Hugh Millais has died at age 79


Hugh Millais, great-grandson of the Pre-Raphaelite painter Sir John Everett Millais and a larger-than-life world-wanderer, has died in London. His colorful life included investing an inheritance of $100,000 from his mother on a dilapidated 60ft yacht with which he competed in races while touring the Caribbean islands with musicians such as Lord Melody, Mighty Sparrow and Cowboy Jack. The self-fashioned calypsonian was called by these legends of Caribbean calypso their “token whitey” and called him “Lord Bamboo” because of his great height (he was 6ft 6in). On entering Havana harbour, he was shot in the arm by some troops, but met Ernest Hemingway, a friend of his grandfather, who took him to a doctor and invited him to stay.

Millais, who met film director Robert Altman in Pamplona, where he was running the bulls and staying with Hemingway, appeared on the Western McCabe and Mrs Miller (1971) and Images (1972) , among other films. Hugh Millais summed up his recipe for life: “75 years, 0 hours of labour, 40,000 bottles of wine, a pinch of Song, Women (to taste). Sozzle gently over a low lifestyle, leave to marinade slowly, bring to fruition. Garnish the whole thing wildly in the telling.”

You can find his colorful obituary at


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