Iggy's public life started 44 years ago when she was spotted by an NME photographer and was promptly and accurately described as half an Eskimo. This took place in The Cromwellian, a bar, restaurant and casino owned by wrestler Paul Lincoln. For a while The Cromwellian was the hot place to be and even when the place lost its crown to The Scotch Of St James there were still enough celebrities around to have a chat with.
The club was owned by wrestler Paul Lincoln who set his first steps in music business by opening the legendary 2I's coffee bar. In our four-part series Bending at The Crom the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit attempted to assemble several loose facts about the club that lay scattered all over the web, but unfortunately we were unable to contact Paul Lincoln himself.
Wrestling Heritage just published the following sad news.
The wrestling fraternity is mourning Paul Lincoln, the man who was the Doctor Death, passed away on Tuesday 11th January. (...)
In 1951 he left Australia for Britain, where he started wrestling the following year. He established himself as a popular and respected wrestler, particularly in the south of England. Paul met up with a school friend who was also a wrestler, Ray Hunter. In 1956 they pooled their savings to buy a coffee bar in Old Compton Street, London, the “The Two I’s.” The name was retained from the previous owners, the Irani brothers.
Under Paul Lincoln and Ray Hunter management the coffee bar established itself as a home for many young entertainers, giving them the chance to display their talent to fellow customers. Amongst the many who took this opportunity and went on to greater fame were Tommy Steele, Adam Faith, Marty Wilde and Cliff Richard. Lincoln also opened an Italian restaurant in Soho and together with Ray Hunter, Bob Anthony Al ' Hayes he purchased The Cromwellian bar, restaurant and casino.
In 1958 Paul and Ray turned to the promotional side of wrestling, setting up Paul Lincoln Managements. (...) Paul pulled on a mask and appeared on his own bills as the masked man Doctor Death. Even without television exposure Doctor Death became a household name. The masked man was imitated many times, but fans overwhelmingly believe Paul Lincoln was not only the original Doctor Death he was also the best. (...)
Paul Lincoln was to be remembered, and will continue to be so, as one of the most influential figures in British wrestling. Paul Lincoln passed away on Tuesday 11th January, 2011. (Taken from: Wrestling World Mourns Paul Lincoln.)
On behalf of The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit I would like to offer our sincere sympathies to the Lincoln family.
Update August 2011: In July 2011 Paul Lincoln was awarded The Number One Masked Man of the Heritage Years by the Wrestling Heritage website.