But he was also the publicist many celebrities turned to when they wanted to keep a lid on their indiscretions.
Among those he has represented are Antonia de Sancha, an actress who had an affair with Mellor, a minister in John Major's Tory administration.
He also worked with Faria Alam (above left), the woman who had affairs with England manager Eriksson and FA boss Mark Palios. Later, he acted as spokesman for Jade Goody (above right), the former reality TV star, during her very public battle with cancer which was to prove terminal.
Brought up in Wimbledon, south London, Clifford left school at 15. As a young man he was sacked as a shop assistant before training as a journalist, moving on to work in press relations for a record company, then starting his own company, Max Clifford Associates, at 27.
The firm looked after UK press for a string of big names from the US.
The publicist's first wife, Liz, died of cancer in 2003. Their daughter Louise was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis aged six and has since had a host of operations.
Clifford was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007 and the following year was told he was in remission. He married Jo Westwood in 2010.