By famous do you mean 'well known or 'celebrity status'? My 'best known' friend was my Grandad, Alfred Stanley Lancaster. He was 'taken' too early by cancer. Yet he was brave to the end, not like me. I didn't want to see him in his state, having lost more than half his weight to the disease.
I wanted to remember him as I knew him over thirty years or so of my life.
He was born near the end of the 19th Century, Victorian by birth but not by nature. He was born near Northallerton in the North Riding of Yorkshire the second son of a former farm worker from East Anglia and a woman who inherited her father's farm at West Rounton in her own right. He was not to inherit the farm, due to unforseen circumstances, but remained cheerful. He had a temper, though, and was threatened more than once by my grandmother, that she would leave him. He calmed down over the years, with one step-daughter and three of his own children to look after as well as a wife - a former district nurse who originally hailed from Leeds - with a mind of her own. He had to leave farming in the 1930's after moving around the county in search of work. Work led him to Dorman Long Steel works during WWII, and then I came along, the eldest of my generation. He cheered us all, and was known almost throughout Grangetown where we all lived in a four-bedroomed terraced house at 22 Vickers Street (near the works), him and Grandma, my Mother, Dad, me, Auntie Lorna and Uncle Ian. It was like living in a rabbit hutch but we managed. Grandad had an allotment where he kept chickens and another where he grew vegetables and tomatoes etc. The male chickens went at Christmas time to ours and other peoples' tables. He kept the hens for the eggs which he also sold. A farmer down to his bootstraps. We didn't need to buy potatoes and such, either. He kept up these two allotments until well after retiring in the late 1960's, and he kept up the cheer. After my divorce he kept me cheerful, despite his own aches and pains. He'd suffered from varicose veins from being a young man - they kept him from a possible death in the trenches - but soldiered on, undefeated.
But it was the cancer that finally defeated him. .