Saturday, July 4, 2015

American Guest Appears Again…Day 185 of Bond 365




I have been in Los Angeles today, attending Anime Expo and covering the event for Bleeding Cool. Hence, as with any con, the days end up long and at the end of the day, I’m trying to find energy to finish my tasks before calling it a day. As a consequence, today’s entry is quite short. Sorry for that..

Elliott Sullivan
Born this day in 1907
American Guest in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

This is Elliott Sullivan’s second appearance in Bond 365. The first time was on June 2nd to honor his passing. I was wondering if there was anything new I had learned from the prior post and well, there was an interesting link that I found.

Sullivan starred in a horror film called Vampyres (1974), the story of a lesbian vampire couple that entice passerbys into their manor and hold them captive for the purpose of drinking them dry, after playing with them. Sullivan played ‘American Man’ and Bessie Love played the ‘American Lady.’ I immediately remembered her name and sure enough, Love was an ‘American Guest’ in OHMSS. I thought it was a fun factoid that the pair played a couple in two films for not having been a real life couple as far as I could find.

 Sullivan and Love crossed paths in television twice. They played a couple on a television show, Public Eye in the episode ‘The Beater and the Game’ (1971) as Chrissy and Ed Husack. And, in Mousey (1974), Love played Mrs. Richardson while Sullivan played Harry. It goes to show just how small the world is sometimes.

© Copyright. Michele Brittany. 2011 - 2015. All rights reserved. All text, graphics, and photos are protected by US and International Copyright Laws, and may not be copied, reprinted, published, translated, hosted, or otherwise distributed by any means without written permission.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Two Writers: Higson and Whittingham…Day 184 of Bond 365




Charles Higson
Born this day in 1958
Author, Young Bond series

Charles ‘Charlie’ Higson was born in Frome, England. He has written, starred, produced, directed and sang at some point for television. In 2004, Higson was tapped to write about a young James Bond while attending Eton. He penned five: SilverFin (2005), Blood Fever (2006), Double or Die (2007), Hurricane Gold (2007), and By Royal Command (2008). Also in 2008, along with Kev Walker, the graphic novel of SilverFin was released (pretty good too!). And in 2009, Higson wrote a short story that was included in Danger Society: The Young Bond Dossier.

Learn more about Higson at his website



Jack Whittingham
Passed away this day in 1972
Original story/screenplay for Thunderball

Jack Whittingham was born in Scarborough, a village in North Yorkshire, England on August 2, 1910. He was educated at Lincoln College, Oxford and worked as an editor/writer for the Morning Post. Whittingham wrote plays prior to serving for England.

After the war, he wrote or co-wrote stories and screenplays for war and period films. By 1950, he was working with Ealing Studios. Most of his screenplays were for films, however he did work on a few television series that included: Danger Man, Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color and Gideon C.I.D.

Whittingham’s life takes a turn when he became acquainted with and collaborated with Kevin McClory and Ian Fleming to write a screenplay for a James Bond film. The project did not come to fruition, and Fleming used the screenplay for the basis of his novel Thunderball. McClory and Whittingham sued, but during the case, Whittingham shifted from co-plaintiff to a lead witness for the suit. Whittingham probably executed this maneuver because he had signed away his rights after he believed the screenplay was completed. The suit was settled in 1963 with the stipulation that credit for the story/screenplay would included credit to all three men. Thunderball was made the first time in 1965 by Eon Productions and then again in Never Say Never Again in 1983. The story credits did not follow the settlement order. In both versions, Sean Connery played James Bond.

Whittingham died of a heart attack at the age of 61 while in Valletta, Malta.

Here is an in depth timeline and insight into Whittingham’s life.

© Copyright. Michele Brittany. 2011 - 2015. All rights reserved. All text, graphics, and photos are protected by US and International Copyright Laws, and may not be copied, reprinted, published, translated, hosted, or otherwise distributed by any means without written permission.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Jay and Jack….Day 183 of Bond 365




I’m getting ready to head to Los Angeles, but I didn’t want to leave you without at least a quick peek into Bond history…

Jay Sarno, center (See more about Sarno here)
Jay Sarno
Born this day in 1922
Sideshow Barker in Diamonds Are Forever

I had to double check that I had the right person since the Jay Sarno I found was a business entrepreneur who founded Caesars Palace and Circus Circus in Las Vegas. It makes sense that he would have one film credit – in Diamonds Are Forever, which had some scenes in Sin City.

Sarno lived through the Great Depression as a child of a very poor family. That experience stayed with him and he was determined to make a better life for himself. Thanks to his eldest brother, Sarno was able to attend University of Missouri and earn a degree in business.

Through hardwork and meeting the right people, eventually Sarno opened Caesars Palace in 1966 and three years later, turned a healthy profit. Circus Circus was one of the first family oriented themed venues in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, the gas crisis of the early 70s impacted tourism.

In later life, Sarno became a business teacher to individuals who wanted to become hotel owners. And, on July 21, 1984, Sarno suffered a fatal heart attack at Caesars Palace, his former hotel. He was only 62.

Jack Gwillim
Passed away this day in 2001
Senior RAF Staff Officer in Thunderball

Jack William Frederick Gwillim was born in Canterbury, England back in 1909. He had that kind of face – a character’s face just waiting to fill the shoes of some Greek god or bellow Shakespearean dialogue from the London stage. Well, he did that and more. Gwillim served in the Royal Navy and became a boxer and rugby player.

After his discharge from service, Gwillim turned to acting, working on stage as well as the small and silver screens. His first role was as ‘Father’ on the tv series Life with Father (1953). Since I recognized his face, I’ll call out a few roles I remember: ‘Club Secretary’ in Lawrence of Arabia (1962), ‘King Aeetes’ in Jason and the Argonauts (1963), ‘British Ambassador’ in Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die (1966), and ‘Poseidon’ in Clash of the Titans (1981).

Gwillim passed away in Los Angeles at the age of 91.

© Copyright. Michele Brittany. 2011 - 2015. All rights reserved. All text, graphics, and photos are protected by US and International Copyright Laws, and may not be copied, reprinted, published, translated, hosted, or otherwise distributed by any means without written permission.