views differ from the insufferable, smug, sanctimonious, naive, guilt-ridden, wet, pink orthodoxy of that sunset home of the third-rate minds of that third-rate decade, the nineteen-sixties." It must have taken him hours to write that.


Teller, Edward Edward Teller is no longer with us
Born 15 January 1908
(Budapest, Hungary)

Died 9 September 2003
(Stanford, California, USA)

Age at death: 95
Key participant in the so-called Manhattan Project to develop the atom bombs which were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Clearly overjoyed with his success, he then moved on to develop the hydrogen bomb, in the process testifying against his former boss Robert Oppenheimer. In another fantastic contribution to the human race, he masterminded Ronald Reagan's Star Wars project and the son thereof. It's sometimes alleged that Teller was the inspiration for Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove.


Thatcher, Denis Denis Thatcher is no longer with us
Born 10 May 1915
(Lewisham, London, England)

Died 26 June 2003
(Chelsea, London, England)

Age at death: 88
Bungling and vaguely drunken former businessman. He married Margaret in 1951, who last year (prior to withdrawing from public speaking) decided against attending a Falklands War 20th anniversary engagement on the grounds of Sir Denis's ill health. In January 2003 he underwent a heart transplant, but in the event, this only proved enough to keep him going until June.


Thatcher, Margaret
Born 13 October 1925
(Grantham, Lincolnshire, England)
Britain's first female Prime Minister, and one of Augusto Pinochet's beer buddies. After her fall from grace in 1990 and subsequent retirement from the House of Commons two years later, the handbag-toting Iron Lady was made an Iron Baroness and is now generally regarded as "a bit nuts" (though whether this is anything new is subject to debate). In 2002 she retired from public life following a number of strokes, and generally hasn't been heard from since.


Thornton, Frank
Born 15 January 1921
(Dulwich, London, England)
TV and film actor, probably best known for his role as Captain Peacock in the long-running department-store-based sitcom "Are You Being Served?" In 1997, when Brian Wilde was taken ill prior to filming a series of "Last of the Summer Wine", Thornton was hurriedly brought in to play Herbert "Truly" Truelove, by way of a replacement for the Foggy Dewhurst character.


Thorpe, Jeremy
Born 29 April 1929
(London, England)
Former Member of Parliament and leader of the Liberal Party. His career was destroyed in the mid-1970s as a result of a scandal in which he and three others were charged with conspiracy to murder his alleged lover Norman Scott. He has suffered from Parkinson's Disease for over twenty years.


Thurmond, Strom Strom Thurmond is no longer with us
Born 5 December 1902
(Edgefield, South Carolina, USA)

Died 27 June 2003
(Edgefield, South Carolina, USA)

Age at death: 100
The oldest and longest-serving US senator, who was a presidential candidate back in 1948. In fact, he's been going for so long that he's been a senator for one fifth of the entire history of the United States. Known for his right-wing views, he was recently back in the spotlight following some comments by fellow Republican Trent Lott, who thinks that the country's problems would all have been solved had Thurmond got into the White House. In 1957 he earned the curious record of undertaking the "longest filibuster in the senate", in which he managed to keep waffling for 24 hours and 18 minutes - in opposition to the Civil Rights Act. No surprise there, then. Finally died in June '03, shortly after retiring and becoming a grandfather for the first time.


Todd, Richard
Born 11 June 1919
(Dublin, Ireland)
Mildly successful film and stage actor, born in Ireland to British parents who bestowed upon him the full name of Richard Andrew Palethorpe-Todd. Saw active service throughout World War II, and parachuted into France during the D-Day landings. He later went on to appear in "D-Day: The Sixth of June" and "The Longest Day", though perversely he didn't play himself in either film.


Tomlinson, Jane
Born in Rothwell, Leeds, England (exact date unknown)
Terminally ill cancer sufferer who took up running in May 2001, and the following year managed to complete the London Marathon, some triathlon or other, and the Great North Run (a tedious-sounding race around Newcastle, apparently). Was aged 38 in 2002, so presumably born around 1964.


Tutu, Desmond
Born 7 October 1931
(Klerksdorp, South Africa)
Winner of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize, he became Archbishop of Cape Town in 1986. When aged fourteen he caught tuberculosis and had to spend two years in hospital as a result. Reported to be "seriously ill" in 2001, he joked "My presence here gives testimony to the resurrection of the dead!" during a visit to London's Southwark Cathedral at the time.


Tyson, Mike
Born 30 June 1966
(Brooklyn, New York, USA)
Brought up by his single mother in the toughest part of Brooklyn, was winning street fights by the age of 9, weighed 200lbs and could bench-press more than his own weight by the age of 14. Became the youngest undisputed WBC, WBA and IBF world heavyweight boxing champion ever at 20. Spent 3 years in prison for rape and famously bit Evander Holyfield's ear off. And yet, despite all this, he still speaks with a comically high-pitched, lisping voice.


Vale-Onslow, Len
Born 2 May 1900
(Birmingham, England)
Britain's oldest motorcyclist. FACT. According to his reminiscences, he was in a coma for fifteen days at the age of eight, as a result of being tied to a bamboo aeroplane constructed by his brother.


Varah, Chad
Born 12 November 1911
(Barton upon Humber, England)
Anglican clergyman, story-writer on the "Eagle" comic, and founder of the Samaritans.


Wallach, Eli
Born 7 December 1915
(Brooklyn, New York, USA)
Prolific film actor, mainly playing supporting roles. Highlights: "The Magnificent Seven", "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly", and Marilyn Monroe's last screen outing, "The Misfits". Lowlight: the risible final part of the "Godfather" trilogy. He has also maintained a continual presence on the stage throughout his film career.


Watkins, Sir Tasker
Born 18 November 1918
(place of birth unknown)
Soldier, judge & member of the Taffia. Awarded the Victoria Cross in 1944. Held judical appointments from the 1960s onwards, including Lord Justice of Appeal from 1980-93 and Deputy Chief Justice of England from 1988-93.


Wellington, The Duke of
Born 2 July 1915
(place of birth unknown)
Aristocrat and current holder of this famous military name.


Wemyss & March, The Earl of
Born 19 January 1912
(place of birth unknown)
Scottish aristocrat and landowner.


West, Rose
Born 29 November 1953
(Devon, England)
Born Rosemary Letts, in 1972 she married Fred West, with whom she committed a series of murders at the now infamous 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester, during the 1970s. In 1995 her husband hanged himself in prison while awaiting trial; she is serving a life sentence.


Whitfield, June
Born 11 November 1925
(London, England)
Comedy actress, allegedly, who started out in radio in the 1950s and went on to work with most of the top comedians of her era. Was best known as the eponymous June in "Terry and June" before taking the role of Mother in the deeply unfunny "Absolutely Fabulous".


Whitlam, Gough
Born 11 July 1916
(Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)
Leader of the Australian Labor Party for ten years, and Prime Minister from 1972 to 1975, during which time he oversaw the abolition of conscription, the introduction of "Advance Australia Fair" as the national anthem, and the granting of full independence to Papua New Guinea. He was dismissed by the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, amidst great controversy. He resigned from parliament in 1978 to become an academic.


Widmark, Richard
Born 26 December 1914
(Sunrise, Minnesota, USA)
After a legendary silver screen debut as psychopathic villain Tommy Udo in 1947's "Kiss of Death", he went on to act in a wide variety of film roles, though by the 1980s was pretty much relegated to television.


Wiesenthal, Simon
Born 31 December 1908
(Buczacz, Poland; now part of the Ukraine)
Nazi concentration camp survivor who subsequently devoted his life after the war to bringing war criminals to justice, most notably Adolf Eichmann, who was living under an assumed name in Argentina. In 1977 he inaugurated the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an organisation dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and countering anti-semitism and racism.


Wilde, Brian
Born 1 June 1921
(Lancashire, England)
Stalwart of the mild-mannered BBC sitcom "Last of the Summer Wine", in which he played the mild-mannered Foggy Dewhurst. He has appeared in various other mild-mannered TV dramas and sitcoms over the last few decades, for example as the mild-mannered prison officer Barrowclough in the classic sitcom "Porridge" (the 1979 film of which was released as "Doing Time" in the USA).


Wilson, Richard
Born 9 July 1936
(Greenock, Inverclyde, Scotland)
Actor (real name Ian Colquhoun Wilson) famous for playing the grumpy Victor "I don't believe it!" Meldrew in sitcom "One Foot in the Grave" . Will the other foot follow this year?


Wiltshire, SN SN Wiltshire is no longer with us
Born 12 December 1909
(Farnham, Surrey, England)

Died 29 September 2003
(New Zealand)

Age at death: 93
RAF officer, awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal in 1930, later converted to the George Cross. SN = Sidney Noel.


Windom, William
Born 28 September 1923
(New York, New York, USA)
Actor who has appeared in countless TV series, films such as "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Sommersby", and his one-man stage shows about writer James Thurber and World War II reporter Ernie Pyle. Lives in California but also owns an island in Windom, Minnesota (a town named after his politician great-grandfather) which he bought for the princely sum of $1.


Wisdom, Sir Norman
Born 4 February 1915
(London, England)
Inventive and hilarious comic or poor man's Charlie Chaplin, depending on your viewpoint. The cloth-cap-wearing star of stage and screen was awarded a knighthood in 2000 and lives in the medieval theme park known as the Isle of Man.


Wise, Robert
Born 10 September 1914
(Winchester, Indiana, USA)
Worked as editor on the Orson Welles films "Citizen Kane" and "The Magnificent Ambersons", before going on to direct such classics as "West Side Story", "The Sound of Music" and, er, "Star Trek: The Motion Picture".


Wray, Fay
Born 10 September 1907
(Cardston, Alberta, Canada)
Forever to be remembered as the star of "King Kong" (playing the beauty, rather than the beast...), her career went downhill somewhat after the giddy heights of the Empire State Building. Various websites are quick to point out that she is a "partial vegetarian", though how that differs from anyone else who isn't a vegetarian is unclear. Oh, and they also mention that she still drives a car despite being in her nineties. So we'd better do likewise.


Wyman, Jane
Born 4 January 1914
(St. Joseph, Missouri, USA)
No relation to ex-Rolling Stone Bill (she was born Sarah Jane Mayfield and subsequently adopted the surname Fulks), the former Oscar-winning Hollywood actress may be better known to children of the 1980s for her role as Angela Channing in the TV series "Falcon Crest". Apparently she and Regis Toomey hold the record for the longest screen kiss. Her daughter Maureen, from her marriage to a certain Ronald Reagan, died of cancer in 2001.


Yeltsin, Boris
Born 1 February 1931
(Bukta, Sverdlovsk, Russia)
The vodka-and-boogie-loving former Russian President, who managed to sack four prime ministers in the space of 17 months, has undergone quintuple heart-bypass surgery and various health scares including pneumonia.


Young, Jimmy
Born 21 September 1923
(Cinderford, Gloucestershire, England)
Having been presenter of BBC Radio 2's lunchtime show for thirty years, he was acrimoniously sacked towards the end of 2002. Real name Leslie Ronald Young, he usually appears in the same sentence as the word "veteran", and was reportedly Margaret Thatcher's favourite broadcaster. Which probably makes him a marked man.


Zevon, Warren Warren Zevon is no longer with us
Born 24 January 1947
(Chicago, Illinois, USA)

Died 7 September 2003
(Los Angeles, California, USA)

Age at death: 56
"Witty and irreverent" singer-songwriter, whose best-known moment remains his 1978 hit "Werewolves of London". Announced in September 2002 that he had chronic lung cancer, no doubt the result of a chronic rock 'n' roll lifestyle.


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