Famous figures who died during sex – including Hollywood A-lister’s dad

Randy Renaissance artist Raphael is reckoned to have died from too much sex, according to the 16th century biographer Giorgio Vasari.

The historian claimed the Italian painter perished aged 37, in 1520, exhausted in his pursuit of “carnal pleasures”.

Now a new blockbuster exhibition of Raphael’s works at the National Gallery, starting on Saturday, features his favourite lover, Margherita Luti, in his saucy masterpiece The Baker’s Daughter.

But, as James Moore reveals, he isn’t the only famous figure to die in the throes of passion…

Pope-ing off

Bizarrely, historians reckon at least four randy pontiffs have died while having sex. Most notable was Pope John XII, nicknamed “Bad John” who died while still in his twenties on May, 14, 964AD, in Rome. He had been in bed with a woman called Stefanetta, then was caught by her husband who angrily bludgeoned the holy man to death with a hammer.

Last baize

Bonking-barmy Prime Minister Lord Palmerston, played by Laurence Fox in TV’s Victoria, was famed for his affairs and was once told off by Queen Victoria for ­trying to seduce a lady-in-waiting. The politician is reckoned to have died in 1865 romping with a parlour maid on a ­billiard table at Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire. The official version put out at the time was that the 80-year-old died of a chill.

French farce

On February 16, 1899, French President Felix Faure died of a stroke, aged 58. At the time he was being given oral sex by 30-year-old Marguerite Steinheil on a sofa at his official residence, the Élysée Palace in Paris.

Guards rushed into the room to find her screaming. She was later cruelly dubbed the “Kiss Of Death” and played by Evelyne Brochu in a TV series Paris Police 1900.

Bawd help us

Another Frenchman, Cardinal Jean Danielou, was an expert on sexual ethics, but he died aged 69 on May 20, 1974 while inside a Paris brothel. Church officials claimed he had been bringing “charity” to a prostitute.

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Vice way to go

Married former US Vice-President Nelson Rockefeller, from the famous American oil dynasty, died on January 26, 1979, from a heart attack at a New York town house. It’s alleged the 70-year-old businessman was in the arms of a 25-year-old aide at the time, who was forced to call the emergency services.

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Room with a woo

Aussie politician Sir Billy Snedden, ex-leader of the nation’s Liberal Party, died on June 27, 1987, from a heart attack at a Sydney motel room after ­travelling to attend an election launch.

A policeman said the 60-year-old, who was separated from his wife Lady Joy, had died “at the peak of physical congress”. It later emerged he’d actually been having sex with an ex-girlfriend of his son Drew, who quipped: “I’m sure the old man went out happy.”

Horny hope

Actor Matthew McConaughey’s dad Jim died of a heart attack in 1992 while romping with the star’s mum Kay. The 52-year-old and married dad-of-three has said: “I can’t think of a better way to go. I hope my own death is way down the line, but when it happens, that’s my preferred exit strategy.”

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