The Best Famous Last Words

Posted: 13/12/2017

We all like to have the last word on things, but have you ever actually considered your final last words, and what they would be?

Unfortunately, much like the very beginning when you first uttered a strange mumble of words that ended up of a variation of probably sounding like  ‘mum’ or ‘dad’, you won’t remember the last sentence you say. Well, it will be quite impossible to do so, given that you will be passing imminently once you have said it. But, we all live in some sort of vague hope that our last words may be poetic, profound and will have a lasting impact on those around us.

We take a look at some of the best famous last words of those who have passed, remembered for the beauty of their words, or for the comical or strangeness of their sentiment.

A Soldier’s Final Last Words

In 2014, the HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) put online nearly 300, 000 poignant last words of World War 1  soldiers online for the public to view.  Tucked into their uniform wherever the went, these wills represent the very final messages by soldiers who ended up paying the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Since their online release, over 1 million searches have been made online to look for relatives final words. One last message by a dying soldier in the trenches wrote in his final letter that:

‘…I am only sorry that I did not see you all before I went but…mother dear do not lose heart I may come back again…’

The public can search the records as well as order copies of the documents through GOV.UK). You are able to search for the will or last letter of any soldier who lost their lives whilst in the British armed forces between 1850 and 1986. You will need the following:

  • These cost £10 to access.
  • You will also need to know their last name and year of death.
  • A valid email address.

Perhaps you may find the final last words of a long-lost relative if you decide to take a look at the archives.


Karl Marx, philosopher (1818 – 1883)


Source: Wikimedia

Well, perhaps the earlier statement made about people always liked to have the last word on things was a bit of a generalisation if Marx’s final words are anything to go by : “Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.”

Source: International Business Times

Humphrey Bogart, actor (1899-1957) 


Source: Wikimedia

Whilst these last words seem more like the sort of sentence you would utter on the morning of a debilitating hangover, the star of Casablanca’s last sentence was “I should never have switched from scotch to martinis.”

Source: International Business Times

Errol Flynn, actor (1909 – 1959)


Source: Wikipedia

“I’ve had a hell of a lot of fun and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it” where the joyous last words of actor Errol Flynn despite soon dying of a huge heart attack, at the age of only 50. His love of whiskey did not go amiss beyond the grave, in which he was buried with no less than six bottles.



Bob Marley, singer (1945-1981)




‘Money can’t buy life’ were the last words of Marley, whose compilation album released after his early death is reggae’s best-selling album ever. Marley died of melanoma that spread to his lungs and brain after declining the amputation of his toe.

Source: The Guardian 

Ernest Hemingway, novelist (1899-1961)


Source: A&E’s biography


The winner of the Nobel prize in literature in 1954, and author of The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell To Arms and To Have Or To Have Not said his final words to his wife “goodnight my kitten” before committing suicide.

Source: Vulture

Lady Nancy Astor, MP, (1879-1964)


Source: The Guardian


The very first female MP in Britain ever to be elected to Parliament, holding her position as MP for Plymouth Sutton from 1919 until 1945. When she saw her loved ones gathered around her bed, she asked before passing away “Am I dying or is this my birthday?”.

Source: Stylist

Coco Chanel, designer, (1883-1971)


Source: Wikipedia



A designer with one of the most famous clothing legacies of all time, whose last words predictably echoed the same sort of nonchalant glamour her designs exhibited, “you see, this is how you die”.

Source: The Guardian

Sir Winston Churchill, Prime minister (1874-1965)


Source: Wikipedia

Prior to falling into a coma that would be the cause of his death, Sir Winston Churchill had seemingly had enough, uttering “oh, I am so bored with it all”.

Source: Wikiquote

Joan Crawford, actor (1906-1977)


Source: Wikipedia


Rather dramatically, the Oscar-winning actress Joan’s last words were “don’t you dare ask God to help me”, said to her housekeeper who had started to pray on her behalf as she suffered from a heart attack, that led to her death. The actress starred in many films, including Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, the Oscar-winning performance in Mildred Pierce, as well as starring in The Shining Hour and Trog.


Oscar Wilde, playwright, poet, author (1854-1900)


Source: Oscar Wilde



Oscar Wilde, the Irish poet, author and playwright of the late Victorian era. The writer of The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Importance of Being Earnest and Lady Windermere’s Fan, was characterised by his unparalleled wit and charm, by no surprise, managed to utter last words that were just as witty as his work had always been “my wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.”


Frida Kahlo, artist (1907-1954)


Source: Wikipedia


The Mexican painter, famous for her vibrant self-portraits, and who lost her leg the year before her death as a result of a gangrene infection said just before she died in her diary that “I hope the exit is joyful and hope never to come back”.


Charles Darwin, biologist (1809- 1992)




“I am not the least afraid to die” were the last words of Charles Darwin, whose theory of evolution by natural selection irrevocably changed the course of history and the way we consider our understanding of life.