Jay Adams in 2013: ‘he had really turned a corner,’ said his friend and fellow skateboarder Stacey Peralta

Jay Adams: Colourful skateboarder who helped bring global success to his sport but also had several brushes with the law

With his hair-raising stunts and an outsized personality, Jay Adams helped transform skateboarding from a simple street pastime into one of the world's most spectacular sports.

Alan Douglas: Record producer whose 20-year tenure as curator of the Hendrix back catalogue proved highly contentious

The name of the record producer Alan Douglas is familiar to millions of Jimi Hendrix aficionados, even if his 20-year tenure as curator of the guitarist's catalogue was controversial.

Michael Parkin in 1993 with his daughter Sophie, left, and his first wife, the writer and artist Molly

Michael Parkin: Gallery owner who championed Whistler and the Chelsea artists and was Radio Caroline's first managing director

Michael Parkin was a jovial and generous man who staunchly upheld the civilised principle that business should never be allowed to spoil fun. This only enhanced his success as a gallery owner, managing director of the first pirate radio station, Radio Caroline, the first general manager of Channel Television and a documentary film-maker who won prizes at the Cannes and Venice film festivals. "We must get you a drink, my dear," was a customary greeting, no matter what the hour, "'a little reassurance'."

Bennett: ‘that cheeky little fellow who danced and shook his maracas’

Joseph 'Powda' Bennett: Singer whose band the Jolly Boys enjoyed late success with covers of songs like 'Rehab' and 'Perfect Day'

With his long-running band the Jolly Boys, Joseph Bennett was a giant of mento, the Jamaican dance music created by the descendants of slaves in the late 19th century.

Rothschild in 2007; she was ebullient and sparkling, with a warm, gravelly voice

Baronne Philippine de Rothschild: Actress and wine-producer who worked with Catherine Deneuve before making a success of the family empire

Though her first career was as an actress, Philippine de Rothschild took over the wine business developed by her father, Baron Philippe (born 1902) following his death in 1988, and made a huge success of it.

Wilson in 1954, when ‘The Boyfriend’ transferred, expanded, to the West End, where it ran for 2,084 performances

Sandy Wilson: Lyricist and composer best known for the musical 'The Boyfriend', which had great success on stage and screen

Wedded to his musical The Boyfriend, whose script he wrote – for £25 down and £25 on completion of its short run – in a matter of mere days, practically without alterations, followed by the lyrics and music "with almost as equal ease", Sandy Wilson was far more than purveyor of the frothy "postwar valentine" which the show appears to represent. In reality he was a reluctant rebel affecting to be insouciant.

Nelson's 'Peyton Place' character had several relationships but couldn’t commit to marriage

Ed Nelson: Veteran of Roger Corman’s low-budget horror movies who later appeared in the entire run of Peyton Place

Ed Nelson was one of only two Peyton’s Place cast members to appear in the entire run of American television’s first peak-time soap opera, which featured murder, divorce, wife-beating, teenage pregnancy, rape and blackmail in a fictional New England coastal town and attracted up to 60 million viewers in the programme’s home country alone.

Smith on board the ‘Antiki’; he and his crew took two months to cross the Atlantic

Anthony Smith: Writer and adventurer who in his eighties sailed a raft made of plastic from the Canaries to the Bahamas

Against the advice of well-meaning doubters, the author, explorer and inveterate adventurer Anthony Smith sailed across the Atlantic on a sail-powered raft. He was in his eighties. A sailor, pilot and balloonist, he had travelled the length of Africa in both directions by motorcycle. He was appeared on television and wrote articles and  more than two dozen books.

Richard Attenborough shooting his film 'Magic' in 1979

Richard Attenborough: One of the leading figures of British cinema

The acclaimed actor and director was a tireless champion of the British film industry and liberal causes in the last half of the 20th century

King Robbo: Painter who fought a spray-can battle with Banksy and who helped bring graffiti art into popular culture’s mainstream

Discovered with head injuries outside his flat in 2011, he had been in a coma ever since

Lady Thomson: Wife of the MP George Thomson who helped smooth her husband’s path to success in Brussels

‘I married the editor of The Beano; now here I am hosting Europe’s movers and shakers’

Gerry Anderson

Gerry Anderson: Broadcaster who became much-loved in Northern Ireland but came unstuck when he moved to Radio 4

Listeners objected in their thousands to Anderson Country. ‘I was destroyed,’ he admitted

Albert Reynolds

Further to David McKittrick’s obituary of Albert Reynolds (22 August), I should say that there are few better ways of learning what makes a politician tick than travelling with them at close quarters on delegations to challenging countries.

James Foley: Photojournalist respected for his pictures and admired for his courage who was murdered by terrorists

James Foley was one of the few to have explored the present Middle East turmoil from end to end – from Libya in the west to Afghanistan in the east. A man of easy charm and relaxed mien, he penetrated places where Westerners now fear to tread, and in his career in journalism demonstrated bravery unknown to many who have spent much longer in the business than his brief six years.

Helen Bamber: Psychotherapist who for seven decades worked in nearly 100 countries helping the victims of government torture

Helen Bamber, the psychotherapist and human rights activist, described torture – which she fought against in almost 100 countries during a work span of close on 70 years – as an attempt to kill a person without their dying. During a long life devoted to remedying the impact state-authorised torture had on the spirit as well as the body of victims, Bamber ended her life knowing that she had done more than probably anyone else in Britain – possibly the world – to put healing balm on to the aching scars of thousands of men, women and children.

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