Lauren Bacall

Lauren Bacall — a true great

13 August 2014 11:15

As so often, no one put it better than Papa. Here is Ernest Hemingway talking of all the movies made from his novels and short stories: ‘The only two I… Continue reading

The late Mark Shand. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images for J Sheekey)

RIP Mark Shand

24 April 2014 11:57

Mr S was saddened to hear of the untimely death of Mark Shand, the Duchess of Cornwall’s brother. He was a kind and witty man: a natural bon viveur. Parties… Continue reading

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The late Shirley Temple pictured in 2006 when accepting a life time achievement award at the Screen Actors' Guild Awards. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Baby takes her final bow

11 February 2014 12:38

Thousands of social media users have taken to their keyboards to express shock and surprise at the death of Shirley Temple. Almost everyone, it seems, thought that the film star… Continue reading


In memory of my friend Alexandros Petersen – a victim of the Taliban

20 January 2014 18:23

On Friday a Taliban suicide bomber detonated in downtown Kabul in the doorway of a Lebanese restaurant which was popular with foreigners. Two accomplices then went into the restaurant and… Continue reading

Simon Hoggart was one of the finest and funniest writers in Britain.

RIP: Simon Hoggart. The finest and funniest sketch writer to date

7 January 2014 11:54

Terribly saddened to hear of the death of Simon Hoggart, a lovely writer and to my mind the finest and funniest purveyor of the House of Commons sketch that we… Continue reading

Elizabeth Jane Howard photographed in 1956.

Elizabeth Jane Howard 1923 – 2014

3 January 2014 9:07

The novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard died yesterday at the age of 90. She is most famous for the series of 14 Cazelet novels; the last of which, All Change, was… Continue reading

The late Leo Cooper pictured with his wife Jilly in April 2009.

RIP Leo Cooper

3 December 2013 14:25

The publisher Leo Cooper has died aged 79. Cooper, who was the husband of novelist Jilly Cooper, had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for many years. His widow told me… Continue reading

Elmore Leonard

On borrowing Elmore Leonard

20 August 2013 16:59

When you walk into a new branch library, or stumble across an unfamiliar secondhand bookshop, which writer do you look for? They can’t be too obscure; the idea is to… Continue reading

Elmore Leonard has died aged 87.

Elmore Leonard dies aged 87

20 August 2013 15:18

Elmore Leonard has died aged 87. Leonard began his career as a hack and ended it as a modern master. His rule was: ‘if it sounds like writing, I rewrite it’. His writing became… Continue reading

The late Trevor Grills sung the lyrics to 'The Last Leviathan' by Fisherman's Friends, a great song about the death of a great whale. Image: Getty.

Trevor Grills: the terrible death of a Fisherman’s Friend

12 February 2013 23:21

I first came to discover the beauty of the Cornish shanty singers Fisherman’s Friends when I was on holiday in the West Country last year. I was late to the… Continue reading

The Isle of Jura. Image: Getty

Obituary of the Week: Jungleyes Love - Spectator Blogs

12 February 2013 10:03

I’ve been on Jura on a Wedding Planning Immersion Course* these past few days so, apart from noting that the Pope is retiring (upon which I have no opinion), I’ve… Continue reading

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Michael Winner on the set of 'The Nightcomers' in 1970. Image: Getty

Michael Winner’s final words

21 January 2013 15:00

Michael Winner’s family have announced that he’s paid his last bill and checked out. The 77-year-old director of Death Wish and world renowned food critic died at home in West London earlier today. In… Continue reading

General Norman Schwarzkopf with Colin Powell. Picture: Getty

General ‘Stormin’ Norman’ Schwarzkopf: a tribute

3 January 2013 14:12

‘Stormin’ Norman’ Schwarzkopf was a formidable figure: formidable in size, in his fearsome temper—and as a genius in the art of war. I first met the General in Oman a… Continue reading

Christopher Martin-Jenkins receives the MBE from the Prince of Wales for services to cricket journalism. Image: Getty.

Thank you, Christopher Martin-Jenkins

2 January 2013 13:01

The children who grew up when Christopher Martin-Jenkins began to commentate on cricket (both in print and on the air) have got old. CMJ’s 40-odd year career has been brought… Continue reading

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Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes RIP

7 August 2012 12:02

It has been a bad week for men of letters, with the loss of Gore Vidal a few days ago and Robert Hughes today. Gore was famous for his feuds,… Continue reading

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Speer On Eastern Front

Gitta Sereny and the truth about evil

29 June 2012 22:15

The death of the author and journalist Gitta Sereny earlier this month drew some strangely critical notices. One piece even tried to blame her for a current cultural tendency to… Continue reading


RIP Ray Bradbury, 1920 – 2012

6 June 2012 18:15

The revered science fiction, horror and mystery writer Ray Bradbury has died aged 91. He was best known for Fahrenheit 451, his blockbuster of 1953. He became known as a… Continue reading


Amarillo Slim, 1928-2012

1 May 2012 10:45

From one great Texan to another: Amarillo Slim, giant of poker and peddler of western wisecracks, has died. Now that poker is a mainstream entertainment, you have to do some… Continue reading

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RIP Lord Walker

23 June 2010 17:47

Peter Walker, Baron Walker of Worcester, has died aged 78. He served as a Cabinet Minister in both the Heath and Thatcher governments. He was what might be termed derisively… Continue reading


Alan Ruddock, 1960-2010

1 June 2010 12:40

I suppose that relatively few people in England knew Alan Ruddock, who died from a heart attack on Sunday aged just 49, but in Scottish and Irish journalistic circles he… Continue reading


Death of a Gadfly Playwright

12 February 2009 22:24

Hugh Leonard has died. His Telegraph obituary reeks of boozy afternoons in Dublin’s finest hostelries: Indeed, Leonard relished quarrels. "An Irish literary movement," he used to say, "is when two… Continue reading

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Obituary of the Day

4 January 2009 14:26

Some New Year cheer, courtesy of the Daily Telegraph's obituaries column. The deceased, in this instance, is Lady Anne Cavendish-Bentinck, one of Britain's largest landowners who, had she not been… Continue reading


The Cruiser Goes Down

19 December 2008 17:21

Conor Cruise O'Brien's death, at 91, comes as a jolt. By the end, the Cruiser was something of a reactionary (his hostility to nationalism had led him to embrace Bob… Continue reading


Sexy Horse Noises!

25 November 2008 19:55

Another lovely obituary from the Daily Telegraph (of course) that is, as always, written with panache: Nick Mills, who has died aged 54, was a country vet with a practice… Continue reading


Julia Pirie: A Real Miss Froy

31 October 2008 21:23

Cracking obituary in the Telegraph the other day: Julia Pirie, who has died aged 90, spent two decades as an MI5 agent at the heart of the Communist Party of… Continue reading