Zhou Youguang's Pinyin writing system helped modernise China

Zhou Youguang invented the Romanised spelling of Chinese words known as Pinyin.

​Zhou Youguang, a onetime Wall Street banker from China who developed Pinyin, a Romanized writing system that has helped more than 1 billion Chinese and countless foreigners learn to read and write Mandarin, died Jan. 14 in Beijing, one day after celebrating his 111th birthday.

Author knew he had something special with The Exorcist

William Peter Blatty, writer and filmmaker whose work included The Exorcist.

William Peter Blatty was a senior at Georgetown University in 1949 when he heard the extraordinary story that, more than two decades later, would change his life — and scare the devil out of everyone else.

A guitarman, artist and architect

Ben Hall in his workshop fine tuning a guitar, one of his many creative talents.

Ben Hall was an architect and also a recognised painter who could make and play musical instruments, teach classical guitar and design and make houses, furniture and jewellery. In fact Ben Hall's life was packed with creative pursuits. Some might say he attempted too much.

Born to be a newspaper headliner

James Fairfax made numerous gifts to art galleries and was a regular benefactor for many organisations and charities ...

Two murals on the walls of James Fairfax' Bowral home encapsulated his two lives: one of duty, the other of adventure and artistic expression.

In Passing

William Christopher (left) with cast members of M*A*S*H in 1982.

William Christopher, Sister Frances Ann Carr, Lavinia Keppel

GP sought reasons behind illness

Dr Eric Fisher: Incorporated talking therapy into his medical practice.

Interest in medicine emerged at the age of five when his father removed his tonsils and adenoids on the kitchen table under a chloroform anaesthetic.

John Berger: art critic and storyteller

John Berger: A prolific writer throughout his life.

John Berger, who has died aged 90, was a Booker Prize-winning novelist, art critic, painter, poet, playwright, actor, activist and presenter of television programs including the BBC series Ways of Seeing (1972); from the mid-1970s on, however, he preferred the term "storyteller", which better suited the Marxist spirit of his work.

William Salice: man behind Kinder Surprise chocolate egg

William Salice's Kinder Surprise egg was launched in 1974.

William Salice, who has died aged 83, played a leading role at the confectionery giant Ferrero for four decades, helping to launch the Kinder Surprise chocolate egg in 1974; in the decades since, more than 30 billion of the treats have been sold around the world.

The man who gave the Beatles away

Allan Williams helped the Beatles get early gigs.

Allan Williams complained of night-time torments when "my teeth make a gritty noise in my skull as I think of how I let the band and a million quid slip through my fingers".