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Steven Jay Rubin remembering Curt Jürgens on his birthday

By: Steven Jay Rubin
Published:
2020-12-13
Curt Jurgens Karl Stromberg The Spy Who Loved Me
The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia presents This Day in James Bond Movie History - remembering the late German The Spy Who Loved Me actor Curt Jürgens (1915-1982) on the anniversary of his birth in 1915.

Curt Jürgens, a prominent actor in both American and international films throughout the 1950s and 1960s, portrayed megalomaniac shipping magnate Karl Stromberg, a man who is determined to destroy the world and start over with an undersea kingdom, directed by Lewis Gilbert.

Before producer Albert R. Broccoli began his lengthy court battle with producer Kevin McClory over the latter’s right to create new variations of the “Thunderball” property he controlled (which culminated in 1983's Never Say Never Again six years later), Stromberg was a SPECTRE spymaster, and the plot was another nefarious SPECTRE plot. Broccoli later eliminated that allegiance in the final script, making Stromberg a freelancer.

Jürgens was always very commanding in his roles. My favorite is his sympathetic U-boat captain in director Dick Powell’s 1957 war drama The Enemy Below.

As Stromberg, he brought the requisite larger-than-life quality required of all great 007 villains – complete with webbed fingers and a fascination with aquatic life.


Barbara Bach, Curt Jurgens and Roger Moore in The Spy Who Loved Me
Barbara Bach, Curt Jurgens and Roger Moore in The Spy Who Loved Me. Copyright © 1977 Danjaq S.A. & United Artists Corporation. All rights reserved.

So let’s all raise a tall glass of schnapps to a classic Bond baddie.

All text. Copyright © 2020 Steven Jay Rubin. All rights reserved.

Editor's Note:


Karl Stromberg was created specifically for the film by screenwriter Christopher Wood. In Wood's novelization of the film, Stromberg is Swedish, and his first name is Sigmund.

December 13 is also the birthday of American actress Lynn-Holly Johnson (Bibi Dahl in 1981's For Your Eyes Only) and French stunt maestro Olivier Schneider (SPECTRE and No Time To Die).

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