Website last updated: 16-8-2017


3 JULY 2017

FSWL is very sad to report that another one of our friends from the world of 007, Joe Robinson, the British actor and stuntman who so memorably fought James Bond (Sean Connery) trapped in an elevator in Diamonds Are Forever, has passed away at age 90. Our thoughts are with his family.

Trina Parks (Thumper in Diamonds Are Forever) remembers Joe:

"Joe was such a great personality and we became friends at a convention in London 2005. He came over to introduce himself to me and we had a great conversation, for quite a while, about our 'Villain' roles and laughed how we are so opposite, of our characters. And what a pleasant man to speak with. We stayed in touch throughout my stay in London and after I returned to the States. His friendship will always be special in my heart."

Thunderball’s Mollie Peters Passes Away:
Although beautiful and talented, Peters’ career was surprisingly brief – she was part of the biggest Bond film of the 1960s, the mega-smash, Thunderball, but as she told this writer in 1995 during interviews for the DVD documentary The Making of Thunderball, she had a dispute with her agent and decided to take some time away from the industry, losing whatever career momentum she had. Jobs after that were few and far between, although she did appear in 1966’s German/Austrian/Italian spy thriller, Target For Killing alongside Thunderball’s Adolfo Celi, Karin Dor (You Only Live Twice) and future Bond villain, Curt Jurgens (The Spy Who Loved Me). She also made the 1968 Jerry Lewis comedy, Don’t Raise the Bridge, Lower the River which was set in London.

In person, Mollie Peters very was kind and generous with her time, happy to share her stories about being part of Thunderball, her first film. In 1995, she had aged gracefully and was living quietly with her husband and a son. She still had a sense of humor and an unflappable British air about her. Ms. Peters had only compliments for Terence Young, Sean Connery and others she worked with and even thirty years after Thunderball, she seemed amazed to have been part of the Bond whirlwind which accompanied that epic film. For Bond fans around the world, Mollie Peters was an indelible part of one of the best Bonds ever made and will be missed. One hopes she is having a glass of champagne with Terence Young, Roger Moore and Adolfo Celi in the Shrublands in the sky. RIP, dear "Patricia Fearing"…

Other obituaries of Tiger Joe:
>James Bond's Diamonds Are Forever star Joseph Robinson has died, aged 90 (Daily Mail)
>Tiger Joe Robinson, Actor in Diamonds Are Forever, Dies at 90 (Hollywood Reporter)
>James Bond star Joseph Robinson who famously fought Sean Connery in Diamonds Are Forever dies aged 90 (The Mirror)

Copyright © 2017 From Sweden with Love. All rights reserved.



30 MAY 2017

FSWL is very sad to report that our friend Mollie Peters, the classic British beauty who so memorably gave James Bond (Sean Connery) his spa treatment in Thunderball, has passed away at age 75. Our thoughts are with her family.

Luciana Paluzzi (Fiona Volpe in Thunderball) remembers Mollie:

"It is with immense sorrow that I am learning about Mollie’s death.
Although we did not keep in touch in the recent years, I always felt deep affection for her, right from the first moment I met her on the set of Thunderball…she was a humble, sunny, kind, beautiful soul, whose life was devastated by the loss of her son!
I am deeply, deeply sorry."

Mollie Peters and Luciana Paluzzi at the Thunderball premiere in London 1965
Martine Beswicke (Paula Caplan in Thunderball) has also sent us a note on Mollie:

"I am so sad to lose my darling friend Mollie. We met on Thunderball and became instant sisters. She was warm, kind, sweet and had a wicked sense of humour. Even when we had not seen each other for years, when we met again, the laughter would just bubble up between us. I shall miss her terribly."

Mollie Peters and Martine Beswicke at a Thunderball premiere in 1965
Thunderball’s Mollie Peters Passes Away:
Although beautiful and talented, Peters’ career was surprisingly brief – she was part of the biggest Bond film of the 1960s, the mega-smash, Thunderball, but as she told this writer in 1995 during interviews for the DVD documentary The Making of Thunderball, she had a dispute with her agent and decided to take some time away from the industry, losing whatever career momentum she had. Jobs after that were few and far between, although she did appear in 1966’s German/Austrian/Italian spy thriller, Target For Killing alongside Thunderball’s Adolfo Celi, Karin Dor (You Only Live Twice) and future Bond villain, Curt Jurgens (The Spy Who Loved Me). She also made the 1968 Jerry Lewis comedy, Don’t Raise the Bridge, Lower the River which was set in London.

In person, Mollie Peters very was kind and generous with her time, happy to share her stories about being part of Thunderball, her first film. In 1995, she had aged gracefully and was living quietly with her husband and a son. She still had a sense of humor and an unflappable British air about her. Ms. Peters had only compliments for Terence Young, Sean Connery and others she worked with and even thirty years after Thunderball, she seemed amazed to have been part of the Bond whirlwind which accompanied that epic film. For Bond fans around the world, Mollie Peters was an indelible part of one of the best Bonds ever made and will be missed. One hopes she is having a glass of champagne with Terence Young, Roger Moore and Adolfo Celi in the Shrublands in the sky. RIP, dear "Patricia Fearing"…

Terence Young, Mollie Peters and Sean Connery on the set of Thunderball
Photos. Copyright © 1965 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. and Danjaq, LLC. All rights reserved.

Obituary by FSWL contributor Mark Cerulli.

Other obituaries of Mollie:
>Molly Peters Dead: ‘Thunderball’ Bond Girl Dies at 75 (
>Bond girl Molly Peters dies aged 75 (Williston Herald)

Copyright © 2017 From Sweden with Love. All rights reserved.



23 MAY 2017

FSWL and the rest of the world deeply mourns the death of Sir Roger Moore (1927-2017) aged 89 after a short but brave battle with cancer which his children Deborah, Geoffrey and Christian reported in an official announcement.

Roger Moore official family announcement
Friends and colleagues remembers the wonderful human being with fellow James Bond actors Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig leading the tributes:

Sean Connery: "I was very sad to hear of Roger’s passing. We had an unusually long relationship by Hollywood standards, that was filled with jokes and laughter, I will miss him."

Roger Moore and Sean Connery
George Lazenby: "I liked Roger, he was a genuine fellow, a really good guy."

Roger Moore with George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton
Timothy Dalton: "I knew Roger as a kind and generous man. He was a wonderfully engaging and successful actor. My thoughts are with his family."

Pierce Brosnan: "Dear Sir Roger Moore, It is indeed with a heavy heart that I hear the news of your passing this morning. You were a big part of my life, from The Saint to James Bond.. .you were a magnificent James Bond and one that lead the way for me, the world will miss you and your unique sense of humor for years to come. My sincerest condolences to your family and children. RIP"

Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan with Roger Moore in London 1996
Daniel Craig: "Nobody Does It Better – love Daniel"

Roger Moore with Daniel Craig in London
James Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli: "We are heartbroken at the news of Sir Roger Moore’s passing. On the screen, he reinvented the role of James Bond with tremendous skill, charisma and humour. In real life, he was a genuine hero working as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for many years dedicating his life to alleviating the suffering of children all over the world. He was a loyal and beloved friend and his legacy shall live on through his films and the millions of lives he touched. We shall miss him enormously. Our love and thoughts are with Deborah, Geoffrey, Christian his grandchildren and his wife Kristina.”

Roger Moore with Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli
Director John Glen: "Devastating Tuesday! Roger will be sadly missed. His humour was unique and we will miss his raised eyebrows greatly. He was the consummate professional, never considered himself a serious actor but was extremely professional and loved worldwide for his debonair charm. Filming with Roger was always a pleasure. I would allow an extra half an hour a day for his pranks on set which was money well spent as it kept the crew relaxed during the six months of filming. He was very instrumental to my career and I shall be eternally grateful. My thoughts go to his wife, Kristina, and family."

John Glen with Roger Moore on the set of For Your Eyes Only in Greece
Steven Saltzman (son of legendary Bond producer Harry Saltzman): "I knew him all my life, my sister and I grew up with his children Geoffrey, Deborah, and Christian".
We knew he had been sick for a while. But he was so elegant throughout this battle. He never let his humour slip. Only up to very recently he sent me jokes via email - his sense of humour was extraordinary.
He had such a beautiful character, and was always impeccably dressed, even in Monaco!
The man had three strings to his bow: his family, charity work and his craft.
We can't believe it - We are just crest-fallen. There is a huge outpouring of grief here. We are all weeping. We just miss him.
I loved this man."

Steven Saltzman and Roger Moore in Monaco
SFX maestro John Richardson: "RIP Sir Roger Moore very sad to see him leave us. He was a lovely man and will be long remembered. God Bless you Roger!"

Martin Grace (1942–2010), Sir Roger Moore's number one stunt double from 1975 to 1985, said in an interview with FSWL in 2009: "One of the few most genuine actors I have worked with. He was always a gentleman, courteous and charming to his colleagues, humorous when situations got tense and a true professional in his work. He brought suaveness to the role of James Bond and made his mark as 007."

Stuntman and stunt coordinator Paul Weston: "We have lost a true English ambassador. Sir Roger was a warm friendly gentleman, who's humour, humility and humanity had no bounds. His lifelong work for UNICEF and other charities, have been appreciated by children all over the world. I will miss his friendship that I have enjoyed since the first day I walked onto "The Saint" set in 1964 and in the 57 intervening years he never changed his funny warm friendship.
He knew the first names of all the film crews and would involve them in the many gags that he would set up to make film making fun. From all of us, God bless you Roger, rest in your well deserved peace."

Stuntman and stunt coordinator Rocky Taylor: "When I received the news of Roger's passing I was numb. I've had the pleasure of working with so many stars over the years, but Roger was special. I was with him the day he got the Bond role. I was at Pinewood with his stuntman Les Crawford when around the corner we see Roger. He called us over and said 'Boys you are looking at the new James Bond'! Well we went nuts. He very quickly told us to keep the noise down and bundles us into a dressing room. There we drank champagne and toasted his future success.
On Octopussy I was his main double in India and we had great fun out there. He was always very good to the stunt boys. I'd pulled my back one day and quick as you like he said 'Right that's it you're going to relax in my trailer', I told him that I'd be fine but he insisted and sure enough I went and convalesced in style with a glass of champagne, for medicinal purposes to hand while he went off and filmed.
I also remember his kindness after I'd had my accident in 1985 on Death Wish 3. Not long after I'd been admitted to hospital a call came through from Roger wishing me all the best for a speedy recovery. He also sent me so much fruit I could have started my own market stall.
He will always hold a very special place in my heart, and as many millions of fans around the world mourn his passing, we must be thankful that we have his incredible body of work to remember him by.
Thank you for all the good times Roger - I will always miss you."

Rocky Taylor with Roger Moore on The Man with the Golden Gun
Stuntman Terry Cade: "RIP Sir Roger. Work on four Bonds with you it was a great pleasure to have had the privilege, you're fun and a gentleman."

Stuntman and Stunt coordinator Vic Armstrong: "Very sad. Roger was one of my heroes when I first came into the business and and he epitomised everything that I thought the business should be. When I did get to work with him on a one to one basis in Greece he confirmed what a superstar and superman he was, always so complimentary to others and self demeaning about himself, he also had the greatest sense of humour and wit which to me is what gets you through the trials and tribulations of the film business. Roger will be truly missed and as they say when he went 'they broke the mould', it is the end of a legend."

Paul McCartney (theme song for Live and Let Die): "Further sad news today that Sir Roger Moore has passed away. Roger was a great man and of course a great James Bond who I was lucky to work with during the time of 'Live and Let Die'. He had a heart of gold, a great sense of humour and will be missed by the many people who loved him."

Several of the Bond women from Sir Roger's films have also paid their respect for the actor and, above all, beloved man:

Jane Seymour (Live and Let Die): "I am devastated to learn of Roger Moore’s passing. The first leading role I ever had as a Bond girl was such a new and frightening world and Roger held my hand and guided me through every process. He taught me about work ethic and humility. He was so funny, kind and thoughtful to everyone around him and in that Roger taught me what a movie star really was and should be. Through his lifelong work with UNICEF he showed me the true meaning of being a humanitarian and giving back. He was my Bond."

Britt Ekland (The Man with the Golden Gun): "My Bond is gone, am filled with great sadness. Roger was the epitome of Bond, witty, sophisticated, elegant, funny. Rip"

Britt Ekland with Roger Moore for UNICEF Canada
Maud Adams (The Man with the Golden Gun and Octopussy): "Roger was loved by all and have left us in great sadness. I am forever grateful for the fate that brought us together."

Joie Vejjajiva (The Man with the Golden Gun): "Meeting Roger Moore and working with him was a memory I'll never forget. He was such a lovely person. He never behaved as if he was above any of us, he behaved like one of us. He would joke around, sing songs with all of us after filming. I took my guitar to the film set and Roger would play it."

Joie Vejjajiva with Roger Moore on The Man with the Golden Gun
Barbara Bach (The Spy Who Loved Me): “It was a pleasure working with Roger, he was a kind and good man. A true gentleman. Peace, love and condolences to his wife and family.”

Caroline Munro (The Spy Who Loved Me): "I feel devastated about the passing of Roger Moore too Sad to take it in! He was a beautiful person with amazing wit and humour I loved him dearly and will miss him so much! A true gent in every sense of the word! RIP Roger"

Valerie Leon (The Spy Who Loved Me): "Roger Moore was an exceptional human being. I had the good fortune to work with him four times: On television in The Saint and The Persuaders and then in The Wild Geese apart from the Bond film.
The Persuaders [the Long Goodbye episode made in 1971] is the most memorable. He was not only the star but also the director. He gave me a totally unscripted kiss which so took me by surprise that I ended up with a huge grin on my face. but the editors kept it in! His daughter Deborah Moore also appeared with us. She was a little girl and I can still see see her walking along hitting some railings with a stick.
TSWLM was filmed in Sardinia. A select few of us were invited one night to dinner at the Aga Khan’s. When we arrived, we were told the staff were off for the night so Cubby Broccoli and Roger took their place and served us all… It was such fun.
Roger was my favourite Bond: a real charmer and a gentleman. He was the loveliest man and I am deeply saddened that he has now left us."

Valerie Leon and Roger Moore on The Spy Who Loved Me
Corinne Clery (Moonraker): "We have lost a great actor but above all a gentleman."

Anne Lönnberg (Moonraker): "Roger Moore was a great actor with wonderful humour and he fit the role of James Bond perfectly. He was also great to work with - serious, professional and very sweet to us unknown girls. I remember the day Roger had to be submerged in water all day long fighting with that giant python. At the end of the day he was wet, exhausted and fed-up. After the last shot, he said, 'Now, at last, I can go back to my hotel and take a hot bath!' When an assistant whispered in his ear, 'You may have forgotten, Mr. Moore, you have a press conference in ten minutes'. Roger answered, dripping wet, with a polite smile, 'Give me ten minutes.' RIP"

Béatrice Libert (Moonraker): "I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Sir Roger Moore and want to offer my sincere condolences to his family. My only regret is that I have not seen him since 1979..."

Irka Bochenko (Moonraker): "Dear Roger, I am so sad. My deepest and most sincere condolences to Roger's Family. An exceptional man with a remarkable kindness and generosity. WE LOVE YOU FOR EVER AND EVER!"

Anne Lonnberg and Irka Bochenko with Roger Moore
Lynn-Holly Johnson (For Your Eyes Only): "Dear Roger... you've left us behind and deeply saddened, taking with you your ultimate charisma and serene blue eyes. My sister and I will never forget your joyful smile and zest for life . You were magnetic! Rest In Peace my dear James , my one and only James Bond. Love to you beyond."

Mary Stavin (Octopussy) and A View to a Kill): "I'm shocked. He was one of the nicest people I got to know. Warm, humorous and an English gentleman throughout his fingertips.
There are actually no words that can describe him. It was a pleasure to work with him as everyone loved him. Even though he was the star he could ask if he could pick up coffee or help with anything else.
He could call just to ask how I was, or congratulate on a birthday. Only a warm and thoughtful person do things like that."

Mary Stavin and Roger Moore in A View to a Kill
Kristina Wayborn (Octopussy): "I have cried a lot today. My father passed last year and he also became 89 years old. Hearing about Roger Moore's death is another reminder that we will all walk that way.
Roger Moore was one of the friendliest people I have ever met, and for years he has always been in my heart. I feel very fortunate to have met this nice man and his great sense of humor."

Kristina Wayborn and Roger Moore in Octopussy
Carole Ashby (Octopussy and A View to a Kill): "So very sad. I will always remember Roger as a charismatic, and funny man and will always have the memories of an amazing, glamorous and exciting time. Its the end of a golden era. I was lucky to be part of it."

Safira Afzal (Octopussy): "So sorry for Roger's loss. A true gentleman and gentle soul. What a miserable day with what else has been going on in Manchester."

Tanya Roberts (A View to a Kill): "So sorry to hear about Roger passing away today. We had a lot of fun working on A View to a Kill together. He always had a joke to tell, and was a pleasure to work with. He was a terrific guy! RIP my 007"

Tanya Roberts, Roger Moore and Grace Jones at Chantilly in Paris
Grace Jones (A View to a Kill): "Roger will stay in my memory forever as a great gentleman and great father. He will be missed. And will always remain one of my best experiences in my filming career. During the shoot we were like a big family, spending all our time over a year together.
I first met him at a lunch at Pinewood Studios [in London] with his wife just before filming of the Bond film started. I was told that his wife [Luisa Mattioli] always wanted to meet the actresses that he was going to have a love scene with. Then Dolph Lundgren, my lover at the time, walked in, and Luisa said, ‘I don’t have to worry about her.’ And Roger said, ‘He is as big as Denmark.’ And we all laughed."

Swedish action hero Dolph Lundgren (invited to Roger's 80th birthday dinner in Hollywood 2007): "Roger Moore was a fabulous man. I first met him during the filming of A View to a Kill when I dated Grace Jones. Smoking a cigar during lunch at Pinewood Studios he used to look over at my table and note 'Dolph is larger than Denmark'.
I have always been an admirer of his hard work of charity, his elegant style, classical humor and positive attitude to life. He will be missed by so many."

Other members of the Bond family remembers Sir Roger Moore:

Sound editor Colin Miller : "So sad. Roger will be greatly missed. He bought great joy to many people, first as a man, and second as an actor."

Visual effects supervisor Alan Church: "Very saddened... Sir Roger was MY Bond. First seeing The Persuaders every Sunday afternoon on ITV then Bond at the cinema. My brother and two school-friends have been reminiscing of the days we went to nearly all the Odeons in London following around LALD, TMWTGG, TSWLM and my first premiere - Moonraker at the Odeon Leicester Square.
Sir Roger was my escape.. was my very reason I wanted to be part of Cubby's Bond family, and my dream came true in 1983.
And, as Lulu sang... 'Goodnight Goodnight sleep well my dear no need to fear JAMES BOND WAS HERE'. RIP xxx"

James Linton (stand-in for Sir Roger during his last three Bond films): "He will be well missed in the industry. A very caring and generous person when I worked with him, he always had time for people. With a film crew we never stopped having a good laugh as he would always tell a good joke when arriving on set."

Actor David Hedison (Live and Let Die): "Roger had this ability to lighten up any set and the actors and crews loved him. We've been friends for over 50 years now and he was still the very kind, generous man I met in 1963. Rest in Peace dear Friend."

Actor John Moreno (For Your Eyes Only): "l only knew Roger for three weeks during the filming in Cortina. It was very much a professional relationship but a true gentleman and a very generous actor to work with. No star attitude...Not at all… He made me feel we were simple fellow actors working together as equals... But between ‘takes’ we used to laugh... and how we laughed... He had a wonderful sense of humour! Amazingly he seemed to know everyone's name… the entire crew?
I fondly remember one ‘take’, which was the two of us in a two shoot… John Glen, the director, said ‘Okay, next we'll do a close-up on Roger’... And Roger turned to him and said ‘No, no, do a close up on John [meaning me] instead’ and we did. l can't think of another star that would do that, or ever think of doing it. Such a generous man who will be greatly missed."

Actor Kabir Bedi (Octopussy): "I was just 36 when I met Roger Moore on the set. He then had an Italian wife, Luisa Mattioli. I was well known in Italy as a major European star, so his wife told him how big I was. So, he knew me as a very successful actor and greeted me very warmly when we met. We had a lot of respect for each other.
He was a very reserved gentleman on one level. It took time for him to open up but he was a lovely person to be around and I admired Roger. He was a university by himself.
He brightened up the dialogue at times, he was very helpful as an actor, not like some actors who can you make you uncomfortable. He was a very warm human being, very humanitarian. I grieve for the whole family. RIP"

Kabir Bedi, Maud Adams, Cubby Broccoli, Roger Moore, Lois Maxwell and Desmond Llewelyn in India
Tennis player and actor Vijay Amritraj‏ (Octopussy): "Wonderful memories of my dear friend Roger Moore. One of the nicest people I have ever met. And it was a real honor to work with him in my debut film. Amazing class, panache, humor and stature. From The Saint to Bond to UNICEF [I was UN Messenger of Peace during his time as Goodwill Ambassador].
My deepest condolences to Deborah, Geoffrey and Christian. I will miss the wonderful and charismatic Roger. RIP"

Vijay Amritraj Roger Moore with Desmond Llewelyn in Octopussy
Actor Robert Dix (Live and Let Die): "The passing of Sir Roger came so unexpectedly it shocked the 007 World and all of us that are and always will be friends through memories and our personal friendship with Roger. The body of work he left for us as an Actor and as a humanitarian through UNICEF speaks for itself through children all over the world that benefited from Roger's love and concern. The Dix Family has prayed for the advancement and progress of his soul through all the worlds of God. He will be missed by millions."

Yaphet F. Kotto (Live and Let Die): "My head and heart was reeling from the tragic events in Manchester, England, and then I was further shocked by the passing of my friend and co-star of Live and Let Die, Sir Roger Moore. I will miss Roger for many many reasons. To me this is a great loss, may his family find peace and may God receive his soul. Good bye Roger, my prayers are with you always Buddy!"

Yaphet Kotto with Roger Moore on Live and Let Die
FSWL founder Anders Frejdh: "No words can describe how sad we are over the news of Sir Roger's passing. He was truly one of a kind. Having had the genuine pleasure of meeting him several times over the years in Canada, England & Sweden and seen what a lovely human being he was in real life it's difficult to accept he's no longer with us. So many fond memories of him as he was such a great story teller. And will never forget when I and 20 other lucky people were going to take the group photo above with him during a UNICEF Canada dinner in Quebec 2006 for which he prepared everyone by saying "Just repeat after me... witty, titty, cheeeeesse". Our heartfelt condolences to his family. And thank you, sir. For everything."

Anders Frejdh and Roger Moore
>Anders Frejdh remembers Roger Moore (Sveriges Radio)
>Sir Roger Moore mourned in Sweden (Radio Sweden)
>Actor Roger Moore has died (Kulturnytt i P4)
>Bond expert: Moore was a gentleman (Metro)
>Bond expert: Moore was a gentleman (SvD)

Copyright © 2017 From Sweden with Love. All rights reserved.



18 MAY 2017

FSWL is very sad to report the passing of another member of the 'James Bond family', American singer and songwriter Chris Cornell aged 52 (born in Seattle on 20th July 1964). Cornell wrote and performed the excellent theme song for Casino Royale in 2006. We send our deep condolences to his family and thank him for his contribution to the 007 phenomenon.

Eon Productions producer Barbara Broccoli reacted to his death via social media:

"Chris Cornell ushered in the new era of Bond with his adrenaline fuelled song "You Know My Name" for Casino Royale. He was a gentleman and a true artist and we loved every moment of our collaboration with him. Michael and I and the entire Bond family mourn his tragic loss.”

Daniel Craig has also commented on the passing of Chris: "This is very sad news, my thoughts are with his family."

David Arnold, composer of the music in Casino Royale and a friend Chris, commented:
"I'm just incredibly sad. I've only happy memories of him. A kind, caring, loving man. Sending my love to his family."

Also Caterina Murino (Solange in Casino Royale):

"My life career changed in 2006 and Chris made the soundtrack of my new path. All my prayers to his soul and to his family."

And Jeffrey Wright (Felix Leiter in Casino Royale):
"Man, what? Wow., wow. Too soon. Great singer. Super nice dude."

Chris Cornell obituary for FSWL by Ajay Chowdhury:
Chris Cornell, alternative rock legend, whose theme song ‘You Know My Name’ graced Daniel Craig’s debut as 007 in Casino Royale has passed away at the tragic young age of 52. Co-written with David Arnold, the anthemic tune had intriguing lyrics and a powerhouse rock vocal. It was bombastic Bond at its best and became a worldwide hit in the winter of 2006.

Chris Cornell was the singer-songwriter and founding member behind Temple of the Dog, Soundgarden and Audioslave. Ranked 12th in MTV's “22 Greatest Voices in Music” survey ahead of such icons as David Bowie, Steven Tyler and Bruce Springsteen, Cornell has been called “the single most dynamic rock-and-roll force produced by the Grunge Revolution of the early ’90s.”

As a result of this, he was suggested by Sony’s Head of Music, Lia Vollack, to reposition the Bond franchise in the era of Daniel Craig’s Bond. With hits like ‘Black Hole Sun’, he was capable of writing evocative songs laced with mystery. In an interview for SOME KIND OF HERO: The Remarkable Story of the James Bond Films, Chris Cornell said his theme song, ‘You Know My Name’ was, ”based on [Ian Fleming's] CASINO ROYALE so I had that and I was given a script and was allowed to see a rough edit. The theme song for Live and Let Die (1973) had a big impact on me as a kid as did Sean Connery’s James Bond. I wanted [my song] to live in the film. I ended up speaking with David Arnold for a long time. I loved the idea that if I came up with a melody that’s in the first few minutes of the movie and that reverberates throughout the rest of the film.” The song’s co-writer and film’s composer, David Arnold explained to us why Cornell was a good fit “You try and find someone that sounds like the character. Chris obviously had a voice that could kick a wall down, something that Daniel could physically do, so it felt like that was an interesting match.” Chris Cornell and David Arnold often played the song together whilst doing live promotion for the track in late 2006 and latterly live in concerts.

Chris Cornell in the studio recording You Know My Name
Cornell’s songs have been featured in many other blockbuster films, such as Miami Vice, Collateral, Mission Impossible: II, Great Expectations, True Romance, Singles and The Basketball Diaries. He later wrote ‘The Keeper’ for Marc ‘Quantum of Solace’ Forster’s 2011 film Machine Gun Preacher which earned him a Golden Globe nomination and ‘The Promise’ for the upcoming movie about the Armenian genocide of the same name.

Cornell’s representative, Brian Bumbery, said his death was “sudden and unexpected.” His family have asked for privacy.”

Editor's Note:
SOME KIND OF HERO: The Remarkable Story of the James Bond Films by Matthew Field & Ajay Chowdhury, now updated to include a detailed account of the making of SPECTRE (2015), is due out in paperback in July 2017 published by The History Press.

Chris Cornell is 'only' the second James Bond main title artist to have passed away with Matt Munro (singer of the theme song for From Russia with Love) being the other.

Photo above:
Chris Cornell with his wife Vicky at Odeon Leicester Square cinema in London for the World premiere of Casino Royale (which FSWL also attended). Copyright © 2006 Danjaq LLC. & Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). All rights reserved.

For more information about Chris Cornell's career, check out his official site.



Peter Janson-Smith – Prince among Agents

On 24th September 2016, at a private ceremony, the life and work of Peter Janson-Smith, Ian Fleming’s literary agent and steward for over three decades of 007’s literary heritage, was commemorated at the headquarters of BAFTA in London’s Piccadilly. Janson-Smith passed away in April aged 93. The man whom Ian Fleming described as a “prince among agents” was the quiet force behind a range of extraordinary literary properties and some key speakers from those disparate worlds spoke eloquently in what became a moving evening. They included biographer Richard Holmes, Agatha Christie’s grandson, Mathew Prichard, Ian Fleming’s niece, Kate Grimond and Bond author Raymond Benson and Peter’s daughter, Deidre. Peter’s partner, Lili Pohlmann (widow of actor Eric) was there with her daughter, Karen as well as Peter’s son Patrick and other members of the Janson-Smith clan.

Peter Janson-Smith
In the mid-Fifties, Janson-Smith was recommended to Fleming by author Eric Ambler and almost immediately managed to sell the foreign rights to the Bond novels to Dutch publisher Bruna. Janson-Smith became known as Professor Nitpick for his attention to detail in the Bond manuscripts.

The recent biography of the Bond films, Some Kind Of Hero, charts how the ambitious Fleming sought to get his Bond books filmed, vesting the literary copyright in a company named Glidrose Productions Ltd whilst the film rights went into a range of family trusts. Just prior to his death, Fleming sold a controlling share in Glidrose to Jock Campbell, chairman of large agricultural concern, Booker Brothers. After Fleming’s death in 1964, with the huge success of the Bond movies, sales of the 007 books skyrocketed. It was partially to deal with the windfall of this success that the conglomerate inaugurated a literary prize in 1968 which still bears their name: the Booker prize.

Peter Janson-Smith was involved with completing the manuscript of the unfinished Bond book, The Man With The Golden Gun, published posthumously in 1965 as well as the release of a collection of short stories in an anthology in 1966. He also policed the copyright of the powerful Bond literary brand and in numerous interesting ways. The first non-Fleming Glidrose story was Bond Strikes Camp, a parody by Cyril Connolly, a pal of Bond's creator - Glidrose ended up buying the story. The first commissioned post-Fleming Glidrose work was The Adventures of James Bond Junior 003½ by R. D. Mascott, the pen-name of Arthur Calder-Marshall was released in 1967. During this time, Glidrose also dealt with South African journalist Geoffrey Jenkins involving a Bond novel entitled Per Fine Ounce based on informal dealings with Ian Fleming who had been a journalistic acquaintance. The novel never saw the light of day but did ultimately lead to the first Continuation book, Colonel Sun in 1968, an entirely original tale written by Kingsley Amis under the pen-name, Robert Markham. Amis, a Bond fan, had written a witty literary assessment of the 007 oeuvre, The James Bond Dossier (1965), as well as writing under the pseudonym, Lt-Col. William 'Bill' Tanner, The Book of Bond or Every Man His Own 007 both published in 1965. Amis had provided informal advice on the publication of The Man With The Golden Gun. In 1973, James Bond: The Authorised Biography, a clever tongue-in-cheek conceit concocted by Fleming biographer and colleague, John Pearson was published. The oft-overlooked Continuation book threads fact and fiction through the Fleming and Amis worlds.

Throughout, Janson-Smith sat on the board of Glidrose with Fleming family members including Fleming’s older brother, Peter, and later, his son, Nichol, also a novelist and then Peter’s daughters, Kate Grimond and Lucy Williams. Numerous original Bond stories were published in comic strip form in the UK with additional original stories by Sweden’s Semic Press AB. In 1975, special permission had to be sought from the Fleming estate to use the title only of The Spy Who Loved Me, the experimental 1962 Bond book. Subsequently, Janson-Smith oversaw the publication of the two very Fleming-esque novelizations of James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and the following James Bond and Moonraker (1979), both by Christopher Wood, a screenwriter on those particular movies, who sadly passed away in 2015. Janson-Smith was involved in the sale of Harry Saltzman’s share of the Swiss company, Danjaq S.A., in which the Bond film copyrights vested and he was also a key witness in the ongoing Kevin McClory dispute.

In 1981, the first of John Gardner’s original Continuation Bond novels was published. Licence Renewed, which updated the Bond mythos to contemporary times was the first of 14 original Bond novels: For Special Services (1982), Icebreaker (1983), Role Of Honour (1984), Nobody Lives Forever (US Forever – 1986), No Deals Mr Bond (1987), Scorpius (1988), Win Lose or Die (1989), Brokenclaw (1990), The Man From Barbarossa (1991), Death Is Forever (1992), Never Send Flowers (1993), Seafire (1994) and finally, Cold (US Cold Fall –1996). Gardner also wrote two film novelizations, Licence To Kill (1989) and GoldenEye (1995). Gardner successfully kept the Bond literary light shining with inventive, entertaining tales.

Glidrose also kept Bond current and after the graphic novel boom of the mid-Eighties, saw an opportunity to join that world with original 007 adventures. During this time a number of comic book adventures were published including Permission To Die (1989) by Mike Grell, Serpent's Tooth (1992-1993) by Doug Moench and Paul Gulacy, A Silent Armageddon (1993) by Simon Jowett and John M. Burns, Light of My Death (1993) by Das Petrou and John Watkiss, Shattered Helix (1994) by Simon Jowett, David Jackson and David Lloyd, Minute of Midnight (1994) by Doug Moench and Russ Heath and The Quasimodo Gambit (1995) by Don McGregor and Gary Caldwell. Grell also wrote and inked a graphic novel of the film Licence To Kill in 1989 and in 1995 GoldenEye was partially serialised in comic form by Don McGregor with artwork by Jean-Claude St. Aubin and Rick Magyar.

In 1996, Janson-Smith attended the unveiling of an English heritage Blue Plaque outside Fleming’s home in Ebury Street, London. A year later, he was pleased to guide to publication, Zero Minus Ten (1997) by American author, Raymond Benson. Rather like Kingsly Amis before him, Benson had proved his spurs having written The James Bond Bedside Companion (1984, 1988), the first comprehensive literary and film analysis of the Bond world. Benson would go on to write a series of well-plotted and smart original Bond adventures: Blast From The Past (short story – 1997), The Facts Of Death (1998), Live At Five and Midsummer Night's Doom (both short stories – 1999), High Time To Kill (1999), Doubleshot (2000), Never Dream Of Dying (2001) and The Man With The Red Tattoo (2002). In addition to which, Benson went on to write the novelizations of Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999) and Die Another Day (2002).

Peter Janson-Smith and Raymond Benson
Entertainment from Transamerica: Peter Janson-Smith with Raymond Benson at Harrington’s Books in London, April 2008

Peter Janson-Smith retired from Bond in 2002 shortly after the Fleming family re-acquired Glidrose and renamed the company Ian Fleming Publications Limited. Fergus Fleming, the son of Ian’s younger brother Richard, currently sits on the board and together with Janson-Smith’s protégé, Corinne Turner, have managed the Bond literary brand to spectacular success over recent years. In keeping with Bond tradition, there are a new series of graphic novels including Vargr (2016) by Warren Ellis and Jason Masters. There have been the wonderfully authentic young Bond adventures by Charlie Higson and Steve Cole, and the John Pearson-esque Moneypenny spin-off tales by Kate Westbrook, the pseudonym of Samantha Weinberg. In 2008 Ian Fleming’s centenary was celebrated in style with a detailed and delightful exhibit at the Imperial War Museum and the year saw the resumption of original Continuation Bond novels by a series of heavy-weight authors. Devil May Care (2008) by Sebastian Faulks was followed by Carte Blanche (2011) by Jeffery Deaver and Solo (2013) by William Boyd. In 2015, Anthony Horowitz incorporated the unused Fleming story, Murder On Wheels, in the masterful and astute Trigger Mortis and thankfully has agreed to pen a second Bond novel.

Peter Janson-Smith and Charlie Higson
Passing The Bond Baton: Peter Janson-Smith (left) with Young Bond originator, Charlie Higson at Cine Lumiere in London, November 2005

Of course, the Fleming works have been kept alive throughout. The Bond novels have been reprinted with the latest being beautiful editions of Casino Royale and From Russia With Love by the Folio Society. Fleming's beloved children's book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has been revived and accompanied by continuation novels int the series. Fleming's non-fiction works, The Diamond Smugglers and Thrilling Cities are also kept in print. There have been a series high quality BBC radio plays of the Bond books and star names reading the audio books. Most recently, Trigger Mortis was read by David Olewoyo: the actor will play Othello in New York in Christmas 2015 opposite Daniel Craig as Iago. Perhaps he got some tips!

Also in attendance that evening was Ian Fleming’s stepdaughter, Fionn Morgan, biographer Andrew Lycett, John Gardner’s children, Simon and Alexis, producer Barbara Broccoli, Fergus Fleming, IFPL managing director, Corinne Turner, ex-Glidrose and Eon executive John Parkinson, family friend and Bond vehicle curator Doug Redenius, Bond bibliographer Jon Gilbert, author Paul Kenny, From Sweden With Love’s Anders Frejdh, Bond historian author John Cork and the board of The Ian Fleming Foundation, the US-based charity set up to preserve the works of Bond and Fleming, of which Peter was the Chairman.

Peter Janson-Smith's hand on the tiller throughout the decades made him the Cubby Broccoli of the Book Bond: a strong yet underrated force shaping Bond’s world. Whilst the Bond films are at their most critically and commercially successful for an eon, so too is Bond’s fine literary heritage. For the many fans who have yet to read a Bond adventure, now might be the time to start. In doing so, you will appreciate the unseen skill of the late Peter Janson-Smith, “prince among agents.”

Written by Ajay Chowdhury. Copyright © 2016 From Sweden with Love



24 MAY 2016

FSWL is saddened to report the passing of another member of the 'James Bond family', British actor Burt Kwouk aged 85 (born in Warrington, Cheshire, England on 18th July 1930). Kwouk brilliantly portrayed Cato in seven of the Pink Panther film series and also appeared in three James Bond films. We send our deep condolences to his family and thank him for his contribution to the 007 phenomenon.

FSWL supporter and friend Catherine Schell remembers working with Burt:

"Even though, I live in France I can still receive BBC 4 radio and have it on every morning to listen to the news. I was heart broken to hear that dear Bert had died. But what was so odd, was two nights previously, the 23rd of May, I was watching a movie at a girlfriend's house. It was Madam Sin made in 1972 with Betty Davis and Robert Wagner. I too am in the film. It was the first time that I had seen it and I didn't remember anything about it. Suddenly, there he was, a young Burt Kwouk playing a "baddy", torturing me. I had forgotten he was also in the film. To be honest, I'd forgotten everything about it.

I always enjoyed his company on The Return of the Pink Panther, inasmuch, as we never appeared in any scenes together but bumped into one another between takes. Madam Sin was never mentioned. Perhaps, he'd also forgotten it. (It was not a great movie)

I have very fond memories of him. He was always full of life and smiling, always with a kind word and a lovely sense of humour. He shall be greatly missed."

Burt Kwouk obituary:
Burt Kwouk, who played martial arts expert Cato in the comic "Pink Panther" films, has died. He was 85.

Kwouk's agent, Jean Diamond, said in a statement that he "passed peacefully" on Tuesday. She didn't give a cause of death. Diamond also said Kwouk's funeral would be private.

Born in northwest England and raised in Shanghai, Kwouk had his breakthrough film role in The Inn of the Sixth Happines [starring Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman and future 'Bond villain' Curd Jürgens] in 1958, and appeared in the James Bond films Goldfinger (1964) and You Only Live Twice [both starring Sean Connery as 007].

In 1964, Blake Edwards cast him in A Shot in the Dark, a comedy centered on Peter Sellers' bumbling Inspector Clouseau. Kwouk appeared in half a dozen more "Pink Panther" movies as Cato Fong, a manservant whose job was to attack Clouseau when he least expected it.

In 1975, Kwouk appeared alongside Swedish actress Maud Adams in Rollerball directed by Norman Jewison.

In 2001, Burt appeared in Kiss of the Dragon co-starring Tchéky Karyo who portrayed Defence Minister Dmitri Mishkin in GoldenEye (1995) (1995).

Most recently, he appeared in various television series including Last of the Summer Wine (2002-2010), Honest (2008) and Spirit Warriors (2010). In total, Burt Kwouk worked on over 70 TV series and over 60 films. Apart from the seven Panther films, most notably Empire of the Sun (1987) directed by Steven Spielberg and Air America (1990) directed by Roger Spottiswoode (director of the 1997 Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies).

Burt is survived by wife Caroline Tebbs, who he married in 1961 and son Christopher.

Burt Kwouk in conversation with film historian Barry Littlechild at The Cinema Museum in London:

Other obituaries of Burt Kwouk:
>BBC (24-5-2016)
>Guardian (24-5-2016)
>Mirror (24-5-2016)
>Sky News (24-5-2016)

Photo above:
Burt Kwouk at the world premiere of Die Another Day in London 2002. Photo by Sascha Braun. Copyright © From Sweden with Love All rights reserved.

For more information about Burt Kwouk's career, check out his IMDB profile:



21 APRIL 2016

In memory of Bob Eklöf's passing five years ago. Bob was the first Swedish person to be associated with the James Bond films after singing the French version of the theme song for the 1963 film From Russia with Love (Bons Baisers de Russie) for which Matt Munro sang the original English version. Sean Connery.

With this page, From Sweden with Love would like to celebrate Bob Eklöf's life and career.

About Bob Eklöf:
Bob Eklöf was born in Motala, a small Swedish town situated next to Lake Vättern.

Initially a model, her looks took her into film and television roles. She was photographed by Life Magazine appearing opposite the five semi finalist actors for the role of James Bond in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969).

In 1971, Agneta starred opposite ex-Beatle Ringo Starr in Blindman.

In the Oct 1975 issue of Playboy, shortly after appearing in the Disney family film The Island at the Top of the World (1974). Eckemyr appeared on the front cover of the magazine and within as a "Playboy Playmate".

After her career as an actress, Agneta worked as a fashion photographer for a number of years until her interest for the industry lead her to design her own clothes. Since the 1980s, she runs Agneta Eckemyr Design in New York with its own design and manufacturing of women's clothing in a classic Swedish romantic style with much lace and white linen.

In 2011, Agneta's clothing designs were featured at Älskling (Swedish for darling) on Columbus Avenue in New York City.

Agneta Eckemyr resides in New York but is about to move back to Sweden after 40 years abroad.

With former life partner, the pianist Staffan Scheja, she has a son, Swedish filmmaker Daniel Scheja.

Other Swedish James Bond related people on From Sweden With Love:
>Agneta Eckemyr (July 2)
>Anne Lönnberg (February 17)
>Britt Ekland (October 6)
>Dolph Lundgren (November 3)
>Eva Green (July 5)
>Izabella Scorupco (June 4)
>Jens Hultén (December 6)
>Kristina Wayborn (September 24)
>Lars Lundgren (May 6)
>Mary Stavin (August 20)
>Maud Adams (February 12)
>Max von Sydow (April 10)
>Ola Rapace (December 3)

Photo above:
The Vinyl 7 inch EP cover including Bob Asklöf's version of "From Russia with Love" in French. Photo by Patrick de Mervelet. © 1964 Columbia Records. All rights reserved.

For more information about Bob Eklöf's film career, check out his page on IMDB:



20 APRIL 2016

FSWL is extremely sad to report yet another passing of a cherished member of the 'James Bond family' and a very dear friend & supporter of this website. Legendary film director Guy Hamilton (born in Paris on 16th September 1922) who directed four of the most classic Bond films (Goldfinger (1964), Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun) has died at the age of 93. We send our deepest condolences to his stepson and the rest of Guy's family and thank him for his HUGE contribution to the 007 phenomenon.

"You can't really change the formula, you can merely try to film it your way."
Guy Hamilton [on the Bond film series]

So far 2016 has been a terrible year for the Bond world as Hamilton’s death comes soon after losing iconic production designer Ken Adam (1921-2016).

FSWL founder Anders Frejdh comments:
"Totally devastated to hear about the passing of Guy who I last visited just over a year ago at his home in Mallorca. He was, and forever will be, someone I am always in debt to as he graciously supported From Sweden With Love all the way from its early days on the web in 2004. Miss him, his wit, kindness and friendship already more than I can explain. Last spoke to him in February. Shortly thereafter he fell, broke his hip and became hospitalised. When I spoke to his stepson two weeks ago he was recuperating well but most sadly declined in health after that. Rest in peace my friend, you will forever remain in my heart as one of nicest people I have ever met."

Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli (current James Bond producers) commented via the official website (
"We mourn the loss of our dear friend Guy Hamilton who firmly distilled the Bond formula in his much celebrated direction of Goldfinger and continued to entertain audiences with Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun. We celebrate his enormous contribution to the Bond films."

And Roger Moore (James Bond in two of Guy's 007 films) via Twitter:
"Incredibly, incredibly saddened to hear the wonderful director Guy Hamilton has gone to the great cutting room in the sky. 2016 is horrid."

Friends and colleagues who left a comment for FSWL of the beloved director:
"Guy for me - set the compass for Bond, indeed Harry and Cubby were talent seekers and promoters, think of Maurice Binder (who could be credited with creating the music video genre and designer of the Bond logo) - and Ken Adams as the style and scene Meister of James Bond and you have the secret key to the formula, the 007 Trinity. I easily imagine Harry and Cubby at a onset table somewhere, pasta's on the boil the setting and Maurice is impatiently waiting his turn and then Harry tells a joke and Maurice laughs in his unique cadence and Ken swirls his cognac in a large snifter, drawing deeply on his Monte Cristo and then Guy calls "Cut!" ... it's only a Scene from a movie ... God, how fortunate we were to be able to consider these passionate people part of our Bond family!" – Steven Saltzman (son of Harry Saltzman)

"Very sad news about Guy. A true British gentleman and one of the Bond originals. Of his four Bonds my favourite was Goldfinger. What a fantastic movie. Janine and I spent a very enjoyable weekend with Guy in Paris a couple of years ago and got to know him really well. He told us some very amusing stories of his escapades in the Navy during the Second World War. Because of his fluent French he was engaged in landing agents in Brittany and on one occasion was stranded there when his boat had to leave suddenly.
My first encounter with Guy was in 1947 when he was assistant to Carol Reed on The Third Man and I was a lowly assistant editor." – John Glen (Director of five James Bond films)

"I am so sorry that Peter Janson-Smith's death has been followed so quickly by Guy Hamilton. I got to know him originally when I was in my teens because his mother lived in our village."
Andrew Lycett (Ian Fleming biographer)

"The GREAT GUY HAMILTON !!! I'm an Actor with lots of IDEAS and for each one he would say to me, 'All right, show me.' I would, then he'd say, 'All right now show him.' By "him" he meant the terrific crusty old Aussie D.P. [who shot the film] I'd do it again and the DP would always chuckle and say, 'AYUP', Guy would then say , 'All right lets shoot it.' THANK YOU GUY !!! He let me bring in the FUNNY to Diamonds [Are Forever] "The funniest BOND film moment ever" according to Sir Roger Moore (Thank you SIR.) was the final MR. WINT - OOOH moment as the kindly SEAN lifts up his "YAA – HAA" [and flips him over the side of the ship!] The first gift GUY gave me was after I'd been given the part of one of the 2 GAY killers , the 1st time in film history that 2 guys were clearly identified as GAY, I asked GUY to not tell which one I'd be playing. He said, 'Really, why?' He'd never auditioned [me] but he had an instinct for me and casting in general - like seeing that Putter [Smith] should be one of the guys. I answered 'I don't know why, [AND I DIDN'T] I just don't want to know.' He agreed and made sure NOBODY including Putter told me that I was Mr. Wint. There I was on the desert set outside of VEGAS two hours before my 1st time on CAM and I still didn't KNOW. Bold crazy move on my part CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY !!!! That's me. THANKS GUY!!!
Bruce Glover (Diamonds Are Forever)

"The brave and kind Guy Hamilton impacted my life in an unforeseen way. He came to see Thelonious Monk at Shelley Manne's jazz club in Hollywood during the casting of Diamonds Are Forever (I was playing with the great pianist)
When Guy, whom everyone on the set called 'the Guv' or 'Guv', asked me to be in the film I was flabbergasted. I had to say yes even though acting had NEVER crossed my mind. Guv was kind and helpful and got me through with the help of my wife.
I am very grateful to the Guv. And I still feel unworthy of accolades and requests for autographs since I did nothing to earn what happened - it's like someone congratulating your financial wisdom for having won the lottery." – Putter Smith (Mr. Kidd in Diamonds Are Forever)

"RIP Guy Hamilton, a great Director and a lovely man!" – John Richardson (SFX maestro and son of Cliff Richardson who Guy also worked with)

"I am saddened, devastated and will never forget the friendship and kindness given by the wonderful Guy Hamilton. Diamonds and Guy ... are forever ... Damn damn damn!
Direct something wonderful in heaven. Rest vibrant man."
Lana Wood (Plenty O'Toole in Diamonds Are Forever)

"Very sad news. A very good director. RIP, Mr. Nice Guy. You were a Gentleman in our business."
Terry Mountain (Blofeld guard in Diamonds Are Forever)

"So sad ... RIP Guy Hamilton." – Caron Gardner (Flying Circus Pilot in Goldfinger)

"I was so honored to have worked with Guy. God Bless his Soul!" – Trina Parks (Thumper in Diamonds Are Forever)

"I am so very sorry to hear about Guy Hamilton. Both he and Roger were absolute gentle men who transformed my life over 3 blissful days." – Madeline Smith (Miss Caruso in Live and Let Die)

About Guy Hamilton:
Guy Hamilton was born in Paris, France where his English parents were living at the time. Remaining in France during the Nazi occupation, he was active in the French Resistance. After the end of the war, he started to work as an assistant to Carol Reed on films including The Fallen Idol (1948) and The Third Man (1949), before turning to directing with his first film The Ringer (1952). He worked on a total of 36 films (22 as director) from the 1940s to the 1980s, including four instalments based on the James Bond novels by Ian Fleming.

Hamilton was one of many directors who turned down Dr. No (1962) but eventually entered the series after Terence Young's departure from Goldfinger. He left during pre-production of The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).

Actors and actresses from the Bond films remember working with Guy:

"As I recall, the actor who was to be Hamilton got sick or for some reason could not keep the commitment. Roger asked Guy, 'Why not let Bob do it', and Guy agreed I should play Hamilton."
Bob Dix (Live and Let Die)

"At the time, I was very frightened of Guy as he was a very precise and demanding director, but, having met him in recent years to talk about the Bond film I must say he is a fabulous man, and certainly not someone I had to be scared of." – Britt Ekland (Mary Goodnight in The Man with the Golden Gun)

"He knew what he wanted and I hope I gave him what he asked of me. Directing Bond is probably less about the actors and more about the overall pace and style of the film. Guy was a veteran director who knew his stuff." – David Hedison (Felix Leiter in Live and Let Die)

"Guy is beyond adorable! He let me do whatever I wanted with my character, was fun to be around. And I recall he and his wife were robbed in Las Vegas while they slept!" – Lana Wood

"Guy Hamilton was generous in how much you were allowed to stray even slightly from the written script. But you didn’t try to do it too often." – Shane Rimmer (Tom in Diamonds Are Forever)

Hamilton was originally chosen to direct Superman in 1978, but due to his status as a tax exile he was only allowed to be in England for thirty days, where production had moved at the last minute to Pinewood Studios. The job of director was then passed to Richard Donner, but Hamilton insisted he'd be paid in full. Guy put the money to good use, building a beautiful house on the idyllic island of Mallorca!

In the 1980s, Guy Hamilton was also approached to direct Batman (1989) after producer Michael Uslan imagined that Batman would be a franchise in the 007 mould. According to Bruce Scivally, author of Billion Dollar Batman, Uslan said they "had some talks" with Hamilton, but producers Peter Guber and Jon Peters were thinking of a more comedic approach and went to Ivan Reitman, then Joe Dante, who said yes, but eventually dropped out because he "just didn't believe in it." That was in 1984, and the project went through many other hands before Tim Burton took it on.

After retiring from the film business in the early 1990's, Guy enjoyed playing golf (a sport he introduced Sean Connery to for the filming of Goldfinger) and contributed to a variety of literature including the forward to On the Tracks of 007 (published in 2008) by FSWL contributor Martijn Mulder. The introduction for the official programme to the 50th Anniversary celebration of Goldfinger in Oslo 2014, and several hours being interviewed for Some Kind Of Hero: The Remarkable Story of the James Bond films (2012) written by FSWL contributors Ajay Chowdhury & Matthew Field. Guy also attended many Bond events such as the spectacular Vue sur Bond in Canada (hosted by Hilary Saltzman, daughter of Harry) that FSWL was most fortunate to attend as well.

Guy is survived by his stepson Frank. His wife of many years, Keri, passed away in July 2014. (Before Keri, he was married to actress Naomi Chance.)

A selection of Guy Hamilton's other films: (IMDB profile)
• The Intruder (1953)
• An Inspector Calls (1954)
• The Colditz Story (1955) (which he also co-wrote)
• Charley Moon (1956)
• Manuela (1957)
• A Touch of Larceny (1959)
• The Devil's Disciple (1959)
• The Best of Enemies (1962)
• Man in the Middle (1963)
• The Party's Over (1965)
Funeral in Berlin (1966, produced by Harry Saltzman)
Battle of Britain (1969, with Curd Jürgens and Robert Shaw among others, also produced by Harry Saltzman)
Force 10 from Navarone (1978, with Robert Shaw, Barbara Bach, Edward Fox and Richard Kiel)
• The Mirror Crack'd (1980)
• Evil under the Sun (1982)
• Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985)
• Try this One for Size (1989)

Click here to listen to film director Guy Hamilton discuss the ingredients of a successful Bond movie and looks back at a career that started with his apprenticeship in the French film business at the age of 17. The director maintains that, in his opinion, although the Bond films defy the formulaic, one of the golden rules in their production is to put the money up on the screen, particularly with the sets and stunts, which should look as expensive and spectacular as possible. His take on Bond is that the secret agent is a Latter-day Saint George, albeit a lecherous one, and the villains he faces represent the dragon.

Other obituaries of Guy Hamilton:
>BBC News (21-4-2016)
>British Film Institute (21-4-2016)
>Daily Mail (21-4-2016)
>Empire (21-4-2016)
>Hollywood Reporter (21-4-2016)
>The Independent (21-4-2016)
>Telegraph (21-4-2016)
>The Guardian (21-4-2016)
>Variety (21-4-2016)

Editor's note:
For other James Bond directors featured on From Sweden with Love, click here.

Photo above:
Guy Hamilton in Mallorca. Photo by Anders Frejdh. © 2016 From Sweden with Love.

More information about Guy Hamilton's fabulous career in films on Screen Online:



15 APRIL 2016

FSWL is very saddened to report the passing of another member of the 'James Bond family' in 2016, British literary agent Peter Janson-Smith (born in Navestock, Essex, England on 5th September 1922) who represented Ian Fleming for many years. Janson-Smith was also Chairman of Glidrose Publications Ltd. We send our sincere condolences primarily to his wife Lili but also to the rest of his family and thank Peter for his BIG contribution to the 007 phenomenon.

Raymond Benson, author of six official Bond novels & three short stories from 1997 to 2002, commented:

"It is with great sadness that I share the news that Peter Janson-Smith has passed away. Peter, who hired me to write James Bond novels in the mid-90s, was a mentor, a teacher, a friend, and someone I called my "English dad." Peter had a long, distinguished career as a literary agent in England. He was Ian Fleming's agent as well as Eric Ambler's and many other great authors. He sold Anthony Burgess' [novel] A Clockwork Orange. He was the trustee for Winnie the Pooh. So many accomplishments, too many to name here. I will miss him terribly. Thank you, Peter, for everything you did for me, and for everything you did to better our world."

As Barbara Broccoli, co-producer of current Bond films & daughter of Albert R. Broccoli, said when she recently visited Peter at hospital, "Without Peter, none of us would be here".

FSWL founder Anders Frejdh said, "Having had the fortune and pleasure to spend some time with Peter in recent years - one of the kindest and most respectful human beings I have ever met - I deeply mourn his passing with the rest of the Bond World. He was a one-of-a-kind and truly one of the real heroes behind the 007 phenomenon. Rest in peace, Peter, I will never forget you. And thanks for everything."

Stanley Morgan, Casino concierge in the very first Bond film (Dr No), remembers Peter:

"Peter was my first agent, circa 1968, recommended to me by Granada manager Alwyn Birch who had bought the rights to my first Russ Tobin book The Sewing Machine Man.
I can't remember how many Tobin books Peter's agency handled, but despite their growing commercial success, I think their jokey/risque nature became a bit of a challenge for the agency and I moved on. Interestingly, a young Patrick Janson-Smith, then at Granada, participated in the successful publishing of the first ten Tobin books."

Peter Janson-Smith obituary:
Peter Janson-Smith is one of the reasons why the James Bond novels, and later the James Bond films, became a global phenomenon as he was Fleming’s literary agent and saw the future in global publishing. And thanks to Peter's efforts, Fleming was read around the world.

When the films were eventually made, there was a hungry global audience waiting to pounce on 007. As Chairman of Glidrose, now Ian Fleming Publications (the literary copyright holders of Bond) Janson-Smith oversaw the continuation authors who wrote authorized Bond novels after Fleming died in 1964.

Kingsley Amis, a famous British writer, took on the challenge and wrote Colonel Sun (1968) (under the pseudonym Robert Markham) in 1968.

In 1973, John Pearson, Fleming’s biographer, wrote James Bond: The Authorised Biography (published in Swedish as James Bond memoarer by Selstam in July 2014).

In 1981, John Gardner became the new Bond author, hand-picked by Janson-Smith. Gardner wrote one Bond novel a year for 16 years until famed Bond scholar and American author Raymond Benson took over with Zero Minus Ten (published in 1997).

Janson-Smith retired from the literary side of things but is a legend in the publishing industry. Ensuring Bond was translated into over 40 languages and steering post-Fleming Bond novels, he kept 007 on the bookshelves.

As successful as the films are, never forget that Bond started on the printed page. The roaring success of Daniel Craig as Ian Fleming’s James Bond in Casino Royale (2006) was due, in no small part, to the classic yet unusual novel the film is faithfully based on.

Peter really helped Fleming shepherd Bond to cultural immortality and was very much involved in the legacy of the famed author in recent years as Chairman of The Ian Fleming Foundation.

Mike VanBlaricum, Co-founder and President of The Ian Fleming Foundation, commented:
"When I approached Peter in the early 1980s as a wide-eyed collector of all things Ian Fleming, Peter took me under his wing, introduced me to Nichol Fleming (Ian’s nephew), and encouraged my collecting habits. When I got the idea to start The Ian Fleming Foundation in 1991, Peter embraced it wholeheartedly and supported and advised us. Peter was an amazing British gentleman in all aspects of the expression. But, most importantly, Peter was my friend. He will be greatly missed but he will never be forgotten."

Doug Redenius, Co-founder and former Vice-president & Director of acquisitions for The Ian Fleming Foundation, said: "I am crushed. I cannot convey in words how devastated I am in the loss of my dear, dear Peter. He was like a father to me. Even though there was time to prepare, one is never really prepared to accept the loss of someone you love with all your heart. I feel broken. Peter ... until we meet again."

Peter is survived by his partner of many years, Lili Pohlman. And his children Alice, Diana, Deirdre & Patrick. As well as step-children and grandchildren.

Other obituaries of Peter Janson-Smith:
>Booktrade (18-4-2016)
>Cinema Retro (28-4-2016)
>Her Majesty's Secret Servant (15-4-2016)
>Ian Fleming Publications (20-4-2016)
>The Book Seller (18-4-2016)

Photo above:
Peter Janson-Smith in London 2012. Photo by Anders Frejdh. © From Sweden with Love. All rights reserved.

Read James Bond continuation author Raymond Benson's interview with Janson-Smith from the March-April 2010 issue of Crimespree Magazine thanks to our friends over at CommanderBond.



31 MARCH 2016

FSWL is saddened to report the passing of another member of the 'James Bond family', British actor Douglas Wilmer who just celebrated his 96th birthday (born in London on 8th January, 1920). Wilmer portrayed art expert Jim Fanning in the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy (1983) starring Roger Moore. We send our deep condolences to his family and thank him for his contribution to the 007 phenomenon.

"I fondly remember Douglas. A genuine British gentleman. Rest in peace."
Kristina Wayborn (Magda in Octopussy who features in the auction scenes with Wilmer as Fanning)

"The day gets worse. I hear dear Douglas Wilmer has left us too. A fine actor and joyous to be in The Saint and Octopussy with." – Roger Moore

Douglas Wilmer obituary:
LONDON (AP): Douglas Wilmer, who played detective Sherlock Holmes in a 1960s television series, has died at 96.

The Sherlock Holmes Society of London says Wilmer died Thursday in a hospital in Ipswich, eastern England.

Wilmer played the pipe-smoking sleuth a series of TV dramas in 1964 and 1965. The Sherlock Holmes Society said that "for many, he was the seminal television Sherlock Holmes."

In a tribute, the society called his characterization "incisive, drily witty, utterly in command of events ... exactly as Sherlock Holmes should look and sound."

Wilmer returned to the role in the 1975 TV movie The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother and in a series of audio books.

Wilmer also appeared alongside Christopher Lee in the "Fu Manchu" movies and with Roger Moore in 1960s TV adventure series "The Saint" and in the James Bond film "Octopussy."

Moore tweeted that Wilmer was "a fine actor and joyous to be in 'The Saint' and 'Octopussy' with."

In his later life, Wilmer opened a wine bar, Sherlock's in Woodbridge, the eastern England town where he lived.

One of his final screen appearances was a 2012 cameo as a grumpy member of the Diogenes Club in the BBC's Sherlock, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the great detective.

Editor's Note:
In 2009, Douglas Wilmer's memoirs Stage Whispers was published by Porter Press in the UK.

Photo above:
Douglas Wilmer at his home in Woodbridge in 2014. © Ipswich Star. All rights reserved.

For more information about Douglas Wilmer's career, check out his IMDB profile:



10 MARCH 2016

Much like the rest of the Bond world, FSWL mourns the death of legendary production designer Sir Ken Adam (born in Berlin on 5th February, 1921) who designed amazing set pieces for Dr. No (1962), Goldfinger (1964) (1964), Thunderball (1965) (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979) (1979). We send our deep condolences to his wife and thank him for decades of brilliant Design.

Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said in a comment published on “The Bond family mourns the passing of our beloved friend [Sir Ken Adam] who was so responsible for the visual style of the James Bond films from their inception. A genius and a gentleman he will be deeply missed.”

"Deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Ken Adam, a genius and one of the most important figures for the success of the early Bond films with truly amazing set designs. I was lucky to spend some time with the legend over the years and most recently in Norway where FSWL co-hosted an event for the 50th anniversary of Goldfinger in Oslo. Sir Ken was a great storyteller with so many memorable tales about the making of his (seven) Bond adventures. One that comes to mind was the first time I met him, in 1999 at Serpentine Gallery in London where an exhibit was dedicated to his extraordinary work, when he explained the fright in Sean Connery's eyes after realising the security glass wasn't fully protecting him from the sharks in the pool he was in... RIP, sir. Will never forget your kindness, friendship and the remarkable life you had that surely will never be repeated." – Anders Frejdh

"Sir Ken Adam - a friend, a visionary and the man who defined the look of the James Bond films." – Roger Moore on Twitter after hearing about Sir Ken's death.

Norman Wanstall, Academy Award winning dubbing editor who worked on the first five Bond films (plus Never Say Never Again in 1983), remembers working with Sir Ken:

"I’ve always said that Ken is the only person I’ve met in my life who I would call a true genius. I am in awe of his achievements on the Bonds and I honestly believe much of the success of those early films is a result of his stunning creations.

My favourite story about him goes back to Dr No, for which he had to create a set in which Professor Dent picks up a box containing a tarantula. As you will recall, Ken designed the remarkable set in the shape of a dome, and I’ve never forgotten the moment when it came up in the rushes as everyone immediately burst into applause. It’s not something that ever happens during a showing of rushes and I doubt it’s ever happened on a film before or since. The fact that everyone reacted at the same moment said it all and it could only have happened to a creative genius like Ken. It was a moment in my career that I shall never forget. What a man he was.

As for his volcano set for You Only Live Twice – that was hardly a set but more an engineering feat. I remember how every day we couldn’t wait for lunch time when we’d rush across to see how far the set had grown. None of us had ever seen anything like it before and it took our breath away. It was a true masterpiece of design and construction. I doubt anything as ambitious has ever been created since."

Other Bond alumni paying their respect to Sir Ken:

"Another genius leaves us, hopefully from a secret underground hollowed out volcano lair. RIP and Gods speed, Ken." – David Arnold, music composer for every Bond film from 1997 to 2008

"Oh no, Sir Ken ... another one of the Greats who has left us! RIP" – John Richardson, Miniatures, model effects, special effects and visual effects supervisor on nine James Bond films

"How very sad that Ken is no longer with us. I had a wonderful time in Oslo with him. We seemed to be squashed together in a car for much of the two days we were there celebrating 50 years of Goldfinger. The most interesting time was when we all stopped in a cafe on the waterfront and he started to talk about some of the more dangerous stunts he had been involved with on the Bond films. I remember thinking that if I'd had a tape recorder...! He was a delightful man and I am honoured to have spent this time with him." – Margaret Nolan

"Another sad loss! RIP, Sir Ken." – Pauline Hume, End titles designer on every Bond film since The Living Daylights (1987) and daughter of legendary cinematographer Alan Hume

"One of the giants in his field. If memory serves me correctly I met him briefly at a production meeting at Pinewood in connection with The Spy Who Loved Me." – Rick Sylvester, the man behind the most amazing stunt in film history (the ski parachute jump in TSWLM)

About Ken Adam:
Sir Ken (born Kenneth) grew up in a Jewish family as the son of a former Prussian cavalryman. His father owned a fashion retail shop, which enabled Adam to be educated at the Französisches Gymnasium, and the family to have a summer house on the Baltic.

In 1933, however, on the ascent to power of the Nazi Party, Adam watched from the Tiergarten as the Reichstag burned. That same year his father's shop was forced into bankruptcy by actions of the Brown Shirts, and the family agreed to relocate to England.

Adam's family moved to England in 1934, when Adam was 13 years old. Adam went to St. Paul's School in Barnes, attended University College London and Bartlett School of Architecture, training to be an architect.

When World War II started, as German citizens he and his family should have been interned, but Adam had been seconded to design Bomb shelters. He joined the Royal Pioneer Corps, a non-combat support unit that all Axis-citizens who were resident in Allied countries, and deemed not to present a security risk, could join.

In 1940, Adam successfully applied to join the Royal Auxiliary Air Force as a pilot, one of only two German pilots in the wartime RAF. This was a brave move: if he had been shot down and captured, instead of being sent to a prisoner of war camp, the Germans would have been able to hang him as a traitor.

Flight Lieutenant Adam, nicknamed “Heinie the tank-buster” by No. 609 Squadron colleagues for his daring exploits, joined the squadron on 1 October 1943, stationed at RAF Lympne. The squadron flew the Hawker Typhoon, initially in support of USAF long-range bombing missions over NW Europe, and latterly in support of ground troops including at the battle of the Falaise Gap, in Normandy after D-Day.

In 1944, Ken's brother Dennis joined No. 183 Squadron, joining him in No. 123 Wing.

Adam first entered the film industry as a draughtsman for This Was a Woman (1948), and met his Italian wife Maria Letizia while filming in Ischia, whom he married on August 16, 1952. His first major screen credit was as the production designer on the British thriller Soho Incident (1956). In the mid-1950s he went to Hollywood where he worked (unaccredited) on the epics Around the World in 80 Days (1956) and Ben-Hur (1959). His first major Hollywood credit was the cult Jacques Tourneur horror film Night of the Demon (1957) and he was the production designer on several films directed by Robert Aldrich. He was hired for the first James Bond film, Dr No. In 1964 he designed the famous triangular Pentagon war room set for Stanley Kubrick's Dr Strangelove, although turned down the opportunity to work with Kubrick's next project 2001: A Space Odyssey after he found out that Kubrick had been working with NASA for a year on space exploration.

This enabled Adam to make his name with his innovative, semi-futuristic sets for the James Bond films. The super tanker set for The Spy Who Loved Me was the largest sound stage in the world at the time it was built.

Adam's other notable credits include the cult Michael Caine spy thriller The Ipcress File (1965) and its sequel Funeral in Berlin (1966), the Peter O'Toole version of Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), Sleuth (1972), Salon Kitty (1976), Agnes of God (1985), Addams Family Values (1993) and The Madness of King George (1994). He also acted as a visual consultant on the acclaimed BBC-TV adaptation of Dennis Potter's Pennies from Heaven (1981).

Adam returned to worked with Kubrick on Barry Lyndon (1975), for which he won his first Oscar®. He also designed the famous car for the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), which was also produced by the same team that was responsible for the James Bond film series. During the late 1970s he worked on storyboards and concept art for a new Star Trek film that was in pre-production. The film, known as Planet of the Titans, was eventually shelved by Paramount Pictures.

A member of jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1980, and the 1999 Berlin International Film Festival; in 1999 the Victoria and Albert Museum held an exhibition entitled "Ken Adam - Designing the Cold War" in which he talked about his role in designed film sets so associated with the 1960s thru to the 1980's.

Naturalised as a British citizen, having been awarded an OBE for services to the film industry; in 2003 under the Diplomatic Services, Ken was awarded Knight Bachelor for services to the film industry and Anglo-German relations, and knighted in 2003 by Queen Elizabeth II.

A selection of Ken Adam's awards:
• 1964: BAFTA Film Award for Dr. Strangelove
• 1965: BAFTA Film Award for The Ipcress File
• 1975: Academy Award for Best Art Direction recreating 18th century England in Barry Lyndon
• 1994: Academy Award for Best Art Direction for work on The Madness of King George

He was also nominated for a BAFTA for Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, Sleuth, Barry Lyndon, The Spy Who Loved Me and The Madness of King George.

He was also nominated for Academy Awards for Around the World in Eighty Days, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Addams Family Values.

He also received the Art Directors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.

Sir Ken is survived by his wife of over sixty years, Letizia.

Editor's note:
Read more about Sir Ken in Christoper Frayling's about him and his amazing designs, Ken Adam and the Art of Production Design (2005) and Ken Adam designs the movies: James Bond and Beyond (2008).

For more about Sir Ken Adam on From Sweden with Love, click here.

Photo above:
Sir Ken Adam at the Royal World Premiere of Skyfall at Royal Albert Hall in 2012. Photo by Sascha Braun. © From Sweden with Love. All rights reserved.

For more information about Sir Ken Adam's amazing career, check out his IMDB profile:



8 MARCH 2016

FSWL is saddened to report the passing of the 'Fifth Beatles member', legendary music producer Sir George Martin (born in London on 3rd January, 1926), who also produced the brilliant theme song for the eighth James Bond film, Live and Let Die (1973) starring Roger Moore. We send our deep condolences to his family and thank him for decades of brilliant Music.

“If anyone earned the title of the fifth Beatle it was George” – Paul McCartney

"Sir George Martin was the kindest, most generous and gentlest genius I have known. I was lucky to spend so much time with him and where his work will endure and continually inspire all musicians, more importantly he leaves a world where everyone who met him, loved him. That's a legacy to aspire to. Thank you, Sir George." – David Arnold

"How very sad to wake to the news Sir George Martin has left us. He made my first Bond film sound brilliant!" – Roger Moore

George Martin obituary:
Sir George was recognized as one of music's most versatile and imaginative talents. He entered the music industry in 1950 after studying at the Guildhall School of Music and playing the oboe professionally in London. He began recording classical music specializing in the Baroque period. His later experience with jazz and pop led to his appointment as Head of the Parlophone label in the EMI Group in 1955.

As a producer he has been responsible for bringing a host of artists into recording studios particularly in Comedy with brilliant performers such as Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, Flanders and Swann and the 'Beyond the Fringe' team - Jonathan Miller, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Alan Bennett. He has also worked with jazz artists Cleo Laine, John Dankworth, Humphrey Lyttelton and the legendary Stan Getz.

It was in 1962 that he signed The Beatles to EMI - a decision which launched them on their remarkable career, producing every record they made until they disbanded in 1970.

A composer in his own right, George has been responsible for the music of a considerable number of films; A Hard Day Night (1964) (for which he won an Academy Award Nomination), The Family Way (1966), Yellow Submarine (1968), Pulp (1972) starring Michael Caine and Mickey Rooney, The Optimists of Nine Elms (1973) with Peter Sellers, the Bond film Live and Let Die (for which he won a Grammy), and John Schlesinger's Honky Tonk Freeway (1981).

He was also Musical Director and Composer for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) starring the Bee Gees and 'Give My Regards to Broad Street' and the award winning cartoon 'Rupert and The Frog Song' for Paul McCartney. He also composed The David Frost Theme, 'By George' for television and BBC Radio One's signature tune 'Theme One'.

Sir George is survived by his wife of nearly fifty years, Judy Lockhart Smith, and his four children (Alexis, Gregory, Lucie and Giles).

Editor's Note:
Sir George’s work lives on in movies, recordings and Cirque de Soleil’s wild celebration of Beatles’ music, LOVE, which is playing in Las Vegas. He and his son Giles produced the album of the show.

Photo above:
Sir George Martin at the Royal World premiere of Skyfall (2012) in London, October 23, 2012. Photo by Sascha Braun. © From Sweden with Love. All rights reserved.

For more information about George Martin's career, check out his IMDB profile:



22 FEBRUARY 2016

FSWL is saddened to report the passing of legendary British cinematographer Douglas Slocombe (born in London on 10th February, 1913) on 22 February 2016 at age 103. Douglas lensed Sean Connery's comeback as James Bond in the 1983 film Never Say Never Again. We send our deep condolences to his family and thank him for decades of brilliant Cinematography.

Douglas Slocombe obituary: (by Anders Frejdh and Mark Cerulli)
Douglas Slocombe has more than 80 film credits to his name. His career was at its peak in the 1970s and 1980s.

Slocombe became world famous for lensing three of the Indiana Jones movies including the original 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). The last co-starring Sean Connery as Indy's father.

James Bond fans know him for being the Cinematographer of 1982’s Never Say Never Again. The film's Stunt Coordinator, Vic Armstrong, remembers Douglas:

"Dougie Slocombe was a legend, I know this phrase is used a lot but it has never been more meaningful than when it refers to Douglas “Dougie” Slocombe.

I went to a special screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark at the Glasgow Film Festival this last weekend and was so impressed again at the beauty and dramatic quality of the photography of this film. Dougie captured the rich colours and the mysterious shadows of the period exactly right.

I was always amazed watching Dougie work, to look at he was like a college professor, but his energy was that of a 20 year old, and the thing that fascinated me most was that he never used a light meter he just measured the shadows on his hand with his naked eye and called out the stop to his camera crew, and he did it with total confidence and the results are stunningly good.

Not only was he a master at photographing action he was a master at photographing drama and emotion, and he did it all so effortlessly and with such good humour. His talent must have been something that he naturally inherited because I truly believe that sort of instinct cannot be taught. Together with Steven Spielberg they were a masterful duo and made three of the greatest adventure movies of all time, which is a wonderful legacy to leave behind for not only all the generations of filmgoers but for his beautiful and lovingly supportive family.

Dougie Slocombe will be sorely missed, as we say after they made him they broke the mould."

Fatima Blush, aka actress Barbara Carrera, also shared her thoughts on Douglas with us:

"Douglas Slocombe was, undoubtedly, one of the greatest cinematographer in our film industry! Certainly, the greatest that I ever had the good fortune of working with!

He was a true artist. He once told me that he could spend an entire day just shooting a 'dew drop' because of the beautiful changes that occurred with the reflection of light. His lighting was reminiscent of the old master's paintings. Each scene, or frame, was lit like a Rembrandt masterpiece. His lights & shadows were reflected in three dimensions, the foreground, as well as the far background, was always lit beautifully.

We have lost A GREAT MASTER! But, his work will live on as a testament of outstanding achievement and excellence.

We will miss you Dougie! RIP"

Along with shooting Connery’s triumphant return as 007, Slocombe also served as the Cinematographer of The Lady Vanishes (1979), Julia (1977), Rollerball (1975, co-starring Octopussy's Maud Adams), The Great Gatsby (1974), The Italian Job (1969), Blue Max (1966, co-starring Dr. No’s Ursula Andress) and many other titles.

He won three BAFTA Awards for Cinematography and a lifetime achievement award from the British Society of Cinematrographers. His work also received three Oscar nominations.

Although plagued with vision problems towards the end of his life, Slocombe was also honoured with an Order of the British Empire in 2008.

Douglas is survived by his daughter, Georgina Slocombe, who said it was a sad day: "I was his only child. My mother died several years ago. We were very close as a family."

Photo above:
Douglas Slocombe in action. Photo by Richard Blanshard. © 1990 Moviepix/Gettyimages. All rights reserved.

For more information about Douglas Slocombe's career, check out his IMDB profile:




FSWL is saddened to report the passing of Italian actor Gabriele Ferzetti (born in Rome 1925) on 2 December 2015 at age 90. Gabriele portrayed James Bond's father-in-law, Marc Ange Draco, in 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Servce (by many considered to be the best film in the 007 series). Our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.

Colleagues from OHMSS share their thoughts about Gabriele with FSWL:

"Gabriele had a good innings, I would like to say that he was a true gentleman and a skilled actor. He was the type of guy you would have as a Friend any day. I send my condolences to his family and I'm sure he will have a nice place wherever he goes next.” – George Lazenby

“I didn't work with Gabriele while filming OHMSS, so didn’t have the pleasure of meeting him but have heard of his excellent reputation in our film community. It is always sad when a talented actor leaves this world. Another bright candle is extinguished and our family will miss its light.”
Catherine Schell

“How sad, but it was a good run . What a great age! I didn't meet Gabriele, but believe he was a Charmer and a Gentleman.” – Jenny Hanley

“Unfortunately, because of the film shooting schedule, I never met or got to know Gabriele. I'm very sorry to hear of the passing of this very successful actor - famous well before his role in OHMSS. He had a special presence in the film, being both ruthless and charming.”
Sylvana Henriques

"Sorry to hear the news about Gabriele, a very good actor and a gentleman that it was easy to talk to. He will be sadly missed. R.I.P. God bless." – Terence Mountain

Gabriele Ferzetti obituary: (compiled by Anders Frejdh)
Gabriele Ferzetti was born Pasquale Ferzetti on 17th March 1925 in Rome. He has more than 160 credits to his name across film, television and stage. His career was at its peak in the 1950s and 1960s.

A prominent figure in Italian cinema from the 1950s on, Ferzetti's first leading role came in 1950 in the film Lo zappatore. He portrayed Puccini twice in 1953 and 1954 in the films Puccini (opposite Swedish actress Märta Torén) and Casa Ricordi respectively. Ferzetti made his international breakthrough in 1960 in his most acclaimed role as an oversexed, restless playboy in Michelangelo Antonioni's controversial L'Avventura (1960). After a series of romantic performances, he acquired a reputation in Italy as an elegant, debonair and a somewhat aristocratic looking leading man.

In 1966, Ferzetti starred as Lot in John Huston's biblical epic, The Bible: In the Beginning... co-starring Swedish actress Ulla Bergryd. In 1968, he played railroad baron Morton in Sergio Leone's celebrated Once Upon a Time in the West. A year later, he appeared in the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service as Marc Ange Draco, perhaps his best known role internationally, though his voice was dubbed by British actor David de Keyser. He is perhaps best known to non-mainstream audiences for his role as the psychiatrist, Hans, in Liliana Cavani's arthouse classic The Night Porter (1974).

In the 1970s he appeared in a significant number of crime films, often as an inspector. In the 1980's, Ferzetti appeared opposite Laurence Olivier in the 1981 film Inchon (directed by three time Bond director Terence Young) and in Julia and Julia (1987). In the 1990's we saw him in the cult film First Action Hero (1994). More recently he played the role of Nono in the TV series Une famille formidable and appeared in Luca Guadagnino's 2009 film I Am Love.

Although he played Diana Rigg's father in OHMSS, he is only 13 years her senior.

Gabriele retired from acting in 2010 at the age of 75.

Photo above:
Gabriele Ferzetti in a scene with George Lazenby from On Her Majesty's Secret Service. © 1969 Danjaq S.A. & United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved.

For more information about Gabriele Ferzetti's acting career, check out his IMDB profile:



17 OCTOBER 2015

FSWL are saddened to report the passing of British novelist and screenwriter Christopher Wood (born in London 1935) passed away on 17th October 2015, at age 79. Our thoughts and prayers go to Christopher's family and friends.

When Sir Roger Moore heard of Christopher's passing, he commented on Twitter:

"How sad to hear Bond screenwriter Christopher Wood has died. He wrote two of my best."

Obituary: (by FSWL contributor Mark Cerulli)
Sadly, the Bond Film family got a little smaller when novelist and screenwriter (for 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me and the 1979 film Moonraker (1979)) Christopher Wood passed away.

A graduate of Cambridge University, Wood toiled in advertising as he wrote novels in his spare time. After leaving the ad game to write full time, Wood penned numerous novels including Dead Centre, Fire Mountain and Seven Nights in Japan (Based on his own screenplay), however the writer is known in the Bond community for having written James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me and James Bond and Moonraker, two “movie tie ins”.

What’s important about his The Spy Who Loved Me is that because the movie had little to do with Ian Fleming’s novel, aside from the title, Wood wrote it directly from the original screenplay (on which he shared credit with Richard Maibaum). All previous movie editions were the Fleming novels reflagged with movie artwork. Both of his Bond novelizations became best sellers in the UK, and the now scarce hardcover versions are prized by collectors. Wood’s two Bond were among the most successful of Roger Moore’s tenure as the suave secret agent.

Wood also scripted the 1985 action film Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, directed by distinguished Bond director, Guy Hamilton. In 2006 Wood penned his memoirs called James Bond, The Spy I Loved (published by Twenty First Century Publishers). He leaves behind three children and a legion of fans.

FSWL founder Anders Frejdh had the opportunity to talk with Wood in 2012, read his interview with Christopher.

Photo above:
Portrait of Chistopher Wood from his private archives. All rights reserved.

For more information about Christopher Wood's amazing career, check out his Wikipedia profile:




FSWL is saddened to report the passing of another member of the 'James Bond family' - our friend, actress, speaker and author Bettine Le Beau aged 85 (born in Warrington, Cheshire, England on 18th July 1930). Bettine played Professor Dent's secretary in Dr. No, the first James Bond film starring Sean Connery in 1962. FSWL send our deep condolences to her family and thank her for the contribution to the 007 phenomenon.

In recent years, Bettine was working on a photography book with glamorous shots taken of her during the 1960's by celebrity photographer Horace Ward. The book is dedicated to all James Bond fans.

Bettine Le Beau obituary: (by Anders Frejdh)
Bettine Le Beau was an actress who has worked with some of the top names in UK show business. Names like Sean Connery, Benny Hill, Morecambe and Wise, Eric Sykes, Bob Monkhouse and Tom O'Conner to name a few.

Betttine was a hidden child holocaust victim, who came to the UK in 1945 after the Second World War. She attended Pitman's College in Southampton Row and went on to may caried careers and challenges. She worked as a model, a broadcaster, an actress, a presenter, a cabaret artiste, a lecturer, a facilitator for a Yiddish language circle, a portrait painter, a sculptor and a graphologist. She also founded a cosmetic business and is the founder chairman of The Feminine Touch charity. With the publication of Help Yourself to Happiness (self-published in 1999) she became an author and publisher.

Bettine's talks cover such subjects as Positive Thinking, Staying Young, Show business, Graphology, Jewish Humour and The Holocaust as a hidden child.

She worked for nine years on Radio as a panelist on ''Petticoat Line'' a women's programme solving problems, she has spoken at numerous charity events in both the UK and Israel. She also appeared on Terry Wogan's Twenty Questions.

Bettine has 35 years experience of public speaking and has talked at events in schools, hospices and cruise ships. She is a consummate After Dinner Speaker, who is also a superb Motivational and Inspirational speaker.

Some of her subjects include Bettine's personal philosophy on health and happiness, looking and feeling younger, and of course how she started in acting.

In later years she kept herself busy writing her autobiography, The Life and Thoughts of a Bond Girl, and recently also published a Kindle book for schools titled Hide and Seek (2013) which covers her experiences as an eight-year-old Holocaust survivor.

For more information about Bettine Le Beau's life and career, visit her website:




FSWL is very saddened to report the passing of Douglas Noakes (born in London 1935), a long-time member of the 'James Bond family', in September 2015 at age 79. Our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.

"As a fellow Financial Controller I was very happy to meet Doglas a few times over the years. Always gracious and a real gentleman. Very sad to hear about his passing. My thoughts goes to his charming wife Nina and wonderful son Andrew." – Anders Frejdh, Founding editor of FSWL

Douglas Noakes obituary: (by FSWL)
Douglas Noakes entered the film business in the 1960's. His first screen credits was as production accountant for the 1971 film Friends, directed by threetime James Bond director Lewis Gilbert, which was followed by production accountant for the 1974 film The Marseille Contract (starring Michel Caine), and in the same capacity for The Bawdy Adventures of Tom Jones (1976). He then worked on Superman (1978) and Superman II (1980) after which he was recruited by Albert R. Broccoli to work on the James Bond franchise.

For Licence to Kill, Doglas went out to China to make an extensive financial survey of the facilities. In the end, it was the cost factor that was decisive and the production went for Mexico. He found a lot of stage space, an apparently well-serviced studio and cheaper labour than elsewhere.

On GoldenEye, Noakes was promoted to financial controller and was later succeeded by his son, Andrew, after working together since 1983 film Octopussy. (Andrew's first experience in the film industry was working during the summer holidays for his father. From humble beginnings as a tea boy and filing clerk on Octopussy, Andrew now has twenty-eight films to his credit.)

A graduate of XXX, Douglas ...

Douglas retired from the film industry at the age of XX and is survived by wife Nina and son Andrew.

Douglas Noakes' James Bond films:
1981: For Your Eyes Only (Production accountant)
1983: Octopussy (1983) (Production accountant)
1985: A View To A Kill (Production accountant)
1987: The Living Daylights (Production accountant)
1989: Licence To Kill (Production accountant)
1995: GoldenEye (1995) (Financial controller)
1997: Tomorrow Never Dies (Location accountant)
1999: The World Is Not Enough (Location accountant)

Colleagues and friends have kindly shared their thoughts with us about working with Douglas:

"I first met Dougie in 1987 at the premiere of The Living Daylights. We hit if off from the start and were great friends for years to come. Our paths reconnected with License To Kill. I was quite fortunate to be asked to come to Key West for a week and participate as a background player. I last saw Dougie in 2009. He was wonderfully outgoing and always asked about my family. He was a dedicated member of the Bond family and will be missed not only by me, but many, many others whose lives he touched. God speed, Dougie!" – Doug Redenius, Co-founder, The Ian Fleming Foundation

“Douglas was very good at what he did and was a valued part of the team. I was glad that his son came in (to Eon) and he’s done quite well.” – Jerry Juroe, former SVP Publicity, Eon Productions

"Doug joined the Bond team at about the same time that I re-joined it on The Spy Who Loved Me. He went on to control the finances on many other Bonds long after I had left. He was always highly professional and supportive. Of course, his family travelled the world with Doug and eventually Andrew joined him in the accounts department and has now taken over the reins from his father. I have fond memories of working with Doug, Nina and Andrew in Mexico during the making of Licence to Kill" my last Bond. He will be sadly missed." – John Glen, Director (eight James Bond films)

"I first worked with Dougie back in the late 1960’s on a film called The Adventurers filmed in Italy and Colombia. Over the years I was fortunate enough to cross paths with him again on many films including, Hennessy (1975), Superman I & II and many of the James Bond films. I knew him and his family very well and I have many fond memories of him over those 40 years or more.
To me he was always very helpful, very understanding and always a complete gentleman. The industry will be sad for his loss and I will always miss that cheerful disposition. Sadly there are few people of Dougie’s character and ability to fill the void but fortunately his son Andrew is one who will. I know that Dougie was always very proud of Andrew and the name Noakes will live on!
God bless you old friend." – John Richardson, Special effects supervisor (nine James Bond films)

"I first worked with Douglas on Superman I, II, and III in 1978 and on all the Bond films I have worked on. He was excellent at his job, always calm and efficient whatever the pressure or whatever the location. He held a position of great responsibility and helped producers stay within budget and was a mentor a new generation of outstanding accountants. He was a legend behind the scene." – Paul Weston, Stuntman and Stunt coordinator (10 James Bond films)

"Dougie and Nina were always so kind and supportive. Dougie was always ready to pass on tips about the office and accounts paperwork. When my wife was ill Dougie and Nina's kindness will stay with me forever. It was a horrible shock when Susie and I heard he had passed away. If Bond is 007 then Dougie was the man to make sure the figures always added up." – Terry Bamber, Production manager (six James Bond films)

"I have known Dougie most of my Bond life and most vividly remember Dougie and Nina in Thailand on Tomorrow Never Dies handing out our per diems in scorchingly hot and humid weather both immaculately dressed and looking as cool as cucumbers as true British people should, it was quite a comparison to the motley sweaty crew. Dougie always had great style."
Vic Armstrong, Director, Stunt Coordinator, Stuntman (seven James Bond films)

Photo above:
Douglas Noakes at the Royal world premiere of Octopussy in London 1983. Pictured with (from left to right) Albert R. Broccoli, Prince Charles,Lady Diana and John Richardson.

For more information about Douglas Noakes career in the film industry, check out his IMDB profile:



25 JUNE 2015

FSWL are saddened to report the passing of another legendary British film star – and beloved Bond movie alumni. Patrick Macnee (born in London 1922) passed away on June 25th, 2015, at age 93. Our thoughts and prayers go to Patrick's family and friends.

When Sir Roger Moore heard of Patrick's passing, he commented on Twitter:

"So very sad to hear Pat MacNee has left us. We were mates from 1950s and I have so many happy memories of working with him. A true gent."

Official obituary:
Daniel Patrick Macnee died a natural death at his home in Rancho Mirage, California, at age 93, with his family at his bedside, according to his son, Rupert.

Macnee was best known for playing the internationally recognized, charmingly elegant, quintessentially English, and slightly mysterious character of John Steed in the 1960s’ British television series, The Avengers. Patrick Macnee, along with co-stars Ian Hendry, Honor Blackman, Diana Rigg, Linda Thorson, Joanna Lumley, and Gareth Hunt, created a unique identity that has reverberated for nearly half a century. The pioneering television series aired throughout the 1960s, and The Avengers became known for its progressive approach to feminism, the female stars being more than a match for Steed…and a plethora of “diabolical master minds.” The programme was also known for its creative team’s interest in stories about cutting-edge technology.

Patrick spent his early life in Lambourn, Berkshire, England, where his father, Daniel Macnee, was a racehorse trainer, and his mother, Dorothea Henry, was awarded a British Empire Medal for her work with military families. He was educated at Summerfields Preparatory School, where he acted in Henry V at the age of 11, with Sir Christopher Lee as the Dauphin; followed by attending Eton College, where comedian and author Michael Bentine became a life-long friend. Patrick trained at London’s Webber-Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, where he met and married Barbara Douglas. Macnee served in the coastal forces of the Royal Navy during World War II. When de-mobbed, he trudged the streets of London visiting the casting offices every day, and hung out near the entrances to London’s smarter restaurants and hotels in hope of “running into” a noted producer. There were a few near-misses. He got valuable experience onstage at The Windsor Repertory Theatre, in London’s West End, and on tours in Germany and the United States. He also accepted some minor film roles, including that of Young Marley in Alastair Sim’s classic version of A Christmas Carol. But when the call came from David Greene, a director friend at CBC in Toronto, he left England within 48 hours and spent much of his adult life in Canada and the United States. He returned to the U.K. in the 1960s when production of The Avengers began in London.

As an actor, and as a production executive (The Valiant Years), Patrick Macnee was known for his unswerving professionalism, his loyalty, his intuitive creativity, his unaffected courtesy, and his understated humanity. His Avengers character, John Steed, was known for his dexterity with an umbrella – he never used a gun. Mr. Macnee became outspoken and, in later years, took every opportunity to express his disapproval of the proliferation of guns in private hands.

A frequent guest on television talk shows around the world, Macnee was an ambassador for the tradition of the British gentleman, with his special brand of congeniality, humour and intelligence, his remarkable physical agility, and his unfailing good manners, sense of decency, and fair play. His comments and responses to questions were laced with a tongue-in-cheek, somewhat subversive sense of irony, along with a lightning-fast wit.

Macnee described the world of The Avengers as “upside down.” As an actor, he could take the pulse of the moment, and then present the story in a more compelling fashion, from a different angle.

The Avengers television series was probably Britain’s greatest television export and is still broadcast around the world. It has been a perennial favourite in the home video market; and most recently, the series is available through on-line services including

Having wrapped production of The Avengers in 1969 (followed by The New Avengers in the latter 1970s) Macnee continued to be a tireless and principled champion for the series’ efficient and ethical distribution. As the 130 episodes emerged from a decade of unchecked bootlegging in the 1980s and 1990s, he worked steadily to assure its success, creating a range of value-added materials, and refusing to approve final distribution contracts until he was assured that the show’s guest and supporting actors received a decent share of the profits.

After The Avengers, Mr. Macnee starred on Broadway in Anthony Shaffer’s “Sleuth,” and toured internationally with that play as well as several other successful theatrical productions. He appeared in features including A View to a Kill (1985), with Roger Moore, The Howling and The Sea Wolves, also with Moore, Gregory Peck, and his old friend, David Niven. He guest-starred and played continuing roles in numerous American, British and Australian television productions. He recorded numerous audio books, including thirteen Jack Higgins titles, and voice-over narrations for the four hour mini-series "America at War in Color" and many others. Macnee travelled the world promoting his co-written memoirs Blind in One Ear (1989) and The Avengers: The Inside Story (2008).

Patrick Macnee was a popular figure in the television industry. He was at home wherever in the world he found himself. He had a knack for making friends, and keeping them. Wherever he went, he left behind a trove of memories and good wishes.

Macnee was pre-deceased by three wives: Barbara Helen Douglas Foulds, actor and devoted mother of his two children, a son, Rupert, and a daughter; Kate Woodville; and Baba Majos de Nagyzsenye. He has one grandson.

Patrick Macnee spent the last forty years of his life, and is remembered fondly, in California’s Coachella Valley, living in Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage.

Donations in Patrick’s honour may be made to the Actors Fund.

Patrick Macnee obituaries in the press:
>BBC News (June 25, 2015)
>CNN (June 25, 2015)
>The Guardian (June 25, 2015)
>The Independent (June 25, 2015)
>LA Times (June 25, 2015)
>Hollywood Reporter (June 25, 2015)
>NY Times (June 25, 2015)
>The Telegraph (June 25, 2015)
>Variety (June 25, 2015)

Photo above:
Patrick Macnee sharing a joke with Roger Moore on the set of A View to a Kill in Chantilly, France. Photo by Keith Hamshere. © 1985 Danjaq S.A. & MGM/United Artists Pictures. All rights reserved.

For more information about Patrick MacNee's amazing acting career, check out his IMDB profile:



7 JUNE 2015

FSWL are very saddened to report that legendary British film star (the most prolific actor ever) – and beloved Bond movie alumni – Christopher Lee (born in London 1922) passed away on June 7th, 2015, at age 93. Our thoughts and prayers go to Christopher's family and friends.

About her work on The Man with the Golden Gun, Christopher said:

"Marvellous part, marvellous part. And I had great fun making it.

The interesting thing for me as an actor by this character is that he wasn’t just one hundred percent bad. And just went around like some sort of brute, blowing things up and killing people right and left, which is more or less what he is in the book. But I thought eerily that Scaramanga is the dark side of Bond. Because everybody has a light side and everybody has a dark side. Scaramanga is not just a very dangerous man, lethal and deadly. He’s also very human, certainly his relations in women. And he has a sense of humour. Very definitely it is a fairly destructive sense of humour in many respects. But he does have a sense of humour. And at times he behaves almost like a schoolboy, which is what the director [Guy Hamilton] wanted. He [Guy] said: ‘You’ve got 007 coming to your island. And you are really genuinely thrilled and pleased. Cause you are going to kill him! Therefore you must play everything from the time that he arrives with great pleasure.’

There is a scene of course in the film, which many of you will know, where Scaramanga shows Bond into this massive electronic area, all to do with solar energy and so on. And he [Scaramanga] just talks about it as if he didn’t know anything about it at all. Cause I don’t understands these things at all. You [Bond] will understand them much better than I do. Solar energy, so on and so on. Cause he [Bond] understands everything about it because he has a good brain.

So it was a great part to play. One which I enjoyed very much, particularly as it reunited me with Roger Moore, one of my oldest friends, who still is one of my best friends."

When Sir Roger Moore heard of Christopher's passing, he commented on Twitter:

"It's terribly when you lose an old friend, and Christopher Lee was one of my oldest. We first met in 1948. My thoughts are for Lady Lee, Christina and Juan."

Two-time Swedish Bond girl Maud Adams remembers working with Christopher:

"He was a real gentleman during the filming and extremely professional coupled with a very dry sense of humour. I really didn’t know that much about him other than his Dracula interpretation at first but, I’m so grateful to have met and had the pleasure to have worked with this talented and wonderful man."

Swedish actress Britt Ekland commented, "So sad to say good bye to my old nemesis Christopher Lee. Such a talented man and not just in movies. Love to Brigitte."

Master Toddy, who played a student at Hai Fat's martial arts school in The Man with the Golden Gun, remembers Christopher:

"I am truly sad and sorry to hear this news. I had a wonderful time and learned so much in life with Christopher Lee. He portrays a bad guy in James Bond and horror film, but in real life he is a great gentleman and look after everyone. In some way I somehow learned how to live life laughing, joking, great attitude, great atmosphere with Christopher.

The first time I did "cheers" in my life was with Christopher. He taught me to "cheers" with beer, and the funny thing about that time is that I didn't even know who he was. I saw him play a joke one time with all his staff. He put a melon and waited for people to walk past, while he was upstairs, and dropped the melon close to the people, let them jump and he laughed! During the time I was working with this crew, I saw Christopher nearly every day, he was showing us and teaching us what to do, he had a great touch with all the staff, everybody loved him and we will always love him.

Have a rest in peace, Mr. Lee"

English actress Caroline Munro wrote:

"So very saddened to hear about the passing of my friend Christopher Lee. He truly was The Icon of Horror and just about every other genre out there, he had amazing presence on and off screen and he inhabited every role he played. He certainly made a huge impact on me as a young actress, I found him amazingly inspirational to work with in Dracula A.D. 1972.

He leaves behind him a huge legacy of work in a long and illustrious career, the film world will be a less illuminated place without him although his light will still shine on screen for ever. RIP Christopher."

Obituary: (by FSWL contributor Mark Cerulli)
Although he starred as uber-villain Scaramanga in the 1974 James Bond thriller, The Man with the Golden Gun (and was related to Ian Fleming), Christopher Lee shot to fame in the late 1950s thanks to a series of iconic performances in Hammer horror films.

In rapid succession he portrayed Count Dracula, the Frankenstein Monster and The Mummy, all in blazing color (a major selling point at the time) and all became huge box office hits, making him a bankable actor. Lee would portray Dracula in a number of Hammer films – most notably 1958’s Dracula (U.S. title: Horror of Dracula), followed by 1965’s Dracula: Prince Of Darkness and two excellent sequels – Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968) and Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970). 1971’s Scars of Dracula didn’t get a lot of love from critics, but was a dark and atmospheric entry, giving Lee the most dialogue he’d had as the character.

Vampires aside, Lee had an exceptionally long and varied career in over 200 films and TV appearances, portraying Sherlock Holmes, Henry Baskerville, Fu Manchu, Jinnah (Pakistan’s founder and one of his favorite roles) and many others throughout the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s. His career received a huge bump when he portrayed Count Dooku in two Star Wars features, Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Episode III - Revenge of the Sith; and his appearances as Saruman the White for director Peter Jackson in three Hobbit movies.

Lee’s long resume even boasts a hugely popular comedic turn as the host of Saturday Night Live in 1978.

Much like Britt Ekland (who also played opposite Christopher in 1973's The Wicker Man) says above, Lee was a very talented man who spoke fluent French, German, Italian and Spanish and was moderately proficient in Swedish, Russian and Greek.

Lee was the perfect Dracula, eclipsing even Bela Lugosi who originated the role in 1931; and of course, he was a viciously effective villain against James Bond, who dominated every frame of film he was in. And if film and television weren’t enough, Christopher Lee sang opera and heavy metal music! The man was truly a giant and leaves behind a Death Star-sized void.

Sir Christopher received the BAFTA Academy Fellowship (the highest honour BAFTA can bestow) at the Film Awards in February 2011 and described that it was a very unexpected but very great honour. >Watch the clip

Thanks for the memories, Sir Christopher.

Christopher Lee obituaries in the press:
>BBC News (June 11, 2015)
>The Guardian (June 11, 2015)
>The Independent (June 11, 2015)
>LA Times (June 11, 2015)
>Mirror Online (June 11, 2015)
>NY Times (June 11, 2015)
>The Telegraph (June 11, 2015)
>Variety (June 11, 2015)

Editor's note:
Amongst Christopher's publications are an autobiography Tall, Dark and Gruesome, first published by W.H. Allen in 1977 (and since republished in 1997 and has also been republished in 2003 by Orion Books Ltd as Lord of Misrule, introduced by Peter Jackson) as well as "The Great Villains", "Archives of Evil" and "The Films of Christopher Lee" (Scarecrow Press).

Photo above:
Christopher Lee reunited with Swedish Bond girl Britt Ekland at the 7th Annual Empire Film Awards in London 2002. © UPPA / Starstock. All rights reserved.

For more information about Christopher Lee's amazing acting career, check out his IMDB profile:



30 MAY 2015

FSWL are saddened to report the passing of Bond alumni Julie Harris who worked as Costume Designer on Casino Royale (1967) and Live and Let Die (1973). Ms. Harris was also Costume Designer on Rollerball (1975) co-starring Swedish Bond girl Maud Adams. Our thoughts and prayers go to Julie's family and friends.

About her work on Live and Let Die, Julie Harris said in an 2010 interview:

"I like big budget films, for example Live and Let Die where money was no object. Someone can come in and say, 'We want ten of those for tomorrow, go out and get them whatever they cost' and you could do it. But it's much more difficult on a shoestring. You spend a lot of your time going from shop to shop trying to find the same thing, but a bit cheaper. It is very wearing."

When Sir Roger Moore heard of Julie's passing, he commented on Twitter:

"Saddened to hear the wonderful Julie Harris has died. She was a really lovely lady."

(PA) Tributes have been paid to Oscar-winning British costume designer Julie Harris, who has died at the age of 94.

Ms Harris designed clothes worn by The Beatles in the films A Hard Day's Night (1964) and Help! (1965) and by Roger Moore in the James Bond film Live and Let Die.

She died yesterday [May 30, 2015] at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London after a brief illness from a chest infection, her close friend Jo Botting confirmed.

Ms Botting, senior curator at the British Film Institute National Archive, said:

"In a career that embraced more than 80 films and television productions, as well as several stage plays, Julie worked with some of the greatest international stars in the history of the cinema, and for some of its most legendary directors and producers.

"Her outstanding work was constantly nominated for awards. She was an amazing woman."

Ms Harris, of Kensington, West London, won the Academy Award for her "Swingin' London" designs in the 1965 film, Darling (1965), starring Julie Christie and Dirk Bogarde.

She was also awarded the BAFTA for Best Costume Design in 1967 for the film The Wrong Box, starring Michael Caine.

In 1965, after working with the Beatles, she said: "I must be one of the few people who can claim they have seen John, Paul, George and Ringo naked."

Ms Harris also designed costumes for the 1967 film Casino Royale starring David Niven and Peter Sellers, Goodbye Mr Chips (1969), Dracula (1979) starring Laurence Olivier and for the Muppets in The Great Muppet Caper (1981).

Ms Harris, who never married or had children, retired at the age of 70. She is survived by her god-daughter, Serena Dilnot.

Julie Harris interviewed at The Cinema Museum in London 2010:

Obituaries in the press:
>BBC News (May 31, 2015)
>The Independent (May 31, 2015)
>Daily Mirror (May 31, 2015)
>The Times (May 31, 2015)
>Variety (May 31, 2015)

Photo above:
Julie Harris with Bond girl Ursula Andress on the set of Casino Royale 1967. © PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images. All rights reserved.

For more information about Julie Harris' career, check out her IMDB profile:



19 JANUARY 2015

FSWL are saddened to report the passing of Bond alumni June Randall who worked as Continuity and Script Supervisor on no less than five James Bond films from 1977 to 1995. Our thoughts and prayers go to her family.

"Very sad. June was a legend in her own right. Great sense of humour and a real trouper. She would pound her typewriter in the tropics with her feet immersed in a bowl of water to keep cool and sometimes ice packs under her hat. She will be greatly missed."
John Glen (Director of four films that June did continuity on)

June Randall obituary:
June Randall (born 1927) died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 87 in a nursing home in England on 19th January 2015. Randall had a long and impressive resume and Bond fans will always remember her for the contribution to the 007 film series – The Spy Who Loved Me (Continuity), A View to a Kill (Continuity), The Living Daylights (Continuity), Licence to Kill (Continuity) and GoldenEye (1995) (Script supervisor).

In 1976/1977, during the filming of The Spy Who Loved Me, June Randall was interviewed at Pinewood Studios for the televised documentary series The Making of James Bond - 007 made for BBC Open University.

In total, Ms. Randall worked as continuity/script supervisor on over 10 television series and over 90 movies from 1947 to 2001 including Stanley Kubrick's films Clockwork Orange (1971), Barry Lyndon (1975) and The Shining (1980) with Barry Nelson, the first Bond. And since she also worked on Outland (1981) and First Knight (1995), both starring Sean Connery, you could say she worked with five of the James Bond actors over the years.

Other notable films she worked on include the 1980 cult classic Flash Gordon (co-starring Bond alumni Max von Sydow, Topol & Timothy Dalton), Richard Attenborough's Ghandi (1982) and David Fincher's Alien 3 (1992). Her last film was Back to the Secret Garden in 2001.

In 2007, June Randall received a Lifetime Achievement award for her body of work as a Script Supervisor in films. June was nominated for the award unanimously by the Script Supervisor's section of the Guild of British Camera Technicians. The award was presented to June by Roger Moore who flew in especially for the ceremony. Apart from two Bond films, Randall worked with Sir Roger on The Saint (1963-1967) and The Wild Geese (1978).

Photo above:
June Randall on the set of GoldenEye in Monte Carlo 1995. Photo by Joël Villy. Copyright © From Sweden with Love. All rights reserved.

For more information about June Randall's career, check out her IMDB profile:



11 JANUARY 2015

FSWL are very saddened to report the passing of Miss Sweden 1951, the actress Anita Ekberg and the rarest of Swedish Bond girls. Our thoughts and prayers are with Anita's family.

Anita Ekberg obituary:
Anita Ekberg, a prominent Swedish actress (she left Sweden for Hollywood in 1952 and later to Italy where she lived until her death) and 1960s sex symbol, passed away in a clinic near Rome on January 11, 2015 at age 83. Although she was best known for her work in the seminal 1960 Fellini film, La Dolce Vita, Ekberg also had a connection to the James Bond films.

Ekberg was considered for the female lead in Dr. No (the role ultimately went to Swiss actress Ursula Andress), however Ekberg was actually “in” From Russia with Love (1963) starring Sean Connery – namely her likeness on the huge billboard advertising Call Me Bwana. The Krilencu character (played by Fred Haggerty) is shot while escaping through a hatch in Ekberg’s mouth! Call Me Bwana was a 1963 Bob Hope comedy that also starred Ekberg, made by EON Productions. She must have made quite an impression on James Bond film producers Albert R. Broccoli & Harry Saltzman as during dinner one evening, Broccoli offered her then-husband, actor Rik Van Nutter, the plum role of Felix Leiter in the 1965 blockbuster, Thunderball (1965)!

Although she made over 50 films, and was romantically linked to many of the top names of her day, including Frank Sinatra, Gary Cooper, Rod Taylor and Errol Flynn, Ekberg’s final years were sad ones, with her battling money problems and illness. One of her last public appearances was at the Rome Film Festival in 2010 for a red carpet screening of the restored version of her iconic La Dolce Vita.

Her last film was Le nain rouge in 1998 directed by Yvan Le Moine.

The Swedish actress, married twice, is survived by her niece Christina. (Anita never had any children.) The funeral was held in Rome on 14th January, 2015.

Editor's Note:
Other Swedish related Bond girls include Anne Lönnberg (Moonraker), Britt Ekland (The Man with the Golden Gun), Eva Green (Casino Royale from 2006), Izabella Scorupco (GoldenEye), Kristina Wayborn (Octopussy), Maud Adams (The Man with the Golden Gun and Octopussy) and Mary Stavin (Octopussy och A View to a Kill). Agneta Eckemyr could have become the first Swedish Bond girl in 1968 when she was tested for the role of Tracy, James Bond's wife inOn Her Majesty's Secret Service, which eventually went to Diana Rigg.

Photo above:
Anita Ekberg with husband Rik van Nutter in The Bahamas for the filming of Thunderball in 1965. Photo from From Sweden with Love's private collection.

For more information about Anita Ekberg's career, check out her IMDB profile:



22 DECEMBER 2014

FSWL are saddened to report yet another passing of a Bond alumni in 2014. British stuntman, stunt coordinator and horse master Richard Graydon, or just Dickie to those who knew him, have died aged 92. Our thoughts and prayers are with Richard's family.

"Richard Graydon is the most courageous stuntman I ever worked with. He treated hanging in the rafters of a volcano 120 feet up, and on top of the cable car in Rio, as if he was having a coffee down at Piccadilly Circus in London! He made what other stunt men claimed as too dangerous and impossible look like a walk in the park. Although small in stature, he was head and shoulders above the rest. Richard’s quick wit and intelligence in the stunt field is greatly missed." – Martin Grace (from our interview with him in 2009)

"A unique man and stunt performer. He gave British and international films some of the most exciting and dangerous action scenes. God bless you Dickie." – Paul Weston

"If it had not been for Dickie moving the boxes nearer the wall for me on Who Dares Wins I would not be here either. RIP Dickie and sleep well." – Terry Cade

"A lovely, polite and superb man." – Terry Bamber

"You set a great example in your work and in life. God Bless and R.I.P. Dickie." – Terence Mountain

Richard Graydon obituary:
Richard Graydon (born 1922) died peacefully in his sleep at the grand age of 92 in a nursing home in England on 22nd December 2014. Graydon had a long and impressive resume and Bond fans will always remember him for the amazing stunts he did doubling for both George Lazenby and Roger Moore as James Bond.

Apart from the Bonds, Graydon also worked with Roger Moore on The Wild Geese (1978) and North Sea Hijack (1979).

In 1974, Richard Graydon (and Martin Grace) toured Sweden with The International Stunt Show which was all about stunts. High falls, car rollovers, big car crashes, motorcycle jumps, tunnels of fire, fight and sword routines and more.

In addition to working as stuntman on over 40 movies, Graydon also coordinated eight films - The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968), Don't Look Now (1973), The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), International Velvet (1978), Champions (1984), A Passage to India (1984), Ladyhawke (1985) and Dream Lover (1986).

His last film was Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels in 1998.

In 1999, Richard Graydon was interviewed for the behind the scenes material on the James Bond DVD's. (Graydon was also interviewed for The World of James Bond documentary in 1992.)

The amazing stuntman is survived by his wife Hermione Bedford. (There were no children of the marriage.)

Richard Graydon's James Bond films:
1963: From Russia with Love (stunts)
1964: Goldfinger (1964) (stunts)
1965: Thunderball (1965) (stunts)
1967: You Only Live Twice (stunts)
1969: On Her Majesty's Secret Service (stunts including stunt double for George Lazenby hanging on cable car wire)
1977: The Spy Who Loved Me (stunts)
1979: Moonraker (1979) (stunts including stunt double for Roger Moore on the cable car)
1981: For Your Eyes Only (stunts)
1983: Octopussy (1983) (stunt double for Roger Moore on top of train and the part of Francisco the Fearless)
1985: A View to a Kill (stunts)

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

Photo above:
Richard Graydon doubling for George Lazenby as James Bond on On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Photo by George Whitear. © 1969 Danjaq S.A. & United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved.

For more information about Richard Graydon's career, check out his IMDB profile:



5 OCTOBER 2014

FSWL are saddened to report the passing of Geoffrey Holder, aged 84. Geoffrey played the part of Baron Samedi in Live and Let Die (1973). Our thoughts and prayers are with Geoffrey's family.

[Baron Samedi] - Good morning, boss.
[James Bond] - Morning.
[Samedi] It's sure gonna be a "beautiful" day. Yes, sir, a "beautiful" day!"

"Apart from being a nice man, a talented dancer and painter, I will always remember him for his kindness in taking me, knowing my love of jazz, to Minton's in Harlem and several other all night clubs where whitey was made welcome only because of my escort who was highly appreciated." - Guy Hamilton, director of Live and let Die

Geoffrey Holder obituary: (by Mark Cerulli for FSWL)
Sadly, yet another famous Bond alumni has passed. Less than a month after Richard Kiel’s sudden death, word reached us that actor, dancer, artist & choreographer Geoffrey Holder died at his New York home on 5th October 2014. Holder had a long and impressive resume, but Bond fans know him from his enigmatic portrayal of Baron Samedi in 1973’s Live And Let Die.

Originally from the Caribbean nation of Trinidad, the six foot six inch Holder moved to New York City in 1954, quickly finding work as a dancer for the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, which led to his being cast in “House of Flowers” on Broadway. Along with the first Roger Moore Bond, Holder also appeared in Doctor Doolittle (1967), Krakatoa: East of Java (1969) and 1982’s Annie. He also made numerous television appearances and won a prestigious Tony Award in 1975 for directing “The Wiz”, a popular Broadway musical based on “The Wizard of Oz.”

American audiences fondly remember his numerous television commercials for 7Up soda as he compared “Cola nut… UNcola nut” in his rich, mellifluous voice. That distinctive voice could also be heard narrating Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 2005. Holder was also an accomplished artist who worked in paint, sculpture and photography, exhibiting at several top New York galleries. He was the author of two books, one of them on Caribbean cooking!

The multi-talented Holder was 84 and is survived by his wife Carmen de Lavallade and son Léo.

Geoffrey Holder's advice to young people:

Obituaries in the press:
> (October 6, 2014)
>Deadline Hollywood (October 6, 2014)
>Los Angeles Times (October 6, 2014)
>Mirror Online (October 6, 2014)
>The New York Times (October 6, 2014)

Photo above:
Geoffrey Holder with Jane Seymour in a publicity still for Live and Let Die. Photo by George Whitear. © 1973 Danjaq S.A. & United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved.

For more information about Geoffrey Holder's career, check out his IMDB profile:




FSWL are extremely saddened to report the passing of Richard Kiel, aged 74. Richard played the enourmosly popular role of Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979) (1979). Our thoughts and prayers goes out to Richard's family.
Update 14-10-2014: FSWL celebrated Richard at two occasions during our James Bond festival in Stockholm on 19-21 September 2014.
Richard's family sent the following statement:

It is with very heavy hearts that we announce that Richard has passed away, just three days shy of his 75th birthday. Richard had an amazing joy for life and managed to live every single day to the fullest. Though most people knew of him through his screen persona, those who were close to him knew what a kind and generous soul he was. His family was the most important thing in his life and we are happy that his last days were spent surrounded by family and close friends. Though his passing was somewhat unexpected, his health had been declining in recent years. It is nice to think that he can, once again, stand tall over us all.

With love,
The Kiel Family

A few comments about Richard's passing:

"Extremely sad and devastated over the terrible news that dear Richard has passed away. He was truly a gentle giant with a huge heart (both literally and in real life), a genuine gentleman who treated everyone with respect as well as long-time supporter of From Sweden with Love.

As a friend of the family, my heartfelt thoughts and condolences goes out to Diane, Jennifer, Bennett & Chris and the rest of the family at this very tragic moment. Having lost my mother I know how you feel but you should all know that your father was so proud of you and always spoke fondly about you. RIP Richard, I will never forget you and the shared experiences we had. I will always love you." – Anders Frejdh, founder of FSWL

"Richard was wise, kind, and a true gentleman. He was a joy to work with and to know. Though I only worked with him on MOONRAKER, the Bond family often reunites for various events and therefore Richard Kiel remained a part of my life long after filming ended. He was a family man so the "Bond family" suited him perfectly and he took great care of us. He will be missed by all!!" – Lois Chiles, Holly Goodhead in Moonraker

"He was a pleasure to have met and worked with, a gentle giant. A very normal person who enjoyed telling the stories of his life, how he got into movies and his appreciation of what the role of Jaws did for him. I shall always treasure his time and presence on the James Bonds."
Martin Grace (from our interview with him in 2010)

"Richard was a kind and thoughtful friend, much loved by his fans around the globe, yet his proudest achievement was his family. He will be sorely missed by us all.” – Maud Adams, friend

Richard Kiel on David Letterman's show in 1985:

About Richard Kiel:
Richard was born in Detroit, Michigan, USA. And despite what you might think, was a perfectly normal-sized young boy until he experienced a sudden growth spurt in his teens.

Richard has been described as the gentle giant of the film business, with his 7’ 2” frame. In fact Roger Moore said of Richard: “The only things greater than his height are his heart and intelligence”.

Aside from acting, Richard is an accomplished writer and producer. In the early 90's he co-wrote and executive-produced The Giant of Thunder Mountain (1991). A film he brought in under budget and ahead of schedule, and furthermore, it was awarded the Film Advisory Board’s Family Film Award Of Excellence.

It is, however, true to say that Richard is remembered most famously as Jaws, the deadly henchman in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979). His return in the second adventure was due to stunt co-ordinator Bob Simmons suggesting that as the character proved so popular, it might be wise to let him survive!

It took Richard 18 years as a struggling actor to become an overnight success with the Bond film!

Richard was originally cast as the Incredible Hulk for the tv series, though make-up problems (he is blind in one eye, and the green make-up severely irritated his good eye) saw him decline the part. However, he went on to enjoy a varied career – appearing in tv series such as The Monkees (1967), The Twilight Zone (1962) and films such as The Nutty Professor (1963), The Longest Yard (1974), Barbary Coat (1975), Silver Streak (1976), Pale Rider (1985) (directed by Clint Eastwood), Force Ten From Navarone (1978) (directed by Bond director Guy Hamilton) and Happy Gilmore (1996).

In 2002 his autobiography Making It BIG In The Movies was published by Reynolds & Hearn Ltd, London.

Richard then took on a long-cherished project, Kentucky Lion, a biographical novel about Cassius Clay. Not the boxer Muhammad Ali but the great white anti-slavery character who ran for President at the same time as Abraham Lincoln.

“It’s an actor’s dream role, full of action, romance and even courtroom drama. It has the high drama and award potential of a Schindler’s List and all the romance of Gone With The Wind. It’s a film about a little known American hero in an era of America that is amazingly fascinating.”

He reprised his role of Jaws in the 2004 game James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing, supplying his voice and likeness. (Jaws is also featured in the 2010 Activision game GoldenEye.)

In the spring of 2006 he joined Verne Troyer in a six-episode televison series that took them to various places in Sweden, the show was titled Welcome to Sweden.

His son Richard George appears in The Spy Who Loved Me. He is the little boy on the beach pointing out to the upcoming car that James Bond is driving from the water.

In 2010 Richard returned to the big screen as he made the voice of Vlad in the Disney film Tangled.

Perhaps the most frequently asked question to Richard is: “Did those teeth hurt?”. The answer is: "No, but they were extremely nauseating to wear!"

Check out his autobiography for the rest of the story, and many more.

Editor's note:
For other posts featuring Richard Kiel on From Sweden with Love, click here.

Photo above:
Anders Frejdh and Richard Kiel in USA. Photo by Chris Kiel. © From Sweden with Love.

For more information about Richard Kiel's life and career, visit the official website:




FSWL are saddened to report the passing of Gottfried John, aged 72. Gottfried played the part of General Ourumov in GoldenEye (1995) (1995). Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

"My dear friend, we played in the world of James Bond and traveled the world together to celebrate the success of GoldenEye. I am so proud to have worked along side you. My prayers and sympathies go out to your family at this sad time in life. Peace be with you." – Pierce Brosnan

Gottfried John obituary: (by Sascha Braun)
72-year-old German actor Gottfried John passed away in Munich on September 1, 2014. He became famous to an international audience for his part as General Ourumov in GoldenEye (1995). His distinctive nose and deep voice are a result of two nasal bone fractures which took place when he was still in the children's home.

John was born illegitimate 1942 in Berlin, he never met his father. During the war he was evacuated together with his mother and came to East Prussia. He had a stutter when he was a child and was not so good in school. Because his mother was travelling alone with him through different countries, she lost custody for him. At the age of 15 he came to a children's home but could escape two years later. He came with his mother to Paris where he lived and worked as street painter and construction worker for two years. Both lived very poor on a small boat on the river Seine.

It was in Paris where Gottfried John took his first acting lessons, but he was not aware of it at the time. In the wintertime it was so cold that when he entered a postal office to write a simple postcard, it took him several hours.

Gottfried and his mother returned to Berlin in 1960 where he tried to join the Reinhardt-Seminar (an acting school). "I believed they must notice that I am talented“, he said in an interview later. But he failed the entrance exam. Nevertheless, he took private lessons and debuted 1971 on stage of the Schiller-Theatre in Berlin. German audience became aware of him on many theatre plays. In 1972, German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder hired him for the tv series Acht Stunden sind kein Tag, and later for the films The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979), Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980) and Lili Marleen (1981) – all huge mark posts for Gottfried John.

In 1985, John appeared in the German comedy Otto – Der Film which still holds the record for the biggest audience in German cinemas: 14,5 million tickets were sold. About his part as General Ourumov in GoldenEye, he said: "I tried to play the rise and fall of the Soviet Union in one person, with all human weaknesses.“ And: "I am sure that Bond will win again."

In 2006 he played the character of Jonathan Jeremiah in Bertolt Brechts "Dreigroschenoper“ in Berlin directed by Klaus Maria Brandauer (Maximilian Largo in Never Say Never Again).

Since 2008, he lived with his family in Bavaria (southern part of Germany) at the Ammersee where he died of cancer on September 1st. Gottfried John once wrote: "I have lived so many different lives and I know that every single one looks like the ideal one.“

Photo above:
Gottfried John in a publicity still for GoldenEye. Photo by Keith Hamshere. © 1995 Danjaq LLC. & United Artists Pictures. An MGM Company. All rights reserved.

For more information about Gottfried John's career, check out his IMDB profile:



19 AUGUST 2014

FSWL are saddened to report the passing of Tom Pevsner, aged 87. Tom was a long-time member of the 'James Bond family'. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

"Tom Pevsner was my nuts and bolts man on all my Bond films. His experience and support were invaluable to my success. He was very honest and straightforward, a wise man who took care of all the details required behind the scenes always taking a back seat and encouraging others."
- John Glen, director for five of the six Bonds Tom Pevsner worked on

Obituary: (by Mark Cerulli for FSWL)
Veteran filmmaker, Tom Pevsner, died on 19, August 2014, aged 87. Born in Dresden, Germany in 1926, Pevsner had a long career in the UK film industry working on over 40 features.

He started out as an assistant director on films like The Cruel Sea and The Ladykillers. Pevsner also worked on Darryl F. Zanuck’s 1962 WWII epic, The Longest Day – which featured Sean Connery in a small role. (Pevsner worked as Production Supervisor on another Connery title, 1975’s The Wind and the Lion.)

Like the late Iris Rose, Pevsner began his Bond career on For Your Eyes Only, serving as Associate Producer. He worked on the next five Bonds, ending with 1995’s GoldenEye on which he was Executive Producer. His death was another tragic loss for Eon and the Bond fan community.

Tom Pevsner's James Bond films:
1981: For Your Eyes Only (Associate producer)
1983: Octopussy (1983) (Associate producer)
1985: A View To A Kill (Associate producer)
1987: The Living Daylights (Associate producer)
1989: Licence To Kill (Associate producer)
1995: GoldenEye (1995) (Executive producer)

Photo above:
Tom Pevsner interviewed for Inside 'Octopussy' in 1999. © MGM/UA Home Entertainment. All rights reserved.

For more information about Tom Pevsner's career, check out his IMDB profile:



12 AUGUST 2014

FSWL are saddened to report the passing of Iris Rose, aged 76. Iris is sadly another one from the 'Bond family' that sadly has passed in 2014. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.

Obituary: (by Mark Cerulli for FSWL)
Longtime Eon Productions staffer Iris (Lilian) Rose passed away on 12 August, 2014.

Ms. Rose’s credits in the British film industry date back to 1968 when she started out as a production secretary on Stanley Kubrick’s iconic sci-fi epic, 2001: A Space Odyssey. She held the same position on 1974’s Sean Connery action vehicle, The Terrorists, partly filmed in Norway.

Other films Iris worked on early in her career included Voyage of the Damned, Equis and Love And Bullets.

She started her 00 career as a Production Assistant on For Your Eyes Only, quickly rising to the rank of Unit Manager, a position she held for the rest of her Bond career. Iris worked on 11 James Bond films (see list below) spanning four 007s – Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. Her last Bond credit was 2008’s Quantum of Solace. Always a friendly presence on a Bond set, Iris Rose was an integral part of the Eon family and will be sorely missed by her family, colleagues and all Bond fans.

Iris Rose's James Bond films:
1981: For Your Eyes Only (Production assistant)
1983: Octopussy (1983) (Production assistant)
1985: A View To A Kill (Unit manager)
1987: The Living Daylights (Unit manager)
1989: Licence To Kill (Unit manager)
1995: GoldenEye (1995) (Unit manager)
1997: Tomorrow Never Dies (Unit manager)
1999: The World Is Not Enough (Unit manager)
2002: Die Another Day (Unit manager)
2006: Casino Royale (Unit manager)
2008: Quantum of Solace (Unit manager)

Photo above:
Iris Rose at Pinewood Studios 1992. Photo by Graham Rye. © 007 Magazine. All rights reserved.

For more information about Iris Rose's career, check out her profile on IMDB:



14 JUNE 2014

FSWL are saddened to report that legendary stuntman Terry Richards (with nine official James Bond films on his CV) has passed away at the age of 81. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Stuntman, stunt coordinator, director (and FSWL supporter) Vic Armstrong remembers working with Terry:

"I first met Terry Richards on the set of You Only Live Twice in 1966 when he was an established stuntman and I was just starting out. Terry already had a reputation as one of life's great story tellers and he had the most incredible timing for telling a joke. We worked together right up until as few years ago on many many films and Terry apart from being a great stuntman he was the entertainment meister, I remember on On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), after an incredible champagne filled evening, Terry marched everybody back to our hotels in true Guardsman fashion with Terry being an ex Guardsman. We did wake up the whole village of Mürren in Switzerland but none of the villagers seemed to worry, I guess it was such a funny sight at 3 in the morning lit by moonlight bouncing of the snow.

I took Terry to Italy to play a big part in Red Sonja (1985) and Richard Fleischer, who was a very particular director and very demanding of perfection, thought Terry was one of the best actors in the movie. Funnily enough when he got to Italy Terry had a bit of stage fright and worried that his acting was not up to it, so I told him - Terry, I hired you, not an actor, just be Terry Richards - which is what he did and he was brilliant. As they say they broke the mould when he went and I can honestly say there will never be another TR which was as he was always known. He leaves a legacy of films behind him and one which will last forever is his role as the swordsman that gets shot by Indy in the market place in Tunisia."

About Terry Richards:
The tall Terry (6 foot 5) worked with five different Bond actors if you include David Niven in Casino Royale (1967).

He had a truly wonderful and adventurers life but always was very low key and with no ego. Everybody seems to have loved him. He was a great raconteur with wonderful funny stories. Very professional and reliable. Hurt many times but never made a fuss.

During his career in the film business he worked on nine of Eon Productions' James Bond film series and several other big-budget productions, many in which he was never credited (general stunts in A View to a Kill being one of them) although this is normal procedure for many stuntmen.

Terry was one of the men in the gypsy fight scene in From Russia with Love (1963). In Goldfinger (1964) (1964) he doubled for Gert Fröbe as Goldfinger getting sucked out of the jet plane at the end of the film. Along with general battle at the end (you can see him throw a grenade into the entrance of Fort Knox). In You Only Live Twice (1967) he doubled for Ronald Rich as Hans, the big blond guy that gets thrown to the Piranhas! (All the medium and long shots are quite clearly the double. The close ups are the actor. It is very plain to see if you look closely. Terry was slimmer and not as blond with a bald spot.) Terry was also in the big battle inside the volcano featured in YOLT. Evidently, Sean Connery requested him in the fight scene as the actor was rubbish and couldn't throw a punch. (Terry worked with Connery on numerous pictures and got to know him as a struggling young actor before he got famous.)

Terry's son Terry Jr remember his father's work on The Spy Who Loved Me (1977): "I was a young boy and he took me on set and watched the big battle in the submarine pen... they were balsa wood! I sat in the Lotus Esprit and met Roger Moore who gave me a pound!"

His last Bond films was The World Is Not Enough (1999) in which he was reunited with Vic Armstrong being the films 2nd unit director and stunt coordinator.

With his work on the Indiana Jones series he became famous after playing an Arab swordsman in the first one, Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Terry really enjoyed working with Harrison Ford whom he thought was a very nice chap.

Among the many famed actors he doubled are Tom Selleck, Donald Sutherland, Dave Prowse, Nick Brimble as Little Jon in Kevin Costner's Robin Hood film, and George Kennedy.

Photo above:
Terry Richards (left) during the filming of On Her Majety's Secret Service at Schilthorn - Piz Gloria 1968. © Terry Richards Jr. All rights reserved.

For more information about Terry Richards career, check out his profile on IMDB:



6 JULY 2014

FSWL are saddened to report the passing of Dave Bickers, aged 76. Dave is considered to be one of the very best stunt engineers the world has ever seen. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

"The boat roll-over jump in TWINE was one of the trickiest and most dangerous stunts that I did. The jump was made possible because of the knowledge and know how of Dave Bickers, he was a great man and will be deeply missed." - Gary Powell

"Dave was a legend in the Motor Bike Scrambling World and went on to make the Stunt World a far safer place." - Vic Armstrong

About Dave Bickers:
Born in Coddenham, Suffolk, England on 17 January 1938. He won two consecutive European motocross championships, and was a member of British motocross teams that won two Motocross des Nations events as well as two Trophée des Nations titles. Bickers was awarded the Motorcycle News 'Man of the Year' award in 1960.

After retiring from competition, Dave Bickers founded Bickers Action, a company manufacturing stunt equipment to be used in the film industry, in 1976. The company has experienced steady growth over the last 35 years and this development has been built on the foundation of the company philosophy to provide inventive solutions, always utilising strong mechanical understanding and resourcefulness. With this basic principle, Bickers Action can meet the industries ever increasing demands and help produce ‘the best’ film and TV stunt action.

Dave's involvement in his early Bond films was mainly as an engineer. Prepping vehicles and making ramps etc. In the later pictures Bickers also took on camera cars.

Bickers Action remains a family business with Dave’s son Paul as Managing Director. The company has been involved on no less than 10 James Bond films to date:

For Your Eyes Only (1981, Stunt Engineering)
Octopussy (1983) (1983, Stunt Engineering)
Never Say Never Again (1983, Stunt Engineering)
GoldenEye (1995) (1995, Additional Stunt Driving, Vehicle Back-up)
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997, Vehicle Back-up)
The World Is Not Enough (1999, Stunt Mechanic)
Die Another Day (2002, Crane And Camera Mount Systems)
Casino Royale (2006, , Vehicles Preparation and Camera Cars)
Quantum of Solace (2008, Vehicles Preparation and Camera Cars)
Skyfall (2012) (2012, Facility)

Official Russian Arm video from Bickers Action:

Photo above:
Dave Bickers pictured with his son Paul. © 2014 Bickers Action. All rights reserved.

For more information about Dave Bickers career, check out the official website of Bickers Action:



17 MARCH 2014

FSWL are saddened to report the passing of BAFTA and Academy Award winning cinematographer Oswald Morris at the age of 98. Oswald was one of two directors of photography for The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) directed by Guy Hamilton. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Morris family.

Sadly, yet another Bond alumni has passed. Morris had a long and impressive resume with Bond fans knowing him primarily for his work alongside Ted Moore (1914-1987) on the 1974 film The Man with the Golden Gun.

In 2006, he published an autobiography which he titled "Huston, We Have a Problem" to honor his long-time collaboration (eight films) with legendary director John Huston (1906–1987). Amongst the many films they made together was The Man Who Would Be King (1975) starring Sean Connery. (Oswald also worked with Connery on the 1965 film The Hill.)

Morris was also Director of Photography on Fiddler on the Roof (for which he won an Oscar® statuette 1972 for Best Cinematography) who made actor Topol famous and later gave him the part of Bond's ally (Columbo) in the 1981 Bond film For Your Eyes Only.

The talented Morris is survived by daughters Christine and Gillian and son Roger. His first wife, Connie, died in 1963 and his second wife, Lee, died in 2003.

Obituaries in the press:
>BBC News (19th March 2014)
>Hollywood Reporter (18th March 2014)
>Los Angeles Times (18th March 2014)
>The Guardian (19th March 2014)
>The New York Times (26th March 2014)
>The Telegraph (19th March 2014)

Check out Oswald Morris' profile on IMDB for more information about his amazing career in films.

Photo above:
Oswald Morris at his home in 2011. Photo by Richard Blanshard. © British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). All rights reserved.

For more information about Oswald Morris' career, check out his IMDB profile:




FSWL are saddened to report that Ken Wallis the amazingly talented 'superman' who once portrayed James Bond on film (for Sean Connery in You Only Live Twice 1967), has passed away at the age of 97. Our thoughts are with his family.

Ken Wallis long-time friend and FSWL contributor Ian Hancock remembers the hero:

"I first met Ken in the early ‘90s, through our mutual interest and respective roles at the Flixton Museum; Ken was President from 1976 and I became Chairman 10 years ago. In 2000, I suggested I write an article about his life for the Museum newsletter as there was not much in print at that time - I naively thought something around 500 to 1,000 words. Our first lunch chat produced several thousand! Clearly, I wasn’t going to even scratch the surface at that rate. Also, I soon found it would be quite confusing to try and produce a chronological record as Ken had involved himself in so many different projects and interests, sometimes simultaneously. Each one required some depth with separate exploration and explanation. Over the next 13 years I enjoyed the privilege of having frequent meetings with Ken, and scribbled down his views, thoughts, achievements, disappointments and concerns. He also provided notes on other things he would like included, and technical explanations.

I had always intended the story to be factual but light-hearted - rather like Ken in many ways. Certainly it was not going to be an unauthorised biography, which would try to “dig the dirt” and leave the reader confused, with little to learn about the true man and his endeavours. Naturally, not everything we discussed could be put into the book as some information included “trade secrets” about his autogyro design (nor could I fully comprehend everything as a non-aero engineer!); plus some personal issues and observations where identities had to be shielded. I therefore started out with his firm approval and unselfish help but I had never written a biography before this. Frankly, it is not an easy task so I do hope I achieved what I set out to do in the eyes of the readers. Ken regularly remarked that “it would never have been written without you”. I always replied that I had the easy bit in writing about his life; he had to live it! The title The Lives Of Ken Wallis amused him but I explained that with so much going on I honestly felt he had experienced more than one life. It also disguised my slightly disjointed approach! Whatever the view, at least much of the information about his life can be found in one place, and he felt that the last edition, No. 5, was complete.

I last met Ken for a long lunch in May this year. As usual, he was razor-sharp in his recollections of events during his lifetime and full of good humour, with some fruity language and a twinkle in his (good) eye. Admittedly, he was getting frail and his eyesight was deteriorating but I still felt he had the edge over me when walking to and from the car. He expressed various concerns about life - his own and in general (particularly our Armed Forces in the Middle East: “you should never mess about in Mesopotamia” per Ken) - but he would always make the same comment about his circumstances “If you can’t take a joke you shouldn’t have joined”. This oft-said phrase was a reflection upon how his life changed after appearing in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice - despite the strange omission of his name in the film credits.

Flying “Little Nellie” in that film made him an international attraction (I hate the modern use of the word celebrity) with all its pressures, but it certainly helped publicise his autogyro design. From then on he was in great demand for personal appearances, and travelled the world promoting the film. In his upstairs study he had a calendar wall-chart pinned up, with all the engagements marked, including the many visits to his hangar and home by clubs, institutions and military personnel; there were usually 200-300 “events” posted every year. He was never critical of the demands made upon his time, and said that it had been a wonderful life. The words of the song “My Way” come to my mind!

Before all this, he had enjoyed his RAF flying career, despite the unbelievable and many life-threatening experiences in Bomber Command during WWII, for which I believe he was seriously overlooked for at least one DFC for his pilot skills (and in later life with only an MBE being awarded). After several years in research and development, examining/testing captured weaponry, and then sorting out the bombing-up problems with the (then new) Canberra jet bomber for operational duties as Armaments Officer on squadron, he was astonished to be told by his superior officer when seeking promotion that there would be little advancement for him in the post-war RAF as he had spent too long in “R&D” and needed to spend some time “at the sharp end”. He declined to comment that he had spent 2 years with the US Strategic Air Command flying the giant B-36 operationally with an Atom Bomb on board and retired at 47. This did allow him time then to properly develop his autogyro design with his cousin Geoffrey and, as they say, the rest is history.

I should add at this point that Ken and his cousin also successfully built a flying replica of the Wallbro Monoplane in the ‘70s; the original having been built and flown near Cambridge between 1908 and 1910 by their respective fathers. This presently resides in the Ken Wallis Hall at Flixton and is much admired by visitors.

Ken’s World Records, his many awards, interest in power boats, cars, his superb engineering skills and inventions, his “girls” (the autogyros he built), other pursuits, and the many extraordinary events in his life are covered in the book (and the abbreviated biography on the Museum websites), so need not be repeated here, but written words could never project the same emotions experienced when meeting Ken in the flesh. He had quite an impish grin, a deep chuckle, a fairly piercing gaze with head slightly bowed. I think he would have been quite formidable as a “boss” in his younger years and not likely to have accepted anything but the very best from subordinates.

Ken will be greatly missed by the Museum members at Flixton. He was a frequent visitor and generous fundraiser, and a great ambassador. In addition to the numerous professional institutions who welcomed Ken as a member, and the vast number of clubs and similar bodies who regarded him with great respect and fondness, many ordinary people will also feel a loss in one way or another. Even a short chat with him left the individual feeling that it was something special, and his warmth made them feel that he would remember them! Ken was recognised wherever he went. Admirers would soon gather and he would usually produce a small clipboard from a pocket, to sign and give away autographed postcards of him flying Little Nellie. I am sure that many a childless adult has asked for a card to give to their “offspring”.

Ken was inspirational, a great role model, and possessed a rare old-world charm plus the impeccable manners of his age; all without a hint of grandeur. I am not alone in thinking that he was probably the grandfather figure we would all have liked to have had at some time.

Norfolk was Ken’s home from 1963 and I venture to think he was appreciated by such a large part of its population that he was likely a close second to its most revered inhabitant: Horatio Nelson.

Goodbye Ken - our local hero and national treasure. Your likes will not be seen again."
-Ian Hancock

Editor's note:
In July 2010, the documentary Born to Bond was released on DVD to commemorate the extraordinary life of Ken Wallis.

Photo above:
Wing Commander Ken Wallis outside his home in April 2012. © Ian Hancock. All rights reserved.

For more information about Ken Wallis amazing career, check out the website dedicated to him:



20 APRIL 2013

We are saddened to report that the legendary stuntman and long-time member of the 'Bond family' (worked on 14 of the James Bond films) Fred "Nosher" Powell (father of Gary Powell and Greg Powell) has passed away, aged 84. Our thoughts are with his family.

Michael Nesbitt, webmaster for Nosher's official website, commented:

"With great regret and sadness I have to report that Nosher Powell passed away last evening in his sleep, surrounded by his family.

A legend of a man who had a heart of gold, anyone that was lucky enough to have met him over the years were left with the memory of such an amazing character. Nosher may be gone but he will never be forgotten. RIP my friend."

About Nosher Powell:
Nosher Powell was born in the South of London on August 15, 1928, while his brother Dinny Powell was born four years later on 27th July 1932. (The brothers eventually become known as the best stunt brothers in the industry.)

Nosher had a full and varied life starting out in boxing in the early 1930's training in Jack Solomon’s gym in London's West End (a boxing gymnasium known for its hand in the training, promoting and managing of some of the most famous boxers in the world at that time) and fast becoming a handy heavyweight in the early to middle 1950's being ranked 3rd in Britain. This was when boxers were boxers and had to fight hard to scrape a living.

He first worked as a stuntman in the 1944 film Henry V starring Laurence Olivier. He first started doing minor stunts and going on to become one of the top stuntmen of his time. The last film he worked on became Legionnaire (1998) starring Jean Claude Van Damme.

In total, Nosher Powell did stunts in 13 of the official James Bond films including From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964) (1964), Thunderball (1965) (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Live and Let Die (1973), The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979) (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983) (1983) and A View to a Kill (1985). (He also worked on the 1967 Bond parody Casino Royale.)

Nosher was also a minder to the rich and famous stars including Frank Sinatra Jr, Sammy Davis Jr, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Bob Hope and Ava Gardner. He was also at one point minder to the richest man in the world, John Paul Getty.

Nosher was also a well known doorman looking after some of the most famous night spots in Britain. He once famously turned the Kray twins (Reginald and Ronald) away for not being properly dressed and threw out Orson Welles from Isow’s (a kosher restaurant in London owned by Norman Isow).

A few colleagues from the film industry have kindly left us a comment on Nosher's passing:

"I first met Nosher on my first Bond film (You Only Live Twice) at that time I was just a young kid getting started so it was thrill to me to meet and work with all these big "names" in the business of which Nosher was one.

Subsequently I went on to work with Nosher many many times and no big call would be complete without him. I especially remember working with him on Superman 1 & 2 and for months during the show I would spar with Nosher, Dinny and Greg. It was a wonderful way to keep fit and to keep my physique in shape to double Chris Reeves, but it also brought home to me what a tough life it would be to be a professional fighter. I was thankful that we were only sparring and they did not hit me as they could have done.

Nosher will always be remembered for his stories and wit, he will be greatly missed by stuntmen and producers alike." - Vic Armstrong (Stuntman/Stunt Coordinator/2nd Unit Director, worked on 7 Bond films between 1967 and 2002)

"It is so sad to lose, Nosher. He was such a 'larger than life character' and such a Legend in the British film industry." - Paul Weston (Stuntman/Stunt Coordinator who has worked on 10 'Bonds')

"Nosher was a wonderful stunt performer, a lovely friend and a real character. My thoughts are with his family." - Sir Roger Moore

"I have fond memories of Nosher, and not only as a stunt man.

Over the years, whenever we were working on location in some rough neighbourhood my assistant, Derek Cracknell, always put Nosher on the call sheet. There is always the local wideboy and his friends who want to talk to the leading lady, meet 007, etc. "I know my rights. I can stand here if I want to."

Derek would just wait for the frightening and impressive sight of Nosher ambling up, saying: "What seems to be the trouble, Derek?" The trouble quickly vanished ..." - Guy Hamilton (Director of four Bond films of which Nosher worked on all)

"I am very sorry to hear of the passing of Nosher Powell. I have very fond memories of this talented and colourful character. He belonged to a breed of daring "do-it-for-real" stuntmen, the like of which we won't see again." - John Glen (Director of five Bond films of which Nosher worked on three)

Editor's note:
According to his autobiography, Nosher Powell had a total of 78 fights - 51 as a professional, with nine losses, though he was never knocked out.

For more about the talented Powell family with over 40 years of stunt experience in the film industry, read a brilliant article, first published in The Times on May 24, 2009.

Photo above:
Book cover for Nosher Powell's autobiography Nosher. © 1999 John Blake Publishing Ltd.

For more about Nosher Powell's stunt career, check out the official website dedicated:



22 MARCH 2013

James Bond film composer David Arnold just revealed some very sad news. The legend that was Derek Watkins - gentleman, musical genius and trumpeter on EVERY Bond score to date - has passed away, aged 68.

David Arnold (our thanks to him for the alert on Derek Watkins' passing although very sad news), who knew Derek well, remembers him:

"Renowned as one of the finest Trumpet players in the world (LA session players often asked me about him) but he was mainly a lovely man.

He played on pretty much all of my scores and records....sublime playing, tasteful, supreme, and could hit notes others couldn't get near!

That will be a chair in the Trumpet section that will remain permanently empty - an irreplaceable musician and a down to earth and funny man."

Sky TV video about Derek Watkins:

About Derek Watkins: (from his official website)
Derek Watkins has an international reputation as one of the best all-round trumpet players. He has played for Johnny Dankworth, Maynard Ferguson, Benny Goodman, Ted Heath and Frank Sinatra and the James Last Orchestra.

He regularly plays for TV shows and has also given concerts and made recordings with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Recent recordings include a solo album 'Increased Demand' and sound tracks for the Batman and ALL 23 James Bond movies.

He has worked with Richard Smith on instrument development since 1974, and has helped to test every aspect of the new Smith-Watkins designs.

Born Reading, Berkshire (2 March 1945) he is a British trumpeter and session musician renowned for his mastery of the trumpet and flugelhorn. He is best-known for his signature high-note "screamers" on the James Bond themes.

Born into a musical family, Watkins' great-grandfather was a brass player in Wales with the Salvation Army, while his grandfather taught brass at Reading University and became a founder member and conductor of the Spring Gardens Brass Band in Reading, until succeeded by Watkins' father. Watkins was initially taught to play the cornet by his father at the age of 4, and went on to play that instrument in the brass band, winning several awards. He also played with his father's dance band until he turned professional at the age of 17.

Derek rose through the ranks of dance bands to become one of the most sought-after session players in the UK. He has recorded and worked with a wide range of artists, including Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Tom Jones, Count Basie, John Dankworth, Stan Tracey, the Ted Heath Orchestra, Benny Goodman, Henry Mancini, Maynard Ferguson, Kiri te Kanawa, the London Symphony Orchestra, Oasis, Robbie Williams, James Last, Leonard Bernstein, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo, The Beatles, Elton John, Natalie Cole, Eric Clapton, and Kylie Minogue among others.

Derek became acquainted with Dr Richard Smith - Doctor of Acoustics, at Boosey & Hawkes, where Derek had an association with them with regard to the manufacture of their instruments.

Following this period, Richard and Derek went on to set up their own manufacturing company, Smith-Watkins Instruments, where they initially manufactured and supplied both trumpets and cornets to the specific requirement and need of each individual.

Their association has lasted many years and has resulted in many of the top flight players both in the studio world and also in the Brass Band and Military world using the Smith-Watkins instruments.

Watkins has also played key roles in many film scores, including Mission Impossible, The Mummy, Basic Instinct, Indiana Jones, Gladiator, Johnny English, Superman 1 & 2, Bridget Jones Diary and Chicago, where his trumpet solo opens the movie.

Watkins has the unique distinction of having played on every one of the James Bond films, his high-note "screamers" being especially notable in Goldfinger (1964) (which Watkins recorded at the age of 19).

Watkins has recently branched out into composition, in collaboration with Colin Sheen and Jamie Talbot, and their work can be heard in the incidental music for the ITV Drama series Midsomer Murders and library music for KPM Music.

Watkins is currently Visiting Professor for trumpet to the Royal Academy of Music, and gives master class clinics at music colleges around Europe.

Editor's note:
A discography of Derek Watkins playing career can be found here.

Photo above:
Trumpeter maestro Derek Watkins (1945-2013). © 2011 Derek Watkins, the trumpet Legend.

If you can, please support Derek Watkins' charity by clicking below:



17 JUNE 2012

We are saddened to report that the highly talented stuntman/stunt arranger and long-time James Bond film collaborator George Leech (father of stuntwoman Wendy Leech and father in law of Vic Armstrong) has passed away. Our thoughts are with his family.

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) (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) (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) (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.

Photo above:
George Leech being interviewed at Cine Lumiere, London during the 40th Anniversary of Thunderball in November 2005. Photographer: Brian Smith © Bond and Beyond. All rights reserved.

For more information about George Leech' film career, check out his profile on IMDB:



6 JANUARY 2012

We are saddened to report that Bob Holness has passed away. Although not many people know, he was the second man to portray James Bond in a South African radio adaptation of Moonraker (1955) in 1956. Our thoughts are with his family.

Editor's note:
Barry Nelson (1920-2007) was the first man to play James Bond 1954 in CBS television adaption of Casino Royale (1953).

Wkipedia on Bob Holness:
Robert Wentworth John Holness (12 November 1928 – 6 January 2012) was an English radio and television presenter.

Shortly after his birth in Vryheid, Natal, South Africa, his family moved to Ashford, Kent, in the UK. After attending Ashford Grammar School (now The Norton Knatchbull School) and Maidstone College of Art and spending some time at Eastbourne College, he then worked for a printing company before returning to South Africa. In 1955, he received his first job as a radio presenter. He also married Mary in 1955, whom he met in South Africa. In 1956, Bob Holness played James Bond in a radio production of Moonraker. The couple returned to the UK in 1961. His daughter, Ros, was a member of the band Toto Coelo.

Holness joined the BBC as a presenter on Late Night Extra, initially on the BBC Light Programme and later on BBC Radio 1 and 2, presenting alongside people like Terry Wogan, Michael Parkinson and Keith Fordyce. From 1971, the show was broadcast solely on Radio 2.

From 1971 to 1995, he was the voice of the Butterkist popcorn cinema and television commercials.

Between 1975 and 1985, he was co-presenter with Douglas Cameron of the breakfast-time AM Programme on London's LBC radio station. He originally joined the station as an airborne traffic reporter. He won the Variety Club Award for 'Joint Independent Radio Personality of the Year' in both 1979 and 1984.

Between 1985 and 1997, he returned to Radio 2, presenting many shows including Bob Holness Requests the Pleasure and Bob Holness and Friends, as well as covering various weekday shows for holidaying presenters. Until 1998, he also presented the request programme Anything Goes on the BBC World Service.

Holness was the subject of an urban myth, claimed to have been initiated in the 1980s by broadcaster Stuart Maconie who, writing for the New Musical Express in a section called 'Believe It Or Not', said that Holness had played the saxophone solo on Gerry Rafferty's 1978 song "Baker Street". Tommy Boyd, among others, has disputed Maconie's claim to authorship of the rumour. The actual performer was Raphael Ravenscroft. The story clearly appealed to Holness' sense of humour as he often played along with the myth, and also at various times jokingly claimed to be the lead guitarist on Derek and the Dominoes' "Layla" and the mysterious individual putting Elvis Presley off his stride on the famous 'laughing' version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight?". In 1993 he was recorded, confirming the Baker Street story, in an interview for STOIC, Student Television of Imperial College.

In 1961, Holness became the host of UK game show Take a Letter, was relief host of Thames Television's magazine programme Today in 1968, and from 1983 until 1994 presented the British version of Blockbusters, for which he is best known.

In autumn 1995, he hosted Yorkshire Television's big-budget gameshow flop Raise the Roof before becoming the chairman of a revived Call My Bluff for the BBC.

Holness appeared on one episode of Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway in 2004, when he presented the last round of Ant and Dec's Blockbusters, with Ant as a contestant.

Photo above:
Bob Holness in a recent photo courtsey of The Daily Mail. © Mike Floyd

Read BBC's obituary of Bob Holness, the second man to portray James Bond:



26 DECEMBER 2011

We are saddened to report that Pedro Armendáriz Jr. has passed away. The Mexican actor died in a New York hospital while seeking cancer treatment. Our thoughts are with his family.

Pedro appeared in over 100 movies including the James Bond film Licence to Kill (1989). In the 007 film he played President Hector Lopez, 26 years after his father appeared as Kerim Bey in From Russia with Love (1963).

Obituary in the news:
>Hollywood Reporter
>Washington Post

Photo above:
Recent photo of Mexican actor Pedro Armendáriz Jr.

For more information about Pedro Armendáriz Jr.'s film career, check out his profile on IMDB:



21 NOVEMBER 2011

Syd Cain, respected British art director and production designer who worked on five James Bond films, has passed away, aged 93.

FSWL contributor Mark Ashby wrote:

"Incredibly sad to hear about Syd. A truly nice person. Because of my predilection for wearing stripy shirts he always used to have a running joke with me about going out with my pajamas on. This went on for about 20 years. Even the last time I really spoke to him at the NFT [National Film Centre] in London after a showing of Dr No I heard this voice behind me. 'Still got your pajamas on then'. Being a graphic designer we always had wonderful chats whenever we saw each other. I wouldn't presume I knew him well but of all the early Bond alumni he was the friendliest to me. God bless you, Syd."

Our friend Lee Pfeiffer, editor-in-chief of the superb film magazine Cinema Retro, remembers Syd:

"Syd's death is a personal loss to many of us at Cinema Retro who considered him a friend. His remarkable career included a long association with the James Bond films.

He began on the very first film, Dr. No, as art director, working with the legendary production designer Ken Adam. When Adam wasn't available for the second film, From Russia with Love (1963), Syd took over for the art direction and production design duties. Syd was billed as the production designer for the Bond classic On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), playing a crucial role in the design of the Piz Gloria sets that served as the Alpine HQ of Blofeld. He would return to the fold several years later as Supervising Art Director for Roger Moore's debut as 007 in Live and Let Die (1973).

Cain also did other films for Bond producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman including the EON Productions comedy Call Me Bwana (1963) and the Saltzman-produced Harry Palmer thriller Billion Dollar Brain. In the 1950s he also worked for Broccoli and his former partner Irving Allen and their Warwick Films company.

Other major films that Cain served as art director or production designer for include Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy (1972), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966), The Road to Hong Kong (1962), Lolita (1962), Farenheit 451 (1966) and Bond director Peter Hunt's Shout at the Devil (1976). Cain also had a long association with producer Euan Lloyd, working with him on Wild Geese (1978), Who Dares Wins (1982) and Wild Geese II (1985).

In 1995, Cain renewed his association with the Bond franchise, designing storyboards for the blockbuster GoldenEye (1995) (1995).

Cain remained active in his later years, attending many Bond-themed events. On a personal note, I recall having him appear as a surprise guest at an event I was holding at Pinewood Studios in the late 1990s. Syd was shocked and humbled at the degree of interest attendees had in his work and he kept them spellbound when he unveiled a portfolio of some of his original storyboards.

In 2002, Dave Worrall and I had the honor of assisting Syd with writing his autobiography, Not Forgetting James Bond, first published in November 2002. It was fascinating to read his first-hand comments about the making of the 007 series. As with many alumni from Eon-produced films, the company always maintained reverence for his work and legacy and invited Syd to high profile events relating to the world of Bond. We join them in mourning his passing."

Photo above:
Syd Cain with Mark Ashby at Kettners Restaurant in London. © Mark Ashby. All rights reserved.

Read more about Syd Cain's 57-year long and fascinating career on IMDB:



7 OCTOBER 2011

George Baker, British actor who appeared in no less than three different James Bond movies playing various parts; You Only Live Twice (1967), On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) and The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), has passed away, aged 80.

Actor George Baker, who starred as Chief Inspector Wexford in TV's The Ruth Rendell Mysteries (1987-2000), has died.

The 80-year-old, from West Lavington, Wiltshire, died of pneumonia on Friday after a recent stroke.

Although Wexford was probably his most famous role, Baker's repertoire included comedy, drama, soap operas and science fiction over six decades.

He appeared in The Dam Busters and the TV series I, Claudius (1976) and was once suggested for the role of James Bond.

Baker was married three times and leaves five daughters and a number of grandchildren.

Speaking to the BBC, his daughter Ellie Baker said of her father: "He absolutely loved Wexford and he loved being Wexford... and he loved the whole thing. It was a joy to him."

She went on to say even though Ian Fleming had said he wanted her father to play James Bond, it was "probably a very good thing" he was tied into a contract and unable to do so.

"He enjoyed being a character actor, being broad and having the chance to do so many different roles, and perhaps if he'd done that one he would have got typecast," she said.

His third wife, who died earlier this year, was Louie Ramsey, who played his wife Dora in the Ruth Rendell Mysteries.

As well as acting, Baker was also a talented writer for radio and television and a cookery author. His award-winning play, The Fatal Spring, was shown on BBC Two in 1980.

He was born in Bulgaria in 1931, where his English father was working as a diplomat.

When World War II broke out, his Irish mother took him to England, and after a brief spell at public school he became an actor in repertory while still in his teens.

In the 1950s he toured with the Old Vic, and made the first of 30 films, which included The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), The Ship That Died of Shame (1955) and The 39 Steps (1978).

He formed his own theatre company and toured the country, acting in and directing plays.

Baker became a familiar face on television, appearing in Minder (1980-1989) and Bergerac (1988), before, in 1987, he was cast as the steady, kindly Chief Inspector Wexford in ITV's adaptation of the Ruth Rendell Mysteries.

The show, which lasted for 13 years, drew huge audiences on Sunday evenings.

Baker was awarded an MBE in 2007 for his fundraising activities for his local youth club in West Lavington.

Photo above:
George Baker at Autographica 15, May 2010. © 2010 Giles Golding.

George Baker's obituary published on BBC's website on October 8, 2011.



11 APRIL 2011

Angela Scoular, the actress who played Agent Buttercup in the James Bond spoof Casino Royale (1967) and Ruby Bartlett in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), has passed ayway.

Ms. Scoular was the second wife of Carry On star Leslie Phillips.

Her qualifications as a Bond girl are obvious in OHMSS when she becomes Bond's (George Lazenby) first conquest, after writing her room number in lipstick on his inner thigh. "I used to hate chicken," she tells 007. "Used to make me break out. It was all over. You'd be surprised where."

She met Leslie Phillips in 1970 on the set of Doctor in Trouble (in which his character chases her character aboard an ocean liner). They met again in 1976 when they were both in the same play. She was pregnant at the time with a son by another actor, while Leslie Phillips's first marriage to Penny Bartley had foundered in the 1960s following his affair with the actress Caroline Mortimer. They began living together, but at first there was no question of marriage. When Penny was crippled by a stroke, Leslie Phillips was "pulled back into the frame" by his children and he and Angela helped to care for her until her death in a house fire in 1981. They married in 1982.

Despite Phillips's on-screen reputation as a lothario, theirs was a happy marriage. Angela Scoular went on to appear in several more films, stage productions and television series, notably as the sex-mad Lady Agatha Shawcross in the television series You Rang, M'Lord? (1988-93). But during her early years as an actress she had struggled with anorexia and later on she suffered from severe clinical depression which, according to her husband, meant that she lost her ability to face an audience. It was "difficult to be a character actress when you were a sex symbol", he observed.

Angela Scoular was born in London on November 8, 1945 and encouraged in her ambitions to be an actress by her aunt, the actress Margaret Johnston.

She began her screen career in the mid-1960s, appearing in the long-running police drama No Hiding Place and taking a bit part in Ian McKellen's adaptation of David Copperfield, before going on to appear in her first feature films, A Countess from Hong Kong (1967, with Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren), Casino Royale and Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (1968).

On television she appeared in series such as The Avengers, Penmarric, Coronation Street and As Time Goes By, and was Cathy in a 1967 television adaptation of Wuthering Heights. On stage she starred in Alan Ayckbourn's Absurd Person Singular, at the Criterion Theatre (1974); appeared in a production of Hamlet at the Cambridge Theatre (1971); in Joseph Caruso's Little Lies at the Wyndham (1983); and in Peter Shaffer's White Liars and Black Comedy at the Lyric Theatre (1968).

She is survived by her husband and son.

Photo above:
Angela Scoular with George Lazenby during filming of the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service © 2011 Rex Features.

Angela Scoular's obituary published in The Telegraph on April 13, 2011:



30 JANUARY 2011

Composer John Barry, who won five Academy Awards for his film work but was best known for his contributions to a dozen James Bond movies, has died. He was 77.

For all John Barry's artistic contribution to the field, he was never knighted, though most of his contemporaries were. Quite sad really.

Barry died in New York on Sunday January 30, his family said.

The English-born composer won two Oscars, for the score and the song, for Born Free in 1966, and he earned single statuettes for The Lion in Winter (1968), Out of Africa (1985) and Dances with Wolves (1990).

He was also nominated for his scores for "Mary, Queen of Scots" in 1971 and "Chaplin" in 1992.

His association with Agent 007 began controversially with "Dr. No" in 1962, although his contribution was not credited. He wrote music for a dozen Bond films in all.

Monty Norman, who was credited as the composer for "Dr. No," sued The Sunday Times in 2001 for reporting that Barry had been called in to help after Norman's inspiration faltered. Norman won the case, collecting 30,000 pounds ($48,000).

Barry, who was not sued, had testified that he was paid 250 pounds to work on the music but had agreed that Norman would get the credit, which was his contractual right.

Barry subsequently wrote music for From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964) (1964), Thunderball (1965) (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), Moonraker (1979) (1979), Octopussy (1983) (1983), A View to a Kill (1985) and The Living Daylights (1987).

Born in York, England, on November 3, 1933, as John Barry Prendergast, he trained as a pianist and then took up the trumpet. He founded a jazz group, the John Barry Seven, in 1957.

The group teamed with singer Adam Faith, scoring hits with "What Do You Want?" and "Poor Me," and Barry moved into film work when Faith was tapped to star in "Beat Girl" (titled "Living for Kicks" in the United States).

"The James Bond movies came because we were successful in the pop music world, with a couple of big instrumental hits. They thought I knew how to write instrumental hit music," Barry said in an interview with The Associated Press in 1991.

Barry was divorced three times. He is survived by his wife Laurie, his four children and five grandchildren. A private funeral was planned, the family said.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere condolences to all John's family and friends on their sad loss.

Your work is loved by so many of us and your legacy will live on for generations to come.

Thank you for the music, sir.

Editor's note:
For more posts about John Barry on From Sweden with Love, click here.

Image below:
Portrait of music maestro John Barry (1933-2011). © Terry O'Neill. All rights reserved.

Read more about John Barry and his work on the best website dedicated to him:



27 NOVEMBER 2010

Never Say Never Again director Irvin Kershner has passed away.

Irvin Kershner - the man who gave us some of the most indelible moments in cinema history with The Empire Strikes Back (1980) - has died. He was 87.

Kersh, as he was fondly known, died at his home following a long illness.

He was, of course, best known for directing The Empire Strikes Back, arguably the greatest chapter in the Star Wars saga (and which celebrates its thirtieth anniversary this year). But Kershner also made contributions to other franchises, directing RoboCop 2 and Sean Connery's last appearance as James Bond in the 'unofficial' 007 flick, Never Say Never Again (1983).

Having fought in World War II, Kershner began his career by teaching film at the University of Southern California, but quickly made the move behind the camera via a detour as a stills photographer and TV director, calling the shots on Stakeout On Dope Street in 1958.

A decent career followed, in which he directed the likes of Sean Connery in A Fine Madness, Richard Harris in The Return Of A Man Called Horse, and Faye Dunaway in 1978's Eyes Of Laura Mars (based on John Carpenter's screenplay).

It was this movie that persuaded George Lucas, looking for someone to take the reins on his Star Wars sequel, to approach Kershner to direct The Empire Strikes Back. The rest is movie history: Kershner's no-frills storytelling style, coupled with a strong script and an imaginative visual pallet, gave Empire a gravitas that marked it out as an instant classic.

Kershner only directed twice more on film, with Never Say Never Again and Robocop 2, but he also made a habit of appearing in films, showing up in Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation Of Christ and, of all places, Steven Seagal's On Deadly Ground.

His last contribution to film was a cameo as Statistics Professor in the 2005 film, Berkeley - but Kershner's unmistakeable contribution to film history had already been made. For Yoda, for Vader telling Luke, "I am your father", for Cloud City, for Lando, for the battle of Hoth, for the asteroid field chase, for Boba Fett, for Lobot, for Wampas, for Tauntauns, for "I thought they smelt bad... on the outside!", for "I love you"/"I know", for Chewie screaming in pain as Han is frozen in carbonite, and for the Empire striking back, we'll never forget the legendary Irvin Kershner. Rest in peace, Kersh.

Editor's note:
For other James Bond directors presented on From Sweden with Love, click here.

Read more about Irvin Kershner and his career on IMDB:



31 JULY 2010

The Bond world mourns the death of Tom Mankiewicz, screenwriter for both James Bond - Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Live and Let Die (1973) and The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) - and Superman films, aged 68.

Mankiewicz, who received a controversial credit for rewriting Superman (1978) and its 1980 sequel, died at his home in Los Angeles after a brief illness, according to John Mankiewicz, his cousin.

Three months ago, Tom had undergone the Whipple operation, which is used to treat pancreatic cancer.

About Tom Mankiewicz
Thomas Frank Mankiewicz was born June 1, 1942, in Los Angeles and grew up in New York. His mother was the former Rosa Stradner, an Austrian-born actress.

He was 7 when his father won writing and directing Oscars for "A Letter to Three Wives" and later recalled that "he always wanted to be in the business."

Mankiewicz majored in drama at Yale University and graduated in 1963.

For his first film credit, he went with Thomas F. Mankiewicz but decided it was too pompous and shortened it to Tom Mankiewicz, he later said.

The script doctor 'created personalities, emotion and life' and gave the characters 'a wonderful sense of humor,' recalls 'Superman' director Richard Donner.

Tom Mankiewicz admitted to feeling intimidated by his Oscar-winning family and said it took him a while before he felt sure he was getting hired based on his own merits.

Tom Mankiewicz, a screenwriter and premier script doctor who made his reputation working on such James Bond films as , has died. He was 68.

As a second-generation member of the Mankiewicz movie clan, he had often admitted he was intimidated by his family and its reputation. His father, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, the Oscar-winning writer and director of the 1950 film "All About Eve," was one of the most celebrated filmmakers of his era. His uncle, Herman J. Mankiewicz, co-wrote "Citizen Kane" (1941) with Orson Welles.

Trying to distance himself from his father in New York, Tom Mankiewicz headed for Hollywood in the early 1960s. Later, he said his last name made his journey both easier and harder — his phone calls were returned, but he worried that he got work because he was his father's son.

"So it took a while, until you suddenly started to realize that people were asking you because it was you," Mankiewicz told the Washington Post in 1985.

In 1970, Mankiewicz was hired to rewrite the script for Diamonds Are Forever, the seventh film in the long-running series based on Ian Fleming's fictional spy James Bond.

In the Bond saga, Mankiewicz also polished The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979) (1979).

Known for a light and breezy writing style, Mankiewicz once said he had endured snickers for his association with the sexy Bond films. He told the Miami Herald in 1987: "I don't apologize for entertaining people."

Between Bond movies, he wrote and produced Mother, Jugs & Speed (1976), working with director Peter Yates, who called on him to rewrite The Deep (1977).

His most celebrated script doctoring may have been on Superman, which starred Christopher Reeve. Director Richard Donner brought him in to rewrite the impossibly long script, and Mankiewicz stayed with the project for more than a year.

Donner called him a "creative consultant," and Mankiewicz's name appeared onscreen after the original writers.

"The Writers Guild didn't want to give him a credit, but he definitely deserved a credit," Donner told The Times. "I probably wouldn't have made the movie if Tom hadn't come on to rewrite it."

"He brought a sense of reality to this comic book world," Donner said. "He created personalities, emotion and life" and gave the characters "a wonderful sense of humor. He did that in just about everything he did."

Donner also directed Ladyhawke (1985), for which Mankiewicz also received a screenwriting credit.

"He was one of the most enlightening characters that ever lived," Donner said. "He had an incredible, retentive mind.… He was one of the great storytellers of our industry."

Mankiewicz's nearly 20 writing credits include the screenplay for The Eagle Has Landed (1976). He co-wrote and directed the pilot for the ABC-TV series Hart to Hart (1979-1984) and continued to have a hand in the series during its run.

In 1987, Mankiewicz debuted as a movie director with Dragnet, which starred Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd.

Sheila Benson, then The Times' film critic, observed in her review that "there's real affection for the old show knocking around in this car-chase disaster movie."

He also wrote the book for the musical version of "Georgy Girl," which opened on Broadway in 1970. During its three-day run, "Bond" producer Albert R. Broccoli (1909-1996) had been in the audience, looking for a rewrite man.

For years, Mankiewicz maintained a home in Kenya. He also owned thoroughbred racehorses and was chairman of the board of trustees of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Assn.

His family was "quite close" but not necessarily "normal," he told The Times in 1987. "Our idea of affection isn't so much hugging each other as caressing each other with one-liners."

Since 2006, Mankiewicz had taught filmmaking to graduate students at Chapman University in Orange.

Most days, he ate lunch at the Palm in West Hollywood.

His father died at 83 in 1993.

Mankiewicz is survived by his brother Christopher, a producer and actor; his sister Alexandra; and his stepmother, Rosemary Mankiewicz.

Other obituaries of Tom Mankiewicz:
>LA Times (3-8-2010)
>NY Times (3-8-2010)
>The Independent (5-8-2010)
>The Guardian (4-8-2010)

Photo above:
Tom Mankiewicz (center), age 11, and family in 1953, the year his father, Joe (right), filmed "The Barefoot Contessa." From the private collection of Tom Mankiewicz.

Read more about Tom Mankiewicz ' film career on IMDB:



13 JULY 2010

We are very sad to announce the death of veteran British cinematographer Alan Hume.

For those of you who were lucky to meet Alan at one of Bondstars events will agree he was a kind, gentle and generous man retelling countless stories and anecdotes from his incredible career. Our thoughts are with Sheila and the rest of the Hume family, he will very much missed by us all.

Alan began his career as a clapper loader and focus puller at Alexander Korda’s Denham Studios; where he worked extensively with David Lean.

Fast progressing to camera operator, Alan worked on dozens of films including Dance Little Lady (1954) for Val Guest, Three Men in a Boat (1956) for Ken Annakin and The Green Man (1956) for Robert Day. He then began a very long and successful partnership with director Gerald Thomas and the Carry On films.

Starting on the very first – Carry On Sergeant (1958) as operator – Alan progressed to Director Of Photography and lensed the last in the series in 1992.

In 1976, John Glen invited Alan to work with him on the second unit of The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and the amazing ski-jump that graces the pre-titles sequence. This lead to Alan being invited to ‘light’ John Glen directorial debut, For Your Eyes Only (1981).

Alan ‘lit’ two more Bond films – Octopussy (1983) (1983) and A View to a Kill (1985), both with Roger Moore as 007.

He was also Director Of Photography on Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi (1983), A Fish Called Wanda (1988), Shirley Valentine (1989) and a number of films with director Kevin Connor including From Beyond the Grave (1974) and Warlords Of Atlantis (1978).

Alan worked on more than 200 films and tv series. In 2004 he published his autobiography:
A Life Through the Lens: Memoirs of a Film Cameraman.

Read more about Alan Hume's film career on IMDB:



13 JUNE 2010

Jimmy Ray Dean, singer and actor, most famous for his role as Willard Whyte in Diamonds Are Forever (1971), passed away.

During the winter of 1961-62, British record-buyers indulged themselves in one of their periodic flirtations with American country music. But as Leroy van Dyke's Walk On By, Don Gibson's Sea of Heartbreak and Jim Reeves's You're the Only Good Thing – conventional country songs of deception, desertion and devotion – cantered into the charts, they were overtaken at a gallop by Jimmy Dean's Big Bad John.

Dean, who has died aged 81, wrote the piece as a dramatic monologue, the heroic story of a coal miner who "stood six foot six and weighed two forty-five" and held up a collapsing roof until his fellows had escaped, but could not save himself. Hammer-rings punctuate the recording, which ends with the epitaph: "At the bottom of this mine lies a big, big man – Big Bad John."

The disc spent nine weeks in the UK charts, six of them in the top 10, and was only just held off the top spot by Elvis Presley's His Latest Flame. In the US, however, it reached No 1 on both country and pop charts, receiving a Grammy award as best country and western recording, and instigating a series of parodies such as Phil McLean's Small Sad Sam (of the same year). It would be Dean's biggest hit, though he followed it with the recitation Dear Ivan, addressed to another "plain, ordinary human being" in the USSR, and the song PT-109, based on John F Kennedy's experiences during the second world war. But Dean's career did not depend on recordings. He was one of country music's earliest television stars.

He was raised in what he called dirt-poor surroundings in the small west Texas town of Seth Ward, near Plainview. (Curiously, an earlier country singer named Jimmie Dean came from nearby Lubbock.) After leaving the armed forces in 1948, Dean began to make his name as a country singer around Washington DC, then a nexus of country music activity, thanks in part to the promoter Connie B Gay. In 1953 he had a regional hit with Bummin' Around, for the independent label 4 Star.

He secured a spot on radio at WARL in Arlington, Virginia, then, from 1960, on television, hosted the show Town & Country Jamboree, which was quite widely syndicated. An attempt at a network show was frustrated by lack of sponsors, but a few years later ABC's The Jimmy Dean Show was playing in millions of homes, and country music infiltrated middle America, thanks to what has been described as the "cornflake charm" of its youthful host.

He took his pleasant looks into TV drama, too, playing Fess Parker's sidekick in the popular series Daniel Boone, and appearing in some episodes of Fantasy Island. In 1971 he took the part of the millionaire recluse Willard Whyte in the Bond film Diamonds Are Forever. By then, he had more or less retired from the music business. He had a final No 1 record in 1965, The First Thing Ev'ry Morning (And The Last Thing Ev'ry Night), then in 1968 he founded the Jimmy Dean Meat Company. Many Americans will remember him less as a rural recitalist than as the Sausage King of TV ads.

In the 1970s he made occasional returns to record-making, cutting Slowly, a duet with Dottie West, in 1971, and in 1976 the recitation IOU, a tribute to his mother, sporadically reissued around Mother's Day. He was frequently called upon to deputise for talkshow hosts such as Johnny Carson and Merv Griffin, and he continued to promote his sausages on TV, even after selling the company, but by 2004 the new owners judged him too old to be the public face of the product. That year he published his autobiography, Thirty Years of Sausage, Fifty Years of Ham.

He is survived by his wife, Donna, and by three children from an earlier marriage.

Obituary written by Tony Russell for The Guradian on June 16, 2010:



27 JANUARY 2010

We are very sad to announce the sudden death of our dear friend Martin Grace (stuntman for Roger Moore in several of his films). Our thoughts and prayers are with Martin's family.

Apparently after suffering a cycling accident in late November, Martin fractured his pelvis and was hospitalised for some weeks. This week he was taken from his home in Spain to hospital again after developing breathing problems. He died after suffering an aneurism.

Martin was an accomplished stunt performer and stunt coordinator working close with Roger Moore acting as his stunt double through most of his Bond films. For the full story, read an interview with Martin Grace that was exclusively published on Roger Moore's official website.

"He will be missed terribly by many friends. When they had him double me [as Jaws in Moonraker (1979)] they used little Dickie Grayson to double Roger and the scale was the same. Martin had a wonderful personality and was easy to work with, yet a consummate stuntman." - Richard Kiel

Martin Grace obituary:
Kilkenny's very own James Bond - Grace, Martin Grace (born at The Wood, Lisdowney, Ireland) - the man who brought action movies to life with death defying stunts, died on January 27, 2010, at the age of 67.

A Hollywood superstar, his bravery and skills adorned Bond movies, Indiana Jones and numerous classic war films from Escape to Athena to the Wild Geese.

Martin passed away in Spain from an aneurysm, and he had just recovered from a cycling accident in Spain last November. His remains will be returned to the place of his birth, and burial will be in the family grave in Freshford around mid-February. Details will be announced later, but it is likely to be the weekend of Friday, February 19.

Bond actor Roger Moore described him as the bravest man he ever knew – and with very good reason.

It was Martin who lept from the Mercesdes 250 to the speeding train in Octopussy (1983) (1983) – a feat which almost cost him his life and his role as Roger Moore's double thirlled audience in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and A View to a Kill (1985).

Martin was born on September 12, 1942, and attended Scoil Bhrid, Lisdowney from 1947. Even from an early age his strength and athleticism was very much evident and he was a talented young hurler. He played for Lisdowney school in the 1955 final, and was more successful the following year in 1956 when he won the St Kierans school league. He attended secondary school at Kilkenny vocational school, and having viewed an action movie in a tent thanks to a travelling cinema, he was determined to make it to the big screen.

He emigrated to London, and went to acting school - the Mounview Academy of Theatre Arts and joined the Red Coats in Butlins.

His talents were soon spotted, but first for the small screen. He was the man who stole the girl in the Cadbury's Milk Tray advertisement – the helicopter, climbing in to the apartment, and delicately placing a box of chocolates on a bedside table – all because the lady loved Cadburys Milk Tray.

His first film credit was in the sci-fi classic, Dr. Who and the Daleks in 1965 and his career simply exploded – literally. He took up roles in films from Robinson Crusoe's Treasure Island to the aforementioned Wild Geese before specialising in stunt work. The Bond movies began in 1966, working on six of them and also the Indianna Jones series of the 1980s were to benefit from his daring talents. Such was the respect he was held in the movie industry, Martin became a stunt consultant. He worked all over the world, and did three classic films in Ireland – the medieval masterpiece King Arthur, the multiple oscar-winning Saving Private Ryan and here in Kilkenny was the stunt co-oridnator for 'A Circle of Friends'.

One of the classic movies from the 1990s to feature Martin was Patriot Games.

He was a regular visitor to Kilkenny and his home place of Lisdowney – thrilling local school kids with his exploits on the film set and finding the time to visit old school mates and neighbours. Indeed in 2006, a project on Martin Grace earned Clontubrid NS a national award.

One of his first teachers, Larry Hamilton described Martin as a real gentleman, "very decent." Larry obviously played a key role in inspiring Martin as they always kept in touch with postcards from every film destination Martin worked in. "Martin Grace just loved people. Anywhere he went he always met the local people, hired the local people, from Fiji to South Africa to Poland, Martin always wanted to meet local people, and to enjoy their company and learn from them."

Martin lived between Spain, England and Los Angeles. He returned at least twice a year to Lisdowney. He loved the spring time, and strolling through the bluebells near The Wood, just next to his home place. He was also a keen hurling fan and was in Croke Park for Kilkenny's four in a row triumph. "He could have made it as a hurler," said Larry " He was very athletic, strong and had style. He loved weightlifting and I suppose body building was what he really got in to as a sport."

Around the world such stars as Harrison Ford, Anthony Hopkins, Pierce Brosnan and Roger Moore will remember and pay their respects to Martin Grace. His funeral in Freshford could very well be a real gathering of film greats.

But to the people of the Lisdowney and Freshford areas, Martin will be remembered as one of their own – a modest gentleman who became a star, lived the life of every young boys dream and never forget where he came from.

Martin has one surviving immediate relative in the county, Paddy. He is also survived by his daughter Donna, a doctor in England.

Obituary above from Kilkenny People, published on February 2, 2010.

Other obituaries of Martin Grace:
>The Sunday Times
>The Telegraph
>The Independent

Roger Moore's webmaster Marie-France Vienne has designed a website as a tribute to Martin:



10 JULY 2009

Zena Marshall sadly passed away today. She was always a very classy and elegant lady but also a lot of fun and she will be very much missed by ourselves and her colleagues.

Zena Marshall was born in Nairobi, Kenya, and made her film debut in London in the same film Roger Moore made his – Gabriel Pascal’s Caesar And Cleopatra in 1945.

Many film roles ensued, including Miranda, Good Time Girl, The Lost People, Helter Skelter, So Long At The Fair (with Dirk Bogarde), Morning Departure, Three Cases Of Murder, Crosstrap and then, in 1962, played the part of Miss Taro in Dr No opposite Sean Connery – and conspired to send 007 to a cliff-top death, all too soon.

Zena’s subsequent film roles include The Switch and Those Magbnificent Men In Their Flying Machines.

Along with stage work, she has also punctuated her film career with work on classic tv series such as Danger Man and The Invisible Man.

Over forty-years on however, it is for her role in Dr No that she remains best remembered!

Visit Bondstars to purchase official Zena Marshall merchandise:



28 FEBRUARY 2009

Martin Benson, the English actor who played as Mr Solo in Goldfinger (1964) has passed away.

If Erich von Stroheim had not got in first, the sobriquet “the man you love to hate” would justifiably have been applied to Martin Benson, a virtual mail-order villain. From the world of James Bond to appearing in the Danger Man television series, Benson was on hand to provide the right number of shudders down the spines of audiences.

He had his more benign moments, like the time he played the Vizier to the King of Siam in the musical The King and I. But there was a seriousness in what he did that gave him a degree of gravitas. More than 100 film and TV performances proved the point.

His face said it all: handsome in a sort of ugly way. His dark hair, his piercing eyes and his sharp nose made him the sort of man you might not wish to meet on a dark night. When asked why he usually played villains, he said that they were more interesting. “What most I enjoy,” he would recall, “is playing a villain with an extra dimension, which could equally have applied to the hero. This is so you are not sure which he is. The test is whether the character’s name is better remembered than the actor’s.”

Martin Benson was born in London, the son of Jewish immigrants, in 1918. He often said that one of his proudest possessions was a cigarette box with the inscription dedicated to his shopkeeper father, “Presented to Samuel Benson by Tottenham and Edmonton Hebrew Congregation”. The older Benson would always close his shop on the eve of the Sabbath on Friday evenings.

It was a legacy that stayed with his son throughout his life. Even in extreme old age, Martin Benson would attend his synagogue, at Radlett in Hertfordshire, and sometimes take part in the service, reading a portion from the Book of Prophets.

As a boy, he had ambitions to be a pharmacist, which was why, when he left the Army — he had gone all the way from Dunkirk to serving at GHQ in Cairo in 1946 — he was a somewhat elderly apprentice at Boots, the chemists. But it wasn’t really what he wanted to do. His Army experience had already demonstrated his interest in the stage. In Alexandria he converted an empty building into a theatre and, with no training as an actor, started up his own repertory company.

At heart, he knew that acting was what would really satisfy him in civilian life. In the Reform Synagogue of Great Britain’s magazine Manna he told the story of how it all began:

“Uncle Isaac asked what I am going to do. ‘I’m going to be an actor,’ I said. ‘So show me,’ he said. ‘Act’. ”

So he acted. From an appearance as Count Mikla in The Blind Goddess in 1948 when he was 30 to an episode of Casualty at the age of 87 in 2005, he never really stopped.

His roles seemed to indicate typecasting — if in two different spheres, specialising in villains but also playing stock Jewish characters, such as Rudy Goldspink in Casualty or Goldberg in a 1984 television version of the Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer melodrama set in prewar Paris, Arch of Triumph.

As a villain he was more easily characterised. From the time he made Assassin for Hire in 1951, his mark was made. It was firmly confirmed as his territory when he appeared in 1964 as the arch villain Solo in the James Bond movie Goldfinger. It was a year later that he had what was probably his biggest break, playing a man who was not as villainous as he looked, Kralahome, the Vizier in the film version of The King and I. That was perhaps another stock character for him, the good man who was so stern that audiences were not supposed to know it. He had played the same part in the stage production at Drury Lane.

Plainly Yul Brynner didn’t know much about him. As Benson said, there was no off-duty socialising for the bare-chested star. When Brynner was starring in a reprise of the stage show in London, Benson went round to see him in his dressing room and found two strong-armed bouncers on hand to bar the way.

His talent was to make his mark in frequently small roles in movies and TV programmes. He played a Christian Brother in Angela’s Ashes (1999) and a vicar in The Last of the Summer Wine on TV. He was Abu-Jahal in Mohammed, Messenger of God, in 1976 and Mohammed in Sphinx in 1981.

More notable were Exodus in 1960, in which he was Mordekai; Ramos in Cleopatra in 1963; Mr Montero in The Sea Wolves (1980), starring Gregory Peck, David Niven and Roger Moore; The Omen in 1976 and with Peter Sellers in A Shot in the Dark in 1964.

His television roles included parts in Richard the Lionheart, Douglas Fairbanks Presents and, most notably, as the Vogan Captain in the 1981 television series The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Benson had his own film production house at Radlett. He once said: “In my thirties I thought I could do anything in films. I wrote a book on film acting when I barely knew the left of the camera from the right. This prompted some fledgeling actors to apply to me for training. I don’t think they suffered any harm and some went on to greater things.”

He also made documentaries and was a film critic for a time.

Away from the screen he painted, often portraits of actors, and exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and had several one-man shows.

He is survived by his wife, Joy, three daughters, a son, two stepdaughters and one stepson.

Martin Benson, actor, was born on August 10, 1918. He died on February 28, 2010, aged 91.

Visit Bondstars to purchase official Martin Benson merchandise:



29 APRIL 2008

Julie Ege, former Miss Norway and one-time Bond girl who monopolised the role of the exotic seductress in British comedies in the 1970s, has passed away. Our thoughts and prayers goes to Julie's family.

After serving as a Bond girl in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), Julie Ege briefly became a leading figure in British cinema, monopolising the role of exotic, seductress in the low-brow comedies that were a staple of the time.

She was able to draw on personal experience to play Marty Feldman’s Scandinavian au pair in Every Home Should Have One (1970) and appeared as the aptly-name Voluptua in the film version of Up Pompeii (1971) with Frankie Howerd.

In comedies with contemporary British settings, Ege was presented as a sophisticated and liberated temptress, often in contrast to the dowdy local womenfolk. Her sophistication embraced a willingness to undress for the cameras at every opportunity, both on screen and in magazines.

She was given the title of “new sex symbol of the seventies” and Hammer hoped that a role as a sexy cavewoman in Creatures the World Forgot (1971) would do for Ege what One Million Years BC (1966) had done for Raquel Welch, turning her into a screen icon, but the film flopped. She continued in comedies and also in horror films for several more years, before giving up acting and becoming a nurse in her native Norway.

Born Julie Dzuli in the coastal town of Sandnes, in 1943, Ege began modelling in her teens. After a brief, early marriage to a farmer, she moved to Oslo, won the Miss Norway contest, worked as an au pair in England, returned to modelling in Oslo and made her film debut with a small role in a Norwegian film called The Sky and the Ocean in 1967.

Her second husband encouraged her to pose naked for Penthouse magazine, which apparently helped secure her a role of one of the girls at the centre of Blofeld’s experiments in OHMSS, but it was Every Home Should Have One that really catapulted her to stardom in Britain.

“Once the film opened all the newspapers carried a photo of me with the captions ‘Every home should have one’,” she told one interviewer. ”I was famous overnight.” In the first half of the 1970s she seemed ubiquitous in British big-screen comedies.

She was in The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins (1971), Rentadick (1972), Not Now Darling (1973), Percy’s Progress (1974) and The Amorous Milkman (1975). Such was her fame at the time that she was one of the celebrities playing themselves in The Alf Garnett Saga (1972), along with George Best and Max Bygraves. She was the girl of Alf’s dreams.

“I ran from one film to the other without even knowing what the whole film was about,” she said. However she still found time to make several horror films as well. The comedies have been reassessed to some extent by younger and more open-minded critics, but the horror films have an even more passionate following.

She returned to Hammer for Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires (1974), which co-starred Peter Cushing and shot in Hong Kong, but again did disappointing business. Her most notable horror film is probably Jack Cardiff’s The Mutations (1974), in which Donald Pleasence played a scientist who crosses humans with plants.

Back in Norway she appeared in several stage productions, including The Rocky Horror Show, before giving up acting. She trained as a nurse, which she claimed was a much more satisfying career.

Julie Ege died on April 29, 2008, aged 64. She is survived by two children.

Read more about Julie Ege and her film career on IMDB:



18 NOVEMBER 2007

We are saddened to report Golda Offenheim has passed away after a short illness in hospital. Our thoughts now goes to her family and friends.

Golda attended several of Bondstars events and was always eager to chat with Bond fans and shared their enthusiasm.

Offenheim started work in the production office for From Russia With Love (1963) and parted company with 007 after serving as location manager on The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).

Other notable films that Golda Offenheim worked on during her career include The Guns of Navarone (1961), Fiddler on the Roof (1971) starring Topol who played Columbo in the 1981 Bond film For Your Eyes Only, Rollerball (1975) co-starring Swedish Bond girl Maud Adams (other Bond personalities on that film were Burt Kwouk, John Richardson, Julie Harris, Richard LeParmentier and Shane Rimmer), Flash Gordon (1980) with Bond alumni Max von Sydow, Topol & Timothy Dalton, as well as the 1984 film Dune.

Her last film was Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004).

Read more about Golda Offenheim and her career on IMDB:




Lois Maxwell, legendary actress from the James Bond film series and long-time friend with Roger Moore (they studied together at RADA), passed away at Fremantle Hospital, Western Australia, after suffering from cancer.

"Lois was always fun and she was wonderful to be with. She was wonderful, absolutely perfect casting. It was a great pity that, after I moved out of Bond, they didn't take her on to continue in the Timothy Dalton films. I think it was a great disappointment to her that she had not been promoted to play M. She would have been a wonderful M." - Roger Moore

Lois Maxwell obituary:
Born Lois Hooker in Kitchener, Ontario on 14 February 1927, she would become best known around the world as Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond series, and a Golden Globe winning Canadian actress.

By the late 1940s, Lois Maxwell attempted to make a name for herself as an actress, but she started out against her parents will - and without their knowledge in a Canadian children's radio program - credited as "Robin Wells".

Before the age of 15 she left for England with The Canadian Army's Entertainment Corps and managed (after her age had been discovered) to get herself enrolled in The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where she met and became friends with Roger Moore in 1944.

She landed her fist her big screen role in "A Matter of Life and Death" (1946) in which she made her debut uncredited, and won the Golden Globe Award as "Best Newcomer" for her role in the Shirley Temple comedy "That Hagen Girl" the following year. She appeared in six Hollywood pictures before trying her luck in Italy.

Maxwell moved back to England in mid-1950s and married Peter Churchill Marriott in 1957.

She appeared in many other television series and movies both in Britain and Canada, and was the star of "Adventures in Rainbow Country" in the late 1960s. She lived in Espanola, Ontario for 18 years, near where the series was filmed.

As well as her film career, she participated in a Life Magazine photo layout in which she posed with another up-and-coming actress named Marilyn Monroe. She also appeared in "Bedtime for Bonzo" with Ronald Reagan, whom she declared (in an interview with Hello! magazine) she had found very handsome and attractive.

On television, she guest starred in episodes of "The Saint" and "The Persuaders!" which both starred Roger Moore, who would go on to play 007 opposite Maxwell a decade later. She also provided the voice of Atlanta for the science fiction children's series Stingray in 1963. Her early feature films included "Kill Me Tomorrow" (1957), and the controversial "Lolita" (1962) before her breakthrough in popular culture came when she landed the role of Miss Moneypenny in the first James Bond film Dr. No (1962).

In a 2005 interview, Maxwell explained how it happened. "I had a husband who was desperately ill, with two small children and no money", she said, "so I called producers I had worked with before and said 'help me'". Bond director Terrence Young was one of those people, and offered her two possible roles.

"If you you don't put my hair in a bun and horn rimmed glasses on me allow me to give her a background - I would like to play Miss Moneypenny". She got her way and a Bond career was born.

Starring in fourteen consecutive James Bond movies from Dr No (1962) through to A View to a Kill (1985), many fans credit her as the definitive Miss Moneypenny.

She also portrayed Moneypenny in a 1967 made-for-television special (produced by EON Productions) entitled "Welcome to Japan, Mr. Bond" in which she attempts to discover the identity of a woman who aims to marry James Bond. This rarely seen appearance is now available on the You Only Live Twice Ultimate Edition DVD.

Of all the fourteen Bond outings she appeared in, Maxwell claimed her favourite was George Lazenby's sole outing. "Strangely enough, On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)"

"I think it's the best film, I mean I think it's an excellent film. Had it not been a Bond film, had it just been a film, it would've been a fabulous film".

She was succeeded in the role by Caroline Bliss (The Living Daylights 1987 to Licence to Kill 1989) and later Samantha Bond (GoldenEye 1995 to Die Another Day 2002). Casino Royale (2006) is the first Bond film not to feature Miss Moneypenny.

After bowing out of the series along with Roger Moore in 1985, she later suggested to producers that she could take over as M, but was reportedly told that the series "would never feature a female M". A few years later, Dame Judi Dench was cast as M. Only Desmond Llewelyn, who played Q seventeen times before his death in 1999, starred in more Bond films than Maxwell.

After her husband passed away in 1973, she also became a regular columnist for the Toronto Sun newspaper whilst acting in the Bond series during the 1980s.

She purchased a cottage in northern Ontario and would often share stories about her experiences on the movie set, her co-stars, life in Italy, her experiences growing up in Canada and about her present life in general - as well as commenting on topics of the day.

Maxwell retired from acting in 1989 and moved from England to Perth, Western Australia, and then later moved closer to her son in Fremantle, Western Australia after she suffered health scare in 2001. She came out of retirement twice: for the TV production "Hard To Forget" (1998), and the 2001 feature film "The Fourth Angel".

Lois is survived by her two children.

For more information about Lois Maxwell, check out her profile on IMDB:



3 AUGUST 2007

James Bond continuation novelist and thriller writer John Gardner has passed away at age 80. He died on Friday 3rd August 2007 from suspected heart failure. Gardner collapsed at his home in Basingstoke, and thinking he had fainted, called his daughter Alexis. He took a turn for the worse and was rushed to hospital where he later died.

John Gardner was born in Northumbria on November 20, 1926. He graduated from St. John's College, Cambridge and did postgraduate study at Oxford. Gardner volunteered for service in the Royal Marines during World War II, became a stage magician and served briefly with the American Red Cross.

Gardner's father was a clergyman in the Church of England and encouraged him to follow his example. Gardner was ordained and served as a priest in Eversham for seven years and then became a chaplain to the Royal Air Force, before taking the rare step of ceasing to be ordained and withdrawing from the clergy.

He then worked as a journalist and theatre critic for The Herald from 1959 to 1964, chronicling the years when Sir Peter Hall was reorganising the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon. It was another year until the ultimate climax of his alcoholism. He managed to overcome his addiction through a combination of aversion therapy and hypnosis, and was proud that he hadn't drunk a drop since. Gardner also lectured in Shakespearean production in Canada and the United States.

In 1964, Gardner began his novelist career with "The Liquidator", in which he created a richly comic character named Boysie Oakes who inadvertently is mistaken to be a tough, pitiless man of action and is thereupon recruited into a British spy agency.

Oakes is, in actuality, a devout coward with many other character failings who wants nothing more than to be left alone and is terrified by the situations into which he is constantly being forced. The book appeared at the height of the fictional spy mania and as a send-up of the whole business was an immediate success. It was made into a movie, and another seven light-hearted novels about the cowardly Oakes appeared over the next 12 years.

Following the success of his Oakes books, Gardner continued to write with new characters; Derek Torry, Herbie Kruger, and the Railton family, which he intended as more serious works in the spy novel genre.

Gardner also wrote three novels (the third of which was never released due to a dispute with the publisher) using the character of Professor Moriarty from the Sherlock Holmes series. During this period, Gardner made his home in the Republic of Ireland - a location which would feature in his books.

In 1981, Gardner was the first on a list of six potential authors approached by Glidrose Publications (now Ian Fleming Publications) to revive Ian Fleming's James Bond series of novels. His initial reaction was to turn down the offer, but his refusal letter was never mailed and Gardner had a change of heart. Between 1981 and 1996, he wrote fourteen James Bond novels and two film novelisations. While the books were commercial successes, Gardner was sometimes ambivalent about writing novels with a character he hadn't created.

During his tenure as James Bond novelist, Gardner lived in the USA for nine years where he was diagnosed with cancer. The costs of private healthcare proved a tremendous burden. After penning his fourteenth 007 adventure "Cold" and a second film novelisation "GoldenEye", Gardner officially retired from writing Bond novels in 1996 due to his prolonged battle with cancer. Glidrose Publications chose Raymond Benson to continue the literary stories of James Bond.

All John Gardner's James Bond novels featured on From Sweden with Love:
>Licence Renewed (first published in 1981)
>For Special Services (1982)
>Icebreaker (1983)
>Role Of Honour (1984)
>Nobody lives forever (1986)
>No Deals, Mr. Bond (1987)
>Scorpius (1988)
>Win, Lose Or Die (1989)
>Brokenclaw (1990)
>Licence to Kill (1990)
>The Man From Barbarossa (1991)
>Death is Forever (1992)
>Never Send Flowers (1993)
>Seafire (1994)
>Cold (1996)
>GoldenEye (1996)

Shortly thereafter, his first wife of 45 years, Margaret, passed away in 1997 having suffered illness she concealed from him during his cancer treatment. Gardner moved back to the UK and stopped writing for several years, but recovered and returned to print in 2001 with a new novel, "Day of Absolution", which was widely praised by critics.

Gardner also began a series of books with a new character, Suzie Mountford, a 1930's police detective. It was this fictional creation that reconnected him to his university sweetheart, Patricia, who split from in 1949. Gardner had used her maiden name for his latest character. The couple got engaged for a second time in 2004. His last published work was "Troubled Midnight", the fourth book in the Suzie Mountford series. The fifth, "No Human Enemy", is scheduled to be published posthumously on 27th August 2007.

"It started when I was eight. I announced that I wanted to be a writer so my Father gave me a notebook and some pencils that he'd probably liberated from the school where he was chaplain. I took them up to bed. The story goes that he came up an hour later and found me fast asleep while the notebook was still virgin white except for the first page on which I had written – The Complete Works of John Gardner."

John Gardner will be fondly remembered by Patricia, his two daughters and a son (with Margaret), and fans everywhere who have enjoyed his many published works including the James Bond continuation novels.

Visit John Gardner's official website for more information about the great man's career:



7 APRIL 2007

Barry Nelson, the first actor to play James Bond in the 1954 production of Casino Royale, has died aged 89.

Barry Nelson, an MGM contract player during the 1940's who later had a prolific theater career, was the first actor to play James Bond on screen. Nelson died on April 7th 2007 while traveling in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, along with his wife, Nansi Nelson. The cause of death was not immediately known according to his wife. Nelson is survived by his wife. He did not have any children.

Contrary to popular belief, the honour of being the first actor to play James Bond fell not on Sean Connery, but on American Barry Nelson, who starred in a live one-hour production of Ian Fleming's Casino Royale.

The broadcast on 21st October 1954 was the first in CBS 'Climax' series of dramas. CBS brought the rights for Fleming's first book for 1,000 USD. Nelson played James Bond as an American named "card sense" Jimmy Bond. The program also featured Peter Lorre as the primary villain.

Originally broadcast live, the production was believed lost to time until a kinescope emerged in the 1980's. It was subsequently released to home video, and is currently available on DVD as a bonus feature with the 1967 film adaptation of the novel.

During production Nelson was unaware of the fact that the character of Bond was an Englishman. In an exclusive interview with Cinema Retro in 2004, he said:

“At that time, no one had ever heard of James Bond - I was scratching my head wondering how to play it. I hadn’t read the book or anything like that because it wasn’t well known. The worst part of it was that I learned it was to be done live. I thought I was finished with live t.v. I was trying to get out of it, actually".

Fleming's novel had only just been published in America six months before the TV production (it was first published on 13th April 1953 in the UK), and the screenplay was developed late on. “They were making changes up to the last minute. There was nothing you could do if anything went wrong”, Nelson said.

Whilst he enjoyed acting opposite Peter Lorre (Le Chiffre) and Linda Christian (Vesper Lynd), he was frustrated by the fact that time constraints had eliminated any background information about the character of Bond. Nelson recalled “I was very conscious of the fact that there wasn’t much to go on. It was too superficial.”

The TV version of “Casino Royale” made little impact on audiences or critics and was largely dismissed as just another “run of the mill” edition of “Climax!”. Over the next few years, however, Fleming’s Bond novels began to grow in popularity and by the early 1960’s they had established an enthusiastic following throughout the world.

Since then the rights have gone via Charles Feldman's spoof of 1967 to Eon Productions, who picked them up in early 2000 and later produced the first 'official' movie based on the story with Daniel Craig as 007 in 2006.

Nelson was born Robert Haakon Nielsen in San Francisco, California on April 16th 1917. He began acting in school at age of fifteen, playing an 80 year old man. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1941 and, because of his theatrical efforts in school, was almost immediately signed to a motion picture contract by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios.

Nelson made his screen debut in the role as Paul Clark in Shadow of the Thin Man (1941) starring William Powell and Myrna Loy, with Donna Reed. He followed that with his role as Lew Rankin in the film noir crime/drama Johnny Eager (1942) starring Robert Taylor and Lana Turner.

During his military service in WWII, Nelson debuted on the Broadway stage in one of the leading roles, Bobby Grills, in Moss Hart's play Winged Victory (1943). His next Broadway appearance was as Peter Sloan in Hart's Light Up the Sky (1948), which was a first-rate success. He also appeared opposite Lauren Bacall in the Abe Burrows comedy Cactus Flower in 1965. Another Broadway role, that of Gus Hammer in The Rat Race (1949), kept Nelson away from the movies again, but after it closed he starred in the dual roles as Chick Graham and Bert Rand in The Man with My Face (1951), which was produced by Ed Gardner of radio fame.

He was the first actor (and, to date, the only American) to play James Bond on screen, in a 1954 adaptation of Ian Fleming's novel Casino Royale on the TV anthology series Climax! (preceding Sean Connery's interpretation in Dr. No by eight years). Nelson's additional television credits include guest appearances on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Ben Casey, The Twilight Zone and Dr. Kildare. He appeared regularly on TV in the 1960s. He was one of the What's My Line? Mystery Guests and later served as a guest panelist on that popular CBS quiz show. Nelson appeared in both the stage and screen versions of Mary, Mary. He was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his role as Dan Connors in The Act (1977) with Liza Minnelli. His final appearance on Broadway was as Julian Marsh in 42nd Street (1986).

Nelson has had two wives, actress Teresa Celli (married February 19, 1951-divorced) and Nansilee Hoy (married November 12, 1992-). Nelson and his second wife divided their time between homes in New York and France. Nelson was often seen publicly at American Civil War Shows across America. He had planned to write a couple of books about his time on stage and in Hollywood.

Selected filmography:
• Shadow of the Thin Man (1941) (MGM)
• Johnny Eager (1942) (MGM)
• Dr. Kildare's Victory (1942) (MGM)
• The Human Comedy (1943) (MGM)
• Bataan (1943) (MGM)
• A Guy Named Joe (1943) (MGM)
• The Man with My Face (1951) (United Artists)
Casino Royale (1954) (CBS)
• Airport (1970) (Universal)
• Pete 'n' Tillie (1972) (Universal)
• The Shining (1980) (Warner Bros.)

Photo above:
Portrait of Barry Nelson taken in August 1953 by Pictorial Parade. © 2007 Getty Images.

For more information about Barry Nelson, check out his profile on IMDB:




The world's most prolific stuntman Roy Alon has passed away after a heart attack.

Roy is well known as being one of the worlds most famous hollywood stuntman. He is in the Guiness Book Of World Records, named as "The Worlds Most Prolific Stuntman" after appearing in more than 1,000 cinema and TV productions. Roy worked on many Hollywood blockbusters including all the Superman films, and most of the James Bond films working with Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan.

Even though Hollywood was constantly calling, Leeds born Alon stayed close to home performing stunts on some of television's best-loved series, including Coronation Street, Heartbeat, A Touch of Frost and Last of the Summer Wine. Mr Alon was highly respected in the film world, giving masterclasses at the British Film Institute and the National Museum of Photography, Film and TV in Bradford, and holding a place in the Hollywood Stuntmen's Hall Of Fame.

He was born in Otley and left school at 14, joining the merchant navy at 15. By the time he was 18, Mr Alon had made eight Atlantic crossings. He went to the then-fledgling Yorkshire Television in 1968, where he managed to talk his way into doing stunts. His first series was Tom Grattan's War, followed by Hadleigh. He became friends with comic Les Dawson over the course of more than 90 TV shows, and Dawson and his team wrote a regular stunt gag into every episode to feature him.

He recently finished work for the movie The Da Vinci Code.

He leaves behind his Wife Anne, and his son & Daughter.

Photo above:
Roy Alon with Swedish action hero Dolph Lundgren during a break while filming Red Scorpion 1988.

Send your condolences to Roy Alon's family via a specially created page:




Geoffrey Keen - mogul oil chief in 'The Troubleshooters' and a prolific actor in professional and authority-figure roles - passed away today.

Geoffrey Ian Knee (Geoffrey Keen), actor: born London 21 August 1916; married first Hazel Terry (marriage dissolved), second Madeleine Howell (marriage dissolved), third Doris Groves (died 1989; one daughter); died Watford, Hertfordshire 3 November 2005.

One of the screen's leading character actors for four decades, Geoffrey Keen was forever typecast as dour authority figures. After 20 years perfecting the type in British films, he landed a starring role on television in Mogul (1965), a topical drama about an oil conglomerate, at a time when drilling was just beginning in the North Sea.

Keen played the shrewd and ruthless Brian Stead, one of the company's bosses, in a 13-part series that gained increasing popularity - and sales to more than 60 countries, as well as many awards - after it was retitled The Troubleshooters (1966-72) and ran for a further 123 episodes. The BBC's initial publicity hailed:

Exciting stories about oilmen and the world they work in. The oilmen are everywhere. They walk in the corridors of power, drill wells in the desert, serve on the motorways. They sustain governments, dominate the Exchange, alter the face of the Earth, and keep most of the human race on the move. Oilmen are prospectors, tearing across rugged country in huge trucks; they also work in offices and have pension schemes. Some are scientists, some politicians, some are engineers, and some are very rich - and every oilman with a major company like the Mogul corporation is a subject of a vast feudal kingdom.

Over seven years, filming took place in glamorous locations as far-flung as Venezuela, Antarctica and New Zealand. Although Keen did some location shooting, he was often stuck at Mogul's head office in London, where he would be seen stepping in and out of his Rolls-Royce.

Stead, a widower who had to battle health problems - including two heart attacks - rose from his position as the company's deputy managing director and director of operations to become managing director, but the actor was frustrated at playing what he considered to be a dictator. So merciless was Stead that Keen's own daughter, Mary, refused to watch her father on television and would sit on the stairs with her hands over her ears. The actor also found the grind of making a weekly programme very hard. "At present, I have no domestic life at all - you have to give yourself completely to a series," he said at the time.

Keen soon switched back to films to play his most enduring screen role, as the Minister of Defence, Sir Frederick Gray, in six James Bond pictures. At the end of the first one, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), set at the Polaris submarine base in Scotland, he is seen peering into an escape pod to discover 007 under the sheets with a naked "Bond girl", Barbara Bach. "Bond, what do you think you're doing?" he asks. "Keeping the British end up, sir," Roger Moore retorts.

The sight of an embarrassed minister occurred several times over the following 10 years, as the dignified, by-the-book, upper-class Sir Frederick wrestled with Bond's playful attitude to his job and refusal to take missions seriously, in Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983), A View to a Kill (1985) and The Living Daylights (1987, in which Timothy Dalton took over as Ian Fleming's secret agent).

Born Geoffrey Knee in London in 1916, he had a difficult childhood. His mother and father, Malcolm - a stage actor also seen in films as doctors, detectives and aristocrats - split up before his birth. (Father and son both changed their surname to Keen by deed poll.)

He and his mother moved to Bristol, where he attended the city's grammar school and worked briefly in a paint factory, before joining the Little Theatre there and spending a year in repertory productions, making his stage début as Trip in Sheridan's The School for Scandal (1932) at the age of 16.

Briefly unsure about acting as a career, Keen started studying at the London School of Economics but left after two months and was awarded a scholarship to Rada, where his father was teaching, and won the prestigious Bancroft Gold Medal (1936).

He then joined the Old Vic Theatre, playing Florizel in The Winter's Tale (1936) and Edgar in King Lear (1936), and continued on stage until fighting with the Royal Army Medical Corps as a corporal during the Second World War and performing with the Stars in Battledress concert party. During that time, he made his film début, directed by the legendary Carol Reed, as a corporal in The New Lot (1943), an army training film that starred Bernard Lee (later to play 007's boss, M, in the Bond films).

After the war, Reed cast Keen in two thrillers, as a soldier in Odd Man Out (starring James Mason, 1947) and a detective in The Fallen Idol (written by Graham Greene and featuring Ralph Richardson, 1948). Once he played an MP in The Third Man (another Reed-Greene collaboration), the actor was on the way to becoming typecast.

"It got around the studios that I only played the type of character who scowled and thumped tables," he explained, adding:

I accepted any role that came my way. This is a tough profession. You can't be too choosy - you may never get another chance.

As a result, he was seen as policemen in The Clouded Yellow (1950), Hunted (1952), Genevieve (1953), Portrait of Alison (1955), The Long Arm (1956), Nowhere to Go (1958), Deadly Record (1959), Horrors of the Black Museum (1959) and Lisa (1962), soldiers of all ranks in Angels One Five(1952), Malta Story (1953), Carrington V.C. (1954) and The Man Who Never Was (1955), the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff in Sink the Bismarck! (1959), a doctor in Storm Over the Nile (1955), priests in Yield to the Night (1956) and Sailor Beware!(1956), a solicitor in A Town Like Alice (1956), headmasters in The Scamp (1957) and Spare the Rod (1961), a prison governor in Beyond This Place (1959), the Prime Minister in No Love for Johnnie (1961), a magistrate in The Cracksman (1963) and a British ambassador in The Rise and Fall of Idi Amin (1980).

So prolific was Keen as a character actor, at the height of British film- making, that in one year, 1956, he appeared in 12 pictures. The following year, he and his father both acted together in Fortune Ii a Woman, playing the Young and Old Abercrombie in the crime drama starring Jack Hawkins.

Keen's starring role on television in Mogul and The Troubleshooters came as British cinema was passing its heyday. He had already acted many character parts on the small screen, including a short run as Detective Superintendent Harvey in Dixon of Dock Green during 1966, and later took the role of Gerald Lang, the managing director of a merchant bank, in The Venturers (1975). But he was less happy acting on television and, by the 1980s, was working little except for in the Bond films. He retired in 1987, after making The Living Daylights.

His first wife was the actress Hazel Terry and his third the actress Doris Groves, who died in 1989.

Geoffrey Keen's obituary was written by Anthony Hayward for Independent, published December 6, 2005.



25 JULY 2005

Alf Joint- legendary stuntman and one of the world’s great ‘high fallers' - passed away today.

Obituary by Patrick Newley:
Alf Joint was Britain’s most famous stuntman. Known as one of the world’s great ‘high fallers’, he starred in the early Milk Tray adverts as the man in black, who jumps off cliffs and swims under boats to secretly deliver his box of chocolates to a glamorous model.

A stunt arranger, fencing master and occasional actor, he performed stunts in a host of blockbusters, including the early Bond films such as Goldfinger (1964) and On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969). He acted as Richard Burton’s double in Where Eagles Dare (1968) and other film credits included Kelly’s Heroes (1976), A Bridge Too Far (1976), Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983) and Supergirl (1983).

He had begun his early career working in television series such as Dangerman and The Avengers but his most daring stunt was arranging and performing the 430 feet climactic plunge (doubling for actor Eric Porter) into the Reichenbach Falls in the last episode of Granada TV’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1985). More recently he was the main stunt arranger for the TV-series London’s Burning.

“Alf knew every trick in the book,” said fellow stuntman Malcolm Treen. “He knew every camera angle that a director should use and how to arrange mayhem and murder at the drop of a hat with economy and safety. He was a good man and for someone in his line of work, a slightly shy and humble person. I feel privileged to have known him because he was the fount of all knowledge about stunts.”

Editor's note:
Alf Joint acted as stunt and special effects consultant on one of the most classic and successful Swedish films, Göta kanal eller Vem drog ur proppen? (1981).

Photo above:
Alf Joint as "Capungo" in Goldfinger (1964).

For more information about Alf Joint, check out his profile on IMDB:



3 JUNE 2005

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Michael Billington (screen tested several times for the role of James Bond) after a long battle with cancer. Our thoughts are with his family.

Mike was an accomplished actor of stage and screen. After beginning his career as a dancer, he swiftly progressed to a number of acclaimed stage roles and tv. He never quite got that one "big break" but far from being resentful or bitter, he was one of the happiest, most easy going people you could ever hope to meet.

Mike was a great friend of ours and those who knew and worked with him, will miss him greatly.

In tribute, below is the opening page from the biography he was working on with Gareth Owen. Sadly only very little was completed before his death.

Our thoughts are with his young son, Michael, and his family & friends.

Chapter 1
The Name is Bond . Almost

In July 1980, the Daily News columnist Marilyn Beck wrote:

"Roger Moore-lookalike Michael Billington has become the favoured date of Barbara Broccoli, the daughter of 007 producer Cubby Broccoli. And insiders are predicting Billington's sure to inherit the role of James Bond in For Your Eyes Only this fall - unless Roger and Cubby come to terms fast.

Billington's name might not be familiar to you, but it certainly is to Moore. Because Broccoli has been conveniently keeping the unknown in the wings for years (cast him in a bit part in the 1977 The Spy Who Loved Me) and has frequently ribbed Roger that, if he got out of line, Michael would step into his 007 shoes. Moore thought Cubby was joking - until now."

It would, perhaps, be unfair to describe Michael Billington as 'unknown' at this time. Through the Gerry and Sylvia Anderson produced sci-fi series UFO he gained international recognition, as Colonel Paul Foster; not to mention further exposure in the tv mini-series of War And Peace, and the Sunday night BBC favourite The Onedin Line. However, he was certainly viewed as an outsider for the most coveted of film roles.

Michael's courtship with 007 started pre-George Lazenby when he was tested by director Peter Hunt for On Her Majesty's Secret Service 1968, and continued through to his seventh, and final, test in 1983, for Octopussy (1983).

"I was described as The Bond Waiting In The Closet" he says "and to an extent that was true. Bets were being taken. Pundits were backing me. It seemed a 'cert'. I was tested many times - in fact I think they eventually ran out of film."

How did it all come about? How did this Lancashire lad move from treading the boards in provincial rep to the casting-couch for James Bond? It is an interesting story, and for the first time, Michael Billington tells it how it happened; with contributions from friends, colleagues and adversaries.

Photo above:
Michael Billington during one of his screen tests as James Bond. © Eon Productions Ltd. All rights reserved.

All proceeds from Bondstars sale of Michael's merchandise will be donated to Macmillan Cancer Relief.



29 FEBRUARY 2004

Dana Broccoli, producer involved in James Bond films, has passed away. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family.

Dana Broccoli, the widow of the movie producer Albert R. Broccoli (Cubby) and the president of the company that owns the film rights to Ian Fleming's James Bond novels, died at her home in Beverly Hills on February 29. She was 82.

The cause was cancer, her family said.

Ms. Broccoli, a novelist and theatrical producer, became president of Danjaq, the film company that Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman founded in 1961, after her husband died in 1996. Three Bond films starring Pierce Brosnan were released during Dana Broccoli's tenure; Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999), Die Another Day (2002).

She also was the creative force behind turning Chitty Chitty Bang Bang into a musical, for which she served as lead producer. It opened in London's West End in 2002 and is scheduled for Broadway in 2005.

When Cubby Broccoli was searching for the actor to play Bond, he asked his wife's opinion of a young Scottish actor, Sean Connery.

"I said he (Sean) is fantastic," Ms. Broccoli told The Los Angeles Times in 1978.

Ms. Broccoli and her first husband, Lewis Wilson, were divorced. She is survived by four children, Michael G. Wilson, Tony Broccoli, Tina Broccoli and Barbara Broccoli, and five grandchildren.

Photo above:
EON Productions James Bond 40th Anniversary celebration party at Pinewood Studios. © 2002 Laurent Perriot. All rights reserved.

From left to right: Caroline Munro, Carole Ashby, Richard Kiel, Shirley Eaton, Michael G. Wilson, Dana Broccoli, Lois Maxwell, Colin Salmon, Sir Ken Adam and Eunice Gayson.

For more info about Dana Broccoli, read the obituary written by our friend, Robert Sellers:



11 NOVEMBER 2003

Robert Brown, "M" in four James Bond films - Octopussy (1983) (1983), A View to a Kill (1985), The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989) - and one of the most familiar faces in British film and tv, sadly passed away on this day.

Sir Roger Moore commented:

"I was extremely saddened to hear this news, Robert had been a dear friend for over 50 years and will be sadly missed."

Born in the Scottish Hebrides, after a successful stage career he made his film debut in Cloudburst (1951).

Robert was a very versatile actor and as such he won supporting roles in dozens of films such as Derby Day (1952), Noose For A Lady (1953), Lost (1956), Helen Of Troy (1956), The Man Who Never Was (1956), A Hill In Korea (1956) and The Abominable Snowman (1957).

The following year he co-starred with Roger Moore in the TV series Ivanhoe (1958) which cemented a life-long friendship between the two gentlemen.

Twenty five more film and tv credits followed – including Ben Hur (1959), Dr. Syn alias the Scarecrow (1963) and Operation Crossbow (1965) – before Robert was cast as Admiral Hargreaves in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).

Four years later, Bernard Lee who had portrayed ‘M’ in eleven Bond films passed away. Whilst the role was not re-cast for For Your Eyes Only, a new ‘M’ was needed for Octopussy (1983), and producers turned to Robert Brown.

He played the head of MI6 in four films: Octopussy, A View To A Kill (1985), The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence To Kill (1989).

Robert also starred in popular tv series such as The Avengers (1965), Danger UXB (1979) and All Creatures Great And Small (1978).

Photo above:
Robert Brown in a scene from The Living Daylights. © 1987 Danjaq S.A. & MGM/United Artists Pictures. All rights reserved.

For more information about Robert Brown, check out his profile on IMDB:



15 JULY 2003

On this day in Bond history, legendary stuntwoman sadly Dorothy Ford passed away due to cancer. She was 60. Dorothy doubled all of the leading ladies in six James Bond films.

Dorothy Ford obituary: (by Anders Frejdh)
Born in 1943, it was her skills for horses that led her to becoming a stuntwoman. Her first job was at the age of 14.

In 1977, she entered the world of 007 with 16 years experience of stunts. "I like the Bond movies because the stunts are done so professionally", Dorothy said in an interview with New Straits Times.

In the same interview she said, "There is so much more time to work on the stunts because they have to be good. In For Your Eyes Only with Roger (Moore), we spent two days getting one stunt right. I was tied to Roger, dragged off a ship and pulled underneath the water for an underwater scene. It meant falling nine metres into the water and then carrying on the action in the water."

"Another water stunt I did was in Moonraker, where I doubled for Lois Chiles. It was me in the Venetian gondola that was sheed in two by the speedboat."

Her favourite stunts were with horses having grown up with them.

Her last movie was Ali G In Da House in 2002.

The highly brave Dorothy Ford was survived by husband Brian and daughter Kim.

Dorothy Ford's James Bond films:
1977: The Spy Who Loved Me (stunt double for Barbara Bach)
1979: Moonraker (1979) (stunt double for Lois Chiles)
1981: For Your Eyes Only (stunt double for Carole Bouquet)
1983: Octopussy (1983) (stunt double for Maud Adams)
1985: A View To A Kill (stunt double for Tanya Roberts)
1987: The Living Daylights (stunt double for Maryam d'Abo)

Photo above:
Dorothy Ford with Roger Moore on the set of Octopussy. Photo by George Whitear. © 1983 Danjaq S.A. & MGM/United Artists Pictures. All rights reserved.

For more information about Dorothy Ford's career, check out his IMDB profile:



14 AUGUST 2002

Peter R. Hunt, British film editor/director who edited the first five James Bond movies (Dr No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964) (1964), Thunderball (1965) (1965) and You Only Live Twice (1967)) before he was offered the job as director for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), passed away on 14th August 2002, aged 77.

The film editor and director Peter Hunt was associated with the huge success of the James Bond movies, the longest-running series in the history of the cinema. He edited the first five Bond films - generally considered the best - creating a style of sharp cutting that has been emulated by many editors and directors of action movies.

He also directed one, On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) starring George Lazenby, by many considered to be the best film in the 007 series. The inexperienced Australian model carried the can for the film's comparative box-office failure, but Hunt was praised for his pacy, and seemingly effortless, direction.

"I first met Peter in 1947 whilst a junior editor at London Films Shepperton. Peter was then an assistant editor. Unknown to me, Peter had watched my career unfold as an editor and second unit director on TV series such as Danger Man. When he needed a director to film the bob run sequence in Switzerland he contacted me and managed to convince Harry and Cubby that I was the man for the job." - John Glen (2nd Unit Director on OHMSS)

"Peter and I worked together on 11 productions. I first met him on Sink The Bismark in 1960 as I was assisting the sound editor on the film, (the legendary) Win Ryder. I so wanted to return to working with picture rather than sound and it was quite by chance that Peter's assistant was moving onto other things so we teamed up. He was never too proud to accept any ideas I offered up and after a while he allowed me to assemble scenes which he would later fine-cut. When the budget on Dr No could not afford two sound-track editors he didn't hesitate to promote me to take on the sound-effects job. It was a massive promotion, unheard-of at that time. He made a very early decision on Dr No that the film was to 'keep moving' and his contribution to those early Bonds was enormous. He could be ruthless at times and I was sad to see Editor Thelma Connell shunted off You Only Live Twice when Peter returned from directing the 2nd Unit. We parted company when he went on to direct OHMSS and I fulfilled my dream of becoming a film editor. I was shocked years later when I saw him interviewed on TV and it was obvious he had a very serious health problem. He was without doubt a very talented film-maker." - Norman Wanstall (Oscar® winning Dubbing Editor)

"A gentleman and an actor’s director who always said - Let me see you act and I’ll cut it great.”
- Terence Mountain (Raphael in OHMSS)

Peter Hunt obituary:
Born in London on March 11, 1925, Hunt learned his craft from an uncle who made government training and educational films. His first claim to fame was, in fact, appearing on a recruiting poster for the Boy Scouts Association when he was 16, and he read the lesson at Lord Baden-Powell's funeral. At 17, he joined the army, and was almost immediately shipped off to Italy, where he took part in the battle of Cassino.

After the war, he returned to work with his uncle, before becoming assistant cutter for Alexander Korda, and a fully fledged editor with Hill In Korea (1956). He worked with both Terence Young and Lewis Gilbert on a number of films prior to editing their Bond efforts.

Already with a decade of editing behind him, Hunt only reluctantly agreed to edit the first Bond film, Dr No, in 1962. "I was really not interested in doing it at all," he recalled. "But, then I thought, well, if the director is Terence [Young], and I know him well enough, and I find him rather nice, maybe it will be alright." Previously, Hunt had suggested to Harry Saltzman that, in his search for an actor to portray James Bond, the producer look at the film he had just edited, the feeble army comedy On The Fiddle (1961), in which Sean Connery played a Gypsy pedlar.

The editing style of the Bond movies was established because, "if we kept the thing moving fast enough, people won't see the plot holes," what editors call "chets", or cheated editing tricks. "On Dr No, for example, there was a great deal missing from the film when we got back from shooting in Jamaica, and I had to cut it and revoice it in such a way as to make sense."

It was from then that Hunt decided to use jump cuts and quick cutting, and very few fade-ins, fade-outs and dissolves, which "destroy the tension of the film". The fight between Connery and Robert Shaw on board the Orient Express, in From Russia with Love, took a total of 59 cuts in 115 seconds of film.

Besides editing, Hunt directed some second-unit work on the Bond films, as well as the title sequence for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968). "I had a terrible time in the cutting room on You Only Live Twice, with Donald Pleasance as Blofeld. Lewis [Gilbert] had made him into a camp, mini sort of villain. If you look at the film very carefully, Pleasance doesn't walk anywhere, because he had this mincing stride. He was so short that he looked like a little elf beside Connery. I used every bit of editing imagination I could so that he could be taken seriously as a villain."

Many purist Bond fans regret that Hunt never directed another 007 movie. His determination to be more faithful to the Ian Fleming original, even down to the death of the heroine (Diana Rigg) and the scaling down of gadgetry, puts On Her Majesty's Secret Service above many subsequent films in the series. It also happened to be the best picture he directed.

There followed two overlong adventure yarns set in Africa with Roger Moore, Gold (1974) and Shout at the Devil (1976). A couple of macho movies with Charles Bronson, Death Hunt (1981) and Assassination (1986); and the dispensable Wild Geese II (1985). But the work began to dry up, a situation that depressed the normally ebullient and energetic Hunt. In 1975, he settled in southern California with his partner Nicos Kourtis, who survived him.

Editor's note:
For other James Bond directors presented on From Sweden with Love, click here.

Photo ovan:
Inscribed autograph from Peter Hunt to Anders Frejdh from FSWL's private collection.

Read more about Peter Hunt's career in films, check out his profile on IMDB:



19 DECEMBER 1999

Desmond Llewelyn, a world famous actor after playing 'Q' in 17 of the James Bond films between 1963 and 1999, died in a car accident.

Desmond Llewelyn was an actor for over 60 years, but will forever be remembered for just one role, that of "Q", inventor of countless gadgets for the spy James Bond. With an air of impatient but kindly acumen, he would introduce Bond to a batch of innocent-looking but lethal high-tech instruments in a scene that was always a highlight of each adventure.

When the producers left him out of one of the Bond movies, Live and Let Die (1973), claiming that the films were becoming too dependent on gadgetry, there was a storm of protest from fans who missed his trademark cameo. The character was restored permanently and is to be seen in the latest adventure, The World Is Not Enough (1999). During the last week Llewelyn had been attracting large crowds at book signings for a new biography, Q: the biography of Desmond Llewelyn, written by Sandy Hernu, who described the actor as "enormously funny and entertaining and great fun to be with". She said that the man on screen was similar to the real one, except that Llewelyn hated gadgets. He once said, "In real life gadgets explode or expire as I touch them."

The son of a coal-mining engineer, Llewelyn was born in South Wales in 1914. His parents wanted him to be a chartered accountant, but a period as an articled clerk bored him, and after considering several professions he decided on a stage career and enrolled, at the age of 20, at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where he studied for two years.

As he said later, "I'd tried the Church and that failed. I was too dim for accountancy, too short-sighted for the police force and an insufficient liar to make a good politician. What else was left but to become an actor? I remember Richard Burton saying to me years later that the reason there are so many Welsh actors is because the Church is not very popular nowadays." Fellow students at Rada included Geoffrey Keen, later to appear in several Bond films, and Margaret Lockwood, "to whom I quite lost my heart".

While still at Rada he made his film debut with a walk-on in the Gracie Fields film Look Up and Laugh (1935), but his first professional job after leaving the academy was with a repertory company in Southend, the first of several such companies with whom he gained experience. He was appearing in Bexhill, East Sussex (where he eventually settled) when he met Pamela Pantlin, a member of the "Women's League for Health and Beauty", and they were married in 1938.

The following year, Llewelyn was in another film, the Will Hay comedy Ask a Policeman (1939), but his career was then interrupted by the Second World War, in which he served as a second lieutenant assigned to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Captured by German soldiers in France, he spent five years as a prisoner of war.

He resumed his film career with a war film, They Were Not Divided (1950), in which he was one of two soldiers named Jones, who was thus addressed as "77 Jones" - the other was "45 Jones". The director was Terence Young, who 13 years later was director of From Russia With Love, the film which changed the course of Llewelyn's career.

Llewelyn had been appearing in regional theatre and playing small film roles - he had four lines in Cleopatra (1962) - when he auditioned for the role of Q. The character is not in the Ian Fleming books, though in the first Bond story, Casino Royale, it is "Q Branch" that provides 007's gadgets, and in Llewelyn's first two Bond films his character is billed as "Major Boothroyd", becoming simply "Q" in Thunderball (1965) (1965). (In the first Bond film, Dr No (1962), Boothroyd had been played by Peter Burton, who was not available for the filming of From Russia With Love.)

Young wanted the character to speak with a Welsh accent, but Llewelyn preferred to interpret the character as "a toffee-nosed Englishman". "At the risk of losing the part and with silent apologies to my native land, I launched into Q's lines using the worst Welsh accent, followed by the same in English," he said.

Bond was in need of gadgets in From Russia with Love (1963), for he had to contend with two of the most dastardly villains of the series, the blond hulk Red Grant (Robert Shaw) and the sadistic Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya), who uses knife-toed boots to kick her victims to death. A booby-trapped briefcase was the principal item with which Bond was equipped, courtesy of Q, who was to become a fixture of the Bond adventures (with the exception of Live and Let Die) and almost as popular a figure as Bond himself. His description of the versatile briefcase was typical of Q's briefings: "Here is an ordinary black leather case. Hidden in these steel rods are 20 rounds of ammunition. Press that button and you have a throwing knife. Inside is your AR7, a folding sniper's rifle and 50 gold sovereigns. This looks like an ordinary tin of talcum powder, but it conceals a tear gas cartridge and is kept in place by a magnetic device."

Guy Hamilton directed the next film in which Llewelyn played Q, Goldfinger (1964) (1964), and the actor credits him with changing his approach to the role. "Previously I'd played Q as a toffee-nosed technician, more than slightly in awe of Bond." Hamilton changed that approach. "He said, `This man annoys you. He's irritatingly flippant and doesn't treat your gadgets with respect. Deep down you may envy his charm with women, but remember you're the teacher."

After that, Llewelyn stated, he played Q with "a veiled exasperation coupled with a humorous tolerance to 007's flippancy and aggravating habit of fiddling with the gadgets". That exasperation mounted over the years, and in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), Q's first words to 007 were "Now pay attention, Bond", and his last, "Oh, grow up, 007!"

Asked recently which Bond he considered best, Llewelyn chose Sean Connery as "perfect", adding, "George Lazenby played it straight and rather well. Roger Moore was much lighter and more jokey. It was a rather camp portrayal, with a lot more emphasis on humour, but it worked. Timothy Dalton was Ian Fleming's Bond - a real character. His confidence and surliness were straight from the books. It was brave, but people didn't like it. Pierre Brosnan is extremely good. He has the right look and manner."

The character of Q was due to be retired after the latest Bond film, The World Is Not Enough, with his sidekick R, played by John Cleese, replacing him. The actor loved playing Q, but in recent years his private life had been marked by tragedy as he watched his wife suffer from Alzheimer's disease.

Llewelyn appeared in such television series as Doomwatch and Follyfoot and made other films, including Operation Kid Brother (1967), which starred Sean Connery's brother Neil playing the sibling of 007. Bernard Lee ("M") and Lois Maxwell ("Moneypenny") were other Bond regulars cast in this weak film to bolster its appeal. But it is for his performances in 17 Bond films that Llewelyn will have a permanent part in film history, equipping the hero with toxic fountain-pens, exploding toothpaste and dozens of similar gadgets with which to confound or exterminate his adversaries.

Desmond Wilkinson Llewelyn, actor: born Newport, Monmouthshire 12 September 1914; married 1938 Pamela Pantlin (two sons); died Firle, East Sussex 19 December 1999.

Obituary written by Tom Vallance for The Independent. First published December 21, 1999.

Photo above:
Desmond Llewelyn with Mary Stavin and Janine Andrews in a publicity photo for Octopussy (the most successful Bond film in Sweden based on cinema tickets sold.)

For more about Desmond Llewelyn's life and career, check out his profile on Wikipedia:



28 APRIL 1999

John Stears, winner of two Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects after his work on Thunderball (1965) and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), passed away on April 28, 1999.

John Stears was one of the film industry's top men for special visual effects and many of his innovations are incorporated into the work of today's film-makers.

For the early James Bond films, he served as the real-life incarnation of the ingenious "Q", creating such gadgets and vehicles as the Aston Martin of Goldfinger which has been described as "the most famous car in the world". For Star Wars he worked with the production designer John Barry to conceive the unforgettable robots C3PO and R2-D2, and among his other memorable achievements were the flying car of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the model work for the British film about the Titanic, A Night to Remember, and the explosive demolition work in The Guns of Navarone.

Born in 1934, Stears studied at Harrow College of Art and Southall Technical School before working as a draughtsman with the Air Ministry. He served as a dispatch rider during his National Service, then joined a firm of architects where he was able to utilise his passion for model-making by constructing scale models of building projects for clients.

The firm also specialised in model aircraft, and when Rank's special effects expert Bill Warrington saw some of Stears's work he commissioned him to build model aircraft for Lewis Gilbert's screen version of the life of the pilot Douglas Bader, Reach for the Sky (1956).

Signed to a contract by the Rank Organisation, Stears worked with Warrington and Gilbert on three more true-life stories, creating model boats and planes for A Night to Remember (1958), in which Kenneth More, who had played Bader, was Second Officer Lightoller of the Titanic, Carve Her Name With Pride (1958), which starred Virginia McKenna as the British shop assistant Violette Szabo who became a resistance heroine, and Sink the Bismarck! (1960), with Kenneth More as an Admiralty captain intent on destroying Germany's prize battleship. Other Rank films included The One That Got Away (1957), Sea Fury (1958) and Gilbert's HMS Defiant (1962).

Having acquired a reputation impressive enough for him to freelance, Stears was hired to both build and destroy gun miniatures for J. Lee Thompson's exciting transcription of the Alistair MacLean adventure tale The Guns of Navarone (1961), then he created effects for two Disney films, In Search of the Castaways (1962) and the fantasy Three Lives of Thomasina (1962).

The producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman then asked Stears to work with them on a production which was to prove momentous in starting one of the most successful series in cinema history. It was the team's first adaptation of one of Ian Fleming's James Bond stories, Dr. No (1962), and Stears's work on the film's finale, the destruction of Dr No's Jamaican hideout, still impresses today.

Aware of the importance of Stears's contribution to the film's success, Broccoli and Saltzman made him head of their special effects department for their next Bond production, From Russia with Love (1963), for which he both created and flew the first remote- controlled helicopter used in a film, and constructed the bizarre knife- toed boots for the Soviet spy Rosa Klebb. Still only 29 years old, Stears confessed later that he was having the time of his life and he described his job as "not really work but the chance to play . . . using other people's money!"

The next Bond film, Goldfinger (1964), included three of Stears's favourite creations, the lethal laser ray which nearly bisects Bond, the steel-rimmed bowler employed as a deadly frisbee by the villain Oddjob, and the famous Aston Martin. In the book, Fleming's hero drives a DB3, but Stears wanted to use the not yet available DB5, a sleekly photogenic model, and he persuaded the manufacturers to provide him with a prototype, which the effects wizard fitted with bullet-proof glass, a fog maker, revolving number plates, road slicker, machine guns and a passenger ejector seat. "I was never certain we would make the seat work," said Stears, "but in the end we did the stunt in one take."

The fourth Bond film Thunderball (1965) was one of the weaker dramatically but Stears did not disappoint, his effects including a rocket-firing motor cycle, an underwater flying saucer, large-scale models of a Vulcan bomber which he then sank in the waters of the Bahamas, and a life-size replica of the villain's yacht which he blew to pieces.

His work on the film brought him his first Oscar for Best Visual Effects. His old friend Lewis Gilbert directed the next Bond film, You Only Live Twice (1967), which included a flying machine that gobbles up a space capsule in outer space, after which Stears had a break from Bond when he worked on Broccoli's production Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) with its flying car.

If asked to pick a favourite Bond film, Stears used to say that the one he most enjoyed working on was On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), partly because he admired its star George Lazenby, who insisted on performing many of his own stunts. It was the start of a lifelong friendship between the two men, both mechanically minded motor bike enthusiasts. For the film, the most challenging moment came when Stears had to set off an avalanche on cue.

In 1970 Stears set up his own company, and worked on such films as Lindsay Anderson's O Lucky Man! (1973) and Douglas Hickox's Theatre of Blood (1973) in which a ham actor (Vincent Price) murders hostile critics by recreating death scenes from Shakespeare's plays. He returned to Bond for a final time to create effects including Scaramanga's flying car in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), which featured Roger Moore as Bond.

In 1976 Stears had a call from George Lucas, who had been a great admirer of the Bond films and wanted to know if he was interested in creating mechanical and electrical effects for a film he had written, Star Wars. It was the opportunity to create things that had never been attempted before and Stears enthusiastically accepted.

The phenomenal hit that resulted brought Stears his second Oscar and featured such innovations as Luke Skywalker's Land-speeder, ostensibly a hover-car but actually a four-wheeled vehicle to which Stears had fitted mirrors angled to reflect the Tunisian desert and thus create the illusion that the craft was skimming over the ground. The Lightsabers, the Death Star with its threatening cannons, the robots both manually and remote- controlled, and the metallic suit for C3PO were other Stears creations, along with countless explosions, including the final destruction of the Death Star.

Stears worked again with the first Bond, Sean Connery, on Peter Hyams's Outland (1981), set on a 21st-century planet where space marshal Connery finds himself fighting a lone battle against wholesale corruption.

Subsequent films included The Bounty (1984), an intriguingly unconventional depiction of the famous mutiny, with Anthony Hopkins and Mel Gibson, and a thriller for which Stears was aptly called in as a special consultant since it featured a special effects expert as its hero, F/X: murder by illusion, in which Bryan Brown played an effects man hired to make a faked assassination appear real, only to find that he is himself the victim of a Mafia plot and has to bring all his ingenuity into play to defend himself. A modest success at the time of its release, it is now considered a cult movie.

In 1988 Stears hoped to produce a film but was unable to obtain sufficient financial backing, and in 1993, after producing effects for the Charlie Sheen vehicle Navy SEALS, he retired to California with his wife Brenda, whom he married in 1960, and two daughters. For most of his life he had lived on an estate in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, where he reared cattle and where his wife ran the Livy Borzoi Kennels, breeding Borzoi show dogs.

In California he continued to indulge his passion for building and flying model aircraft - his wife stated that at the time of his death there were a dozen aircraft in their garage, the latest a Fiat on which Stears had worked for three years and which had a 15-foot wing span. A supremely fit man until suffering a stroke two days before his death, he would ride his 1927 McEvoy motor bike, complete with sidecar built by himself, down to Malibu every Sunday along with his neighbour George Lazenby where they would join around 200 other bike enthusiasts at a beach-front cafe.

He returned to films with last year's The Mask of Zorro, staging the explosions for the film's early action sequences, but left midway through production after artistic disagreements, and at the time of his death was working on a screenplay set in the First World War and seen from the point of view of German aircraft designers.

John Stears, special effects designer: born 25 August 1934; married 1960 Brenda Livy (two daughters); died Malibu, California 28 April 1999.

Photo above:
John Stears in the 1995 documentary Behind the Scenes with 'Thunderball' © 1995 TWINE Entertainment and MGM/UA Home Entertainment.

Learn more about John Stears film career, check out his profile on IMDB:



27 JUNE 1996

Albert R. Broccoli ("Cubby" for those who knew him), one of the producers behind the James Bond films, the most successful film series of all time, passed away at his home in Beverly Hills on 27th June, 1996. He was 87. (Cubby's birthday, 5th April, is also the birthday of his son, Tony Broccoli, and James Bond novelist Anthony Horowitz.)

Colleagues and co-workers from the James Bond films share their memories of Albert R. Broccoli with FSWL:

"In my career I have never worked with a producer that where as generous and kind and understanding as Cubby." – Britt Ekland (Mary Goodnight in The Man with the Golden Gun)

"Cubby was a larger than life character and a generous employer. Everybody on the movies lived in style." – Christopher Wood (screenwriter of The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker)

"Cubby was a wonderful family man and as such the whole crew were his family. He was much loved and respected." – John Glen (2nd Unit director for three Bond films and Director of five)

"Cubby was kind, considerate, friendly to all his crew and he loved to play backgammon with Roger on set." – Keith Hamshere (stills photographer on nine Bond films)

"A very large, happy and gentle gentleman who got on so well with Roger, the crew and me too."
Lynn-Holly Johnson (Bibi Dahl in For Your Eyes Only)

"He was a proper old-time film producer who understood movie making and understood how to treat actors and crews. He was a real human being, very understanding and was prepared to get to the highest mountain if his crew was there and also to play Backgammon with Roger Moore. I believe he would have gone to the top of Mount Everest for a game with Roger, and show me a producer who is prepared to make spaghetti in the desert to keep his crew happy."
Martin Grace (stuntman/stunt coordinator on eight Bond films)

"Cubby always worked so hard to make a bigger and better Bond movie each time out."
Richard Kiel (Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker)

"Cubby was always a welcome presence in whichever Bond film was shooting." – Shane Rimmer (Hawaii radar operator in You Only Live Twice, Tom in Diamonds Are Forever and Commander Carter in The Spy Who Loved Me)

"A great gentleman, very kind and very friendly." – Albert Moses (Bartender in The Spy Who Loved Me and Sadruddin in Octopussy)

About Albert R. Broccoli:
In the late 1950's, Broccoli (pronounced like the vegetable) and his partner, Harry Saltzman, bought the screen rights to the novels of Ian Fleming, and proceeded to make Fleming's character, James Bond, Agent 007, a household name. The 17 Bond films Broccoli was associated with were reported to have earned 1 billion dollars worldwide.

James Bond, played by a succession of actors - Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan - was the quintessential cold war hero, a dashing connoisseur of dry martinis (he liked them shaken, not stirred) and beautiful women, who fought a succession of monolithic enemies with all the gadgetry available to the modern industrial age.

He was the father of the modern action hero, the progenitor of characters later played by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone.

Broccoli could not have been more different from his cinematic creation. Albert Romolo Broccoli was born in on April 5 1909, the son of immigrants from Calabria. He was nicknamed Cubby because he was a chubby child. The family was in the vegetable business, and Broccoli said one of his uncles brought the first broccoli seeds into the USA in the 1870's.

For a while, Broccoli, too, worked in the vegetable business. Then in 1933, he became manager of a family coffin business, but he found that the work depressed him. While visiting a cousin, who was a Hollywood agent, he met Cary Grant, who became his friend.

Broccoli realized that he wanted to get into the movie business, and obtained a job in the mail room at 20th Century Fox. He later worked on the Howard Hughes's film The Outlaw (1943). He eventually became an agent and then, with Irving Allen, began producing films in England.

In the 1950's, when he and Saltzman tried to get financing for their first James Bond movie, they were turned down everywhere, according to Lee Pfeiffer, author of "The Incredible World of 007," because the character was thought to be too sexually aggressive and too British for American audiences. Arthur Krim, then head of United Artists, agreed to give them 1 million dollar to make the first Bond film, Dr. No, in 1962.

Broccoli and Saltzman auditioned several actors for the lead. But when Broccoli's wife Dana saw a film clip of an unknown actor named Sean Connery, she is said to have cried: "Take that one! He's gorgeous!"

Dr. No made Connery a star, and he went on to appear in other Bond films including From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964) (1964), Thunderball (1965) (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967) and Diamonds Are Forever (1971).

In the films, Broccoli, together with Richard Maibaum, who was a writer of many Bond movies, transformed an essentially British character into an international figure.

In 1976, Broccoli and Saltzman, who died in 1994, broke up their partnership, and Broccoli retained the rights to produce the series. He went on to make The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979) (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983) (1983), A View to a Kill (1985), The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989). The 16th James Bond film, GoldenEye (1995) (1995) starring Pierce Brosnan as 007, was produced by his daughter Barbara Broccoli and his stepson, Michael G. Wilson.

Besides the Bond films, Albert R. Broccoli's production credits included Call Me Bwana (1963) starring Bob Hope and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), the latter based on a children's story by Ian Fleming.

In addition to his daughter and stepson, he is survived by his wife, Dana Broccoli; another daughter, Tina Broccoli; a son, Tony Broccoli, and five grandchildren, all of Los Angeles.

Editor's note:
Essential reading if you want to read more on the life and career of Albert R. Broccoli is the biography he wrote with Donal Zec. The book, first published in hardback in 1998 under the title When the Snow Melts (now out of print), is available for the Kindle.

Photo above:
Producer Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli relaxes on one of the lavish sets of Octopussy. © 1983 Danjaq S.A. & MGM/United Artists Pictures. All rights reserved.

For more information about Albert R. Broccoli's film career, check out his profile on IMDB:



22 OCTOBER 1995

Sir Kingsley Amis, CBE, novelist and poet, died yesterday aged 73. He was born in south London on April 16, 1922.

Kingsley Amis was an essentially private man who spent a great deal of his life in the public eye and managed rather to enjoy it. His first published novel, Lucky Jim, won him immediate acclaim in 1954, as well as the Somerset Maugham Award. It established him as a master of invective and a man well able to raise a guffaw from his readers, especially the male ones. For the next 40 years Amis produced a regular flow of books which established him as the leading British comic novelist of his generation. The tone varied considerably but Amis picked his targets carefully and his aim was deadly accurate. He wrote about what he knew well and made sure that he did not too much like what he saw about him.

In March 1991 the limelight became especially strong with the publication of his Memoirs. As he moved through his sixties Amis deliberately put on a cantankerous face to the world: the old buffer became the old curmudgeon. He had developed a reputation, only partly deserved, of being rude to those who disturbed his wellbeing, such as incompetent waiters, and to those whose opinions he derided, notably of the political Left. The image he cultivated was much enhanced by his Memoirs, which blew up a fine old literary dust.

No book he wrote, not even Lucky Jim, attracted so much publicity on its first appearance. In a spate of profiles Amis, usually photographed in his shirt sleeves with his baggy trousers supported by massive braces drawn up somewhere around his sternum, managed for the quality press many a glare that would have done credit to Evelyn Waugh himself. Word quickly got around that Kingsley Amis had done another demolition job, this time of well-known names not only among the dead but also among crime of crimes the living. One leading newspaper called the book morally repugnant and thoroughly vindictive.

Only when that dust had settled did Memoirs become recognised at least by some for what it was, an assembly of highly collectable anecdotes which would have entertained any dinner party (not comprised of maiden aunts) or literary saloon bar. The storyteller was back at work, but revealing very little about himself apart from his dislikes: reluctance by others to stand their round of drinks came very high on the list. Indeed, in the preface there was a warning sentence: ``I have already written an account of myself in 20 or more volumes, most of them called novels.'' The limelight was there, but amidst the profiles in print and on television the private person remained hidden.

Amis could well have argued that there was not now a great deal to hide. By the time he entered his seventies his life had become rigidly set. During the week he moved between his home in Primrose Hill, which was the self-contained ground floor of a house shared with his first wife Hilly (now Lady Kilmarnock), and the Garrick Club. At weekends, when the Garrick was closed, a pub down the road called the Queens substituted. Amis wrote in the morning, arrived at the Garrick about 12.30, never sat down to lunch there before 2pm, had a few drinks afterwards, wrote again a little in the late afternoon and very rarely went out in the evening.

His hatred of travel, if anything, magnified. He only left London in August to holiday with friends in Swansea when the Garrick was closed. Kingsley Amis, who had regularly played at being an old man, had at last become one. Trouble with his legs and feet prevented him from walking more than a few yards; the bouts of melancholia, which had been with him off and on for much of his life, increased, often prompted by the death of another old friend. That usually meant the loss of one more drinking companion.

A little of the limelight returned when it emerged that he had agreed for a biography to be written despite the publication of Memoirs a couple of years back. The author was Eric Jacobs, a journalist and fellow member of the Garrick. Amis was probably encouraged by the fact that the "research'' would involve a number of convivial lunches both at the Garrick and the Queens. Despite his infirmities and persistent hypochondria Amis was still able to take in a good quantity of wine and whisky without apparent ill-effects. Jacobs more than once complained that he had difficulty in keeping up with his quarry in alcohol.

Kingsley Amis came out earlier this year but already its subject's reputation was in decline, especially among the younger, liberal-leaning literary critics. Their venom was fiercely directed against The Biographer's Moustache (1995) which Amis, ever ready to turn recent experiences to good use, published shortly after the Jacobs study. The story of a literary hack commissioned to write the biography of a Grand Old Man of Letters, who spends more time hobnobbing with dukes than adding to his oeuvre, attracted some splenetic reviews. By Amis standards the book was slight, but he was sharply wounded by the mauling he received. The bounce and self-confidence began to evaporate.

Kingsley Amis was born in Norwood, south London, into a family that had in his own words come down a bit in the world and "slipped a rung''. He began his education at Norbury College, which "only had two famous alumni. Me and Derek Bentley.'' (Bentley was executed on a murder charge.) He went on to City of London, his father's old school, and won an exhibition to St John's College, Oxford, where he arrived "in impeccably proletarian style'' in 1941. Military service, in the Royal Corps of Signals, intervened.

At Oxford, after the interruption of his war service, he formed a number of crucial friendships. The first was with Hilary (Hilly) Bardwell, who was an art student and then a model head only, no stripping at the Ruskin School of Art. A two-year affair ended in an Oxford marriage in 1948 when Hilly was already pregnant with Amis's first son, Philip. They remained together, despite peccadilloes on both sides, until the early 1960s and were divorced in 1965. Amis draws on Hilly as a principal character in two of his novels. The married period features in Take a Girl Like You and the reunion under the same Primrose Hill roof is thinly disguised in The Folks that Live on the Hill.

The second great Oxford friendship was with the poet and librarian Philip Larkin, one of the few people apart from Hilly for whom Amis had almost unreserved admiration "the best poet I know apart from Housman''. Larkin and Amis were united in a love of jazz and their glee in debunking other writers, especially those on the Oxford syllabus. Larkin went through early drafts of Lucky Jim suggesting alterations, he was the dedicatee of the finished product and a street where he lived for a time even provided the surname of the hero, Jim Dixon. The friendship of the two men was to remain until Larkin's death and Dixon was to become recognised, quite quickly, as one of the great comic creations of 20th-century fiction.

The novel was published in 1954, by which time Amis had been a lecturer in English literature at University College, Swansea, for five years. He ended up there, he claimed, because Swansea made its academic appointments rather late and avowed that he was lucky to get the job. But he stayed until 1961, when he transferred none too happily to Peterhouse, Cambridge. Several of his Swansea colleagues reckoned to have identified themselves, probably quite correctly, in Jim Dixon's march through the pomposities and incompetences of provincial academic life. But Amis survived the spleen of those affected by his lampoons, just as Jim Dixon managed to survive being classified (incorrectly) as one of the angry young men who were fast becoming fashionable. Amis rather liked South Wales, returning to it often, and found that some of those who lived there provided excellent raw material. It was to be the setting of one of his funniest and sourest novels, The Old Devils, which won the Booker Prize in 1986. Amis treated the award-giving dinner with appropriate dyspepsia. The success of Lucky Jim and a legacy left to Hilly raised the Amis lifestyle above the subsistence level given to a university lecturer.

Amis novels in the familiar yellow and black jackets of his first publisher, Gollancz, followed every two or three years: That Uncertain Feeling (1955), I Like It Here (1958) and, probably funniest of all, Take a Girl Like You (1960). They were written with fine comic assurance and in some cases were popular enough to be filmed, though not with any great success. The year 1963 brought One Fat Englishman, which drew on his experiences as visiting lecturer at Princeton University, an episode also described acidly in Memoirs. He was to return to America ten years later, in 1967, this time to Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee. On occasion he could be quite warm about America, saying that he would have gone there more often had he been able to overcome his fear of flying. But that he never achieved and as he got older all forms of travel, including simple train journeys, filled him with apprehension or so he said.

By the early 1960s Kingsley Amis was fully involved with the novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard. They met for the first time at the Cheltenham Literary Festival in the autumn of 1962. Amis made a pass at his blonde and sophisticated fellow panellist and was straightaway accepted. He moved out of the family home and in with the twice divorced Elizabeth Jane, whom he married in 1965. It was in part a literary association: he helped her with her novels and she helped him with his. But it also soon became a stormy one. Neither seemed willing to bridge the gaps between them of taste and class: she liked polished dinner parties and he preferred conversations in pubs. There were regular arguments about Amis's drinking habits. Amis left a record of the relationship in one of his most misanthropic novels, Jake's Thing, and they separated for good in the early 1980s.

In the mid-1960s Amis moved from Gollancz to Cape (he was to end up with HarperCollins) and branched out from his regular terrain of comic novels with their strong underlying vein of censure. Colonel Sun: A James Bond Adventure (1968), which took over where Ian Fleming left off, was a thriller he published under the pseudonym of Robert Markham. Previously, and also pseudonymously, he wrote The Book of Bond by ``Lt-Col. Tanner''. There was an indifferent but larky collaboration with his friend Robert Conquest, The Egyptologists. But Amis, the professional critic who analysed how others wrote, was adept at mastering established genres. The Green Man (1969) was an accomplished ghost story in M.R.James style, under-appreciated when it first came out but winning some belated admiration when it became a television serial in 1990. The Riverside Murders (1973) showed that he could write a detective story along with the best of them. His fascination with science fiction had already been displayed in New Maps of Hell (1961).

There was Amis the poet, a man who felt that his collections of verse were underestimated, and Amis the editor of poetry with The New Oxford Book of Light Verse. There was Amis the literary critic and Amis the expert on Kipling, Kipling and his World. Most especially, there was Amis on drink. Alcohol, usually consumed in large quantities, played an important part in most of his novels and he wrote a number of books on the subject. He was a wine bibber and a spirit bibber for that matter who knew what he liked and was vituperative about what displeased him. His restaurant column for Harpers & Queen was eccentric, diverting and long-lasting.

Beneath the clubbable bonhomie, regularly on display at the Garrick (or Irving, as it became in The Folks that Live on the Hill, 1990), and the talent to amuse with funny faces and well turned anecdotes, there was a powerful vein of melancholy. Ending Up (1974) is one of his shortest novels and one of his bleakest, a study of the viciousness the elderly show to one another. Thames Television's attempt to put it on screen was much too soft. Amis had only just entered his fifties when he wrote it and possibly he thought it better in the future to put on the mask of the old curmudgeon. Bile was replaced by anger in Jake's Thing (1978), directed at psychiatrists, the monstrous regiment of women in general and Elizabeth Jane Howard in particular.

Amis acquired the reputation of being a misogynist and there was plenty of ammunition for his critics in Stanley and the Women (1984) and The Old Devils. The latter was the masterpiece of his curmudgeon period. It was also highly successful as a television series. He was no favourite of feminist writers and was glibly dubbed "a man's humorist''. For a time that probably pleased him: he knew quite a lot about women and delighted in the least pleasant aspects of his knowledge. But he also knew that the tide of taste was turning against him. You Can't Do Both (1994) has a hero, Robin Davies, whose life resembles quite closely that of the young Amis. It carries a new mood of half-regret for past misdeeds and, notably, it is dedicated to Hilly. But even such realisations had not prepared him for the vituperation which greeted The Biographer's Moustache. Like Maurice Allington in The Green Man, Amis felt he was being haunted by some very unpleasant spectres.

Kingsley Amis was appointed CBE in 1981 and knighted in 1990. He is survived by his three children from his first marriage (Philip, the novelist Martin and Sally) and by both his former wives.

Read more about Kingsley Amis at Guardian's author page:




James Bond special effects genius Derek Meddings - born in London on January 15, 1931 - passed away in London on September 10, 1995.

Obituary: (from The Independent)
The work of Derek Meddings thrilled millions of moviegoers, yet only a small percentage could actually name the man responsible for the special effects of the James Bond films of the 1970s and Hollywood blockbusters like Superman (1978). Within the industry, the reverse was true: American film-makers came to Pinewood Studios because of the international reputation of British technicians, and Meddings was one of the best.

His father had been a carpenter at Denham Studios and his mother variously Merle Oberon's stand-in and Alex Korda's secretary, but it was not until the late 1940s that Derek was able to use his art school training to get a job there, lettering credit titles. The first break came when he met the special effects man Les Bowie on a commercial, and joined his matte painting department.

During the Fifties Bowie and his new recruit created Transylvanian landscapes for Hammer Films, where limited budgets necessitated a "string and cardboard" invention that proved useful when Meddings was hired for Gerry Anderson's earliest television puppet shows. From painting cut-out backgrounds of ranch houses and picket fences on Four Feather Falls (a western format), Meddings moved on to design the models for Stingray (1964-1965) with Reg Hill, and was then given a free hand on what has since become a cult series, Thunderbirds (1965-1966).

Drawing on the lessons in ingenuity from his years with Ron Bowie, he applied simple logic to the problem of tracking alongside the futuristic vehicles on take-off and landing; camera and Thunderbird remained stationary, while the background of trees and runway moved backwards on a continuous belt which rotated under the miniature set, on the same principle as an escalator. In 1966 Anderson and Meddings hit the big screen with the full-length cinema feature Thunderbirds are GO, and then made the crossover to adult, live action, science fiction with Doppelgänger (1969, aka Journey to the Far Side of the Sun) about a rogue planet that was a mirror of the earth. Meddings worked again with Anderson on Captain Scarlet (1967-1968) and UFO (1970, another live action venture) until he impressed Albert R. Broccoli with some miniature effects done for Live and Let Die (1973), which launched Roger Moore as James Bond.

Once Broccoli realised the economic advantages of building detailed models instead of expensive full-size constructions, Meddings was encouraged to come up with ideas on the next Bond, The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). However, he was not entirely finished with "string and cardboard" - or, at least, wire and fibreglass. In 1975 John Dark and Kevin Connor decided that their prehistoric adventure The Land That Time Forgot could do without the stop-frame animation and matte superimpositions of Hammer's One Million Years BC - instead they would build prop monsters that could be photographed in the same frame as the actors. It was not Meddings's fault that a low budget meant that the pterodactyls' wings never moved in flight.

He was on safer ground the following year with Aces High. For this First World War aviation drama there was no model work. Authentic fighters and bombers of the period were restored to flying trim by the specialists Doug and Tony Bianchi, and Meddings's principal job was to rig the planes for the combat sequences.

On the release of Aces High, I compiled a programme in Granada television's series Clapperboard about the making of the film, and Meddings was one of our interviewees. Like most backroom professionals in the film business he was modest, quietly spoken, matter-of-fact, and took pleasure in explaining his craft; how the stab of gunfire was simulated by the flashing of a strobe light in the muzzle of a biplane's machine-gun, and how a canister placed discreetly between the underside of a wing and the fuselage would be detonated by the pilot, to leave a dramatic smoke trail as the aircraft spiralled out of a dogfight. Meddings became a friend of Clapperboard, and came back on several occasions to demonstrate the tricks of his trade.

He returned to the world of James Bond for The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), and came to admire the production designer, Ken Adam, greatly. Adam had the luxury of working on the 007 Stage at Pinewood, which had been purpose-built to accommodate his design for the interior of a supertanker; but Meddings probably had more fun, because he got to spend four months on location in the Bahamas, where he supervised the design and construction of a miniature supertanker for exterior sequences. "Miniature" is a comparative term, since the oil tanker was over 60 feet in length; it had to be of a scale to gobble up three equally authentic-looking nuclear submarines and - being filmed on the real ocean - would have to achieve a convincing amount of water displacement.

Meddings's other masterpiece of special effects on The Spy Who Loved Me was the Lotus Esprit which converted into a submersible. For this he cleverly intercut full-size body shells with one-quarter scale miniatures. On screen, nobody could see the join and Meddings won a Grand Prix award from UNIATED for his work on the movie - incidentally, carried out in shark infested waters.

Riding high, Meddings was persuaded to create the all-important models shots for Superman. Pinewood was again the main venue, and one of the principal sequences filmed there was the destruction of the Golden Gate Bridge, in San Francisco, in an earthquake. For increased realism, Meddings opted to shoot on the backlot against a genuine sky rather than inside a stage against a blue screen. A 60 feet span of bridge was constructed, over which the actor Christopher Reeve was suspended by wires, and a miniature school bus and several automobiles were made to collide as Superman dived to the rescue. The ice planet of Krypton, a crazy jigsaw of plaster and fibreglass, was built on F Stage. Its disintegration was filmed with a camera mounted on a special arm, the LOUMA, that could tack along the 20 feet deep gullies of the collapsing set. Having made audiences believe that a man could fly, Meddings received an Oscar®.

For the next Bond epic, Moonraker (1979) (1979), Meddings returned to first principles. Using a technique almost as old as the cinematograph itself, he did all the optical effects for the climactic battle "in the camera"; a process of winding back the film and exposing it again and again, until the required composite image of astronauts, space station and escape pods was obtained.

Ever versatile, Meddings designed the bizarre weapons employed in the sword and sorcery adventure Krull (1983), as well as directing 2nd unit action in Italy, before lending his talents to Neil Jordan's supernatural comedy High Spirits (1988). When the director Tim Burton visited Meddings at the Irish location to discuss working on Batman (1989), it was not only his track record with 007 and Superman that counted - it emerged that Burton was a fan of Thunderbirds, and Meddings reckoned that was really why he got the job.

The resulting collaboration was another feather in the cap of the Magic Camera Company, the comprehensive visual effects facility that Meddings had established at Lee International Studios in Shepperton. From this base of operations, Meddings also supplied the necessary expertise to Supergirl (1984) and Santa Claus (1985); while for the internationally cast production The Never Ending Story II (1990), a tale of magic and dragons, he set up an outfit in Germany.

At the time of his death, Derek Meddings was engaged in post-production on the new James Bond picture, GoldenEye (1995), on which his sons Mark and Elliott also worked.

Derek Meddings married twice and has six children.

Editor's note:
In 2000, a special exhibition titled Bond och Beyond: The Movie Magic of Derek Meddings was set up to celebrate Meddings contribution to the film industry. In October 2008, Shubrook Brothers published a book about his work, Special Effects Superman: The Miniature Effects of Derek Meddings.

Read more about Derek Meddings' life and caerer on Wikipedia:




Legendary James Bond film producer Harry Saltzman (1915-1994) passed away in Paris on 28th September, 1994.

"The cause was a heart attack", said his wife, Adriana Saltzman.

Harry Saltzman, who with Albert R. Broccoli produced early James Bond films like Dr. No (1962) and Goldfinger (1964) (1964), died at the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, a Paris suburb. He was 78 and lived in a village near Versailles.

Harry was born on October 27, 1915, in Sherbrooke, Canada and emigrated to United States when he was a teenager. He served in the Canadian Air Force during World War II and after being honorably discharged he joined the US OSS (the first organized effort by the US to implement a centralized system of strategic intelligence, and the predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency and US Special Operations Forces).

He entered the film business in the mid-1940's and made his name in Britain with hard-hitting social dramas, including Look Back in Anger (1959) starring Richard Burton and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960) starring Albert Finney.

Saltzman and Broccoli rounded up the screen rights to practically all of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels (all apart from his first, Casino Royale , which Fleming already had sold the film rights for) and began the film series in the early 1960's. The two struck it rich with the highly profitable movies, most of which starred Sean Connery as secret agent 007.

Their Bond films also included From Russia with Love (1963), Thunderball (1965) (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Live and Let Die (1973) and The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). The partnership ended in the mid 1970's.

Among Saltzman's other productions were The Entertainer (1960) starring Laurence Olivier, The Ipcress File (1965) starring Michael Caine, Funeral in Berlin (1966) starring Michael Caine, and The Battle of Britain (1969) starring Michael Caine. The last two were directed by legendary James Bond director Guy Hamilton.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his son, Steven Saltzman, of Paris; two daughters, Hilary Saltzman, of Quebec, Canada, and Merry, of Marina del Rey, California, and a sister, Mina Reizes of Reseda, California.

Photo above:
Harry Saltzman, co-producer of nine Bond films, in his London Office, September 1975. © Mirrorpix. All rights reserved.

Read more about Harry Saltzman's life and career on Wikipedia:




Terence Young, British film director, producer and screenwriter - born in Shanghai June 20, 1915 and married with one son and two daughters - passed away in Cannes September 7, 1994, and the Bond world had lost one of its greatest.

The British cinema - as opposed to the British film industry - first began to consider its responsibilities during the Second World War. The quantity and vitality of British films produced between 1945 and 1950 is astonishing, with the serious variety attracting large audiences as never before. Between them, the benevolent flour milling mogul Arthur Rank and the creative Hungarian paterfamilias Alexander Korda encouraged new talents, none of whom was more promising than Terence Young.

"I can't say enough about Terence Young. I adored him and loved working with him. He was one of the most elegant gentlemen I have ever met with a very mischievous playful side."
- Martine Beswicke (Zora in From Russia with Love & Paula Caplan in Thunderball)

Academy Award winning Dubbing Editor Norman Wanstall remembers working with Terence:

"As Peter Hunt's assistant I had little personal contact with Terence but I could see he was ideal to direct a Bond film as he had the image of a Fleming 'Bond' himself. He was respected and loved by the crew and we were a very happy team.

My closest contact with him was the sad occasion when we went to London together to re-record certain lines with Pedro Armendáriz before he returned to the States. I had no idea at the time that Pedro was very seriously ill so I treated the occasion as just another post-sync session. Terence obviously knew that we needed to record the lines before it was too late, and to Pedro's credit he was totally professional in the way he delivered his lines. It didn't seem possible that within days of returning to the States Pedro took his own life.

Another memorable occasion was when we were dubbing From Russia with Love and we'd reached the scene where Bond was in the gypsy camp in Turkey which had been shot on the back-lot at Pinewood Studios. I knew the scene had to sound Turkish so I'd booked a number of Turkish men and women to come to the Studio and we had a great session recording them reacting throughout the scene in their own language. Terence was so impressed and happy when he heard genuine Turkish voices throughout the whole scene that he gave me a lot of praise. That's the sort of man he was."

About Terence Young:
Young's first two films as director, for Rank, came out early in 1948, proving him anxious to work well outside the British mainstream. One Hour With You, with a typically playful script by Caryl Brahms and SJ Simon, imagined the misfortunes of Patricia Roc wooed by the tenor Nino Martini while stranded in Italy. Corridor of Mirrors gave even more meaning to the words bizarre, baroque - as Eric Portman, at his most magniloquent, brooded over a Renaissance painting in his dark mansion, convinced that he and his mistress, Edana Romney, are reincarnations of the lovers in it.

Earlier Young had worked as screenwriter on some interesting films with the director Brian Desmond Hurst. First On the Night of the Fire (1939), a fugitive-from-justice tale, heavily influenced by Marcel Carne, and then Dangerous Moonlight (1941), a wartime love affair between a Polish airman and an American journalist with the 'Warsaw Concerto' thrown in as a bonus. Hungry Hill (1946), Daphne du Maurier's chronicle of an Irish family with Margaret Lockwood as its matriarch; and Theirs is the Glory (1946), a semi-documentary account of the failure of the Battle of Arnhem. During service with the Armoured Guards Division Young was given leave to work with Clive Brook on the screenplay for On Approval (1944), based on Frederick Lonsdale's comedy and as directed by Brook, with himself, Beatrice Lillie, Googie Withers and Roland Culver, a happy version of a filmed play.

Young's first job with Rank was to hack a screenplay out of Mary Webb's novel Precious Bane, which he was scheduled to direct with Stewart Granger and Jean Simmons, but, Rank got cold feet at the last minute and transferred him to a comedy with Granger, Woman Hater (1948). Young's other film that year, They Were Not Divided, was a project dear to his heart, as it followed two Welsh Guardsmen from a drill on a barracks square to D-Day and beyond.

In 1954 he directed That Lady, the story of the romance of the one-eyed Princess of Eboli which scandalised the court of Philip II. Young blamed the film's failure on the fact that that he had asked for Laurence Olivier and Ava Gardner, but had been given Gilbert Roland and Olivia de Havillland. With Zoltan Korda he then co-directed Storm Over the Nile (1955), a remake of 1939 The Four Feathers with footage from that stretched out for Cinema Scope.

Young had already experienced his most important career move. Two American producers, Irving Allen and Albert R. Broccoli, taking advantage of US tax concessions for working abroad, came to Britain with Alan Ladd to make The Red Beret (1953), in which Ladd was an American officer who does a T. E. Lawrence-like stint in the ranks of the British regiment. They had admired Young's work on his war movies and though he won no kudos for this one it was popular. He stayed with their company, Warwick Films, establishing himself as a director of transatlantic action movies.

He broke away for another personal project, Serious Charge (1959), in which a vengeful Teddy boy accuses a vicar of sexual assault. He then accepted the challenge of bringing four of Roland Petit's ballets to the big screen in Black Tights (1961). Maurice Chevalier introduced these diverse pleasures, including Moira Shearer and Petit in Cyrano de Bergerac, Cyd Charisse as a merry widow and Zizi Jeanmaire with him in Carmen.

Its success was not unqualified, and Young went on to co-direct, with Ferdinando Baldi, Orazi E Curiazi (1961), with Alan Ladd decidedly ill-at-ease as Horatio at the bridge. Cut, dubbed and retitled Duel of Champions, it got a few bookings some years later.

By that time Young's career had soared. Broccoli had teamed up with Harry Saltzman to film Dr. No (1962), the sixth 007 novel by Ian Fleming about the British secret service agent, James Bond. Saltzman, the American backer of such films as Look Back in Anger, had been looking for something more evidently popular. Apart from the two of them nobody believed in it, including the distributor (United Artists), who imposed budget restrictions; half a dozen actors turned down the role before it was accepted by the little-known and unlikely Sean Connery. (Young had previously directed Connery in 1957 in a small role in Action of the Tiger.) The notices were mediocre and Fleming was privately contemptuous, but the film went on to knock the box-office for six. With an injection of humour and Connery splendidly easing himself into the role, From Russia with Love (1963) and then Thunderball (1965) proved that Young was a first-rate action director and that the public couldn't get enough of 007.

When Young abandoned Bond, it was with mixed results. The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders (1965) was an attempt by Marcel Hellman to duplicate the success of Tom Jones. But Warner Bros then put Young in charge of an adaptation of a long-running play, Wait Until Dark (1967), with Audrey Hepburn menaced by thugs, including a scarey Alan Arkin - and that is surely one of the best thrillers of the decade.

Young followed it with an Italian version of The Rover (1967), which has been little seen despite the presence of Rita Hayworth and Anthony Quinn, and Mayerling (1968) with James Mason and Ava Gardner under-used as Franz Joseph and Elisabeth and Omar Sharif and Catherine Deneuve as the lovers. Several other co-productions with either France or Italy included The Valachi Papers (1972), a Mafia tale with Charles Bronson.

Young's long-delayed first Hollywood film, Klansman (1974), with Richard Burton and Lee Marvin, was scathingly received - one reason why Paramount pulled the plug on The Jackpot, also with Burton, during production. But that company invited Young back for Bloodline (1979), based on a Sidney Sheldon bestseller which managed to combine a plot about company greed with one about the making of porn movies. Audrey Hepburn and James Mason headed the cast, and after the dreadful notices, she commented that she had made it both because the locations didn't take her far from her family and because she liked the director.

Young attracted Olivier to Inchon (1980) and The Jigsaw Man (1983), in which he respectively played General MacArthur and an admiral involved with Michael Caine, a former head of MI6 who had defected. Inchon was financed by the Rev Sun Myung Moon to an estimated 100 Million dollars but only took peanuts in the US and never had a cinema release in the UK. The second ran into financial difficulties during filming and went direct to video.

This is a sad ending to an extraordinary career. No one would class Young with his contemporaries David Lean and Carol Reed, but he was one among others embraced by Hollywood: Michael Anderson, J. Lee Thompson, Ronald Neame, Ken Annakin and Lewis Gilbert. They gave Hollywood some excellent films and the American film industry liked them because they thought in commercial terms.

Editor's note:
For other James Bond directors presented on From Sweden with Love, click here.

Photo above:
Terence Young with Sean Connery (James Bond) and Mollie Peters (Patricia Fearing) on the set of Thunderball. © 1965 Danjaq S.A. & United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved.

For more information about Terence Young's directorial career, check out his profile on IMDB:



4 JANUARY 1991

James Bond screenwriter Richard Maibaum - born in New York on May 26, 1909 - passed away in Santa Monica on January 4, 1991.

If there was any one person who would be able to describe the world of James Bond, it would been the late screenwriter, Richard Maibaum. Beginning with the first 007 film, Dr. No (1962), he had played an integral role in shaping the life of the super spy, having worked on no less than fourteen of the films as either sole writer or collaborator.

The following unpublished interview took place in the midst of production for The Living Daylights (1987), which, incidentally, marked Timothy Dalton's debut as 007. As such it's an intriguing look into one of the primary creative forces behind the series.

Richard Maibaum, the James Bond series favorite scripter, on the changing face of Bond.
The interview was done by Edward Gross and first published on March 3, 2000.

[Edward Gross:] The Living Daylights (1987) is more of an espionage thriller than some of the most recent Bonds. It's not as light.
[Richard Maibaum:] We did that deliberately. I've been feeling for some time that we've been getting a little too far out, and I like to pull the balloon down every now and then and ground it so that there is a greater sense of reality involved in what's happening. It's easier, I think, for the people to identify with. You can have all the magnificent action in the world, but if you don't care about the people involved with the action, as far as I'm concerned, then something is lost. This was one opportunity where we saw that Bond was not a thoughtless killer, who they pushed a button on so that he would go out and kill somebody. This is one picture where a man wants to be convinced before the man he is assigned to kill is killed. It was kind of a departure for us, as James Bond would be trying to avoid assassinating someone before he has a damn good reason to do so.

[EG:] It's good to see you reaching back to those early thrillers in terms of tone.
[RM:] I think it always helps to have a solid story, and the Fleming short story on which it's based is such a springboard. In it, Bond is assigned to protect a defector coming across, and then sees a girl, who is a member of a girl band, going across the street with a cello case, and as he takes up his post and waits day after day for the time that the defector is going to dash across, he realizes that the assassin, who is attempting to stop him from defecting, is actually the beautiful girl with the cello that he had seen earlier. So he refuses to shoot her, and that, to me, also seemed refreshing, and very Bondian. Bond won't kill a beautiful woman for no reason and all, and also because he likes beautiful girls. So that was a good springboard, and we had to say to ourselves, 'How can we make a two-hour story out of this?' The idea was determining the identity of the defector, what was he supposed to do and so forth. It was not easy to write, but it was a lot of fun to write.

[EG:] It's difficult to come up with these 007 plotlines?
[RM:] Difficult? It certainly is. It's murder. I've said this many times, but the real trick of it is to find the villain's caper. Once you've got that, you're off to the races and the rest is fun.

[EG:] Do you write the stunt scenes by yourself or do you meet with the stunt coordinators to discuss first?
[RM:] There are numerous ways in which they occur. John Glen is very, very inventive as far as stunts go. He's amazing. He used to be a great cutter, and he sees things in his mind visually in terms of film. When he gets an idea for something, he'll discuss it with us and we'll work on it, but actually he is very influential in that department. They happen in various ways. We do a lot of conferring - everybody does - on the Bond pictures. And of course a stunt man himself comes up with some great ideas he'd like to try out. They come to John Glen, discuss it with us and so forth. It's hard to say because the stunts may come from anyone. There is one thing I'd like to bring up. We have a lot of car chases, and so does everybody else, but our car chases always have some novelty in them that excuses them. They're not the same type of chase that you'll find elsewhere.

[EG:] What is the nature of the collaboration between you and Michael G. Wilson?
[RM:] We're equal collaborators. We do a lot of conferring. When we start out, we do a very, very full treatment, sometimes fifty or sixty pages long. We don't do anything like writing three pages worth of treatment on the back of a letter or anything like that. This is, I think, the 21st film I've done with Cubby Broccoli, and he likes to know beforehand what's going to be. We lay it out very carefully. Of course you may deviate from it if you come up with something better, or if something doesn't work, but it is layed out very thoroughly beforehand. We discuss it. Sometimes we sit there and write it together. Sometimes he'll write the first draft or I will write the first draft, and we give it to the other fellow and argue about it. There's an awful lot of arguing that goes on [laughs]. But you know what they say, if collaborators don't argue, then there's one collaborator too many. When you finally settle on something, it's been through the whole process. Cubby has final approval, of course, and then John will sometimes sit in. As I say, it's a true collaboration.

[EG:] I've often read that the Bond films were made by committee.
[RM:] That's cockeyed, too. In the final analysis, the writer, or writers, have to sit down and are responsible for putting all the suggestions together. I don't like the idea of writing by committee, because there isn't a committee. There's input, as there should be on any sensibly set up production. You get as many opinions as possible.

[EG:] The Living Daylights (1987) really seems to be quite topical. Was it conscious effort to make it more accessible to the public?
[RM:] That is an interesting question, because this has happened to us in the past, too. We've started out on something, and suddenly it becomes very, very popular. I can't, offhand, think of the instances or which pictures were involved, but you could be writing something...for instance, we were the first picture to use a laser beam when we did so in Goldfinger (1964). We objected to the way that Fleming had it. He had Bond put on a circular saw which was supposed to cut him in half. We thought that was Pearl White, so we came up with the laser beam. And then later, in Diamonds Are Forever (1971), we found out during research that the first laser beam had been projected not through a ruby, but through a diamond and that's how we got the diamond satellite idea in the sky that projected the beam. Now, what is Star Wars [the defense program] all about? We were twenty years ahead [laughs]. I can't recall all the other instances, but four or five times we were working on something and then it would become highly topical.

[EG:] In interviews, Timothy Dalton said that he would base his portrayal more on the Fleming novels than the earlier films.
[RM:] What I think the films have done is given Bond more humor. He was pretty humorless in the books, and the dimension of humor that we put in there was, I thought, very helpful in the pictures.

[EG:] When you wrote The Living Daylights, were you writing with Pierce Brosnan in mind?
[RM:] Not at all. As a matter of fact, we weren't sure that Roger wasn't going to continue.

[EG:] Oh, there was a possibility of him playing the role again?
[RM:] Yes. You know as well as I do that, financially, Roger's pictures have been the most successful, and, personally, Roger is a most charming man and he took a different route than Connery did, but it seemed to work. The audience liked it very much.

[EG:] I'm just looking forward to the more serious tone.
[RM:] I'm glad about that. What happened is that they kind of veered off course with the pictures, I thought, and then in For Your Eyes Only (1981) we came back to a more serious approach.

[EG:] Whereas Octopussy (1983) and A View to a Kill (1985) had the hype of being a throwback, this one really seems to be one.
[RM:] I agree with you. I think it's something that we used to do in the earlier pictures, and that is when the action would get very wild and so forth, we would deliberately do what we called pulling the balloon down, to give the audience a moment to come back to something more serious. They're willing for you to be serious, because they know that pretty soon you'll be amusing again.

[EG:] How would you say the films have altered over the years?
[RM:] I think they've changed, basically, in terms of the personality of the fellow playing Bond. The Moore pictures have been lighter in tone, as you agreed with, and people seemed to enjoy that very much. As I say, they were very successful.

[EG:] Have you ever developed a theory as to why the films continue?
[RM:] One of the reasons is that they're beautifully produced. Cubby Broccoli is the driving force behind the whole thing. He has good taste; he is attentive...he stays with it. He is completely involved. And the James Bond syndrome, of course, has become worldwide and is sort of in the Sherlock Holmes class now. Hardly a day goes by where I don't see three or four references to James Bond in some way. Newspapers, television and so forth. People talk about it constantly. The whole James Bond syndrome has just become a part of the culture, and I think that has a great deal to do with it. Although the pictures have varied in how they were acceptable to audiences, they continued on a very steady and high level, and the audience knows that they're going to get a good show. They're not going to get short-changed. I think the answer is that they've had a good run because they're good films.

[EG:] But for you, as the primary writer, what is it that keeps you interested?
[RM:] What keeps me going is the desire to do another good film. I enjoy doing it because it's a challenge to come up with new material. You use up so many locales, so many possibilities of plot, so many characters and stuff like that. But we always find some new aspect, and that's the challenge. That's what's exciting.

Read more about Richard Maibaum's career in films, check out his profile on IMDB:



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