World-Famous Personalities

Arthur Ashe  thru Thomas Edison

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ARTHUR ASHE     $15.00
The courageous Arthur Ashe was the first male African-American tennis player to have achieved world ranking. He died in 1993 at age 49 of complications due to the AIDES virus, after going public about his illness. We include his highly detailed 27 page will, 2 pages outlining the value of the estate and the death certificate. 
JAMES BARRIE     $10.00
Barrie, Scottish author and dramatist, is certainly best remembered today as the creator of Peter Pan, the rights to which were  willed to the Great Ormond Street Hospital, which continues to benefit from them.  This ten-page last will and testament was drafted just five days prior to Barrie’s death in 1937.
MR. BLACKWELL     $20.00
Fashion critic, journalist, television and radio personality, artist, former child actor (!) and former fashion designer, Mr. Blackwell is noted for his creation of the "Ten Worst Dressed Women List."  This 45-page file consists of Blackwell’s 33-page “remainder trust” plus a petition for attorney's fees. 
ERMA BOMBECK     $15.00
Possibly one of the best and most widely-read humorists of our time, Erma Bombeck was certainly one of a kind. We offer her 10page 1984 will, 4 page codicil, and the 3 page petition for probate. 
SONNY BONO     $20.00
We add fifty one additional pages to our existing Bono Probate file, now totaling 63 pages. Bono died intestate, so we offer three Creditor's Claims (one by Cher), the Spousal Property Order, the entire agreement for the making of Sonny Bono's Life Story for film or television, plus the Petition for Probate and several court Orders. And a claim against the estate by a son who came out of the woodwork. The Sonny & Cher divorce file can be found in our divorce catalogue.
DAVID BRENNER     $15.00
David Brenner was an outstanding stand-up comedian, actor and author, and the most frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in the 1970s and 1980s. This simple 5 page last will and testament is funny to the end, especially when Brenner gets to the funeral instructions. Only guy we know of who demended a two-sided tombstone.   NEW FILE
LENNY BRUCE     $15.00
The notorious and irreverent Lenny Bruce, truly one of a kind. Bruce left no will (comes as no surprise), but we have 18 pages of petitions and declarations, all outlining the value of his estate and the on-going battle over those assets, with numerous mentions of Honey Bruce, Kitty Bruce and Sally Marr. Death certificate included. Bruce's Los Angeles Coroner's autopsy report can be found elsewhere in our catalogues.
Truly a surprising find that we weren't even looking for. The famous author's simple one page will (dated 1945) is supplemented by a 4 page Petition for Probate as well a a single page Letters of Testamentary and an Affidavit of Witness to the signing of the will. An interesting find and a great conversation piece. 
Interesting fellow, that William S. Burroughs... Certainly one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, pals with Ginsberg and Kerouac, shot and killed his wife in a drunken game of "William Tell" in Mexico, and his famed NAKED LUNCH became such a controversy-fraught work that it underwent a court case under the U.S. sodomy laws. This rare find is 19 pages, and includes his will, the petition for probate, letters testamentary, and a couple of varied inventories of the estate.
TRUMAN CAPOTE     $15.00
The flamboyant writer whose works included "Other Voices, Other Rooms", "The Grass Harp", "Breakfast at Tiffany's", and "In Cold Blood". Included in this file are his 7 page will, 3 page Petition for Probate, 15 pages outlining the value and content of the estate, and the death certificate. Capote's autopsy report can be found elsewhere in our catalogues.
English author, Anglican deacon, mathematician, logician, and photographer, Carroll’s most famous writings are “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland” and its sequel “Through the Looking-Glass.”  This one-page last will and testament is what would be considered a conformed copy, and does not contain Carroll’s signature. Also included is the probate cover sheet from 1898 showing the value of his estate, as well as the death certificate.
The English archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter is noted as a primary discoverer of the tomb of famed Pharaoh Tutankhamun. We found his two-page will interesting in that he declared his residence as Luxor, Upper Egypt as well as well as Kensington, and that some of its bequests are made in English pounds and others in Egyptian pounds. The British probate registry’s cover sheet from 1939 is also included.
One of our favorite writers during our collective "flower child" period, with THE TEACHINGS OF DON JUAN AND others that followed. This thirty nine page file includes Castaneda's six page will, Petition for Probate, and an interesting Petition by his adopted son to force Castanada's attorney to produce a copy of the Trust. An excellent file, and another customer request. 
The famed seven-foot center led the NBA in scoring seven times, rebounding eleven times, and was named the NBA's Most Valuable Player four times, all this in addition to his later reputed prowess with the ladies (said to be over 1000 of them...). We offer Chamberlain's 13 page will as well as 16 pages of petitions, orders, and letters (probate), which includes an interesting request by the estate for the return of certain collector's items removed by his nephew. 
MD turned comedic actor? Yes, this is the rags to riches story of the boyish ex-medic who forsook forceps for fun. Chapman, of Britain's fabulous MONTY PYTHON left a simple one page will to which we add the British Grant for Probate. 
JULIA CHILD     $25.00
Miss Child single-handedly introduced French cuisine and cooking techniques to the American home, her fame and humor later giving rise to one of the best bits in SNL history, featuring a young Dan Akroyd in drag as the famous chef. This large (50+ pages total) contains her very detailed 12-page will and codicil, with its many extraordinary bequests, the Petition for Probate, Letters, a meticulous inventory and appraisement of the estate, as well as an inventory and appraisement of the contents of her home. Please note that due to its size, this document cannot be used with our free wills deal. Our apologies.
Dame Agatha Christie authored more than 70 detective novels, featuring Hercule Poirot or the enquiring Miss Marple. Her will and codicil are 3 pages to which we add the British Grant for Probate. 
“If it doesn't fit, you must acquit,” words that will certainly be connected to Johnnie Cochran forever. The high-profile attorney at times represented P Diddy, Michael Jackson, Rosa Parks, and of course, one Oranthal James Simpson. This 36-page file includes Cochran’s 9 page last will & testament, the Petition and Order for Probate, Petition for Letters of Special Administration, Proof of Publication, and a $1.5 million claim against the estate as part of a malpractice claim.
HOWARD COSELL     $15.00
Words escape us when describing Howard Cosell, the attorney turned sportscaster and the pseudo-nemesis of Mohammed Ali, Cosell left a generous 13 page will which we supplement with the 4 page Petition For Probate plus the death certificate. 
NOEL COWARD     $10.00
Noel Pierce Coward was an English playwright, actor, and master technician of the theater. Many of his nearly 60 plays, especially his sentimental and patriotic pieces and his witty drawing-room comedies, are frequently filmed and are often revived. His will is seven pages, plus a 2 page translated extract and the Grant for Probate. 
This Crichton fellow was one prolific (and amazingly gifted) writer whose cautionary tales about the dangers of technology included THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN, JURASSIC PARK, COMA, WESTWORLD, and a ton of others. This 42-page file includes Crichton’s 16-page will and multiple petitions.
Often cited as "the most trusted man in America,” Walter Cronkite was the anchor of the CBS EVENING NEWS for 19 years, and changed the face of television news during the 60’s and 70’s, particularly with his coverage of the Viet Nam War, which he saw as a failure; President Lyndon Johnson once remarked "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America.” We offer his extremely detailed 24 page last will and testament, plus 13 pages of probate documents. 
Darwin's epoch making work was ON THE ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES BY MEANS OF NATURAL SELECTION. Though not the sole originator of the evolution process, he was first to gain acceptance among biological experts. His will is 7 beautifully handwritten pages, to which we add the British Grant for Probate. 
Unlike other websites that have been springing up, we are pleased to offer a true copy of Diana's nicely-crafted 6 page Last Will & Testament plus a single page codicil, to which we add the British Grant for Probate. These documents were witnessed by HRH's butler and private secretary (among others), and also include the signatures of the executors and solicitors involved in the probate. Death certificates for the Princess and Dodi Fayed are also included.
ROALD DAHL     $15.00
British novelist, short story writer, poet, and screenwriter, Roald Dahl will be best remembered for his children’s stories “James and the Giant Peach,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” and our personal fave “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”  This 15-page file consists of Dahl’s very detailed 14-page last will and testament, plus the British probate registry’s cover sheet, showing the value of his estate.
Another great recent find, Dickens 1869 will and codicil total 3 pages, to which we add the British Certificate of Probate, dated 1870. Beautifully hand scripted, a very illuminating file.
JOE DiMAGGIO   $20.00
Whether you remember him as Joe D, Joltin' Joe, or The Yankee Clipper, DiMaggio became one of the most indelible legends in baseball lore. Being married to Marilyn Monroe certainly didn't hurt either. DiMaggio's will is a very detailed 33 pages in length. As a bonus, we have added a 6 page FBI file outlining an investigation into concerns that his signature was being forged on sports memorabilia. 
British Prime Minister, parliamentarian, conservative statesman and literary figure, Benjamin Disraeli served in British government for nearly forty years.  This nine page file consists of Disraeli’s eight page hand-drafted will plus the British Probate Registry’s cover sheet from 1881 showing the value of his estate.
The English novelist Arthur Conan Doyle was widely known as the creator of the detective Sherlock Holmes, in addition to being a medical doctor. His signed, handwritten will is five interesting pages, to which we add the British Certificate of Probate. 
DORIS DUKE     $15.00
The "poor little rich girl" Duke's billion dollar estate came under fire when her former butler apparently got control of the dying woman (some say he even had a hand in her death) and persuaded her to make major changes to her will, all to his benefit. What we offer is the attorney's copy of the 34 page will (which contains tons of bequests), plus the 12 page text of the New York Surrogate's order to remove the butler as executor of the will. 
DAVID DUCHOVNY - Civil Suit     $20.00
David Duchovny was none too happy that Twentieth Century Fox sold the X-FILES syndication rights to its own Fox Network, at what Duchovny alleged were bargain basement prices, and thus reducing his monetary take on the deal. This resulted in a fairly nasty suit brought by Duchovny (documented in the 50-plus pages we offer in this package), which later resulted in a surprising Request for Dismissal, again brought by Duchovny. Reading through these Complaints and Responses (and a little between the lines), you begin to see the wheeling and dealing between himself and Fox, thus allowing him to take off so much time from his series this year. 
Thomas Edison was one of the most prolific inventors of the late 19th century, responsible for (to name but a few) the electric light bulb and the phonograph, the invention he was most proud of. We offer a conformed copy of his 1931 will, which does not bear his signature. Also included is a copy of the two-page 1879 patent application for his "electric lamp."
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