Website last updated: 16-6-2017

#birthdays

18 JUNE 2017
JAMES BOND 007 PRODUCER BARBARA BROCCOLI

This day marks the birthday of Barbara Broccoli, half-sister of Michael G. Wilson and daughter of Dana Broccoli (1922-2004) & Albert R. Broccoli (1909-1996), executive producer (with Michael) for every James Bond film since 1995.

"Dear Barbara - happy birthday and lots of love from Sweden. Much like the rest of the Bond community, FSWL is looking forward to SPECTRE."

With this page, FSWL would also like to congratulate Barbara (and Michael G. Wilson) to their much deserved David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures presented to them at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in January 2014.

About Barbara Broccoli:
Barbara Broccoli is a graduate of Loyola University in Los Angeles where she majored in motion picture and television communications, Barbara Broccoli has worked in the production and casting departments at Eon Productions for over 30 years.

Starting her career as an assistant director on Octopussy (1983) (1983) and A View to a Kill (1985), Barbara worked her way up to become associate producer on The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989).

Together with Michael, Barbara have produced GoldenEye (1995) (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999), Die Another Day (2002), Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008) and the latest film, awarded with two Academy Awards and two BAFTA's amongst many others, and hugely successful Skyfall (2012) (2012).

Through her own independent production company, Astoria Productions, Barbara produced Crime of the Century (1996) for HBO, starring Stephen Rea and Isabella Rossellini and directed by Mark Rydell from a screenplay by William Nicholson based on a book by Ludovic Kennedy. The television film, about the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby, was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards – Best Film, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor – in the category covering Motion Pictures or Mini-Series made for Television.

Barbara is Chair of First Light, UK Film Council’s filmmaking initiative for young people.

In 2003, together with Dana, Michael and Barbara produced the award winning stage version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang which opened to rave reviews in London and later in New York.

Together with MGW, Barbara has produced a number of other stage productions including “La Cava” (2000) and A Steady Rain (2009) (the latter starring Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman). More recently, Broccoli and Wilson adapted “Chariots of Fire” which opened in London’s West End during the 2012 Olympic summer.

Barbara was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in Her Majesty the Queen’s New Years Honours list 2008 for services to the Film Industry.

She acted as one of the producers behind A Steady Rain, a Broadway play starring Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman, in 2009.

In June 2012, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson won a Tony Award for Best Musical as producer of Once: The musical.

In May 2013 it was announced that Barbara and Michael's production company, EON Productions, will executively produce and co-finance a new film project outside of their commitments with the James Bond series. The film, The Silent Storm, is a drama starring British actors Damian Lewis and Andrea Riseborough. Filming begins at the end of June 2013 in Scotland.

Editor's note:
After a special invitation from Sony, FSWL (Anders Frejdh) interviewed Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, director Sam Mendes, and Daniel Craig in conjunction with the premiere of SKYFALL in London, these interviews will be published at a later date.

Photo above:
Signed photo from Barbara Broccoli to FSWL's founder Anders Frejdh. © From Sweden with Love.

Read more about James Bond film producer Barbara Broccoli on IMDB:
www.imdb.com/name/nm0110483/

Tags:

#birthdays

21 JANUARY 2017
BIRTHDAY OF PRODUCER MICHAEL G. WILSON

A celebration of executive James Bond film producer Michael G. Wilson - half-brother of Barbara Broccoli, son of Dana Broccoli and stepson of Albert R. Broccoli - on his birthday.

"Dear Michael - happy birthday & keep up the great work. Much like the rest of the Bond community, FSWL is looking forward to SPECTRE."

With this special page, FSWL would also like to congratulate Michael (and Barbara Broccoli) to their much deserved David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures (presented to them at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in January 2014).

About Michael G. Wilson:
Michael G. Wilson (born 1942) joined EON Productions in a legal-administrative capacity in 1972 and was credited as assistant to the producer on The Spy Who Loved Me in 1977. He received his stripes as Executive Producer on Moonraker (1979) and continued with that credit on the following two Bond films.

He became Producer with his stepfather, the late Albert R. Broccoli, on A View to a Kill (1985), continuing with The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989).

When James Bond returned to the screen after an absence of six years, Michael Wilson co-produced (with Barbara) the hugely successful GoldenEye (1995), followed by the blockbuster 007 releases Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999), Die Another Day (2002) and Casino Royale (2006).

Together with Barbara, Michael also produced the 22nd and 23rd 007 film adventures, Quantum of Solace (2008) and Skyfall. Both films starring Daniel Craig as Ian Fleming's James Bond.

His creative abilities are evident in For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983) (1983), AVTAK, TLD and LTK - all of which he co-wrote.

He is currently Managing Director of Eon Productions Ltd.

Michael Wilson graduated from college as an electrical engineer. He then studied law at Stanford University, worked for the US government and later became a partner in a prestigious Washington D.C. firm that specialised in international law.

Michael is interested in all aspects of still photography and is recognised as a leading expert on 19th century photography. He is a member of the Advisory Council of the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television (a branch of the NMSI) and, in 1998, he founded the Wilson Centre for study and research on the history and aesthetics of photography.

In 2003, together with their mother Dana Broccoli, Michael and Barbara produced the award winning stage version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which opened to rave reviews in London and later in New York.

Together with Barbara Broccoli he has also produced a number of other stage productions including “La Cava” (2000) and A Steady Rain (2009) (the latter starring Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman). More recently, Wilson and Broccoli adapted “Chariots of Fire” which opened in London’s West End during the 2012 Olympic summer.

Wilson was awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire) in Her Majesty the Queen’s New Year Honours List 2008 for services to the Film Industry.

Editor's note:
Michael G. Wilson is noted for making cameos in the James Bond films. Here is the complete list:

Goldfinger (1964) (one of the soldiers at Fort Knox)
• The Spy Who Loved Me (man in the audience at the Pyramid Theatre)
• Moonraker (man outside Venini Glass, NASA Technician and man on bridge)
• For Your Eyes Only (Greek Priest at wedding)
• Octopussy (Soviet Security Council Member and man on tour boat)
• A View to a Kill (Man's voice heard over loudspeaker at San Francisco City Hall)
• The Living Daylights (Opera Patron)
• Licence to Kill (no cameo, only the voice of DEA agent)
• GoldenEye (Russian Security Council Member)
• Tomorrow Never Dies (Tom Wallace)
• The World Is Not Enough (man in casino)
• Die Another Day (General Chandler)
• Casino Royale (Chief of Police)
Quantum of Solace (man sitting in chair in Haitian hotel lobby)
• Skyfall (one of the men standing outside the coffin room).

Photo above:
An inscribed photo from Michael G. Wilson to FSWL's founder Anders Frejdh.

Read more about James Bond film producer Michael G. Wilson on Wikipedia:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_G._Wilson

Tags:

#birthdays

12 NOVEMBER 2016
A CELEBRATION OF LEGENDARY PETER LAMONT

FSWL celebrates Peter Lamont on his birthday. Peter is a very talented British production designer who was in charge for amazing sets to nine James Bond films although he is associated with no less than 18 films in the most successful film franchise in the world.

With this page, we would like to celebrate Peter Lamont on his birthday and remind everyone about his biography The Man with the Golden Eye, co-written with Marcus Hearn, which will be published by Signum Books in November 2016.

"Dear Peter, happy birthday and warmest regards from Sweden with love. Your contribution to the James Bond phenomenon is clearly evident on the big screen."

About Peter Lamont (compiled by Anders Frejdh)
Peter Lamont was born on November 12, 1929 in England and is a noted set decorator, script editor, art director and production designer.

Forever associated with the James Bond films, Peter Lamont began as a draughtsman on films such as The Importance of Being Earnest (1952), then as set decorator on This Sporting Life (1963) and Thunderball (1965), then as art director for the first time on Sleuth (1972). In this capacity he worked on several more Bond films before getting his first Production Designer credit on For Your Eyes Only (1981). Since then, he has been a regular Bond collaborator, as the films' design has grown ever more extravagantly eye-catching.

Peter once had a phone call about the mini breathing-equipment James Bond used in Thunderball, a question about how long the air lasted. Lamont replied: "As long you can hold your breath". The person on the phone said he saw Bond use it for minutes. Lamont answered: "It is the skill of the editor", and the phone went dead.

Throughout his near 60-year career in the film industry, Lamont has been nominated for three Academy Awards for his work on Fiddler on the Roof (1971), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), and Aliens (1986). He was nominated a fourth time and won for Titanic (1997).

The only Bond films that Peter hasn't work on are Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012) (2012) and SPECTRE (2015).

On August 22, 1982, Lamont was a passenger on a Indian Airlines flight from Mumbai to New Delhi (for the location filming of Octopussy), which was hijacked by a lone Sikh militant, armed with a pistol and a hand grenade. Indian security forces killed the hijacker and rescued all passengers, including Lamont.

Since many years, Peter Lamont is a committee member of The British Film Designers Guild.

Peter has now retired from the film industry but his son, Neil Lamont, continues his legacy working as an art director.

Peter Lamont's various credits from the James Bond film series (1964-2006):
Draftsman:
Goldfinger (1964) (1964)

Set decorator:
Thunderball (1965) (1965)
You Only Live Twice (1967) (1967)
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
Diamonds Are Forever (1971) (1971)

Art director:
Live and Let Die (1973) (1973)
The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) (1974)
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) (1977)
Moonraker (1979) (1979) (Visual effects)

Production designer:
For Your Eyes Only (1981) (1981)
Octopussy (1983) (1983)
A View to a Kill (1985) (1985)
The Living Daylights (1987) (1987)
Licence to Kill (1989) (1989)
GoldenEye (1995) (1995)
The World Is Not Enough (1999) (1999)
Die Another Day (2002) (2002)
Casino Royale (2006) (2006)

A selection of Peter Lamont's other film credits:
• Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) — Assistant set director
• Eve of Destruction (1991) — Production designer
• True Lies (1994) — Production designer
• Wing Commander (1999) — Production designer

Photo above:
Peter Lamont at Pinewood Studios in July 2013. Photo by Sascha Braun. © From Sweden with Love. All rights reserved.

Learn more about Peter Lamont's amazing career, visit his profile on IMDB:
www.imdb.com/name/nm0483682/

Tags:

#birthdays

25 OCTOBER 2016
A CELEBRATION OF TERENCE MOUNTAIN

A celebration of Norman Wanstall, Academy Award winning dubbing editor for his work on Goldfinger (1964) (1964) and long-time FSWL supporter, on his 80th birthday.

With this page, From Sweden with Love would like to extend our personal wishes to Norman, a gentleman and wonderful person in real life.

"Our sincere best wishes for your birthday Norm, FSWL love you very much."

About Norman Wanstall:
Norman Wanstall graduated from Walpole Grammar School before entering the film business where he worked on the first five James Bond films. Apart from Goldfinger mentioned above, his Bond films include Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Thunderball (1965) (1965), and You Only Live Twice (1967).

In 1970 he was sent to Copenhagen to edit The Only Way starring Jane Seymour which dealt with the escape of the Jews to Sweden in World War II.

Eager to leave London and raise his family in a more rural environment, he left the industry in 1977 after writing and editing the bull-fighting documentary Rejoneador. In 1983 he was recalled as sound editor on Never Say Never Again (1983), Sean Connery's seventh and last film as James Bond.

Wanstall is a founding member of The Guild of British Film Editors and represented Britain on the first Features Jury at Cork Film Festival on Ireland.

Anders Frejdh, founder of FSWL, invited Norman to come to Sweden and give a lecture about his sound editing work for a special and unique James Bond course at University of Skövde in 2006. Read a report from that occasion.

Comments on Norman:
"A lovely, unpretentious, unassuming man. Very friendly and very interesting."
Margaret Nolan (Dink in Goldfinger)

"I’m proud to know Norman as a very dear friend and ex colleague. To look at him I find it difficult to reconcile the fact he’s 80. He certainly doesn’t look it. I must find out what tablets he’s on. God bless Norman, may he be around for many years yet."
Colin Miller (Sound editor on TSWLM, Moonraker, FYEO, Octopussy, AVTAK and TLD)

Video from when Norman Wanstall won the Oscar® for Sound Effects after his work on Goldfinger:


Photo above:
Norman Wanstall on Goldfinger Avenue at Pinewood Studios in 2009. © From Sweden with Love

Read more about Norman Wanstall's film career on IMDB:
www.imdb.com/name/nm0005878/

Tags:

#birthdays

4 OCTOBER 2016
STOCKHOLM-BASED CINEMATOGRAPHER HOYTE VAN HOYTEMA

A celebration of the talented and much loved cinematographer (director of photograpy) Hoyte van Hoytema who lives in Stockholm since many years. SPECTRE was Hoyte van Hoytema's first James Bond film.

With this special page, From Sweden with Love would like to celebrate Hoyte van Hoytema on his birthday.

"Dear Hoyte, happy birthday and keep up the great work."

About Hoyte van Hoytema:
Hoyte van Hoytema (born 1971) is an award-winning cinematographer. A native of The Netherlands, he began his career studying at the esteemed Polish National Film School in Lodz before going on to shoot several films, commercials, documentaries and TV series in Sweden, Norway, Germany and the United Kingdom.

In 2006, Hoyte founded Furious People with his Swedish wife Mia.

In 2008, Hoyte’s cinematography for Swedish director Tomas Alfredson’s critically-acclaimed masterpiece Let the Right One In earned him several awards and the attention of world-renowned filmmakers. David O. Russell hired Hoyte to shoot his 2010 film The Fighter starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale. The following year, he re-teamed with Alfredson on Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2010) for which both the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) and BAFTA nominated Hoyte for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography. Hoyte then shot Spike Jonze’s futuristic love story Her in 2013. Christopher Nolan next brought Hoyte on to film Interstellar, which brought him another BAFTA nomination.

After SPECTRE, Hoyte worked on the short Kenzo World (2016) and is currently working on Dunkirk (2017) which marks his second collaboration with director Christopher Nolan.

Photo above:
Hoyte van Hoytema with Daniel Craig (James Bond) and Ben Whishaw (Q) during the filming of SPECTRE in London in December 2014.

For more information about Hoyte van Hoytema, check out his IMDB profile.

Tags:

#birthdays

10 SEPTEMBER 2016
BIRTHDAY OF STUNT SUPREMO GARY POWELL

A celebration of Gary Powell on his birthday. Powell, a great stunt performer himself, comes from a talented family with special bonds to the James Bond film franchise. All in all, the family has over 40 years of experience working on the films.

With this special page, From Sweden with Love would like to send our sincere best wishes to the brave stuntman and talented stunt coordinator.

"Happy birthday Gary, warm regards from Sweden. Keep up the great work, your credits speak for themselves."

About Gary Powell:
Gary Powell was born in London and comes from a family of stuntmen with a special association with the James Bond films. He is the younger son of Nosher Powell (1928-2013) who worked on every Bond film from From Russia with Love (1963) (1963) to A View to a Kill (1985) (1985). His elder brother, Greg Powell, worked on some of the films with Roger Moore (The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), For Your Eyes Only (1981) and A View to a Kill (1985)) as well as Never Say Never Again (1983) (1983) with Sean Connery.

Powell performed his first stunt at the age of 11 on the British television series Carry On Dick (1974) - a spin-off of the 'Carry On' films - doubling for Barbara Windsor. Working his way through the ranks to stunt coordinator, his other credits include: Titanic (1997), Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan (1998), Terminator 3 (2003), Alexander (2004), The Legend of Zorro (2005), Bourne Ultimatum (2007), Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), The Green Lantern (2011) and 47 Ronin (2013).

When Gary finished his work on SPECTRE (2015) it was his fourth consecutive James Bond film in the role as Stunt coordinator. The first was Casino Royale (2006) in 2006, the second Quantum of Solace (2008) in 2008, and the third Skyfall (2012) in 2012.
In Casino Royale, the stunt team broke a Guinness World Record for the ‘Most Cannon Rolls In a Car’, won the Taurus World Stunt Award for Best Stunt At Height and Powell himself won the World Stunt Award for Best Stunt Coordinator.

Previously, Powell worked as a stuntman on three consecutive 007 film adventures; GoldenEye (1995) (1995) in which he doubled for Pierce Brosnan driving the tank, Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) (1997) and The World Is Not Enough (1999) (1999) (doubling for Pierce Brosnan in the boat chase on the Thames).

Gary Powell has changed the face of action in the Bond films the way that Bob Simmons did back in the sixties. His understanding of the action genre is without equal and this is evident in the steady stream of big Hollywood directors who want to have him for their project.

Editor's note:
Gary's uncle, Dennis 'Dinny' Powell, also worked on the Bonds along with his brother Nosher.

And just in case you thought that was it from the Powell family, Greg’s daughter Tilly is one of the stunt drivers in Skyfall. Stunting is truly a family business.

>The 50 greatest stunts in James Bond films
>James Bond stunt doubles
>The top 10 stunts in the James Bond film series

Other talented James Bond stunt people featured on From Sweden With Love:
>Belle Williams (stuntwoman)
>Bill Weston (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Bob Anderson (stuntman/sword master)
>Doug Robinson (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Eunice Huthart (stuntwoman)
>George Leech (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Greg Powell (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Jim Dowdall (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Lars Lundgren (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Malcolm Weaver (stuntman)
>Martin Grace (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Mickey Baker (stuntman)
>Nick Gillard (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Nick Wilkinson (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Nosher Powell (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Paul Weston (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Remy Julienne (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Richard Graydon (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Rocky Taylor (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Roy Alon (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Sarah Donohue (stuntwoman)
>Terry Cade (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Terry Richards (stuntman)
>Trevor Steedman (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Vic Armstrong (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Wendy Leech (stuntwoman)

Photo above:
Gary Powell on the set of Skyfall in Istanbul riding Patrice's motorcyle.

Check out Gary Powell's profile on IMDB for more information about his work in films:
www.imdb.com/name/nm0694120/

Tags:

#birthdays

6 SEPTEMBER 2016
A CELEBRATION OF ACTRESS NAOMIE HARRIS

A celebration of the talented British actress Naomie Harris, member of the 'James Bond family' since 2012, on her 40th birthday. Naomie's birthday, 6th September, is the same date that FSWL was launched online (in 2004) and also the birthday of James Bond novelist Raymond Benson.

With this special page, From Sweden with Love would like to celebrate Naomie Harris on her birthday.

"Dear Naomie, happy birthday and keep up the great work."

About Naomie Harris:
Naomie Harris (born 1976) is a critically acclaimed actress, working in film, television, and theatre. In SPECTRE, she reprised her role as Moneypenny. She first played the role in Skyfall (2012), opposite Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench and Ralph Fiennes.

In the summer of 2015, Harris co-starred in Antoine Fuqua’s Southpaw alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, and Forest Whitaker. Harris also recently completed production on director Susanna White’s Our Kind Of Traitor opposite Ewan McGregor, Damian Lewis and Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård; and Jungle Book: Origins for director Andy Serkis, alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, Christian Bale, and Cate Blanchett. Harris is currently in production on Moonlight, directed by Barry Jenkins, and has signed on to star in Clearance for director Aku Louhimies, as well as Rachel DuPree for Claire McCarthy.

In 2013, Harris starred in the Nelson Mandela biopic Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom opposite Idris Elba. For her performance as Mandela's controversial second wife Winnie, Harris was nominated for two London Critics Circle Awards and an NAACP Image Award.

The London-born actress had her first major breakthrough performance in 2002 with Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later and went on to receive further international recognition and a BAFTA Orange Rising Star nomination for her role as the voodoo witch Tia Dalma in Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) and Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End (2007). Other major feature film credits include Michael Mann's Miami Vice (2007); Michael Winterbottom's Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story (2005); Street Kings (2008) with Keanu Reeves and Forest Whitaker; Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll with Andy Serkis; and Justin Chadwick’s The First Grader (2010).

Harris has also starred at The National Theatre in London in Danny Boyle's production of “Frankenstein” opposite Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller. On television, she featured in the BBC's “Small Island” for which she was awarded Best Actress at The Royal Television Society Awards in 2010. Her other TV credits include: “Blood And Oil”; the UK's popular television adaptation of Zadie Smith's bestselling novel, “White Teeth”; as well as the adaptation of the novel “Poppy Shakespeare” and Peter Kosminsky's “The Project”.

Photo above:
Naomie Harris at the SPECTRE premiere in Mexico, November 2, 2015. © 2015 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Danjaq, LLC and Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved.

For more information about Naomie Harris, check out her profile on IMDB:
www.imdb.com/name/nm0365140/

Tags:

#birthdays

10 JUNE 2016
SPECIAL EFFECTS MAESTRO JOHN RICHARDSON

A celebration of British special effects and miniature supervisor John Richardson, member of the 'James Bond family' since 1977.

With this page, From Sweden with Love would like to celebrate John Richardson and officially thank him for accepting our invitation to come to our James Bond festival in Stockholm on 19-21 September 2014.

"Happy birthday John, your contribution to the James Bond film series and legacy of 007 are forever. FSWL loves you!"

"John has been an important mentor to myself and many other leading Special Effects technicians. It is a privilege to have worked with him and he has been a major inspiration to my career." – Chris Corbould (Special effects technician/supervisor on 14 James Bond films since 1979 including SPECTRE)

"Congratulations to John on reaching the ripe old age of 70. John was my right hand man on my many Bond films and other films going back a long time. I always said he was the best at 'big bangs' and trust his birthday will go the same way." – John Glen (Director of five Bond films)

"Wish John to have a great day. It seems like a couple of years ago we were in Deventer."
Vic Armstrong (Stunt coordinator on four 007 films who has also doubled for four of the six Bond actors)

About John Richardson:
John Richardson (born in London 1946), son of legendary Cliff Richardson (1905–1985), has been the Special Effects Supervisor on nine James Bond films.

Richardson's Bond career started in 1967 with special effects work on the spoof version of Casino Royale. After a few non-Bond films supervising special effects - Rollerball (1975) starring Maud Adams, Omen (1976), A Bridge Too Far (1977) starring Sean Connery, and Superman (1978) - he started his work for EON Productions as SFX Supervisor on Moonraker (1979) (1979). He returned to the 007 franchise in the same role for Octopussy (1983) (1983) followed by work as VFX and SFX Supervisor on three consecutive Bond films - A View to a Kill (1985), The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989).
In 1997, when Pierce Brosnan had taken over the role of Bond from Timothy Dalton, John worked as Model and Miniature Supervisor on another three of the 007 films - Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999) and Die Another Day (2002)

Other impressive film credits as Special Effects Supervisor include Willow (1988), Treasure Island (1990), Highlander II (1991) starring Sean Connery, The American President (1995), Broken Arrow (1996) as well as all films in the Harry Potter franchise.

In 1987, he was honoured with an Oscar® for James Cameron’s Aliens. John was also nominated for an Academy Award for his work with the special effects in Cliffhanger (1993), Starship Troopers (1997) starring Denise Richards as well as for three of the Harry Potter films.

John, a keen golf player, is now retired from the film industry and currently resides in the UK with this wife Rosie.

Photo above:
SFX maestro John Richardson with two-time Bond girl Carole Ashby in Stockholm 2014. Photo by Sofia Sanchez. © News from Europe and Latin America. All rights reserved.

For more information about John Richardson, check out his profile on IMDB:
www.imdb.com/name/nm0724624/

Tags:

#birthdays

17 FEBRUARY 2016
A CELEBRATION OF ACTOR RORY KINNEAR

A celebration of the talented and much loved British actor Rory Kinnear, member of the 'James Bond family' since 2008.

With this special page, From Sweden with Love would like to celebrate Rory Kinnear on his birthday. (Rory shares birthday with Bond girls Anne Lönnberg and Denise Richards.)

"Dear Rory, happy birthday and keep up the great work."

About Rory Kinnear:
Rory Kinnear read English at Oxford University before studying to be an actor at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), graduating in 2001. Kinnear has worked extensively at the National Theatre in London. His work there includes critically acclaimed performances as Sir Fopling Flutter in the Restoration comedy “The Man Of Mode” (Olivier Award), Pyotr in “Philistines”, Vindice in "The Revenger's Tragedy", Mitia in "Burnt by the Sun" and the title role in “Hamlet” (Evening Standard Best Actor Award).

In addition to his theatre credits, Kinnear has worked consistently in television. His credits include the BBC1 drama “Five Days”, “Mansfield Park” in the role of Rushworth, as Dennis Thatcher in the BBC TV drama “Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk To Finchley”, Septimus Hanbury in "Cranford", Bolingbroke in “Richard II”, Reverend Crisparkle in “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”, Prime Minister Michael Callow in“Black Mirror: National Anthem”, and Rupert Birkin in “Women in Love”.

Rory Kinnear returns for the third time as Bill Tanner in SPECTRE (2015), previously having worked on Quantum of Solace (2008) and Skyfall (2012) (2012) as the same character.

Photo above:
Rory Kinnear at the photo call for SPECTRE at Pinewood Studios. Photo by David Dettmann. © 2014 Columbia TriStar Marketing Group, Inc. and MGM Studios. All rights reserved.

For more information about Rory Kinnear, check out his profile on IMDB:
www.imdb.com/name/nm1239499/

Tags:

#birthdays

23 DECEMBER 2015
MAIN TITLES DESIGNER DANIEL KLEINMAN

A celebration of the talented British director and main titles designer Daniel Kleinman, member of the 'James Bond family' since 1995.

With this special page, From Sweden with Love would like to celebrate Daniel Kleinman on his birthday.

"Dear Daniel, happy birthday and keep up the great work."

About Daniel Kleinman:
Daniel Kleinman (born 1955 in England) is recognised as one of advertising’s most established directors. He has been widely acknowledged as the most awarded commercial director in the world and has collected many of the industry’s highest accolades. He is equally acclaimed in the US and was recently voted commercial director of the decade.

After Hornsey Art School, Daniel went on to work as an illustrator, also collaborating on storyboards with directors working in the emerging music video industry leading to his first music video in 1983.

Daniel pioneered the use of special effects in post-production over the course of directing more than 100 videos in the 80s. From the 90s Daniel has concentrated on advertising. Daniel has also directed TV drama and was BAFTA nominated and won the rose at Montreux. He has also taken over the mantle from Maurice Binder creating the title sequences for the James Bond films.

In 2006 Daniel founded Rattling Stick. In 2012, the company was awarded UK’s No1 Production Company for the fourth time in five years.

Daniel Kleinman returns for the seventh time to the James Bond franchise as designer of the main titles for SPECTRE (2015).

Daniel Kleinman's James Bond credits:
1995: GoldenEye (1995) (main titles designer)
1997: Tomorrow Never Dies (main titles designer)
1999: The World Is Not Enough (main titles designer)
2002: Die Another Day (main titles designer)
2006: Casino Royale (main titles designer)
2012: Skyfall (2012) (main titles designer)

Photo above:
Daniel Kleinman at the Skyfall premiere in London, October 23, 2012. © Sascha Braun Photography. All rights reserved.

For more information about Daniel Kleinman, check out his profile on IMDB:
www.imdb.com/name/nm0459110/

Tags:

#birthdays

27 OCTOBER 2015
100 YEARS SINCE HARRY SALTZMAN WAS BORN

A celebration of Canadian film and theatre producer Harry Saltzman (born on 27th October 1915, died on 28th September 1994) best known for his mega-gamble which resulted in his co-producing the first nine James Bond films with Albert R. Broccoli. He lived most of his life in Denham, Buckinghamshire, in England.

About Harry Saltzman:
Harry Saltzman was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, but ran away from home at the age of 15, according to daughter Hilary Saltzman in the documentary Harry Saltzman: Showman. About the age of 17 he joined a circus and travelled with them for some years. By the beginning of World War II in 1939 he was serving in the Canadian Army in France. His career in the war may have included some intelligence work.

After the war, Saltzman ended up in Paris, where he met a refugee from Romania whom he married, Jaquie. He worked as a talent scout for European productions on stage, television and in film. He accumulated a huge number of entertainment business contacts and became the person to turn to when someone had a talent or production problem. Despite his ambition, those were lean years for the Saltzman family, according to son Steven Saltzman, Harry gradually got more successful at producing stage plays. He moved the family of four to Britain in the mid-fifties where he started Woodfall Productions, again produced theatre, and then entered the film business, producing The Iron Petticoat (1956), the cinematic adaptation of a play. "The landmark film introduces a new genre, the kitchen sink movie", and thereafter other critically acclaimed social realism dramas such as 1959's Look Back in Anger and 1960's Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. Saltzman began casting around for something which would be more profitable than these modestly successful but high quality films.

In early 1961, excited by reading the James Bond novel Goldfinger, he made a bid to land film rights to the character. Saltzman co-founded Danjaq, S.A. with Albert R. Broccoli in 1962. It was a holding company responsible for the copyright and trademarks of James Bond on screen, and the parent company of EON Productions, which they also set up as a film production company for the Bond films. The moniker Danjaq is a combination of Broccoli's and Saltzman's wives' first names, Dana and Jacqueline.

In 1975 after unrelated financial difficulties, Saltzman sold his 50% stake in Danjaq to United Artists. Concurrently, his beloved wife Jaquie was diagnosed with terminal cancer; his health also declined and he became depressed, sold the English country mansion where he loved to hold production meetings in the rooftop pool, and moved to Florida. As related by friend Roger Moore, Jaquie died while The Spy Who Loved Me was shooting, which places her passing in late 1976 or early 1977. Saltzman all but retired from the movie business thereafter. He had long desired to produce a film on the life of Vaclav Nijinsky, based on biographies, the rights to which he had acquired in the 1960s but Harry was not the nominal producer when the picture was actually made. Nijinsky in 1980 and the 1988 British-Italian-Yugoslavian co-production Time of the Gypsies.

Something of a gambler, Saltzman was at best only modestly successful as a businessman and producer, but had a talent for thinking both big and outside the box in very creative ways. After best selling writer Ian Fleming had been told his novels would never make good films in 1957 (ironically by the ex-partner of his soon to be future partner Oscar winner Irving Allen) Saltzman bet large in a moment of enthusiasm in early 1961 and paid 50,000 USD (high for the times) for a mere six month option of the film rights to the Bond character. Always confident, Saltzman was certain he could put together a deal within the deadline. As spring became summer, he'd been unable to obtain financing, an agreement with a production company, or a distributor for the proposed project as he was essentially an outsider mostly unknown in film circles despite his modest success as an independent producer.

Meanwhile, David Picker, then a vice-president (and eventual president) of United Artists also got interested in the film rights about the same time Saltzman made the option deal with Fleming after he was (also) introduced to the novel Goldfinger by his cousin Nancy's husband, and soon began strategic studies on which novel might best be adapted first and other such preparatory work anticipating negotiations for the rights. At a luncheon soon after, he was told they weren't available by a credible source, but didn't know of Saltzman's pending deadline, and assumed the long term rights were the topic and so suspended United Artists work. That these studies and events occurred is documented in an internal memo dated 5/5/61 discussing Thunderball (1965) as a potential project and confirmed in interviews with Picker in the documentary The Making of Dr. No.

Working from Great Britain in 1957, American producer Albert Broccoli, widely regarded as one of the most successful independent producers in the industry, had decided the novels would make an excellent film project series. From New York he soon arranged an early 1958 meeting between partner Allen and Ian Fleming in London while nursing his ailing second wife through a terminal illness. Only, Allen - who had the big Hollywood name and was controlling partner in Warwick films, in the event snubbed Fleming in their meeting at the prestigious Les Ambassadors Club in London when Allen proclaimed (according to interviews on various documentaries on Bond special edition DVDs) that Fleming's novels weren't "good enough for television," all unbeknownst to Broccoli who knew only the partnership hadn't gotten the rights.

In 1960, Broccoli's Warwick Films undertook to produce and self-distribute the self-funded, high risk biographical drama Oscar Wilde which dealt with the topic of homosexuality, and hence was unable to advertise in the United States because of censorship which thereby doomed the partners to take a loss. This began a chain of events leading to dissolution of the company in bankruptcy in 1961 and the increased tensions between the two partners, already in disagreement over James Bond, led to a sundering of their partnership as well and freed Broccoli to revisit his decision that the Bond novels would make a good film series, only now to be told by the publishers the rights were unavailable.

In an ironic twist worthy of fiction, screenwriter Wolf Mankowitz, while having a working dinner in New York on another script with Broccoli, had a discussion over his disappointment about Oscar Wilde, Warwick, et al. and his interest in the Bond rights. Mankowitz knew Saltzman casually from Broadway productions the two had been involved with and knew Saltzman held the rights to Bond, so he immediately offered to introduce the two men and arranged a meeting between the two the very next morning. In a double historic irony, Mankowitz put the two together and was hired to work on the script for what became film history - Dr. No, but alarmed by early rushes demanded to have his name withdrawn from the script. In addition, his meeting with Broccoli had essentially been about scrapping the Arabian Nights project he'd been writing for Broccoli which is how what Broccoli wanted to do and Bond came into the discussion at all.

Saltzman, always an enthusiast, refused to sell any of the film rights but instead proposed the two to form a partnership, joining the novice producer with the well connected and almost always successful industry insider. Broccoli wanting to do Bond very much, and now that Allen was out of the picture, accepted. In that manner, Saltzman joined forces with "Cubby" Broccoli in 1962 to create the holding company, Danjaq, LLC, and production company EON Productions and almost immediately began recruiting talent known to Broccoli from Warwick Productions such as production designer Ken Adam, teamed writers Richard Maibaum and Mankowitz, etc. The project was soon launched and the nascent production team was considering the best novel to adapt and introduce the character. With the rights to Casino Royale having gone to an early television adaptation they began tossing ideas around. Within a week the two were asking for a meeting with United Artists and with a handshake and a short meeting, had received a million dollars in senior financing, as recounted by Saltzman. Around this time it was decided that their first film in the James Bond series would be Dr. No. Saltzman would remain Broccoli's partner up to the ninth film in the series, 1974's The Man with the Golden Gun.

Saltzman came close to rejecting Paul McCartney's submission for Live and Let Die. McCartney asked producer George Martin to approach the producers about the song. Saltzman surprised Martin by asking who they could get to sing it, suggesting only black female vocalists. Martin pointed out that if he did not take McCartney as the singer he did not get the song. Saltzman compromised by having McCartney do the title version and B. J. Arnau do a soul version in the "Fillet of Soul" nightclub.

Other notable productions include The Ipcress File (1965), The Battle of Britain (1969), and Call Me Bwana (1963) starring Bob Hope and Swedish actress Anita Ekberg. Call Me Bwana is the only film to be produced by EON Productions outside of the James Bond franchise.

Harry Saltzman was survived by 2 children Hilary and Steven Saltzman and 4 grandchildren, Alexandre and Jacqueline de La Bouillerie and Hannah and Jacob Saltzman.

Photo above:
Harry Saltzman and Ian Fleming at the Dr. No premiere, London, 1962.

For details about Harry Saltzman's career as producer, check out his IMDB profile:
www.imdb.com/name/nm0759162/

Tags:

#birthdays

14 OCTOBER 2015
BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION OF BEN WHISHAW (Q)

Birthday for Ben Whishaw (first presented as Q in Skyfall (2012) on July 12, 2012), a hugely talented young British actor who we think will be knighted by the Queen if his career continues the way it has started. Coincidentally, Ben shares birthday with Sir Roger Moore.

With this special page, From Sweden with Love would like to celebrate Ben Whishaw on his birthday.

"Dear Ben, happy birthday and keep up the great work. Love from Sweden."

About Ben Whishaw:
Ben Whishaw was born on 14 October 1980 in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, graduating spring 2003.

In 1999, prior to drama school, Ben played important supporting roles in two films, The Trench directed by James Bond novelist William Boyd, author of Solo, and in Mauvaise Passé. After graduation, he went on to appear in Enduring Love, a film adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel directed by Roger Michell, and Layer Cake, a feature directed by Matthew Vaughan. In three of these films, Daniel Craig plays the leading role.

Ben subsequently made his West End debut at the National Theatre in their stage adaptation of Phillip Pullman's “His Dark Materials” and starred as “Hamlet” in Trevor Nunn's electric 'youth' version of the play at the Old Vic, for which he has received tremendous critical acclaim and a Laurence Olivier nomination (2005).

It was during this run that Perfume producer Bernd Eichinger and director Tom Tykwer discovered Ben’s extraordinary talent. Ben played the lead character Grenouille in the highly acclaimed Perfume which debuted in the UK in December 2006. Ben has also shot a feature film called Stoned, in which he plays Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones, which was released in 2006. In the same year, Ben also completed filming I’m Not Here, Todd Haynes film portrayal of Bob Dylan’s life along side the likes of Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere and Christian Bale. Ben returned to the theatre for Katie Mitchell’s version of “The Seagull” at the National Theatre in the Autumn of 2006, for which he again received great reviews. In 2007 he was nominated for a BAFTA Rising Star Award.

In 2008, Ben worked on Brideshead Revisited directed by Julian Jarrold. The same year he also starred in the hugely popular BBC drama “Criminal Justice” which saw him pick up the award for best actor at the 2009 Royal Television Society Awards, ‘Best Actor’ at the International Emmy Awards 2009 and was nominated for ‘Best Actor’ at the 2009 BAFTA Television Awards. 2008 also saw Ben in “The Idiot” in which he played the lead at the National Theatre from the end of July.

2009 was, yet again, another busy year for Ben seeing him star as poet John Keats in Bright Star, playing the lead in Mike Bartlett’s play “Cock”, and the character Ariel opposite Helen Mirren and Russell Brand in The Tempest.

Ben then starred in “The Hour” for the BBC starring opposite Dominic West and Romola Garai. Ben then played the title role alongside James Purefoy and Patrick Stewart in the BBCs adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Richard II” (2012) followed by Cloud Atlas where he starred alongside an all-star cast including Tom Hanks, Jim Sturgess and Halle Berry.

From March to June 2013, Ben starred in Peter and Alice alongside Dame Judi Dench at the Noël Coward Theatre (formerly known as the Albery Theatre) in London.

This year he can be seen on film alongside Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz in the sci-fi thriller The Lobster, which played in competition at the Cannes film festival and In The Heart Of The Sea, about the whale attack that inspired Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. He also stars alongside Carrey Mulligan, Meryl Steep, and Helena Bonham Carter in the eagerly anticipated film Suffragette and features in The Danish Girl. On television, Whishaw plays the lead in the BBC thriller London Spy. This year Whishaw also starred in Bakkhai at the Almeida.

Editor's note:
With Skyfall completed, Ben has already made four films together with Daniel Craig including The Trench, Enduring Love and Layer Cake (in which he kills Craig's character!).

Photo above:
Ben Whishaw in a scene from Skyfall. Photo by Francois Duhamel. © 2012 Danjaq, LLC, United Artists Corporation and Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved.

For more information about Ben Whishaw, check out his profile on IMDB:
www.imdb.com/name/nm0924210/

Tags:

#birthdays

30 SEPTEMBER 2015
DUBBING EDITOR NORMAN WANSTALL AT 80

A celebration of Norman Wanstall, Academy Award winning dubbing editor for his work on Goldfinger (1964) (1964) and long-time FSWL supporter, on his 80th birthday.

With this page, From Sweden with Love would like to extend our personal wishes to Norman, a gentleman and wonderful person in real life.

"Our sincere best wishes for your birthday Norm, FSWL love you very much."

About Norman Wanstall:
Norman Wanstall graduated from Walpole Grammar School before entering the film business where he worked on the first five James Bond films. Apart from Goldfinger mentioned above, his Bond films include Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Thunderball (1965) (1965), and You Only Live Twice (1967).

In 1970 he was sent to Copenhagen to edit The Only Way starring Jane Seymour which dealt with the escape of the Jews to Sweden in World War II.

Eager to leave London and raise his family in a more rural environment, he left the industry in 1977 after writing and editing the bull-fighting documentary Rejoneador. In 1983 he was recalled as sound editor on Never Say Never Again (1983), Sean Connery's seventh and last film as James Bond.

Wanstall is a founding member of The Guild of British Film Editors and represented Britain on the first Features Jury at Cork Film Festival on Ireland.

Anders Frejdh, founder of FSWL, invited Norman to come to Sweden and give a lecture about his sound editing work for a special and unique James Bond course at University of Skövde in 2006. Read a report from that occasion.

Comments on Norman:
"A lovely, unpretentious, unassuming man. Very friendly and very interesting."
Margaret Nolan (Dink in Goldfinger)

"I’m proud to know Norman as a very dear friend and ex colleague. To look at him I find it difficult to reconcile the fact he’s 80. He certainly doesn’t look it. I must find out what tablets he’s on. God bless Norman, may he be around for many years yet."
Colin Miller (Sound editor on TSWLM, Moonraker, FYEO, Octopussy, AVTAK and TLD)

Video from when Norman Wanstall won the Oscar® for Sound Effects after his work on Goldfinger:


Photo above:
Norman Wanstall on Goldfinger Avenue at Pinewood Studios in 2009. © From Sweden with Love

Read more about Norman Wanstall's film career on IMDB:
www.imdb.com/name/nm0911232/

Tags:

#birthdays

16 SEPTEMBER 2015
CELEBRATING SCREENWRITER ROBERT WADE

Birthday of Robert Wade, British screenwriter & producer and member of the 'James Bond family' since 1999. Robert has penned the last six films with Neal Purvis. (Four-time Bond director Guy Hamilton was also born on 16th September.)

In 2012, before the release of Skyfall, FSWL caught up with the screenwriting duo to talk about their work on the James Bond film series. Read our interview with Neal Purvis & Robert Wade.

With this special page, FSWL would like to celebrate Robert's career.

"Dear Robert, happy birthday and warm regards from Sweden. Keep up the great work."

About Robert Wade:
Born 1962. Robert Wade and has his long-time collaborator, Neal Purvis, had their first success with the screenplay for the controversial screen drama Let Him Have It (1991), based on a true story about the killing of a policeman. The critically acclaimed film, directed by Peter Medak, was screened for Parliament and played a part in Derek Bentley's eventual posthumous pardon.

They have since worked in a variety of genres with screenplays for such films as The Wasp Factory, an adaptation of Iain Banks' novel for director Stephen Daldry, Plunkett and Macleane (1999) directed by Jake Scott, and Grid Iron for Working Title.

Between writing the James Bond films, The World Is Not Enough (1999) and Die Another Day (2002), they worked on Johnny English (2003) starring Rowan Atkinson and John Malkovich. They also wrote and co-produced Return to Sender (2004) for Danish director Bille August and performed the same duties on Stoned (2005) for director Stephen Woolley.

In 2005, Purvis and Wade wrote the screenplay to the highly successful Casino Royale (2006), and even before the film was released they were at work on Bond 22, Quantum of Solace (2008).

In 2011, the sequel to Johnny English was released, Johnny English Reborn, based on their characters from the first film.

With Skyfall (2012) (2012) and SPECTRE (2015), Purvis and Wade have worked on the screenplay for every one of the last six James Bond films.

On 19th July 2013, the screenwriting duo received Honorary Degrees from the University of Kent.

Purvis & Wade nominations and awards as screenwriters include:

• Nominated for Best Screenplay (adapted) at the BAFTA Awards 2007 for Casino Royale (shared with Paul Haggis)
• Nominated for Best Writing at the Saturn Awards 2007 for Casino Royale (with Paul Haggis)
• Nominated for Best Motion Picture Screen Play at the Edgar Allan Poe Awards 2007 for Casino Royale (with Paul Haggis)
• Nominated for Best British film at the BAFTA Awards 2007 for Casino Royale (with Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli, Martin Campbell & Paul Haggis)
• Winner Best British film at the BAFTA Awards 2013 for Skyfall (with Sam Mendes, Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli & John Logan)

Editor's note:
FSWL also recommends two interviews with the duo (conducted by FSWL contributor Tom Zielinski), one interview before Die Another was released and another one after Casino Royale was released.

Photo above:
Our good friend Tom Zielinski (middle) with Robert Wade (right) and Neal Purvis at Stoke Park in June 2002 at a golf charity event organised by another friend of ours, Doug Redenius of Ian Fleming Foundation. Photo © 2002 George Martin. All rights reserved.

Check out writers Robert Wade and Neal Purvis' joint CV at their agent's website:
www.casarotto.co.uk/client/neal-purvis-robert-wade-11536

Tags:

#birthdays

9 SEPTEMBER 2015
A CELEBRATION OF SCREENWRITER NEAL PURVIS

Birthday of Neal Purvis, British screenwriter & producer and member of the 'James Bond family' since 1999. Neal has penned the last six 007 films with Robert Wade.

In 2012, before the release of Skyfall, FSWL caught up with the screenwriting duo to talk about their work on the James Bond film series. Read our interview with Neal Purvis & Robert Wade.

With this special page, FSWL would like to extend our best wishes to Neal for his birthday.

"Dear Neal, happy birthday and warm regards from Sweden. Keep up the great work."

About Neal Purvis:
Born 1961. Neal Purvis and has his long-time collaborator, Robert Wade, had their first success with the screenplay for the controversial screen drama Let Him Have It, based on a true story about the killing of a policeman. The critically acclaimed film, directed by Peter Medak, was screened for Parliament and played a part in Derek Bentley's eventual posthumous pardon.

They have since worked in a variety of genres with screenplays for such films as The Wasp Factory, an adaptation of Iain Banks' novel for director Stephen Daldry, Plunkett and Macleane (1999) directed by Jake Scott, and Grid Iron for Working Title.

Between writing the James Bond films, The World Is Not Enough (1999) and Die Another Day (2002), they worked on Johnny English (2003) starring Rowan Atkinson and John Malkovich. They also wrote and co-produced Return to Sender (2004) for Danish director Bille August and performed the same duties on Stoned (2005) for director Stephen Woolley.

In 2005, Purvis and Wade wrote the screenplay to the highly successful Casino Royale (2006), and even before the film was released they were at work on Bond 22, Quantum of Solace (2008).

In 2011, the sequel to Johnny English was released, Johnny English Reborn, based on their characters from the first film.

With Skyfall (2012) (2012) and SPECTRE (2015), Purvis and Wade have worked on the screenplay for every one of the last six James Bond films.

On 19th July 2013, the screenwriting duo received Honorary Degrees from the University of Kent.

Purvis & Wade nominations and awards as screenwriters include:

• Nominated for Best Screenplay (adapted) at the BAFTA Awards 2007 for Casino Royale (shared with Paul Haggis)
• Nominated for Best Writing at the Saturn Awards 2007 for Casino Royale (with Paul Haggis)
• Nominated for Best Motion Picture Screen Play at the Edgar Allan Poe Awards 2007 for Casino Royale (with Paul Haggis)
• Nominated for Best British film at the BAFTA Awards 2007 for Casino Royale (with Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli, Martin Campbell & Paul Haggis)
• Winner Best British film at the BAFTA Awards 2013 for Skyfall (with Sam Mendes, Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli & John Logan)

Editor's note:
FSWL also recommends two interviews with the duo (conducted by FSWL contributor Tom Zielinski), one interview before Die Another was released and another one after Casino Royale was released.

Photo above:
Our good friend Tom Zielinski (middle) with Neal Purvis (left) and Robert Wade at Stoke Park in June 2002 at a golf charity event organised by another friend of ours, Doug Redenius of Ian Fleming Foundation. Photo © 2002 George Martin. All rights reserved.

Check out writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade's joint CV at their agent's website:
www.casarotto.co.uk/client/neal-purvis-robert-wade-11536

Tags:

#birthdays

2 MAY 2015
CELEBRATING ACTOR MAESTRO BRUCE GLOVER

Birthday of the hilarious and very intelligent Bruce Glover, the wonderful actor who portrayed Mr. Wint, one of Blofeld's henchmen, in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) directed by Guy Hamilton.

[Mr. Wint:] “If at first you don’t succeed, Mr. Kidd...”
[Mr. Kidd:] “Try, try again, Mr. Wint.”

With this page, From Sweden with Love would like to celebrate Bruce on his birthday and thank him for his friendship and support over the years.

"Dear Bruce: Happy birthday and warm regards from Sweden, we love you."

"Happy birthday Bruce! I would have preferred you throwing me out the window! Gentler kinder! All my love." - Lana Wood

"Hey, Bruce - let's live a hundred years! Best wishes." - Putter Smith (Mr. Kidd in Diamonds Are Forever

About Bruce Glover:
The multi-talented stage and screen actor Bruce Glover was born in Chicago 1932. His father was of English and Czech origin while his mother was born in Canada, to Swedish parents.

His performance alongside Putter Smith as two gay hit men trying to eliminate Sean Connery's James Bond in the 1971 film adventure Diamonds Are Forever was equally chilling and humorous, stamping them as two of the favourite top villains of the entire 007 series. Bruce’s campy, yet menacing performance as an openly gay character really pushed the boundaries of cinema back then, but he pulled it off, creating a very memorable character in the process!

He showed his Good Guy range as Duffy, Jack Nicholson's loyal subordinate in Chinatown (1974) and as Grady Coker who transforms from corruption to honesty to become loyal deputy to Swedish actor Bo Svensson (as Buford Pusser) in the three Walking Tall films from 1973 to 1977. He also portrayed the sympathetic stuntman Chuck in Stunts (1977).

Bruce proves his versatility time and time again even in his bad guy roles, each separate unique characters. A redneck thug harassing well meaning teens in Bless the Beasts & Children (1971). Leaning on hustler James Coburn teaching him to pay back his debts in Hard Times (1975). The backwoods maniac "One Eye" in Hunter's Blood (1986). An oily rich guy running for Governor foiled by Angie Dickenson's character in Big Bad Mama II (1987). Another role as a bad guy was a sweetly hilarious one as the Electrified Man in Popcorn (1991).

In recent films he's played many different characters; a homeless street philosopher, an eerie hotel clerk, and a Samurai in Buffalo Bushido (2009).

Beloved veteran actor/acting coach Bruce Glover is now making a comeback (not that he ever went anywhere!) with two films currently in post-production, Hiszpanka (in which he had to speak in Polish) starring his son, Crispin Glover of Back to the Future fame, and an Untitled Crispin Hellion Glover Project.

Official acting reel from 2014:


"Acting is simple. I teach it that way from my West L.A. Studio. People who teach acting who have never done any, usually make it more complicated than it really is." - Bruce Glover

Editor's note:
In March 2014, FSWL was invited to an acting class with great maestro in his West Hollywood studio. Read more about the acting class with Bruce Glover.

Photo above:
Yours truly with Bruce and his charming wife Betty at Beverly Hotel in Hollywood. Photo by Mark Cerulli. © From Sweden with Love.

For more information about Bruce Glover's acting career, check out his profile on IMDB:
www.imdb.com/name/nm0323098/

Tags:

#birthdays

5 MARCH 2015
CELEBRATING SFX MAESTRO CHRIS CORBOULD

A celebration of British special effects and miniature supervisor Chris Corbould, member of the 'James Bond family' since 1977.

With this special page, From Sweden with Love would like to celebrate Chris Corbould on his birthday.

"Dear Chris - very best wishes for you birthday. Keep up the great work."

About Chris Corbould:
Chris Corbould (born 1958 in London) has been the Special Effects Supervisor on seven James Bond films, working within the SFX department on a total of thirteen 007 adventures.

Corbould’s Bond career started in 1977 as a technician on The Spy Who Loved Me. After Moonraker (1979) (1979) he began working his way up the ranks and was promoted to senior technician on For Your Eyes Only (1981) and A View to a Kill (1985), then floor supervisor on The Living Daylights (1987), and supervisor for the 2nd Unit on Licence to Kill (1989). In 1995, when Pierce Brosnan took the role of Bond in GoldenEye (1995), Chris worked his first 007 film as Supervisor and has been ultimately responsible for the Special Effects on every Bond film since. Corbould and his team were BAFTA nominated for their work on GoldenEye, Casino Royale (2006) and Quantum of Solace (2008).

Other impressive film credits as Special Effects Supervisor include; The Mummy (1999), Lara Croft Tomb Raider (2001), Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life (2003), X-Men: First Class (2011) samt Christopher Nolans filmer Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008) and Dark Knight Rises (2012).

In 2011, he was honoured with an Oscar® for Chris Nolan’s Inception.

In 2014, Corbould was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Year Honours for services to film.

Most recently, Chris Corbould finished work on Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015) and returned to the Bond franchise as SFX supervisor of SPECTRE (2015).

Photo above:
Chris Corbould on the set of Casino Royale at Pinewood Studios in 2006. © EON Productions. All rights reserved.

For more information about Chris Corbould, check out his profile on IMDB:
www.imdb.com/name/nm0179269/

Tags:

#birthdays

4 MARCH 2015
A CELEBRATION OF FYEO ACTOR JOHN MORENO

Birthday of the multi-lingual John Moreno, a wonderful actor who portrayed Luigi Ferrara, Bond's Italian ally, in For Your Eyes Only (1981) directed by John Glen.

With this page, From Sweden with Love would like to celebrate John Moreno and officially thank him for attending our James Bond festival in Stockholm on 19-21 September 2014 and for supporting the website over the years.

"Dear John: Happy birthday and warm regards from Sweden, we love you."

About John Moreno:
The talented stage and screen actor John Moreno was born in France 1939.

In 1962 he acted in two theatre plays. First in Jonson, Chapman, and Marston's play, "Eastward Ho!," at the Mermaid Theatre in London along with Sydney Bromley, Stephen Moore, Sheila Reid, Cardew Robinson, Margot Lister, and Aubrey Morris in the cast. Josephine Wilson and Denys Palmer were directors. And in November the same year he was in Thomas Dekker, William Rowley and John Ford's play, "The Witch of Edmonton," also at the Mermaid Theatre. Cast members included Ruby Head, Melvyn Hayes, William Lucas, Edward Jewesbury, Erik Chitty, Timothy Bateson, and Ronald Herdman.

In 1972 he acted in John Ford's play, "Tis Pity She's A Whore", in an Actors' Company production at the Arts Theatre in Cambridge, England along with the now worldwide known Sir Ian McKellen who portrayed "Giovanni" in the play. Other cast members included Felicity Kendal, Robert Eddison, Edward Petherbridge, Frank Middlemass, Tenniel Evans, Robin Ellis, John Tordoff, Ronnie Stevens, Jack Shepherd, Matthew Long, Moira Redmond, Sheila Reid, Margery Mason, Annette Badland, Caroline Blakiston and Marian Diamond in the cast. David Giles was the director.

In October 1973 he acted in William Congreve's play, "The Way of the World," and Ronald Hingley's translation of Anton Chekhov's play, "The Wood Demon," in an Actors' Company production at the Opera House in Manchester, England with Ian McKellen (played Giovanni), Caroline Blakiston, Robert Eddison, Marian Diamond, Robin Ellis, Paola Dionisotti, Tenniel Evans, Sharon Duce, Matthew Long, Margery Mason, Sheila Reid, John Tordoff, Edward Petherbridge, and John Woodvine in the cast. David William and David Giles were directors.

John Moreno made his small screen debut in 1970s British Sci-Fi show Moonbase 3, and then in 1978 co-starred in a TV version of Les Miserables. He played Philip of France in The Talisman (1980-1981) and guest starred in popular series such as The Sweeney (1978) and Only Fools And Horses (1982).

In 1981 he starred as "Luigi Ferrara" in For Your Eyes Only (1981) – Bond’s contact man in Cortina who, sadly, came to an all too premature death. John had 10 scenes in the original screenplay but unfortunately many of those were cut from the final film.

When not on the stage, John’s subsequent film and tv work has included Beau Geste (1982), Dempsey and Makepeace (1985), Minder (1985), Old Scores (1991), Great Performances (1992), Lovejoy (1993) and Touching Evil (1998).

In 1984 he acted in Jean-Paul Sartre's play, "The Devil and The Good Lord," at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith, London, England with Arthur Cox, Stephen Boxer, Julia McCarthy, Simon Ward, Sean Baker, Gerard Murphy, Veronica Duffy, and Sally Thompson in the cast. John Dexter was director.

In later years John has taught and helped people how to speak in front of others, something he has enjoyed on a personal level. Clients have included the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in London.

John Moreno is also a gifted linguist and is fluent in French and Spanish in addition to English.

Editor's note:
FSWL did a long interview with John in 2007 where he revealed that his role in FYEO was bigger in the original script (10 scenes) but with most of those scenes ending up on the cutting room floor.

Photo above:
John Moreno on the red carpet to our James Bond gala in Stockholm on 20th September 2014. Photo by Peter Johansson, Cawa Media. © From Sweden with Love.

For more information about John Moreno's acting career, check out his profile on IMDB:
www.imdb.com/name/nm0604016/

Tags:

#birthdays

7 JANUARY 2015
BIRTHDAY OF STUNT MAESTRO PAUL WESTON

Stuntman and Stunt coordinator Paul Weston is a long-time member of the 'James Bond family'. Paul's first official Bond was Live and Let Die (1973) and with Skyfall (2012) (2012) completed, Paul has worked with five of the six James Bond actors (everyone apart from George Lazenby).

With this page, From Sweden with Love would like to celebrate Paul Weston on his birthday and thank him again for accepting our invitation to come to our James Bond festival in Stockholm on 19-21 September 2014.

"Dear Paul, happy birthday and keep up the great work. We love you!"

About Paul Weston: (official biography)
Paul Weston started his ‘Show Business’ career in the 1960s as photographic model, He was asked to understudy Roger Moore on the “Saint” TV series, where he also played an acting part, performing his own stunt. He was booked as a stuntman on the next episode. And so started his Stunt career.

His TV work included classics:

“Doctor Who”, “Blake 7”, “The Prisoner”, “Space 1999”, “The Baron”, “Jason King”, Steed’s’ stunt double on “The Avengers”, “Minder”, “Bergerac”, “The Professionals”, “Remington Steele”.

He worked on the original Casino Royale (1967) film. Sang with the Beatles on “Help”. Was directed by Charlie Chaplin on “The Countess from Hong Kong”.

Paul thought he should acquire acting skill, so joined a Drama School for three years and in 1970 toured the USA Universities with 7 plays. (Doging the Vietnam War riots). With two seasons performing in a live stunt show all over Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. He learnt how to be ‘knock down’ by a car, four times a night, jump a motorbike over cars, perform high falls, and most of all, how to be a ‘Showman’.“The Dirty Dozen” was his first major feature film, followed by “A Bridge Too Far”. Then he was Flying Double for Christopher Reeves on “Superman” and was Stunt Coordinated on “Superman 11 and 111”.

“The Lady Vanishes”, “Raiders Of The Lost Ark”, ”American Warewolf in London”, “The Three Musketeers”, “Smilla’s Sense of Snow”, “Daylight”, “Dragonheart”, “The Count of Monte Cristo”, “Star Wars, Return of the Jedi”- are among some of the iconic movies Paul has been involve with. He has worked on James Bond films as both stuntman and stunt actor. On Moonraker (1979) (1979) he doubled for “Jaws” jumping from one cable car to another. As stunt team Supervisor on Octopussy (1983) (1983) he doubled for Roger Moore, running over the train roof, ducking under bridges and diving over pipes.

His talents were being recognized, as an all round Stunt Performer, skilful Stunt Coordinator and 2nd unit Director, being able to draw his own action storyboards. He alway enjoys working with ’friend of thirty years’ Piecre Brosnan, who he doubled for on “Death Train” and directed 2nd unit. Also “Remington Steele” and a Coca Cola commercial.

He was once again, delighted to become part of the James Bond team and Stunt Coordinated The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989). Working with such talented Director as John Landis on “Spies like us” Kevin Reynolds, on “Robin Hood Princes of Thieves” James Cameron on “Aliens” gave Paul an insight in how get a ‘Performance’ from actors as well as ‘Action’. Which he put to good use when directing actors on many movies including two ‘Bollywood‘ movies in Mumbai. Paul has had an exciting and varied career even becoming a song and musical writer in L.A. with Lyricist and Composer, Caroll Conners, made friends with Sammy Davis Jr, Jack Jones and Hugh Hefner.

Paul says: "I've enjoyed the ride of my life and hope some of you have been with me, at least part of the way!"

Editor's note:
For more about the amazing stuntmen in the James Bond films, check out the following articles:

>The 50 greatest stunts in James Bond films
>James Bond stunt doubles
>The top 10 stunts in the James Bond film series

Other talented James Bond stunt people featured on From Sweden With Love:
>Belle Williams (stuntwoman)
>Bill Weston (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Bob Anderson (stuntman/sword master)
>Doug Robinson (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Eunice Huthart (stuntwoman)
>Gary Powell (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>George Leech (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Greg Powell (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Jim Dowdall (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Lars Lundgren (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Malcolm Weaver (stuntman)
>Martin Grace (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Mickey Baker (stuntman)
>Nick Gillard (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Nick Wilkinson (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Nosher Powell (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Remy Julienne (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Richard Graydon (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Rocky Taylor (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Roy Alon (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Sarah Donohue (stuntwoman)
>Terry Cade (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Terry Richards (stuntman)
>Trevor Steedman (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Vic Armstrong (stuntman/stunt coordinator)
>Wendy Leech (stuntwoman)

Photo above:
Paul Weston with Kristina Wayborn and John Glen at the From Sweden with Love gala in Stockholm on 20th September 2014. Photo by Peter Johansson/Cawa Media. © From Sweden with Love.

For more information about Paul Weston, check out his official website:
www.paulwestonstunts.com

Tags:

#birthdays

22 DECEMBER 2014
A CELEBRATION OF BRITISH ACTOR RALPH FIENNES

A celebration of the talented and much loved British actor Ralph Fiennes, member of the 'James Bond family' since 2012.

With this special page, From Sweden with Love would like to celebrate Ralph Fiennes on his birthday.

"Dear Ralph, happy birthday and keep up the great work."

About Ralph Fiennes:
Ralph Fiennes (born 1962 in Suffolk, England) has conquered every area of the acting world, appearing in lauded Shakespeare productions on stage, critically-acclaimed independent films and record-breaking blockbuster movies. Ralph trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and quickly became a star of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Across his career he has played, among many others, Romeo, Hamlet, Coriolanus, Mark Anthony and Prospero.

His movie breakout came in 1993, when he played the horrifying Amon Göth in Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List. The role brought a BAFTA award for Best Supporting Actor and an Academy Award nomination. He was again nominated for both a BAFTA and an Academy Award for his leading role in Anthony Minghella’s The English Patient. Throughout his distinguished career, Ralph has also worked with Istvan Szabo (Sunshine), Neil Jordan (The End of the Affair), David Cronenberg (Spider), Fernando Mereilles (The Constant Gardener), Nick Park (Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit), Martin McDonagh (In Bruges), Stephen Daldry (The Reader) and Kathryn Bigelow (Strange Days and The Hurt Locker), among many others. In 2014, he starred as M. Gustave in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel.

In 2005, he played one of the most feared villains in modern literature: Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. He played the role to huge fan delight until the series’ conclusion with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.

2011 saw Ralph make his directorial debut, a contemporary adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, in which he played the title role. The film received huge critical acclaim.

His second film as director, The Invisible Woman (about Charles Dickens secret love affair with the 27 years younger Nelly), premiered in Sweden at Göteborg International Film Festival (GIFF) on January 25, 2014.

Ralph Fiennes returns for the second time as M in SPECTRE (2015) after taking over the role from Dame Judi Dench in Skyfall (2012) (2012).

Photo above:
Ralph Fiennes in Skyfall. Photo by Francois Duhamel. © 2014 EON Productions Ltd. All rights reserved.

For more information about Ralph Fiennes, check out his profile on IMDB:
www.imdb.com/name/nm0000146/

Tags:

#birthdays

9 DECEMBER 2014
A CELEBRATION OF DAME JUDI DENCH

A celebration of Dame Judi Dench (first presented as M in GoldenEye (1995)), a hugely talented British actress and one of the finest actresses of all time.

With this special page, From Sweden with Love would like to celebrate Dame Judi Dench on her birthday.

"Dear Judi, happy birthday and much love from Sweden."

About Judi Dench:
Dame Judi Dench was born 1934 in York, North Yorkshire. She trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

Since playing Ophelia in Hamlet at The Old Vic Theatre 55 years ago, Dame Judi has garnered wide popular and critical admiration for a career marked by outstanding performances in both classical and contemporary roles. She has won numerous major awards – including one Oscar®, ten BAFTA awards and a record six Laurence Olivier awards – for work on both stage and screen. In recognition of her many achievements, she received an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in 1970, became a DBE (Dame of the British Empire) in 1988, and in 2005 was awarded a Companion of Honour.

Her distinguished list of film credits includes iconic performances as Queen Victoria in Mrs Brown, for which she won a BAFTA Award and a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Academy Award, and Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare In Love, for which she received an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress. She has also been lauded for her roles in Chocolat, Iris, Mrs Henderson Presents and Notes on a Scandal, and she is known internationally for her role as ‘M’ in seven James Bond films: GoldenEye (1995) (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999), Die Another Day (2002), Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008) and Skyfall (2012) (2012).

In 2011, we saw her in the worldwide success of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, in which Dame Judi starred, directed by John Madden. Other recent credits include Jane Eyre, directed by Cary Fukunaga, and My Week with Marilyn, directed by Simon Curtis.

Dame Judi is also revered for her television roles, most recently starring as Miss Matty in the BBC’s critically acclaimed “Cranford”, for which she received Best Actress nominations at the BAFTA Awards, the Golden Globes and the Emmy Awards, and the subsequent “Return to Cranford”, for which she was nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe.

Dame Judi’s achievements on screen are mirrored by her celebrated career on stage. She has won Laurence Olivier Awards for “Macbeth” and “Juno and the Paycock” for the RSC, “Pack of Lies” at the London Lyric, and “Anthony and Cleopatra”, “Absolute Hell”, and “A Little Night Music” - all at the National Theatre. Her performance in “Amy’s View”, directed by Richard Eyre, brought her a Critics Circle Award and an Olivier Award Nomination in London, followed by a Tony Award for Best Actress when the play transferred to Broadway.

Other theatre credits include: “The Royal Family”, directed by Peter Hall; “The Breath of Life”, directed by Howard Davies and co-starring Dame Maggie Smith; “All’s Well That Ends Well”, for the RSC; “Hay Fever”, directed by Peter Hall; “The Merry Wives of Windsor”, for the RSC; “Madame de Sade”, directed by Michael Grandage for The Donmar West End and Peter Hall’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Rose Theatre, Kingston.

From March to June 2013, Dame Judi starred in Peter and Alice alongside Ben Whishaw at the Noël Coward Theatre (formerly known as the Albery Theatre) in London.

Editor's note:
Prior to Dame Judi's casting as M in GoldenEye, the role was played by Bernard Lee in 11 films (from Dr. No to Moonraker) and by Robert Brown in 4 films (from Octopussy to Licence to Kill).

Photo above:
Dame Judi Dench in a scene as "M" from Skyfall. Photo by Francois Duhamel. © 2012 Danjaq, LLC, United Artists Corporation and Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved.

For more information about Dame Judi Dench, check out her profile on IMDB:
www.imdb.com/name/nm0001132/

Tags:

#birthdays

3 JULY 2014
CELEBRATING BOND AUTHOR CHARLIE HIGSON

Birthday of Young Bond author Charlie Higson who penned five novels about the future 007 between 2005 and 2008. Charlie, a friend of ours, is one of the coolest guys around. Check out his books if you haven't!

With this page, we would like to send our personal wishes to Higson on his birthday.

"Happy birthday from Sweden, Charlie, you rock!"

About Charlie Higson:
Charles Murray Higson, more commonly known as Charlie Higson, is an English actor, comedian, author and former singer. He has also written and produced for television.

Charlie Higson was educated at Sevenoaks School and at the University of East Anglia (where his brother has taught since 1986 and is now a professor of film studies) where he met Paul Whitehouse, David Cummings and Terry Edwards. Higson, Cummings and Edwards formed the band The Higsons of which Higson was the lead singer from 1980 to 1986. They released two singles on the Specials' 2-Tone label. Higson then became a plasterer - including plastering the student house of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie - before he turned to writing for Harry Enfield with Paul Whitehouse and performing comedy. He came to public attention as one of the main writers and performers of the BBC Two sketch show The Fast Show (1994–2000).

He worked with Whitehouse on the radio comedy Down the Line and is to work with him again on a television project, designed to be a spoof of celebrity travel programmes.

He worked as producer, writer, director and occasional guest star on Randall & Hopkirk from 2000 to 2001. Subsequent television work has included writing and starring in BBC Three's Fast Show spin-off sitcom Swiss Toni. He has starred in Tittybangbang on BBC Three and appeared as a panellist on QI. He recently co-directed and starred in Bellamy's People.

He published four novels through the early to mid 1990s which take a slightly dystopian look at everyday life and have a considerably more adult tone than his other work, with characters on the margins of society finding themselves spiraling out of control, leading him to be described by Time Out as 'The missing link between Dick Emery and Brett Easton Ellis'.

In 2004, it was announced that Higson would pen a series of James Bond novels, aimed at younger readers and concentrating on the character's school-days at Eton. Higson was himself educated at Sevenoaks School where he was a contemporary of Jonathan Evans, current Director General of MI5.

The first novel, Silverfin, was released on 3 March 2005 in the UK and on 27 April 2005 in the U.S. A second novel, Blood Fever, was released on 5 January 2006 in the UK and 1 June in the U.S. The third novel, Double or Die, was published on 4 January 2007 having had its title announced the day before. The next, Hurricane Gold, came out in hardcover in the UK in September 2007. In this year he also made a debut performance on the panel show QI. His final Young Bond novel, By Royal Command, was released in hardcover in the UK on the 3 September 2008.

Charlie is currently writing a new series of zombie books for children. The first book, The Enemy, was released in the UK by Puffin Books in 2009 and in the U.S. by Disney-Hyperion in 2010. Book number two, The Dead, was released in the UK in September 2010.

Photo above:
Charlie Higson at the Carte Blanche launch event held at St Pancras International, London, UK on May 25, 2011 © 2011 Simon Gardner - Media BIS. All rights reserved.

Visit Charlie Higson's official website for more information about his books:
www.charliehigson.co.uk

Tags:

#birthdays

3 APRIL 2014
A CELEBRATION OF THE BRAVE RICK SYLVESTER

A birthday celebration of Rick Sylvester, one of 35 people that have acted as James Bond stunt doubles in the 50-year old franchise. Rick became internationally acknowledged for his ski/parachute base jump in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and later for his climbing/fall in For Your Eyes Only (1981).

"The Greatest Bond stunt in history!" - San Francisco Chronicle

"The Greatest stunt in the history of films!" - Newsweek

About Rick Sylvester:
The American Rick Sylvester was born on April 3, 1942 and started off as a talented and multi-skilled mountaineer.

His first ski parachute jump of El Capitan/Yosemite in 1971 got the attention for the production of a Canadian Club whiskey advertisement which was planned to be photographed on Baffin Island, Canada.

In 1976, Rick was contacted by James Bond film producer Albert R. Broccoli (or just "Cubby" to those who knew him) who asked if he would consider to do the most expensive stunt ever filmed, up until that time, for the opening sequence of TSWLM (his name featured in Maurice Binder's opening title sequence). Rick graciously accepted and completed the hugely successful stunt at an altitude of 3,000 feet from the high snow ledge of Mount Asgard in Canada and at the same time became the highest paid stunt man (although Rick doesn't claim to be a stunt man himself).

Rick's stunt for TSWLM came second in a recent poll by Radio Times in the UK regarding the Top-10 greatest James Bond stunts of all time.

In 1980, Sylvester returned to series when director John Glen hired him for FYEO to double Roger Moore as the secret agent. This time, he masterly executed the 150 foot climb/high fall off the rock cliffs in the Greek Meteora Mountains.

To say Rick's contribution to the 007 film series is two scenes in two different films is a huge understatement, this man is a legend and his performances are now well known amongst James Bond scholars. His name also became an internationally known in the world of alpine sports and he has appeared in many documentaries, lectured in front of big audiences and was frequently interviewed in articles for mountaineer, sport and movie entertainment.

Editor's note:
After his graduation from University of California in 1965, Rick Sylvester lived in Sweden for a few years during the 1960's (he wrestled for Spårvägens GoIF where he was coached by Malte Möller) and speaks a bit of Swedish. In 1986, he completed the famed "Vasaloppet", a 90 kilometer ski race from Sälen to Mora in the middle of Sweden. FSWL is currently doing an interview with him about his work on the Bonds, watch this space.

Watch the extraordinary pre-title sequence of The Spy Who Loved Me (1977):


Photo above:
Rick Sylvester falls from a cliff as James Bond in For Your Eyes Only. © 1981 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation.

For more about Rick Sylvester, check out the Facebook page created especially for him:
www.facebook.com/RickSylvesterJamesBondStuntman

Tags:

#birthdays

23 JANUARY 2014
BIRTHDAY FOR COMPOSER DAVID ARNOLD

A celebration of the super-cool and multi-talented James Bond film composer David Arnold on his birthday.

With this page, From Sweden with Love would like to send our personal wishes to Mr. Arnold and celebrate him on this special day.

"Best of luck for the future and happy birthday, David. Rock on!"

About David Arnold:
David Arnold has composed, arranged and produced the score for five James Bond films; Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999), Die Another Day (2002), Casino Royale (2006) and Quantum of Solace (2008).

Hailed as one of the most successful young British composers, Arnold began his film career making short films with fellow enthusiast Danny Cannon, teaching himself to write, orchestrate and compose the scores for their films. In 1993, he scored Cannon’s feature film debut The Young Americans, combining lush orchestration with Bjork’s vocals for the title song “Play Dead,” which earned critical and commercial success. This led to the offer to score Stargate, Roland Emmerich’s sci-fi film, which enjoyed box-office success and earned Arnold his first BMI Award.

Since then David Arnold has been recognized by the film industry as a talented and diverse composer, arranger and producer, whose scores include Shaft, Changing Lanes, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Stepford Wives and, most recently, Michael Apted’s Amazing Grace, Venus directed by Roger Michell, and Hot Fuzz directed by Edgar Wright.

Winner of seven BMI Awards for his music for TND, TWINE, DAD, Stargate, Independence Day, Godzilla and 2 Fast 2 Furious, he also won a Grammy for Independence Day and recently won the Royal Television Society Award for the title music of the UK comedy series “Little Britain.” In addition, he won the Ivor Novello Award for the music for TWINE.

Away from the film world, Arnold maintains a career as a successful record producer and song writer, working with a wide range of contemporary artists including k.d. lang, Pulp, Chrissie Hynde, Iggy Pop, Garbage, David McAlmont, Martina Topley-Bird, Natasha Bedingfield, Aimee Mann, George Michael and Damien Rice.

An avid James Bond fan, in 1997 Arnold produced Shaken and Stirred, an album of James Bond film title songs which reached number 11 in the UK album chart.

As composer for CASINO ROYALE, Arnold collaborated with Chris Cornell to write the title song “You Know My Name.”

Editor's note:
FSWL has met David a few times over the years. Below is a clip of his unforgettable performance during the Memorial Concert, held at Royal Albert Hall in London, to John Barry from June 20, 2011. ("Tick the Days" is one of the last songs that John wrote before he sadly passed away.)



Photo above:
A funny message from David Arnold to FSWL's founder Anders Frejdh on the CD cover for TWINE. (David: Does the message mean Swedish people have bad influence on you? Or simply that we drink way too much?)

Read more about David Arnold on his official website:
www.davidarnold.com

Tags:

#birthdays

8 JANUARY 2014
A CELEBRATION OF DAME SHIRLEY BASSEY

Shirley Bassey is the highly acclaimed Welsh singer who sang the title songs to Goldfinger (1964) (1964), Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Moonraker (1979) (1979). January 8th is her 77th birthday and FSWL would like to celebrate her on this special day.

With this page, we would like to send our personal wishes to Dame Shirley.

"Shirley, happy birthday and warm regards from Sweden, you are the best!"

About Dame Shirley Bassey: (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Dame Shirley Bassey was born the last child of Eliza Jane and Henry Bassey in Tiger Bay, Cardiff, Wales, of paternal Nigerian and maternal English descent. She grew up in the nearby working-class dockside district of Splott. After leaving Splott Secondary Modern School at the age of fourteen, Bassey first found employment packing at a local factory while singing in local public houses and clubs in the evenings and weekends.

In 1953, she signed her first professional contract, to sing in a touring variety show Memories of Jolson, a musical based on the life of Al Jolson. She next took up a professional engagement in Hot from Harlem, which ran until 1954. By this time Bassey had become disenchanted with show business, and had become pregnant at 16 with her daughter Sharon, so she went back to waitressing in Cardiff. However, in 1955, a chance recommendation of her to Michael Sullivan, a booking agent, put her firmly on course for her destined career. He saw talent in Bassey, and decided he would make her a star. She toured various theatres until she got an offer of the show that put her firmly on the road to stardom, Al Read's Such Is Life at the Adelphi Theatre in London's West End. While she starred in this show, Philips A&R and record producer Johnny Franz spotted her on television, was impressed, and offered her a recording deal. Bassey recorded her first single, entitled "Burn My Candle (At Both Ends)", and Philips released it in February 1956, when Bassey was just nineteen. Owing to the suggestive lyrics, the BBC banned it, but it sold well nonetheless, backed with her powerful rendition of "Stormy Weather". Further singles followed, and in February 1957, Bassey had her first hit with "Banana Boat Song", which reached #8 in the UK Singles Chart. During that year, she also recorded under the direction of American producer Mitch Miller in New York for the Columbia label, producing the single "If I Had a Needle and Thread" b/w "Tonight My Heart She Is Crying". She then travelled to Las Vegas to make her American stage debut at the El Rancho Vegas.

In mid-1958, she recorded two singles that would become classics in the Bassey catalogue. "As I Love You" was released as the B-side of another ballad, "Hands Across the Sea"; it did not sell well at first, but after a chance appearance at the London Palladium things began to pick up. In January 1959, it reached number one and stayed there for four weeks. It thus became the first number one single by a Welsh artist. Bassey also recorded "Kiss Me, Honey Honey, Kiss Me" at this point, and while "As I Love You" raced up the charts, so too did this record, with both songs being in the top three at the same time. A few months later, Bassey signed to EMI's Columbia label, and the second phase in her recording career had begun.

In the early and mid 1960s, Bassey had numerous hits on the UK charts, and five albums in the top 15. Her 1960 recording of "As Long As He Needs Me" from Lionel Bart's Oliver! reached #2, and had a chart run of 30 weeks. On 13 November 1960, Bassey made her debut performance on American television, appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show. In 1962, Bassey's collaboration with Nelson Riddle and his orchestra produced the album Let's Face the Music (#12) and the single "What Now My Love" (#5). Other top ten hits of the period included her second #1, the double A-side "Reach for the Stars"/"Climb Ev'ry Mountain" (1961), "I'll Get By" (also 1961), and a cover version of the Ben E. King hit "I (Who Have Nothing)" in 1963. During this period, Bassey appeared on the cover of Ebony magazine and sang at a Washington gala celebrating the end of President Kennedy's second year in office.

In 1965, Bassey enjoyed her first and only U.S. Top 40 Billboard Hot 100 hit with the title song of the James Bond film, Goldfinger (1964). The single peaked at #8, while the original soundtrack of Goldfinger hit #1 in the U.S. that same year. Also in 1965, she sang the title track for the spoof James Bond film The Liquidator, and had a Top 20 live album recorded during a sell-out run at London's Pigalle.

From 1964 onwards the Goldfinger single had a lasting impact on her career: writing for the sleeve notes of Bassey's 25th Anniversary Album, Clayton (1978) notes that: "Acceptance in America was considerably helped by the enormous popularity of Goldfinger. But she had actually established herself there as early as 1961, in cabaret in New York. She was also a success in Las Vegas...'I suppose I should feel hurt that I've never been really big in America on record since Goldfinger...But, concertwise, I always sell out.'..." This was reflected in the fact that Bassey had only one solo LP to reach the Top 20 in a US chart (R&B, Live at Carnegie Hall), and she was technically a "one-hit wonder," making only one appearance in the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100, "Goldfinger". But in the aftermath of "Goldfinger" her UK sales started to falter as well: only two of her singles would enter the UK top 40 until 1970. She had signed to United Artists, and her first album on that label, 1966's I've Got a Song for You, spent one week on the chart; from there until 1970, only two albums would chart, one of those a compilation. In 1967 came the release of one of her best-known singles "Big Spender", although it charted just outside the UK Top 20.

Bassey started living as a tax exile in 1968, and was not permitted to work in Britain for almost two years. Also in 1968, at the Sanremo Festival in Italy, she performed "La vita", an Italian song by Bruno Canfora and Antonio Amurri, with some lyrics re-written in English by Norman Newell for her performance. Her version of the song with chorus sung in Italian became a Top 40 hit on the Italian chart, and Bassey recorded several songs in Italian, some appearing on a 1968 Italian album titled La vita. (Later, Newell would write English lyrics for the rest of "La vita", and the result was "This Is My Life".) But her UK sales continued to suffer.

Bassey's UK comeback came in 1970, leading to one of the most successful periods of her career. In this year, she returned to the UK with a record breaking run of performances at the Talk of the Town nightclub. Also in that year, she released the album Something, which showcased a new Bassey style, a shift from traditional pop to more contemporary songs and arrangements (the single of the same name was more successful in the UK charts than the original Beatles recording - the only artist to have achieved this), though Bassey would never completely abandon what had been her forte, standards, show tunes, and torch songs. "Something" was also a Top 10 U.S. hit on the Adult Contemporary chart. Other singles of this period included top ten hits "For All We Know" (1971) and "Never Never Never" (1973) – the latter reaching the Top 10 in the U.S. Adult Contemporary Chart, the UK and South African top ten and number one in Australia. The success of "Something" (single #4, album #5) spawned a series of successful albums on the UA label, including Something Else (1971), And I Love You So (1972), I Capricorn (1972), Never Never Never (1973. Good, Bad but Beautiful (1975), Life, Love and Feelings (1976), You Take My Heart Away (1977) and Yesterdays (1978). Bernard Ighner wrote and duetted with Bassey for the track "Davy" on the Nobody Does It Like Me album (1974). Additionally, two of Bassey's earlier LPs entered the charts, 1967's And We Were Lovers (re-issued as Big Spender), and 1962's Let's Face the Music (re-issued as What Now My Love). Two compilations, The Shirley Bassey Singles Album (1975) and 25th Anniversary Album (1978) both made the UK top three: The Shirley Bassey Singles Album her highest charting album at No. 2 and earning a gold disc, and 25th Anniversary Album going platinum.

Between 1970 and 1979, Bassey had 18 hit albums in the UK Albums Chart. Her 1978 album The Magic Is You featured a portrait by the photographer, Francesco Scavullo. In 1973, her sold-out concerts at New York's Carnegie Hall were recorded and released as a two-LP set, Shirley Bassey: Live at Carnegie Hall. This album and the majority of her recordings from this period have been re-mastered and released on CD by EMI and BGO Records. In 1971, she recorded the theme song for Diamonds Are Forever (1971). The recording featured as part of Sydney, Australia's 2007 New Year's celebration.

Bassey appeared on the Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show, broadcast on Christmas Day in 1971. In 1976 Bassey starred in the six-episode The Shirley Bassey Show, the first of her television programs for the BBC, followed by a second series of six episodes in 1979. The final show of the first series was nominated for the Golden Rose of Montreux in 1977. The series featured guests including Neil Diamond, Michel Legrand, The Three Degrees and Dusty Springfield; filmed in various locations throughout the world as well as in the studio.

In 1978 Bassey pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly "after shouting abuse in the street and pushing a policeman".

Bassey closed out the decade with her third title theme for the Bond films, Moonraker (1979).

Throughout most of the 1980s, Bassey focused on charitable work and performing occasional concert tours throughout Europe, Australia, and the United States, having ended her contract with EMI-United Artists and taking what she referred to as 'semi-retirement'. In 1982 Bassey recorded an album entitled All by Myself and made a TV special for Thames Television called A Special Lady with guest Robert Goulet. In 1983 she recorded a duet with Alain Delon, "Thought I'd Ring You", which became a hit single in Europe. Bassey was now recording far less often but released an album in 1984 of her most famous songs, I Am What I Am, performed with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Carl Davis. In 1986, she released a single and video to support the London Tourist Board, There's No Place Like London co-written by Lynsey de Paul and Gerard Kenny. In 1987 she recorded an album of James Bond themes, The Bond Collection, but was apparently unhappy with the results, as she declined to release it. (Five years later it was released anyway, Bassey sued in court, and all unsold copies were withdrawn.) Also in 1987, Bassey provided vocals for Swiss artists Yello on "The Rhythm Divine", a song co-written by Scottish singer Billy Mackenzie. In 1989 she released an album sung entirely in Spanish, La Mujer. In the latter mid-1980s Bassey had started working with a vocal coach, a former opera singer, and her 1991 album Keep the Music Playing displayed a grand, operatic pop style on several songs (perhaps also influenced by her album with the LSO seven years earlier).

In 1994 EMI released the five-CD box set Bassey - The EMI/UA Years 1959 - 1979. The accompanying booklet opened with a poem by Marc Almond. In 1996, Bassey collaborated with Chris Rea in the film La Passione, appearing in the film as herself and releasing the single "'Disco' La Passione". The remix of this single proved a major club hit throughout Europe, though charting just outside the UK top 40. Bassey released a new recording the following year, "History Repeating", written for her by the Propellerheads and scoring a #1 on the UK Dance Chart, and #10 on the US Dance Chart. It was also a top ten hit in Italy. The liner notes of the Propellerheads' album Decksandrumsandrockandroll included the lines "We would like to extend our maximum respect to Shirley Bassey for honouring us with her performance. We are still in shock."

Bassey celebrated her 60th birthday in 1997 with two open-air concerts, at Castle Howard and Althorp Park, and another TV special. The resulting live album The Birthday Concert received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance. On 7 October 1998 in Egypt, Bassey performed for a benefit at an open air concert close to the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid.

In the 1998 film Little Voice, Bassey was one of three central figures along with Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland, and Bassey's track "Goldfinger" featured in the movie. Jane Horrocks, the lead actress in the film, went on to impersonate Bassey both on record and television, as well as during a UK tour.

In 1998 Bassey was sued by her former personal assistant in a breach of contract case, who also accused Bassey of hitting her and making an ethnic slur. Bassey won the case. The episode was lampooned by Alexander Baron in his one-act play, The Trial of Shirley Bassey.

In 1999, she performed the official song for the Rugby World Cup, "World in Union", with Bryn Terfel at the opening ceremony at The Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, wearing a gown designed on the Welsh flag. Their single made the Top 40, and Bassey contributed two more songs to the official album Land of My Fathers, which reached #1 on the UK compilations chart, and went silver.

In 2001, Bassey was principal artiste at the Duke of Edinburgh's 80th Birthday celebration. Then, in 2003, Bassey celebrated 50 years in show business, releasing the CD Thank You for the Years, which was another Top 20 album. A gala charity auction of her stage costumes at Christie's, 'Dame Shirley Bassey: 50 Years of Glittering Gowns', raised £250,000 (US$500,000) for the Dame Shirley Bassey Scholarship at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Noah's Ark Children's Hospital Appeal. Bassey topped the bill at the 2005 Royal Variety Performance, introducing her new song "The Living Tree".

Two popular Audiences with Shirley Bassey have aired on British TV, one in 1995 that attracted more than 10 million viewers in the UK, with the most recent in 2006. Bassey returned to perform in five arenas around the UK in June the same year, culminating at Wembley. She also performed a concert in front of 10,000 people at the Bryn Terfel Faenol Festival in North Wales broadcast by BBC Wales.

Marks & Spencer signed her for their Christmas 2006 'James Bond style' TV advertising campaign. Bassey is seen in a glamorous Ice Palace singing a cover version of Pink's song "Get the Party Started", wearing an M&S gown.

"The Living Tree", written, produced and originally recorded by the group Never the Bride, was released as a single on 23 April 2007, marking Bassey's 50th anniversary in the UK Singles Chart – and the record for the longest span of Top 40 hits in UK chart history. Bassey performed a 45 minute set at the 2007 Glastonbury Festival wearing a pink Julien Macdonald dress. A new album, Get the Party Started, was subsequently released on 25 June 2007 and entered the UK Albums Chart at #6. The single of the title song reached #3 on the U.S. Dance Chart. The same year, Bassey performed "Big Spender" with Elton John at his annual White Tie and Tiara Ball to raise money for The Elton John AIDS Foundation. In 2007, Bassey performed in Fashion Rocks in aid of The Prince's Trust at the Royal Albert Hall.

She was rushed to hospital in Monaco on 23 May 2008 to have an emergency operation on her stomach after complaining of abdominal pains. She was forced to pull out of the Nelson Mandela 90th Birthday Tribute concert because of her illness. A biography, Diamond Diva, was published in 2008. In 2009 her granddaughter appeared on The X Factor.

In 2009 Bassey recorded a new album, The Performance, with James Bond composer David Arnold as co-producer (with Mike Dixon). A number of artists wrote songs expressly for Bassey, including Manic Street Preachers, Gary Barlow, KT Tunstall, Pet Shop Boys, Nick Hodgson of the Kaiser Chiefs, John Barry and Don Black.

Bassey headlined at the BBC Electric Proms on 23 October 2009, in her only full live set of 2009.

In November 2009, she performed several of the new songs from The Performance on various TV shows: The Graham Norton Show, The Paul O'Grady Show and as the guest singer on Strictly Come Dancing.

Bassey performed at the Rainforest Foundation Fund 21st Birthday concert at Carnegie Hall, New York City on 13 May 2010.

Bassey's first marriage was to Kenneth Hume (1961–65) and ended in divorce. In September 1965 Bassey announced her intention to re-marry Hume, but less than a year later revealed that this would not take place. Her second husband was Sergio Novak. Bassey and Novak were married from 1968 until they divorced in 1977; Novak served as Bassey's manager throughout this time. Bassey had two daughters, Sharon and Samantha. With Novak she also adopted her grandnephew, Mark. In 1985, 21-year-old Samantha Novak was found dead in the River Avon in Bristol, England. Bassey has always maintained that the death of her daughter was not a suicide. On 24 March 2010, Avon and Somerset Police confirmed they were undertaking fresh inquiries into the death of Novak, and specifically claims that the convicted killer Michael Moffat was involved in her death. However, in October 2010 it was reported that the investigation came to an end, and concluded that there "is no evidence of any criminal act involved" in Novak's death.

Bassey currently resides in Monte Carlo.

SHIRLEY BASSEY'S AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS:
In recognition of her career longevity, and admiration from the British Royal Family, Bassey was created a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) on 31 December 1999 by HM Queen Elizabeth II. She was invited to perform in 2002 at the Party at the Palace, a public celebration of the Queen's Golden Jubilee. She was awarded France's top honour, the Legion d'Honneur, to signify her popularity and importance in the culture of France.

1972: Best Female Singer – TV Times
1973: Best Female Singer – TV Times
1974: Best Female Entertainer – American Guild of Variety Artists
1976: Best Female Singer – Music Week
1976: 22-day British tour to mark twenty years as a recording artist
1976: EMI Award for twenty years as a recording artist – UK
1977: Best British Female Solo Artist in the previous 25 years – BRIT Award
1977: Golden Rose of Montreux nomination for The Shirley Bassey Show
1991: Walk of Fame, Star Boulevard – plaque unveiled in Rotterdam
1993: CBE – Commander of the Order of the British Empire
1995: Showbusiness Personality of the Year – Variety Club of Great Britain
1997: Grammy nomination – The Birthday Concert (recorded live at Althorp Park)
1998: Longest run by a solo artist (ten shows) – Royal Festival Hall, London
1999: Légion d'Honneur – France
1999: Madam Tussaud's waxwork unveiled in London (second model in Las Vegas)
2000: DBE – Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire
2000: Most Successful British Female Singer – Guinness Book of Records
2003: Outstanding Contribution to Music – National Music Awards, UK
2003: Lifetime Achievement Award – Western Mail Welsh Woman of the Year Awards
2004: 100 Great Black Britons, Bassey voted into the top ten
2004: Artist for Peace Award – UNESCO
2005: Avenue of Stars – plaque unveiled in London
2008: "Goldfinger" – United Artists single (1964) inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame

Visit Shirley Bassey's page on MySpace:
www.myspace.com/shirleybassey

Tags:

#birthdays

6 SEPTEMBER 2013
JAMES BOND AUTHOR RAYMOND BENSON

The James Bond author, musician (hugely talented at piano) and film expert Raymond Benson celebrates his birthday on September 6, the same day as FSWL celebrates 9 years online and birthday of Naomie Harris, the new Moneypenny.

Raymond's tenure as the 4th official James Bond author began in early 1996 and ended at the beginning of 2003. At that time Raymond felt that after six original novels - Zero Minus Ten (1997), The Facts Of Death (1998), High Time To Kill (1999), Doubleshot (2000), Never Dream Of Dying (2001) and The Man With The Red Tattoo (2002). Three film novelizations; Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999) and Die Another Day (2002) and three short stories; Blast from the past (1997), Midsummer night's doom (1999) and Live at five (1999), he needed to do some things of his own.

With this page, From Sweden with Love want to celebrate Raymond Benson and his work.

"Our sincere best wishes for your birthday Raymond, you rock!"

About Raymond Benson: (Official biography)
The author of 25+ published books, Raymond Benson was commissioned by the James Bond literary copyright holders between 1996-2002 to take over writing the 007 novels. In total he penned and published worldwide six original 007 novels, three film novelizations, and three short stories. An anthology of his 007 work, James Bond: The Union Trilogy, was published in the fall of 2008, and a second anthology, James Bond: Choice of Weapons (2010). His book THE JAMES BOND BEDSIDE COMPANION, an encyclopedic work on the 007 phenomenon, was first published in 1984 and was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award by Mystery Writers of America for Best Biographical/Critical Work.

Using the pseudonym “David Michaels,” Raymond is also the author of the NY Times best-selling books TOM CLANCY’S SPLINTER CELL and its sequel TOM CLANCY’S SPLINTER CELL: OPERATION BARRACUDA. Raymond’s original suspense novels include EVIL HOURS, FACE BLIND, Sweetie's Diamonds (2007) (which won the Readers’ Choice Award for Best Thriller of 2006 at the Love is Murder Conference for Authors, Readers and Publishers), TORMENT, and ARTIFACT OF EVIL. A Hard Day's Death a “rock ‘n’ roll thrillers,” was published in 2008, and its sequel, Dark Side of the Morgue, published in March 2009 and nominated for a Shamus Award for Best Paperback Original P.I. Novel. Also published in 2008 was the novelization of the popular videogame, Metal Gear Solid; its sequel, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, was published in the fall of 2009. With John Milius, Raymond penned Homefront: The Voice of Freedom (2011), and his latest original novel is The Black Stiletto, published in 2011. THE BLACK STILETTO: BLACK & WHITE will appear in 2012.

In the late 1980s and first half of the 90s, Raymond worked as a computer game designer for various companies. For his work in this field he is the recipient of the Newsweek Editors' Choice Award, the Parents Choice Award for Excellence, and two Digital Hollywood Awards. Raymond also spent over a decade in New York City, directing numerous stage productions off-off-Broadway and composing music for many other shows.

Raymond has taught courses in film genres and history at New York’s New School for Social Research, Harper College in Palatine, Illinois, College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and currently presents Film Studies lectures with Daily Herald movie critic Dann Gire.

Raymond has been honored in Naoshima, Japan, with the erection of a permanent museum dedicated to one of his novels, and he is also an Ambassador for Japan’s Kagawa Prefecture.

Raymond is an active member of International Thriller Writers Inc., Mystery Writers of America, the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers, a full member of ASCAP, and served on the Board of Directors of The Ian Fleming Foundation for sixteen years. He is based in the Chicago area.

Editor's note:
For more info on Raymond Benson's books on From Sweden with Love, click here.

Photo above:
Raymond Benson in New York far a James Bond symposium at Hofstra University in 2007. © Gary Firuta. Alla rights reserved.

Visit Raymond Benson's official website for more information about the talented man:
www.raymondbenson.com

Tags:

#birthdays

28 MAY 2013
A CELEBRATION OF ACTOR SHANE RIMMER

FSWL celebrate our friend Shane Rimmer - multi talented Canadian actor - on his birthday. (The same date as Ian Fleming was born.)

With this page, FSWL would like to wish our friend a Happy Birthday.

About Shane Rimmer: (official biography)
Shane Rimmer was born in Toronto, Canada.

After a successful singing career in Canadian Radio and TV he was brought to England in the mid 1950's by Director Dick Lester, to appear as a singer in an ITV Network Special. He returned briefly to Canada to feature in a Canadian film Flaming Frontier, before marrying an English dancer and making London his home. He has featured in over 50 films in the UK and Europe, and has appeared in numerous TV roles.

His first major film appearance was in Stanley Kubrick's Dr Stangelove as Co-Pilot ACE. From there he went on to roles in Star Wars and three James Bond Productions - You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).

These were followed by Superman 2 and Superman 3, The People That Time Forgot, Warlords of Atlantis, Rollerball, Gandhi, Out of Africa, White Knights, Space Truckers, whoops Apocalypse, Reds and many more.

Shane is a legend in the world of Gerry Anderson Productions, providing one of the most recognizable voices in Supermarionation history for Thunderbirds' Scott Tracy.

He is also the voice of Dick Spanner P.I. in the cartoon series of the same name. He has appeared in episodes of Space 1999 and UFO, written and appeared in The Protectors and The Persuaders and has written several episodes of Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Joe 90, and The Secret Service.

National Theatre Productions include True West, Guys & Dolls, Death of a Salesman, and a Tricycle Production of Called to Account.

Shane's Autobiography From Thunderbirds to Pterodactyls was published on 23rd October 2010.

He lives in Hertfordshire with his wife Sheila and enjoys warm and welcome visits from their three sons and their families.

Editor's note:
Shane is unique in the world of 007, besides portraying different characters in the Bond films mentioned above, he provided the voice of Hamilton (the character played by Bob Dix) in Live and Let Die (1973).

You can order a signed copy of Shane's book from Bondstars here. (The audio book was released in November 2011.)

We encourage you to visit Shane's official website to read more about his fabulous career:
www.shanerimmer.com

Tags:

#birthdays

20 MAY 2012
85TH BIRTHDAY OF DAVID HEDISON (FELIX LEITER)

Our friend David Hedison celebrates his 85th birthday today, born in the same year as Roger Moore. David portrayed Felix Leiter (one of the more important characters from the James Bond novels) in both Live and Let Die (1973) and Licence to Kill (1989).

With this page, From Sweden with Love would like to send our personal wishes to this wonderful personality. (Read our exclusive interview with him from 2008.)

"Happy birthday David, warmest regards from Sweden."

About David Hedison:
David Hedison, a native of Providence, Rhode Island, began his acting career with the Sock & Buskin Players at Brown University before moving to New York to study with Sanford Meisner and Martha Graham at the Neighbourhood Playhouse, and with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio. From there, he moved to off Broadway productions and a film contract with 20th Century-Fox.

His work on the New York Stage includes Turgenev's "A Month in the Country", directed by Sir Michael Redgrave and starring Uta Hagen, for which he won a Theatre World Award, Christopher Fry's "A Phoenix Too Frequent" and Clifford Odets' "Clash by Night". He toured with Anita Gillette in the National Company of Neil Simon's "Chapter Two" and appeared in Los Angeles in the West Coast premiere of Alan Bowen's "Forty Deuce", and in the Allan Miller production of "Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?" in the role of Larry Parks.

He toured with Elizabeth Ashley in the Joseph Hayes' play, "Come into My Parlour", and was in the world premiere run of Bernard Slade's "Return Engagements". In addition to appearing in A. R. Gurney's "Love Letters", with Anita Gillette in 1998, David also appeared in "Alone Together", "First Love" and the long-suffering husband in "The Tale of the Allergist's Wife" at the Cape Playhouse in Dennis, Massachusetts.

While at Fox, Hedison made two television series: Five Fingers (1959-1960) and the long-running Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964-1968) as Captain Crane. He has also appeared in a great variety of roles, from the PBS Television Theatre's production of Oliver Hailey's For the Use of the Hall (1975) directed by Lee Grant, and the NBC mini-series A.D. (1985), directed by Stuart Cooper, to ABC's Dynasty II: The Colbys (1985-1987). For five years, he played Spencer Harrison in the NBC daytime series Another World (1991-1996, 1999).

David has worked extensively on British television, including the BBC presentation of Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke (1972) in the role of John Buchanan opposite Lee Remick and performed in a West End production of James Leo "Herlihy's Bad Bad Jo Jo".

Between the stage and television work, he has maintained a steady career in feature films, from his first film under contract to Fox, The Enemy Below (1957), with Robert Mitchum and Curd Jürgens (who portrayed Stromberg, the main villain, in The Sphy Who Loved Me 1977), to the popular Megiddo: The Omega Code 2 (2002) with Michael York and Michael Biehn.

He played Felix Leiter in two James Bond films, Live and Let Die (1973) opposite his good friend Roger Moore, and Licence to Kill (1989) opposite Timothy Dalton. Film buffs will also remember him in the title role in the original version of The Fly (1958). The Fly was selected as one of the "Sci-Fi 100" in Entertainment Weekly as being one of the all-time greatest works of science fiction.

In recent years, David has also starred in Fugitive Mind (1999) with Michael Dudikoff and Gil Gerard, and Mach 2 (2000) with Brian Bosworth and Michael Dorn. David's two recent films, Spectres and Death by Committee were released in 2005.

In January of 2004, David debuted on the CBS Daytime drama The Young and the Restless as Judge Arthur Hendricks, an old flame of Katherine Chancellor. Soon after his arrival in Genoa City, Arthur was revealed to be the biological father of Katherine's new found daughter, Jill Foster Abbott. Jill was given away at birth and adopted and was only now beginning to know her birth parents. Arthur saw Kay through her relapse into alcoholism, helped stage the intervention that sent her to rehab, and when Kay was sober, they became engaged to be married.

In the summer and fall of 2006 and into 2007, David worked on four audio books. The first, McKnight's Memory, was published in October 2007. The second, The King, McQueen and the Love Machine, does not yet have a release date. The third project was a 12 minute introduction to the reissue of James Bond Lifestyle that came out June 7, 2007. His fourth audio book project, The Casino Caper, was released in August of 2007.

David got 2008 off to a rousing start by celebrating the 35th anniversary of Live and Let Die in England, with autograph signings at the Vintage Magazine Shop in London and The Memorabilia Show in Birmingham. David then wrote an introduction to the James Bond comic The Paradise Plot which was released in the United States on July 8, 2008.

David spent from June of 2007 until March of 2008 working on the trade paperback, The Fly at 50, in collaboration with Diane Kachmar and David Goudsward. The book was published in October, 2008.

In 2009, David contributed to a book about his first television series, Five Fingers. He also participated in performances of "The Cherry Orchard" and "I Never Sang for my Father" in Los Angeles.

David remained active in 2010. He once again worked on the committee that nominated the five foreign films for an Academy Award.

In 2011, David took part in, and was interviewed for, the Vincentennial celebration - 100 years of Vincent Price.

Photo above:
A portrait of David Hedison from the private collection of our friend Diane Kachmar. (Diane is webmaster for David's official website.)

For more information about David's film career we encourage you to visit his official website:
www.davidhedison.com

Tags:

#birthdays

23 JANUARY 2012
WILLY BOGNER JR'S 70TH BIRTHDAY

Birthday for the multi-talented Olympic alpine skier and long-time James Bond film collaborator Willy Bogner Jr. who turns 70.

With this dedicated page, we would like to send our personal wishes to Mr. Bogner on this special day.

"Dear Willy, happy birthday and warm regards from Sweden."

About Willy Bogner Jr.:
In the US, people like Willy are called "renaissance" as modelled by da Vinci. People of such calibre dedicate their efforts, lives, and passions to various types of work - and demonstrate their multiple talents in whatever they do. Willy Bogner Jr. not only had a reputation as one of the leading German entrepreneurs; he was famous as a top class sportsman and also achieved international fame as a film director and producer.

Willy was born in Munich 1942, his activities were never about work - and always about a calling - which was brought to life by his dedication, passion, and power. He took part in two Olympic Games (1960 and 1964) as a skier; by the age of 16 he was already a multiple German youth champion and at 17 was the first German to win the famous Lauberhornrennen.

Willy Bogner Jr. studied business and clothing technology before he, in 1972, joined the company founded by his parents in 1932 and which he ran after the death of Willy Sr in 1977,. He continued to expand the company into one of the best established global lifestyle brands.

As if two outstanding careers were not enough, at the end of the 1960s, Willy Bogner Jr. dedicated himself to a new challenge. In 1968, he founded his own film production company - Willy Bogner Film GmbH - and this established his current reputation as one of the best ski cameramen in the world. For Ski Fascination (1966), Bogner invented choreographed skiing which impressed legendary producer Albert R. Broccoli so much that he signed Bogner as the director and cameraman for the ski scenes in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969).

The photographer, director, actor, producer, and author can look back on nearly 40 films, including four James Bond films, for which he worked as a cameraman and director for the ski scenes, and the most successful German sports film Fire and Ice (1986).

View a clip from the ski chase in On Her Majesty`s Secret Service (1969):


Willy Bogner Jr's official James Bond film credits:
1985: A View to a Kill (photographer/director: ski sequence)
1981: For Your Eyes Only (ski photographer/director)
1977: The Spy Who Loved Me (ski sequence photographer/supervisor)
1969: On Her Majesty's Secret Service (ski cameraman)

Photo above:
Willy Bogner Jr. with his wife Sonia at the Bambi Awards in Offenburg 2008.

Visit Bogner's official website for more information about Willy's famous clothing brand:
www.bogner.com

Tags:

#birthdays

6 DECEMBER 2011
STUNT ARRANGER GEORGE LEECH 90TH BIRTHDAY

Birthday for the highly talented stuntman/stunt arranger, and long-time James Bond film collaborator George Leech who turns 90.

With this dedicated page, we would like to send our personal wishes to Mr. Leech on this special day.

"Dear George, happy birthday and warm regards from Sweden."

About George Leech: (thanks to Bondstars)
George Leech first entered the film world after the second world war when, in 1947, he was James Mason's stand-in for Carol Reed's Odd Man Out.

From the late 1950s, he became a "bit part actor" in films such as Port Afrique (1956), And the Same to You (1960) and the wonderful The Guns of Navarone (1961). Keeping in excellent shape, George found a niche for himself as a stunt performer and in 1962 made his first appearance in a Bond film - the first Bond film - Dr. No (1962) in which he played Joseph Wiseman's stunt double.

A couple of years later he was at it again with Goldfinger (1964) - watch carefully and you'll see him in Q-Branch wearing a bullet proof overall, being fired at by a machine gun!

He got a slightly bigger role in Thunderball (1965) when cast as one of Largo's Disco Volante crew, and he performed other stunt parts too in that along with You Only Live Twice (1967), and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968).

TV and film assignments continued with Man in a Suitcase (1967), The Prisoner (1967) and If All the Women in the World (1966).

In 1969 he graduated to become stunt arranger in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) and quickly followed up with credits on Kelly's Heroes, Diamonds Are Forever (1971), The Pink Panther Strikes Again, The Eagle Has Landed, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Revenge Of The Pink Panther, The Wild Geese, Superman, North Sea Hijack, The Sea Wolves, For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983) and A View to a Kill (1985).

George is one of very few talented stuntmen who actually played James Bond, and not just once, he doubled for three of the actors as 007; Sean Connery in Goldfinger, George Lazenby in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and Roger Moore in The Spy Who Loved Me.

In 2006, George Leech was inducted into the Hollywood Stuntmen's Hall Of Fame.

An impressive CV to say the least!

Editor's note:
George is father of stuntwoman Wendy Leech and father in law of Vic Armstrong.

Photo above:
Carole Bouquet and George Leech in a scene set in Greece from For Your Eyes Only. © 1981 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All rights reserved.

For more information about George Leech' film career, check out his profile on IMDB:
www.imdb.com/name/nm0498543/

Tags:

#birthdays

25 AUGUST 2010
SIR SEAN CONNERY'S 80TH BIRTHDAY

Sir Sean Connery, the worldwide-known actor, seven times playing James Bond, and passionate golfer turns 80, believe or not.

From Sweden With Love would like to send our best wishes to the wonderful actor and film icon.

"Happy Birthday Sir Sean, here's to another 80!"

We encourage a visit to Sir Sean's official website for more information about a great man's career:
www.seanconnery.com

Tags:

#birthdays

14 OCTOBER 2007
SIR ROGER MOORE'S 80TH BIRTHDAY

Sir Roger Moore, the worldwide-known seven-time James Bond actor, UNICEF ambassador and extremely generous gentleman will be 80 years old, believe or not.

From Sweden With Love sends their personal wishes to this wonderful personality and icon.

"Happy birthday, Sir Roger. Warm regards from Sweden with love, and here's to another 80!"

Photo above:
Sir Roger Moore on a mission for UNICEF in Quebec, Canada. Photo by Anders Frejdh. @ 2006 From Sweden with Love.

Visit Roger Moore's official website for more information about his life and career:
roger-moore.com

Tags:

#birthdays

All information, text and graphics (unless otherwise stated) on this website are protected by copyright law. Please contact us to use anything.

This website is not in any way endorsed by EON Productions Ltd, Danjaq, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Sony Pictures, United Artists, Ian Fleming Publications, or any other James Bond copyright holders. It is an independently run non-profit website from a personal basis in spare time.

James Bond film images © 1962 - 2015 EON Productions Ltd, Danjaq LLC, MGM, Sony Pictures and United Artists Cooperation

James Bond book covers © 1953 - 2017 Ian Fleming Publications and Glidrose Productions.

Managing Editor: Anders Frejdh