Robert Louis Stevenson is known for his many novels (Kidnapped, The Master of Ballantrae and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde among them) but what many don't know about the Scot is that he had wooden teeth, a reflection of the state of dental care in the 19th century. Today, the Faust International Youth Theatre is staging its version of Stevenson's Treasure Island at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. In 1990, the adventure was given the television-movie treatment, with the starring role going to Oliver Reed …

Born in 1938, Reed was known as much for his hard drinking as his tough-guy roles. In fact, the British hellraiser was so well known for his drunken antics that the public house in Malta in which he died, previously known as The Pub, was renamed Ollie's Last Pub in his memory. He was buried in Bruhenny Cemetery, in Cork, Ireland, the site of his grave picked so it was in full view of his favourite pub. Reed died during the filming of the 2000 sword-and-sandals hit Gladiator, starring Russell Crowe …

While many think of Crowe as being Australian, he was actually born in New Zealand, in 1964. Singer and guitarist for 30 Odd Foot of Grunts - a band that also featured Billy-Dean Cochran, who lived in Hong Kong a few years ago, performing with El Destroyo - Crowe's better known for his movies, which include A Beautiful Mind and L.A. Confidential. And it was this fame that made him a target of an al-Qaeda "cultural destabilisation" plot; apparently the actor was approached by the FBI in 2001 and informed that he was one of a select number of high-profile "Americans" on the terror group's hit list. In 2012, Crowe starred in the stage production of Les Misérables, based on the novel of the same name by Victor Hugo …

Born in 1802, Hugo is considered to have been one of the greatest French writers, but on occasion he suffered from writer's block. While trying to finish Les Misérables, he took all his clothes off, shut himself up in a room where he had only pen and paper for company and forced himself to write, finally finishing a story he began in the 1840s in 1862. Hugo reportedly drew with his left hand, without looking at the page, to access his unconscious mind, a concept later popularised by Sigmund Freud …

Born in Austria in 1856, Freud - the father of psychoanalysis - was a "coke head" who believed the white powder to be a miracle drug. He also loved his cigarettes and his chain-smoking led to more than 30 cancer surgeries. References to him in popular culture are many and include a part in the 2012 animation A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman, in which the character of Freud was voiced by Cameron Michelle Diaz …

The American actress is one of the highest-grossing stars in Hollywood but what money can't buy Diaz is a cure for her germophobia. In an interview in 1997, she admitted to scrubbing her Hollywood home scrupulously and washing her hands many times. In 2012, she starred in the comedy heist film Gambit, a remake of the 1966 hit that starred Michael Caine, whose many lead credits include the 1971 adventure flick Kidnapped, based, of course, on the novel of the same name by Robert Louis Stevenson.