Saturday, January 31, 2015

Two Pairs....Day 31 of Bond 365

I have been writing most of today and I’m finding I’m about to hit my quota for getting words to link coherently together. But, I’m checking in for day 31 and can you believe, it is the last day of January already? 

One observation I have in doing these posts each day is how little information there sometimes is on a person. Jacqueline Saltzman is a perfect example. I could not find a date of marriage nor her maiden name. If the details are sketchy, then I can usually figure that finding a picture will also be tough. It makes me feel a bit sad for the person.

Without further adieu, here's Saturday group: 

Patrick Holt

Patrick Holt
Born this day in 1912
Group Captain Dawson in Thunderball

He was a real life secret agent during World War II where he went behind enemy lines for secret army missions, so a real life James Bond. He had been an actor prior to the war and afterwards, he returned to acting where he became a leading man for the 1950s films. But he shifted to character acting, which allowed him to continue acting in a career that spanned half a century!

Stanley Kubrick and Sylvester
William Sylvester
Born this day in 1922
Pentagon Official in You Only Live Twice

You know, it makes it hard on me when a person shows up twice in one month and within a few days of each other! So you might just remember William Sylvester, who featured back on the January 25. I still like the picture of Sylvester with Kubrick on the set of 2001: A Space Odyssey

Daniela Bianchi & Sean Connery

Daniela Bianchi
Born this day in 1942
Tatiana Romanova in From Russia With Love

Daniela Bianchi is a beautiful woman and I serious wish she would show up at an autograph collector’s show. She is the youngest woman to play a leading Bond girl according to Wikipedia. She starred opposite the Connery brothers: Sean Connery in From Russia With Love and Neil Connery in OK Connery (1967), a Bond spoof. Her voice was dubbed in both films because of her heavy Italian accent. Although I did not see the spoof, I did see Bianchi in Missione speciale Lady Chaplin (1966) in which she plays an agent pretending to be a double agent and her cover is a fashion designer/owner. Talk about being a "modern woman" when the second wave of feminism was gaining momentum. I think she got to stretch her acting because she carried the movie and the leading man, who was also an agent. The movie had a decent budget, so the production value is high. I definitely recommend it.

Bianchi did one American production and that was Dr. Kildare, which starred a very young Richard Chamberlain. She starred opposite Chamberlain in the three-part story titled “ Rome Will Never Leave You.”

The Saltzmans
Jacqueline Saltzman
Passed away this day in 1980
Woman on train in From Russia With Love

Born in Bucharest, Romania, Jacqueline Saltzman was a refugee from her native country at the end of World War II. She was living in Paris where she and Harry Saltzman met. They married, however I could not find a marriage date and very little information about Jacqueline herself. 

She was a supporting character in From Russia with Love, her only IMDB credit, however she will always be remembered as having lent her name to the company name of Danjaq. 

© 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, January 30, 2015

Count the Notes Mr. Bond....Day 30 of Bond 365

Welcome to Friday and can you believe we are 30 days into 2015 and hence 30 days into Bond 365. At lunch today I got to talk Bond with a Bond aficionado from another team that I don’t usually work with. He mentioned how much he had liked the underwater scenes from Thunderball and at a drop of a hat, I mentioned Lamar Boren because he was featured earlier this month. Anyway, always cool when I get to talk with someone who is passionate about the franchise.

Composer John Barry
John Barry
Passed away this day in 2011
Composer, multiple James Bond films

One cannot go to far into a conversation about the franchise and not bring up the music, which is a component of filmic Bond’s success over the decades. Bond is indebted to Monty Norman who created the initial theme in Dr. No, but for the next 25 years, Barry’s signature musical style and innovation did lend to Eon Productions' success. 

The last Bond film that Barry scored was Timothy Dalton’s The Living Daylights. He was supposed to score Dalton’s follow up film, but was recovering from throat surgery and could not travel. Michael Kamen (Pink Floyd – The Wall, Brazil, Lethal Weapon) filled in. 

After the lengthy break between movies that lasted into the 1990s, Barry recommended composer David Arnold, who had created new versions of Barry’s scores in Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project.

I’m linking to Adrian’s Film Music blog where the top two entries feature Barry. The first is a discussion of Dances with Wolves, a film that Barry composed and won an Academy Award for Best Original Score in 1990. The second entry is a remembrance and includes a clip from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. In Eddi Fiegel’s John Barry: A Sixties Theme: From James Bond to Midnight Cowboy (2001, Macmillan), Barry stated, “I have to stick my oar in the musical area double strong to make the audience try and forget they don’t have Sean….to be Bondian beyond Bondian.” He nailed it in my estimation. His score for OHMSS is one of the best, all-around powerful soundtracks of all the Bond films that have been released thus far.

Guy Doleman as Count Lippe
Guy Doleman
Passed away this day in 1996
Count Lippe in Thunderball

Born in New Zealand, Guy Doleman was an international actor, landing roles in his native country as well as American and Britain. He is probably best remembered as Count Lippe in Thunderball who tangled with Bond at the clinic and who was later bumped off by fellow SPECTRE agent Fiona Volpe (the gorgeous Luciana Paluzzi). 

I really need to revisit Thunderball, which I have not seen since last year when I started to watch each film in order. I'm embarrassed, I did not get far...why can I not get paid to write and watch films?? 

© 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, January 29, 2015

Fleming: The Man Who Would be Bond…Day 29 of Bond 365

Welcome to Day 29 of Bond 365 where each day I spotlight events and people that were and are part of the Bond franchise. The franchise could not be what it is today without the hard work and belief these individuals have in James Bond.

Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond featured in Total Film
Fleming: The Man Who Would be Bond
Premiered this day in 2014
Television mini-series in the US

IMDB provides the following storyline: “Look at the 007 creator, Ian Fleming, and his early life set against the permissive society of war-torn WWII London.” I personally have not had the pleasure to watch this mini-series because I do not have television. However, I just checked and it is available on Netflix, so I will be adding this to my list. This series originally aired on BBC American in the US and Sky Atlantic in the UK last year and featured the writing team of John Brownlow (Sylvia) and Don MacPherson (The Avengers, The Guman) and directed by Mat Whitecross (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, The Shock Doctrine). The dashing Dominic Cooper (Dracula Untold, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) took lead as Ian Fleming and the striking Lara Pulver (Sherlock, Da Vinci’s Demons) was Ann O’Neill.

The four-part series covered the years 1938 through the end of the war in 1945. Based on the trailer, it looks to be a fairly sexualized and glamourous interpretation of Fleming’s development of the James Bond character that he would later realize in his first of several novels, Casino Royale in 1953. BBC America online still has all of their materials up concerning the series. In addition to the trailer, there are character sketches, interviews and photos, etc.

Additionally, the December 2013 issue of Total Film spotlighted the mini-series and included a first look of the new movie The Man From U.N.C.L.E. that will be out this year and an interview with Javier Bardem in which he made mention about Skyfall. I wrote up a post about it, which you can link to here

I would be interested to hear what people thought of the series, so leave a comment if you have.  

© 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.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bond Actor With Ties to Doctor Who....Day 28 of Bond 365

It’s Hump Day. I hope everyone is having a good week? I’m going to keep today’s post short, since I’m still working towards a quick deadline for a short story that is due this weekend. Let’s jump on in!

Bernard Horsfall
Passed away this day in 2013
Campbell in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Bernard Horsfall as Shaun Campbell
Bernard Horsfall career encompassed stage, television and film and spanned over a half century. He played a wide range of characters, including four roles in the series Doctor Who and several Shakespearean roles on stages with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Stratford-upon-Avon as well as at the Old Vic in London. Of interest is Horsfall’s role as Campbell in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in 1969. In this role, he had multiple scenes with both George Lazenby’s James Bond and Telly Savalas’ Blofeld. Campbell does quite a bit of leg work for Bond throughout the film, but came to a torturous demise at the hands of Blofeld’s henchmen. His manner of hanging may remind viewers of another similar demonic hanging, which occurred in a New York City bookstore in The Ninth Gate starring Johnny Deep.

The armchair historian in me was piqued when I read in Horsfall’s obituary in The Guardian that he had claimed to be the descendant of William the Conqueror (25 generations removed). I seriously wonder what stories may have been handed down in the family and all the names recorded in the family bible (almost 1,000 years’ worth). He spent some time with his uncle who was living in Canada and his uncle had been a pilot in World War I and flew with T.E. Lawrence. I can well imagine that during Horsfall’s visit, his ears were filled with even more stories!

© 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.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

More Than a Pretty Face...Day 27 of Bond 365

John Hopkins
Born this day in 1931
Screenplay for Thunderball

British writer John Hopkins had a career writing for television, stage and film that spanned almost 40 years. He shared screenplay credit with Richard Maibaum, while Jack Whittingham had original screenplay credit. I’m curious what if any issues arose from the tension that might have surrounded the story given the suit between Kevin McClory and Ian Fleming. According to Wikipedia, Hopkins was involved with “finishing touches” to the script.

Happy Birthday English Rose, Rosamund Pike
Rosamund Pike
Born this day in 1979
Miranda Frost in Die Another Day

“When you’re dressed up like Miranda Frost, people assume you have a similar character, but I was 21 and quaking inside,” according to an IMDB quote by Rosamund Pike on her role in Die Another Day. It was her first film role and I think this English rose was amazing as the icy double agent. She may have been quaking beneath her cold character exterior, but that is what a great actor is all about. She won Empire’s Award for Best Debut for the Bond Girl role. And while it is not surprising that she has gotten an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress (Gone Girl), I’m shocked it has taken so long.

Pike is an only child and well traveled across Europe. Hence, she is fluent in French and German. She attended Oxford University’s Wadham College and graduated Magna Cum Laude in English Literature. She can even play the piano and cello. An all around renaissance woman! Oh, and she’s on the cover of Vanity Fair this month.

I have made a point to watch her films, however looking at her filmography, I have some catching up to do. Here’s a recap of what I have seen from her list. The Libertine (2004) in which she played Elizabeth Malet and honestly, I did not enjoy this film and intentionally remember very little of it. However, Pike moved onto director Joe Wright’s vision of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice (2005). Pike played eldest daughter Jane Bennet – I’m a chick and yes, I loved this movie. The same year, she had a meaty science role as Samantha Grimm in Doom. She had flirtatious banter with Duke (Razaaq Adoti), which was leading into a positive portrayal of an interracial relationship, well, if Duke had not become monster fodder. Jumping ahead to 2012, she was the smart district attorney Helen (and five months pregnant!) in Jack Reacher, starring opposite Tom Cruise. Another solid performance and even Cruise was alright. Yeah, so kind of a short list – I better get busy!

Stuntman extraordinaire, Martin Grace
Martin Grace
Passed away this day in 2010
Stunts in You Only Live Twice, The Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View To a Kill

Martin Grace was a prolific stuntman and action sequence choreographer from Ireland. Grace was active in sports that included boxing and weight lifting. He studied acting and joined a stunt agency. His early stunt work was for Cadbury’s Milk Tray commercials – I never chocolate could solicit such dangerous endeavors! – capitalized on Grace completing jumps. His first stunt movie credit was on the set of You Only Live Twice and his last was in 2007 for The Number 23.

During his career, he made a lot of stars look great, either as their stunt double or as part of the stunt crew supporting the star: Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Richard Kiel, Oliver Reed, Kirk Douglas, Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones franchise and other Ford films), and many others. In all, he had 73 credits to his name.

© 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.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Nightfire....Day 26 of Bond 365

While much of the eastern seaboard is rocked by winter storms, SoCal is getting some light rain. We need it and with a temperature around 70 degrees, it really is a pleasant rain. This week I’m working on a short story to submit for consideration for an anthology. It’s the first time I’m actually putting my fiction writing out there for possible rejection. I can say that I am having fun writing this story, so even if my story does not get selected, I have a silver lining….

Ian Abercrombie (Google Images)
Ian Abercrombie
Passed away this day in 2012
Voice of Alexander Mayhew in 007: Nightfire (video game)

Ian Abercrombie had a recognizable face and an infectious smile. Like many of the others I have featured on Bond 365, Abercrombie was born in England. Growing up during World War II, he worked on the stage during his teens and moved to the US when he was 17. Two years later he was acting with Jason Robards in Stalag 17. Although he continued to work in film, he found steady work guest appearing on several popular American television shows. Of course, he was probably best remember as Mr. Pitt in the comedic show, Seinfeld. In all, his career included 183 credits spanning 1955 to his death in 2012.

He joined the Bond family in 2002 when he lent his voice to the video game 007: Nightfire when he portrayed Alexander Mayhew. He joined Maxwell Caulfield (Dynasty, The Colbys) as James Bond and Samantha Eggar (The Brood, The Legend of Prince Valiant) as M. Published by Electronic Arts, the game was available on PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Microsoft Windows, and Game Boy Advance. The game received strong reviews from critics and after I watched the trailer, it seemed as though the game had all the elements that fans love about Bond: action, gadgets, pretty women, exotic locales and lots of dangerous situations for Bond to excel and look good doing it. On average, the game received 8.2 score, so it is probably no surprise that there is still a fan base for this older game. As of May last year, the game was re-released as Nightfire: Source on Steam.

As you may notice in the trailer, Pierce Brosnan joined in the later stages of development, so while his likeness was used for Bond his voice was provided by Caulfield. Here’s the game trailer for your viewing pleasure.

© 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.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Keeping Continuity Is All In A Day’s Work….Day 25 of Bond 365

It’s Sunday evening and pulling together this post, I got off-track looking at all the stunt photos when I was looking Dick Crockett in Google Images. I was especially struck by the stills and how difficult and dangerous many of the stunts were. If you find yourself with a little extra time, take a look for yourself.

And, it’s Sunday, so check out my round up of news, with special thanks to a few followers who have provided links to some of the articles listed – Jacob, Nick and Gus. Thanks guys!

Dick Crockett
Dick Crockett
Passed away this day in 1979
Crane Operator in Diamonds Are Forever

I was looking back at my notes for today’s post, and at first, I thought that I had mistyped that Dick Crockett portrayed a crane operator in Diamonds Are Forever.  However, as I looked through his IMDB profile, I read that he had a prolific career that spanned stunts, actor, producer, second unit/assistant director, and as other miscellaneous crew positions. He even doubled for Peter Sellers, Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, and Mickey Rooney.

Kubrick and Sylvester on set of 2001: A Space Odyssey
William Sylvester
Passed away this day in 1995
Pentagon Official in You Only Live Twice

Born in California, William Sylvester moved to England after World War II and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. He had a staple of British roles during the 1950s and 1960s. His IMDB profile states that he was the first American to become a member of The Old Vic, a prestigious theater in London. He joined the Bond family with his role as Pentagon official in You Only Live Twice, however he will probably be best remembered as Dr. Heywood R. Floyd in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

Martelli (r) documenting script on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang set
Angela Martelli
Passed away this day in 1995
Continuity for You Only Live Twice

Starting in a position that used to be referred to in the credits as ‘script girl’ Angela Martelli began a career overseeing continuity in 1940 with Lady in Distress that concluded with Superman (1978). Supervising continuity is exactly as the title implies: maintaining notes about the daily filming progress and ensure that errors in the continuity during filming does not happen (and ultimately end up in the IMDB profile as a goof).

Example of continuity log from an Elvis film

“Your continuity girl is always right about screen directions, jumping the axis and that sort of stuff. Don’t fight her. Bring her flowers.” – Wim Wenders (from Script Supervisor)

And the weekly round-up of Bond and spy related news this week: 

01/16 – If you are going to be attending the Berlin Film Festival in February, you’ll have an opportunity to see a newly restored Goldfinger on the silver screen – how exciting! 

01/17 – The poster that almost was….created by Boris Vallejo? Cracked reports that the Never Say Never Again could have been hyper-masculinized and adored with a huge skull. I kid you not. Take a look. 

01/18 – A Guardian article reports that MI5 is looking for a new group of spies, who don’t mind sitting for long periods of time as mobile surveillance officers. It’s the latest drive by the domestic organization to recruit individuals interested in doing their part to serve and protect their country. The annual salary is listed as £31,000.

01/19 – James Bond franchise got a comment in the honorable mention section of this article about the Top Five Geek Questions. 

01/19 – Are you ready for Licence Expired: The Unauthorized James Bond? Well, guess what happens when a copyright expires. I’m hoping I can get a copy! 

01/24 – Television provides a second career path for retired spies according to Washington Post article by Ian Shapira with such shows as The Americans, State of Affairs and Covert Affairs.

All images found through Google Images. 

© 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.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

SMEs or Subject Matter Experts…Day 24 of Bond 365

One of the other hats I wear which I have talked about before is that I attend the local cons in Southern California. Today was the first one of the season and boy was it good to get back into the cons after a two-month hiatus. One of the comic book stores down here puts on an annual free con, featuring local writers and artists that a person may not get to meet at the larger cons. It’s a wonderful way to meet some new folks and meet up and coming talent in the industry. It was a pleasure to meet friends I haven’t seen for a while and make some new friends as well! 

Claude Hudson
Born this day in 1922
Production Manger for Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die, The Man With the Golden Gun

Claude Hudson started out his career in film working as a second/third unit director and/or assistant director in 1944 with three movies. By the mid 1960s, he had moved into working as a Production Manager, which included working on three James Bond films in the early 1970s.

Looking at Hudson filmography, I thought that being a director was higher up the film crew ladder. However when I looked up about a Production Manager job description one of the sites I read explained that individuals interested in this position needed to work their way up and learn how all the various facets of making a movie first. So, being a second unit director could lead to a Production Manager position. The position is responsible for budget and business decisions, particularly during the pre-production and production phases.

With that in mind, gosh did Hudson have a lot to manage with the Bond films. All the cast and crew on the payroll, props, costumes, travel to the various locales, etc. What a lot of work that must have been!

Gerry Crampton (
Gerry Crampton
Died this day in 2009
Stunts in Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, The Spy Who Loved Me, A View to a Kill

Gerry Crampton has an amazing 83 stunt credits according to his IMDB profile. He began in 1961 with Fury at Smuggler’s Bay and worked on several, very successful films beyond the seven Bond films. For instance, he worked on The Dirty Dozen (1967), The Eagle Has Landed (1976), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Willow (1988), and Batman (1989). In fact, he worked up to 2007 as a stunt coordinator! In total, that was over 40 years working in a physical demanding industry. And, in a third of those films and television shows, he also played supporting or minor roles.

There was good obituary article in the Telegraph that provides a lovely recap of his early life and career that is worth a read. 

© 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, January 23, 2015

Sex and Snow...Day 23 of Bond 365

Now that I have your attention, it’s time for Day 23 of Bond 365! Happy Friday, by the way! 

Maggie Wright
Born this day in 1944
Air Squadron Leader in Goldfinger

According to her IMDB profile, Maggie Wright was the first person to appear nude in a stage production in the UK. She played Helen of Troy in Christopher Marlowe’s Faustus back in September 1968. This was not Wright’s first brush sexually charged roles nor was it her last. For instance, she was in What’s New Pussycat (1965) and Sex and the Other Woman (1972). She was also the Air Squadron Leader (although there is some discussion that another actress actually was) in Goldfinger (1964), which just happened to be her first role.

Ms. Maggie Wright (
I am not going to pursue a deeper discussion about Pussy Galore’s flying circus girls in the film, but rather the unique fact that they were (I hope) inspirational for some girls and women who dreamed of flying, but perhaps never thought they could. Thinking back to the movie, I think it is cool that there was a squadron of women pilots assembled in the film, regardless of the fact that their stunt doubles were men in women’s wigs and flight uniforms. It’s an illusion that creates magic and builds dreams that may one day come true. I know the first time I saw Star Wars, and I am not ashamed to admit this, I truly believed in the concept of the "Force".

After Goldfinger, Wright had a supporting with another Bond, Sir Roger Moore in The Saint. Probably not surprising, she also was in a Hammer film, Twins of Evil (1971) starring Peter Cushing and a dashing David Warbeck, who had been considered at one point for the role of James Bond. She also starred in the television mini-series, The Martian Chronicles (1980), as Ylla, and her last role was in 1982.

Renaissance Man, Willy Bogner (

Willy Bogner
Born this day in 1942
Ski Cameraman for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Spy Who Loved Me, For Your Eyes Only, A View to a Kill

And now for the snow portion of the program, I turn to Willy Bogner, who was a professional skier and participated in the 1960 and 1964 Winter Olympics. He came from a family of exceptionally skilled skiers, and coupled with his interest in film, Bogner became a ski cameraman for four of the Bond films: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Spy Who Loved Me, For Your Eyes Only, and A View to a Kill. Bogner was the first to choreograph and film skiers for films he made through his own film production company, Willy Bogner Film GmbH, which he founded in 1968. 

His talent and abilities does not stop there though. He also worked in the family business, Bogner, which has been designing and manufacturing sportswear. The business, which was established by Bogner’s father in 1932, has been the official sportswear supplier for the German Olympic team (18 times according to the Bogner website!). The fashions are quite lovely and his films about skiing are creatively composed and obviously executed with precision by a person with an eye for detail and aesthetic grace and beauty. I’ll leave you with a snip-it of one of his ski films from 1964.  

© 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, January 22, 2015

“We’re all born bald, baby”…. Day 22 of Bond 365

One of the benefits I have gotten from my daily blogs is that I have been learning interesting facts about the various individuals I have featured each day so far. Today is definitely no exception. 

Savalas (Wiki)
Telly Savalas
Passed away this day in 1994
Ernst Stavro Blofeld in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

My memory of Telly Savalas stems from his roles outside of his very popular television series, Kojak, which ran for 118 episodes from 1973 to 1978. Instead, I remember the bald, gruff, rebellious gravelly spoken man in Kelly’s Heroes, The Dirty Dozen and as Erich Streator in the “Living Doll” episode of The Twilight Zone (1963). In a career that spanned over thirty years, Savalas was most often cast as a villain, including On Her Majesty’s Secret Service as Ernst Stavro Blofeld. However, like Jack Lord in yesterday’s blog in which I learned that Lord had been an artist, well I did not know that Savalas had also been a singer. His spoken word “If” reached #1 on the UK charts in 1975! And, he had a song called “Who Loves Ya, Baby” which was his catch phrase from Kojak. 

According to his IMDB profile, Savalas had 127 credits over the course of his acting career. But did you know that he had a degree in psychology from Columbia University or that he was a top poker player? Or, interesting enough, that he enjoyed reading romance novels? Or that after shaving his head for a role in 1965, he continued to keep his head shaved up to his death.

Blofeld and Bond match wits in OHMSS (Google Images)
It seems strange that for a man who owned houses around the world, for the last 20 years of his life, he lived at the Sheraton-Universal Hotel in Universal City. His mother lived in the hotel as well, all expenses paid by Savalas and is one of many examples of his devotion to his family and his friends.  

From People magazine archive, Shelley Levitt wrote a wonderful tribute to Savalas on February 7, 1994 titled “A Thirst for Life” and is worth the read. He passed away in 1994, one day after his 72nd birthday from bladder cancer.

© 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.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

It’s a Bond Bonanza! …Day 21 of Bond 365

I am running out of time this evening, so let’s get right into today’s group. Since its a full house, I thought Bond Bonanza would be a fun title for today's post.

Charles Dorat
Born this day in 1906
French Adaptation of Goldfinger

French actor Charles Dorat worked on Goldfinger by creating the French adaptation. According to IMDB, Dorat was a jack-of-all-trades it seemed. He worked in sound, as a second unit director, writer as well as an actor. Since I don’t read French, I was unable to ascertain any other information about Dorat.

Telly Savalas
Born this day in 1922
Blofeld in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

I am going to hold my comments about Telly Savalas for the moment since tomorrow he’ll be featured again, for having passed away in 1994. So, please stop back by and read my comments about Savalas tomorrow.

Gilbert Chomat
Born this day in 1931
Stunt Pilot for You Only Live Twice

Chomat was a helicopter pilot and worked on a handful of films prior to dying tragically during the filming of Zeppelin, which took the life of a camerman and the director. I found a fascinating article from the Daily Mail that included a section in which the great actor Peter O’Toole talked about his friend with Chomat when they worked together on Murphy’s War.

Michael G. Wilson
Born this day in 1943
Cameo roles and various Eon Production staff positions

Michael Wilson had a cameo role in Goldfinger, but didn’t immediately join the Eon Productions family. He studied engineering and law and practiced law for a time in Washington D.C. However, he eventually joined the production company’s legal department and later as an executive producer. He even pulled duty as a screenwriter.

In addition to all of his work behind the camera, as I mentioned above, he had a cameo appearance in the third film. From 1977 to the present, he has had a cameo in each Eon Production films. According to his Wiki profile, he is “second only to Desmond Llewelyn in terms of repeat appearances in the series.” Typically, they are non-speaking roles and usually uncredited. I wonder what his cameo role will be in Spectre?

Jack Lord
Passed away this day in 1998
Felix Leiter in Dr. No

Jack Lord will forever be remembered for this leading role of Steve McGarrett in the American television series Hawaii Five-O. He joined the Bond family when he portrayed Felix Leiter in the very first Eon Production’s Bond film, Dr. No. He cut quite a figure in the film and I think he was an exceeding good choice.

In my research, I found out that Lord was an accomplished artist. By the age of twenty, two of his paintings had been acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the British Museum of Modern Art. Along with his brother, they established the Village Academy of Arts. It had been his dream to be an artist. How different television could have been shaped if Lord had pursued his artistic dream instead.