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howardmarksHoward Marks, drugs smuggler and author (13 August 1945 - 10 April 2016)

Dennis Howard Marks, who has died aged 70, was Britain’s best-known and most charming drugs smuggler, and also a successful author and raconteur.

He translated a lifetime of international cannabis dealing and a long stretch in an American jail into a best-selling book, Mr Nice (1996), and a career as a stand-up performer.

4699Douglas Wilmer was an English actor, best known for playing Sherlock Holmes in the 1965 TV series Sherlock Holmes.

Wilmer was born in Brentford, Middlesex and received his education at King's School, Canterbury, and Stonyhurst College. Whilst in training as an actor at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, he was conscripted into the British Army for military service with the Royal Artillery in World War II.

ronniecorbettRonnie Corbett, the comedian, who has died aged 85, achieved such fame as one of the Two Ronnies that his solo career was often eclipsed; as his fans knew well, he worked on his own for many years, exploiting to the full both his lack of height – he was only 5ft 1in – and his undoubted talent as a comic performer.

Corbett maintained that after he became a professional comedian he had no regrets about being so small.

sargeantpepperThe Beatles had been turned down by several record labels including Decca when George Martin invited them for an audience at Abbey Road in June 1962.

While Martin was initially sceptical about their ability as musicians and songwriters, he took to their humour and personalities immediately. Memorably George Harrison told him “I don’t like your tie for a start” when Martin asked him if they disliked anything about the set up.

nancyreganNancy (Anne Frances) Reagan, who has died aged 94, had an extraordinary capacity to sit visibly entranced through the hundreds of speeches made by her husband, the 40th US president (and former actor) Ronald Reagan.

But this public display was far different from the admiring conjugality of earlier first ladies such as Mamie Eisenhower and Pat Nixon. Behind Nancy’s gaze lay the reality of Ronald’s long political career – that it would probably never have happened without her influence.

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