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Che Guevara


14 June 1928 – 9 October 1967 (Aged 39)

Guevara was a leading figure in the Cuban Revolution, along with Fidel and Raul Castro, who became a symbol of rebellion in popular culture following his execution at the hands of the CIA.

Earlier in his life, while studying medicine, Guevara went on his famous ‘Motorcycle Diaries’ tour of South America, which led him to dedicate his life fighting on behalf of the poor.

He went on to complete his degree as a doctor, while also becoming more entrenched in Marxist ideology.

After his role in the Cuban Revolution, Che played a key role in the newly-formed government.

However, Guevara left Cuba to encourage revolution in Congo, which ultimately failed. He then traveled to help Bolivian rebels fight the country’s army.

He was captured just under a year later by CIA-assisted forces, and executed soon after.

To this day, the image of Guevara is one of the most instantly recognizable in the world, synonymous with revolution and leftist movements.

Vivien Leigh


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5 November 1913 – 8 July 1967 (Aged 53)

Leigh was an acclaimed British actress.

She secured her place in Hollywood folklore by playing the iconic roles of Blanch DuBois in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ and Scarlett O’Hara in ‘Gone With The Wind’. Both roles earned her Academy Awards.

In conjunction with her film career, Leigh was mostly renowned for her 30-year stage career. Leigh’s mental health deteriorated as her bipolar disorder made her increasingly difficult to work with.

Leigh was also famous for her 20-year marriage to Laurence Olivier, after a notable public affair while both of them were already married.

In 1944, the first of two miscarriage’s saw Leigh’s mental health decline, while she was also diagnosed with tuberculosis around this time.

In spite of her health struggles, Leigh was lauded for her stage performances in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, as well as simultaneously starring in ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ and ‘Caesar and Cleopatra’ opposite Olivier.

Leigh eventually lost her battle with tuberculosis at the tender age of 53. She is regarded as one of the greatest actresses in film history.

Otis Redding


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9 September 1941 – 10 December 1967 (Aged 26)

Redding was an American singer-songwriter, widely regarded as one of, if not the greatest, soul singers of all time.

Among his best-known songs are ‘Try a Little Tenderness’, ‘I Got Dreams to remember’, and ‘Sitting on the Dock of the Bay’.

At the age of 15, he left school to support his family before his vocal talents started to earn him money and eventually led to Redding landing a record contract in 1962.

On December 10, 1967, Redding and four members of his band, The Bar-Keys, were killed when their plane crashed into Lake Monona, near Madison, Wisconsin, in stormy conditions.

Four days before the crash, Redding had recorded ‘Sitting on the Dock of the Bay’, which went on to be his only number one record, and the first posthumous number one in U.S. chart history.

Redding died as his career was taking off, never getting to experience how popular his music would become.

He was later inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

J. Robert Oppenheimer


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22 April 1904 – 18 February 1967 (Aged 62)

Oppenheimer was the head of the Los Alamos Laboratory responsible for the Manhattan Project during World War II.

The project developed the first nuclear weapon, leading to Oppenheimer often being called ‘the father of the atomic bomb’.

After the war, he became chairman of the advisory committee for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

However, his efforts to prevent a nuclear arms race and nuclear proliferation, saw him lose his security clearance and out of political favor.

In 1963, he was awarded the Enrico Fermi Award in recognition of his lifetime of work. He died of throat cancer at the age of 62.

Jayne Mansfield


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19 April 1933 – 29 June 1967 (Aged 34)

Mansfield was an American actress renowned as a Hollywood sex symbol of the 1950s and ’60s, during which she was one of the early Playboy Playmates.

Renowned for her stunning looks, Mansfield took advantage of the media attention with numerous publicity stunts.

She became the first big Hollywood star to have a nude scene in the 1963 film, ‘Promises! Promises!’.

At the young age of 34, Mansfield was killed in a car accident, along with two other front-seat passengers, when they crashed into a tractor-trailer.

Three of her children were seated in the back but survived.

Law and Order: SVU actress Mariska Hargitay, Mansfield’s daughter, was only three years old when she survived the crash.

Spencer Tracy


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5 April 1900 – 10 June 1967 (Aged 67)

Tracy was an American actor, considered one of the greatest of his generation, and one of the biggest stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, during which he won two Academy Awards.

Among Tracy’s best-known films are ‘Inherit the Wind’, ‘Judgment at Nuremberg’, ‘Captains Courageous’, and ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’.

During his life, he battled alcoholism, and became estranged from his wife, without ever divorcing.

The estrangement was, among other things, attributed to the guilt he ascribed to himself over his son’s deafness.

He maintained a relationship with Katharine Hepburn from 1941, the year they co-starred in ‘Woman of the Year’, until his death, though it was kept from the public.

Tracy died of a heart attack less than three weeks after finishing the filming of ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’, for which he received a posthumous Academy Award nomination.

Woody Guthrie


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14 July 1912 – 3 October 1967 (Aged 55)

Guthrie was a hugely influential and prolific American singer-songwriter.

Of his over 1,000 songs, ‘This Land is Your Land’ is his most famous and became something of an unofficial American anthem.

He died from Huntington’s Disease at the age of 55. Guthrie has since been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and given a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

He is recognized as an American folk music legend.