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Adams, Douglas Noël (1952–2001), writer, was born on 11 March 1952 at the maternity hospital in Cambridge, the son of Christopher Douglas Adams (d. 1985) and his wife, Janet Dora Sydney, née Donovan.

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Douglas Noël Adams (1952–2001) by Brian Griffin, 1986 © Brian Griffin; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Adams [née Campin], Mary Grace Agnes (1898–1984), television producer and programme director, was born on 10 March 1898 at Well House Farm, Hermitage, Berkshire, the elder of two daughters (her sister died aged three) and second of four children of Edward Bloxham Campin...

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Robert Speaight

revised by Stanley Wells

Adams, William Bridges- (1889–1965), theatre producer, was born on 1 March 1889 at 8 Marlborough Villas, Wealdstone, Harrow, the only son of Walter Bridges Adams (d. 1902), tutor, and his wife, Mary Jane Daltry (1854–1939) [see Adams, Mary Jane Bridges-]. Nothing in his background suggested a theatrical career, and he remained to the end of his days a quite untheatrical person. But he was brought up on ...

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Dave Allen (1936–2005) by Trevor Leighton, 1999 Camera Press, London

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Allen, Dave [real name David Edward John Archer Cullen Tynan-O'Mahony] (1936–2005), comedian, was born on 6 July 1936 at Merrion House, Lower Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin, the youngest of three sons of (Gerard John) Cullen Tynan-O'Mahony (b. 1900), journalist and managing editor of the ...

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Allen, James John [Jim] (1926–1999), playwright and scriptwriter, was born on 7 October 1926 at 31 Higher Duke Street, Miles Platting, Manchester, the second child of John (Jack) Allen, a railway labourer, and his wife, Catherine (Kitty) Lee. The family was of Irish descent. After attending local Roman Catholic schools, ...

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Anderson, Lindsay Gordon (1923–1994), film and theatre director, was born on 17 April 1923 at King Lodge, Bangalore, India, the second of the three sons of Major-General Alexander Vass Anderson (1895–1963) and his first wife, Estelle Bell, née Gasson (1898–1973). Both parents were Scottish, although his mother was born in ...

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Lindsay Gordon Anderson (1923–1994) by Lewis Morley, 1960 © Lewis Morley, courtesy of The Akehurst Bureau; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Archer, William (1856–1924), theatre critic and journalist, was born at 6 North Methven Street, Perth, Scotland, on 23 September 1856, the eldest son of the nine children of Thomas Archer (1823–1905) of Glasgow and his wife, Grace Lindsay Morison (1832–1911), the daughter of ...

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William Archer (1856–1924) by Sir Emery Walker, 1891 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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John Victor Aspinall (1926–2000) by Snowdon, 1973 Snowdon / Vogue / Camera Press, London

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Aspinall, John Victor (1926–2000), gambler and zoo owner, was born on 11 June 1926 at Delhi, India, the second son of Mary Grace (1904–1987), daughter of Clement Samuel Horn, engineer, and wife of Colonel Robert Stivala Aspinall (1895–1954), of the Indian Medical Service (IMS), serving in ...

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Ronald William George Barker (1929–2005) by unknown photographer, 1975 Getty Images

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Barker, Ronald William George [Ronnie] (1929–2005), actor and comedian, was born on 25 September 1929 at 70 Garfield Street, Bedford, the only son and second of the three children of Leonard William Barker, a clerk for Shell, and his wife, Edith Eleanor, née...

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Carte, Dame Bridget Cicely D'Oyly (1908–1985), theatre manager, was born on 25 March 1908 at Suffolk Street, Pall Mall, London, the elder child of Rupert D'Oyly Carte (1876–1948), chairman of the Savoy group of companies and proprietor of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company...

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Dame Bridget Cicely D'Oyly Carte (1908–1985) by Jane Bown, 1982 © Jane Bown

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Cook, Peter Edward (1937–1995), humorist and entertainer, was born on 17 November 1937 at Shearbridge, Middle Warberry Road, Torquay, Devon, the only son and eldest of the three children of Alexander Edward (Alec) Cook (d. 1984), colonial civil servant, and his wife, ...

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Dehn, Paul Edward (1912–1976), writer and film critic, was born on 5 November 1912 at 13 Belfield Road, Didsbury, Manchester, the elder son and eldest of the three children of Frederick Edward Dehn (1881/2–1947), cotton merchant, and his wife, Helen, née Susman (1880–1976)...

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Martin Alan Feldman (1934–1982) by Terry O'Neill, 1974 [on the set of the film Young Frankenstein] © Terry O'Neill; collection National Portrait Gallery, London