This week: Europe's oldest person, a rapper with the Geto Boys and a prolific screenwriter

THE Italian Giuseppina Robucci, who has died aged 116, was the oldest person in Europe and the second oldest in the world.

The Italian news agency ANSA said Robucci died in the southern Italian town of Poggio Imperiale, where she was born on March 20, 1903. She lived 116 years and 90 days.

Robert Young of the US-based Gerontology Research Group said Robucci was the last European born in 1903. She was just two months younger than the current oldest living person, Kane Tanaka of Japan, who was born on January 2, 1903, he said. Robucci is No. 17 on the list of people in the world who have lived the longest lives.

Known locally as Nonna Peppa, Robucci had five children, nine grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. ANSA said she ran a coffee bar with her husband for years, and had been named honorary mayor in 2012.

Italy previously claimed the world’s oldest woman. Emma Moran, the last living person verified to have been born in the 1800s, died on April 15, 2017 at the age of 117 years and 137 days.

THE diminutive, one-eyed rapper Bushwick Bill, who has died aged 52, was known for his work with the Geto Boys on hits like Mind Playing Tricks On Me and Six Feet Deep.

The Geto Boys were a trio consisting of Bushwick Bill (whose real name was Richard Shaw), Scarface and Willie D that launched in the late 1980s. Their gritty verses punctuated by tales of violence, misogyny and hustling made them platinum sensations and showed that rap had strength outside the strongholds of New York, where it got its start, and later Los Angeles.

Bushwick Bill was the group’s most explosive member, and played up his real-life chaos. The cover of the Geto Boys We Can’t Be Stopped features him on a gurney with a garish eye wound. Later, he would compare himself to the horror character Chucky, even writing a song about it.

On another of the group’s tracks, Damn It Feels Good to be a Gangsta, he rapped about being a smart gangster who was positioning himself for success and longevity rather than a violent early death.

The rapper was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in February. He had been planning to go on tour around the time he was hospitalised. Bushwick Bill said he wasn’t afraid of dying, referencing one of his songs, Ever So Clear, from his 1992 solo album, where he talks about shooting himself in the head and losing an eye when he was high on drugs.

“I died and came back already on June 19, 1991 so I know what it’s like on the other side,” he said.

He said he was working on new music because, “I notice when most celebrities pass, they really don’t have nothing set up for their children and everything’s in disarray so I figure, old music will sell but if I have new music for them ... at least they will have residual income from those things.”

THE screenwriter Bill Wittliff, who has died aged 79, was best known for co-writing Lonesome Dove, the epic Western television series starring Robert Duvall.

Wittliff was also the writer and director of the 1986 film Red Headed Stranger, shared screenplay credit on the 1979 film The Black Stallion and 1994's The Legends of the Fall, and wrote the screenplays for the 1981 film Raggedy Man and 2000's The Perfect Storm.