Website last updated: 20-9-2021

Remembering Pedro Armendariz on the Anniversary of his birth

By: Steven Jay Rubin
Published:
2021-05-09
Pedro Armendariz From Russia with Love
The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia presents This Day in James Bond Movie History - remembering the Mexican actor Pedro Armendáriz on the anniversary of his birth in 1912. His son, Pedro Armendáriz Jr, portrayed the Mexican president in the 1989 James Bond film License To Kill.

Pedro Armendáriz (1912-1963) played Ali Kerim Bey, head of Station T Turkey in From Russia with Love (1963). It is Kerim Bey who introduces James Bond (Sean Connery) to voluptuous Soviet cypher clerk Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi), first seen through a British periscope placed strategically under the Russian consulate in Istanbul.

Full of joie de vivre, Kerim Bey is a bigger than life character and a throwback to the Peter Lorre-Sidney Greenstreet-Basil Rathbone type of character actor popularized in the 1930s and 1940s. Given how full of life Armendariz was, it is surprising and sad to learn that he was dying of cancer during the filming.

Director Terence Young was such a Pedro fan that he arranged to have all of the actor’s scenes shot as close together as possible, allowing the actor to finish the film and provide his wife with a significant payday.


Once his work was completed, Armendariz went into a hospital in Los Angeles, where he shot himself, a tragic end to a brilliant onscreen career.

So let’s raise a glass of that filthy raki stuff, and remember a fine actor on his birthday.

All text. Copyright © 2021 Steven Jay Rubin. All rights reserved.

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