Nightclub pioneer Peter Stringfellow dead at 77

Peter will be remembered for his flamboyant style, charismatic personality and for being a magnet for celebrities across the planet

Peter Stringfellow dead at 77: Nightclub owner passes away after secret battle with cancer

Peter Stringfellow has died aged 77 after a battle with cancer.

The nightclub mogul, who had wanted to keep his illness private, died in the early hours of Thursday morning after spending time in hospital, a spokesman said.

“It’s very sad news. He passed away in the early hours of this morning. It was kept very private, he didn’t want to tell. He wanted to keep it a secret,” his publicist said.

Known as the King of Clubs, Peter will be remembered for his flamboyant style, charismatic personality and for being a magnet for celebrities across the planet, with A-list stars across six decades flocking to perform and party at his various clubs around the world.

His eponymous London club, on Upper St Martins Lane, is one of the capital’s longest-running nightlife venues after opening in 1980, and will continue to operate as normal.

The sad news was announced on Thursday morning (Image: Daily Mirror)
Posing outside of the Hippodrome shortly after he bought it in 1983 (Image: Popperfoto)
Diana Princess of Wales meet Peter Stringfellow at the Birthright Ball wearing a red dress designed by fashion designer Bruce Oldfield
Princess Diana meets the nightclub mogul (Image: Getty)
Bella Wright and Peter Stringfellow celebrate his 65th birthday with a party at his club, Stringfellows on November 21, 2005 in London, England
Wife Bella and Peter Stringfellow at his 65th birthday party (Image: Getty)

He started his nightclub career in 1962 when he rented St. Aidan’s Church Hall in Sheffield every Friday night.

The following year, in April 1963, the Beatles played at the venue and put his name on the map. From there demand for tickets to his nights began to soar and he had to look for a bigger venue.

Later that year he started another club night and a host of other huge names played.

The 77-year-old pictured at one of his own parties in New York in 1987 (Image: Ron Galella Collection)
Peter and Lemmy at the Classic Rock of Honour Awards at Cafe de Paris in London in 2005 (Image: PA)
Peter Stringfellow's wife Bella holding their newborn daughter, Rosabella, who was born at London's Portland Hospital
They welcomed son Angelo in 2015 (Image: PA)
Peter Stringfellow and wife Bella Wright
Peter with wife Bella (Image: Getty)

As his popularity skyrocketed he went on to open more clubs, including Cinderella in Leeds.

In 1980 he opened Stringfellows in Covent Garden in London’s West End and went on to create venues in Paris, New York, Miami, Beverly Hills.

With its topless girls and exuberant after-hours entertainment, the Stringfellow brand became a byword for debauchery and sexual kicks that echoed of the empire created by late Playboy magnate Hugh Hefner.

The mogul said his clubs had hosted A-listers including Prince, Marvin Gaye, Rod Stewart and Tom Jones.

Professor Stephen Hawking once joined him for dinner at one of the venues
The dad-of-four pictured at Stringfellows in New York in 1987 (Image: Ron Galella Collection)

And it was not just celebrities who experienced Stringfellow’s hospitality – Professor Stephen Hawking once joined him for dinner at one of the venues.

Peter married wife Bella on Valentine’s Day in 2009 and they welcomed their first child, daughter Rosabella, in August 2013.

In September 2015 they welcomed son Angelo.

Peter also has a son and daughter, Scott and Karen, from his previous marriages.

In what’s thought to be his final TV appearance, he gave an interview to Good Morning Britain last October (Image: REX/Shutterstock)
Peter Stringfellow And Audley Harrelson, Brit Awards 2003
Peter and Audley Harrelson at the Brit Awards in 2003 (Image: Getty)
Peter with wife Bella and David Cameron at the Black and White Ball in 2006 (Image: Getty Images Europe)
The club legend was previously diagnosed with lung cancer in 2008. It wasn’t made public until six years later.
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In an interview given shortly after welcoming his fourth child, he said: “I do feel guilty about not telling the press at the time.”

He added to the Express: “But I didn’t want to be known as ‘poor old Pete who had cancer’. I think I just wanted to avoid all the sympathy.

“But every year since I have felt more and more guilty because, if I had made it known more widely, there’s a chance I might have been able to help other men in a similar position.”

Peter Stringfellow
Peter was previously diagnosed with lung cancer in 2008
Peter Stringfellow and wife Bella (Pic:Getty)
The couple wed on Valentine’s Day in 2009
The pair tied the knot in St Lucia (Image: Sunday Mirror)

In what’s thought to be his final TV appearance last October, the nightclub mogul spoke to Richard Madeley and Kate Garraway about welcoming a child at 75.

Kate asked him: “When is your cut-off point?”

But she was stunned when he replied: “Last night.”

This led to Richard joking: “I think we’ll have to give you a vasectomy, young man!”

Peter Stringfellow was known as the King of Clubs (Image: Daily Mirror)

Born in Sheffield in 1940, he was the eldest of four boys who were brought up by the women in his family after the men went to war.

He served a brief prison sentence in 1962 for selling stolen carpets, a sharp lesson which he said put him on the straight and narrow.

In a 2012 article for The Guardian he attributed his entrepreneurial spirit to his “feisty” mother.

He said sex was never a topic of conversation in the house, while his father declined an invitation to visit one of his establishments in his later years.


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