James Bond events
Svensk version >>
|27 JUNE 1996
ALBERT R. BROCCOLI (1909-1996) OBITUARY
|Albert R, Broccoli ("Cubby" for those who knew him), one of the producers behind the James Bond films, one of the most successful movie series of all time, passed away at his home in Beverly Hills, California today. He was 87.
In the late 1950's, Mr. Broccoli (pronounced like the vegetable) and his partner, Harry Saltzman, bought the screen rights to the novels of Ian Fleming, and proceeded to make Mr. Fleming's character, James Bond, Agent 007, a household name. The 17 Bond films Mr. Broccoli was associated with were reported to have earned $1 billion world wide.
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.
Mr. 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 Mr. Broccoli said one of his uncles brought the first broccoli seeds into the United States in the 1870's.
For a while, Mr. 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.
Mr. 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 Mr. 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 to make the first Bond movie, Dr. No (1962).
Mr. Broccoli and Mr. Saltzman auditioned several actors for the lead. But when Mr. Broccoli's wife 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 (1962) made Mr. Connery a star, and he went on to appear in other Bond films including From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (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, Mr. Broccolli and Mr. Saltzman, who died in 1994, broke up their partnership, and Mr. Broccoli retained the rights to produce the series. He went on to make The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983), A View to a Kill (1985), The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to kill (1989). The most recent Bond film, last year's GoldenEye (1995), with Pierce Brosnan, was produced by his daughter Barbara Broccoli and his stepson, Michael G. Wilson.
Besides the Bond films, Mr. 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.
Other James Bond related obituaries on From Sweden With Love:
>Alan Hume (1924-2010)
>Alf Joint (1927-2005)
>Angela Scoular (1945-2011)
>Barry Nelson (1920-2007)
>Bob Holness (1928-2012)
>Dana Broccoli (1922-2004)
>Derek Meddings (1931-1995)
>Desmond Llewelyn (1914-1999)
>George Baker (1931-2011)
>Geoffrey Keen (1916-2005)
>Golda Offenheim (N/A-2007)
>Harry Saltzman (1915-1994)
>Irvin Kershner (1923-2010)
>Jimmy Dean (1928-2010)
>John Barry (1933-2011)
>John Gardner (1926-2007)
>John Stears (1934-1999)
>Joseph Wiseman (1918-2009)
>Julie Ege (1943-2008)
>Lois Maxwell (1927-2007)
>Kingsley Amis (1922-1995)
>Martin Benson (1928-2009)
>Martin Grace (1942-2010)
>Michael Billington (1941-2005)
>Pedro Armendáriz Jr. (1940-2011)
>Peter Hunt (1925-2002)
>Richard Maibaum (1909-1991)
>Roy Alon (1943-2006)
>Robert Brown (1921-2003)
>Syd Cain (1918-2011)
>Terence Young (1915-1994)
>Tom Mankiewicz (1942-2010)
>Zena Marshall (1926-2009)
This article was first published June 29, 1996 in the New York Times.