16. Linda McCartney
When Linda Eastman married Paul McCartney in Marylebone in 1969, she claimed the last unmarried Beatle. Their marriage lasted until her death in 1998. Highly criticized for her lack of discernible musical ability during her performances with Wings, she persevered and remained with her husband’s performing bands until 1993. An accomplished photographer, she took pictures of most of the major performers of the late 1960s and through the 1970s, as well as actors and other celebrities. She adopted vegetarianism in 1971, taking her husband with her, and produced several vegetarian cookbooks as well her own line of frozen vegetarian meals. It made her wealthy outside of her husband’s fortune.
From vegetarianism came an interest in animal rights, and Linda became a strong supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), as well as a television spokesperson. Her support of animal rights extended to preventing cruel treatment or injury during the filming, and she argued against sports that caused harm, including fishing. Following her untimely death from breast cancer at the age of 56, PETA established the Linda McCartney Memorial Award in her name. Paul presented the first such award to Pamela Anderson, herself an advocate against the wearing of fur, in 1999. Linda’s family remained involved in all of her projects and organizations, including her line of vegetarian foods, after her death in 1998.