Jeff Byron

624 days ago

Farewell gorgeous and glamorous cousin Venetia Stevenson 1938 - 2022

What links the picture on a Scottish beer, Russ Tamblyn (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers), Back to the Future 2, Don Everly ( of the singing Brothers), Axl Rose of Guns n’ Roses, Anthony Perkins (psycho), the Sound of Music and me? The answer is Venetia Strevenson my father’s first cousin who died this week. I was with my father’s sister Aunt L on the day we learned that her cousin had passed away and while she was very sorry to hear the news, she noted that she and Venetia moved in rather different social circles.

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2504 days ago

Photo Article: My Great Aunt, Sir John Winnifrith's sister "the British Bombshell" Anna Lee

Over the past few days I have written a couple of times about my grandfather, Sir John Winnifrith, a thoroughly respectable fellow who ran the National Trust and was a staunch Bennite opponent of the EU. He was intelligent, sober and obviously not what one might term glamorous. But his little sister Joan was rather different.

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2835 days ago

Photo Article Glam cousin Venetia on a date with Elvis Presley

My father's family are generally not a terribly glamorous lot. They are serious, often bookish and, very often, holding stern and sober convictions. But there is one branch that is totally different. My grandfather (Sir John Winnifrith) had a younger sister Joan who moved to Hollywood, took the stage name Anna Lee and became an actress.

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2868 days ago

Photos of glamorous great Aunt Anna Lee and yes that is Clark Gable

My father's family, in England at least, were a small c Conservative - if often hard left politically - lot. They still are on both counts. As such I guess I am a bit of a black sheep and so look to our American cousins, that is to say my grandather's young sister Joan Winnifrith and her family as being just that bit different. My grandfather, Sir John, was a respectable senior civil servant and after retirement head of the National Trust and War Graves Commission. His little sister was far less respectable. Google knows her as the actress Anna Lee.

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4219 days ago

Who Shot JR? Bing’s Daughter. But this time it really is RIP Larry Hagman

Dallas was part of my childhood. Who shot JR? The poison dwarf, Lusty Dusty. I remember it all. And JR Ewing was at the centre of it all. And, as you probably know, my cousin Jeff appeared in two episodes where he raped Lucy ( the poisoned dwarf). Not quite the highlight of his career ( I think that was giving Tatum O’Neill her first on screen kiss in International Velvet) but that made the Winnifrith family bond with the programme even stronger. We even had Dallas the board game. And so, today I really do mourn the death yesterday of Larry Hagman, the actor who played JR.

Hagman did actually hail from Texas and died there. He was, by all accounts, a bit of a character, downing five bottles of champagne a day as he filmed Dallas.

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