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Marlene Dietrich


27 December 1901 – 6 May 1992 (Aged 90)

Dietrich was a German actress, known for her sultry leading roles during Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Among her most famous films is Witness for the Prosecution, Judgment at Nuremberg, Morocco, and Shanghai Express.

During World War II, Dietrich traveled widely to entertain Allied troops, worked on war-bond drives, and was known to house German and French exiles.

She was awarded the French Legion of Honour and the U.S. Medal of Freedom for her services during the war.

Outside of her screen career, Dietrich was famed for a string of numerous affairs with Hollywood’s leading men, as well as her bisexuality.

As her film career waned, Dietrich enjoyed a singing career that saw her perform on Broadway and around the world.

Dietrich essentially retired by the mid-1970s, after which she moved to Paris and lived in near-permanent seclusion until her death.

She died of kidney failure aged 90, her funeral took place in La Madeleine in Paris, before being buried beside her mother in Berlin.

Benny Hill


By Ricardo Liberato / Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

21 January 1924 – 20 April 1992 (Aged 68)

Hill was a prominent and much loved English comedian best known for his television program, The Benny Hill Show, which ran from 1955 until 1989.

Throughout his life, Hill lived a frugal life, never owning a house or car, despite his considerable wealth.

His health declined rapidly in the last year of his life, ultimately suffering kidney and heart failure, from which he died at the age of 68.

Hill’s television show is still shown regularly around the world and remains popular among his many fans.

Willy Brandt

(German Chancellor)

By Reineke, Engelbert / Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

18 December 1913 – 8 October 1992 (Aged 78)

Brandt was a German politician and Chancellor of West Germany from 1969 to 1974.

In 1971, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to achieve reconciliation between West Germany and the Eastern Bloc countries.

Brandt’s election was seen as a progressive development, as he became the first Social Democrat to become German Chancellor since 1930.

One of Brandt’s final public contributions was in helping to free 174 Western hostages after flying to Baghdad, Iraq, following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

Brandt died at the age of 78 from colon cancer.

Sam Walton


By Janice Waltzer / Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

29 March 1918 – 5 April 1992 (Aged 74)

Walton was a hugely successful American businessman, renowned for founding Wal-Mart, which became the world’s biggest corporation.

His business acumen also saw him become the world’s richest American for a time.

In 1945, Walton left the military and became the manager of a variety chain store at the age of 26.

He went on to open other stores before opening his first Wal-Mart store on July 2, 1962, in Rogers, Arkansas.

From there until the time of his death, Walton opened almost 2,000 stores, employing over 350,000 people, with a value of over $45 billion.

The month before his death, Walton was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President George H.W. Bush.

He died from bone cancer at the age of 74.

Ron Woodroof

Splash News


3 February 1950 – 12 September 1992 (Aged 42)

Woodroof was an American activist, best known for his work in establishing the Dallas Buyers Club after being diagnosed with AIDS in 1986.

An electrician by trade, Woodroof created the Club to research and buy drugs to treat HIV at a time when the disease was poorly researched.

Woodroof then sold these drugs to other HIV sufferers from America and other parts of the world.

Woodruff succumbed to the disease after 6 years at the age of 42.

His story was turned into the 2013 film, Dallas Buyers Club, with Matthew McConaughey playing Woodruff.

Isaac Asimov


By Phillip Leonian / Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

2 January 1920 – 6 April 1992 (Aged 72)

Asimov was a prolific and hugely influential American science-fiction writer and professor of biochemistry at Boston University.

Among his best-known works are the Foundation trilogy and I, Robot.

Asimov’s family migrated to America from Russia when he was a toddler.

He went on to write books on many subjects other than science-fiction, such as history, astronomy, religion, and mathematics.

Asimov contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion during bypass surgery, before he died from heart and kidney failure at the age of 72.

Mary Wells


By James Kriegsmann / Wikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

13 May 1943 – 26 July 1992 (Aged 49)

Wells was an influential American singer, who along with acts like The Supremes, The Temptations, and The Four Tops, became the sound of Motown.

She was one of Motown’s first major superstar singers. Among her best-known hits are ‘My Guy’, ‘You Beat Me To The Punch’, and ‘The One Who Really Loves You’.

‘My Guy’ was subsequently inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1990.

Wells left Motown Records in 1964, and, following legal and royalty issues, never reached the same heights for the remainder of her career, which spanned large parts of her adult life.

In 1990, Wells was diagnosed with larynx cancer, a fate which saw her testify before a Congressional Committee in 1991, appealing for more cancer research funding.

She died a year later at the age of 49.