Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Words. Diction....Day 14 of Bond 365

Happy Wednesday everyone and welcome to Day 14 of Bond 365! We are now half way through the work week and the weekend on the horizon. Thank goodness!

Robin Bailey
Robin Bailey
Passed Away on January 14, 1999
Foreign Secretary in You Only Live Twice

Robin Bailey came into the world in 1919 with a rather lengthy handle: William Henry Mettam Bailey. He was a versatile actor working in television, film, and theatre. His distinguish English voice and ability to speak well with different dialects also led him audio books where he read stories by fiction/mystery writers, Agatha Christie, Nevil Shute, and Ruth Rendell.

He made is first appearance in Secret Flight (1946) in the role of “Wives’ escort officer” and had a very long career in film and television, with his last role as “Uncle Alfred” in the television mini-series A Dance to the Music of Time (1997). Many of Bailey’s roles were of military, royal, or governmental official characters because of his precise diction, including his uncredited role of Foreign Secretary in You Only Live Twice. And, he took roles in several television series throughout his career. One in particular caught my attention because of its association with a Hitchcock film, The Lady Vanishes. Bailey played Charters in the series Charters & Caldicott (1985), and the title characters refer to the two chaps from The Lady Vanishes that believe a young woman’s companion has disappeared when no one else does, however they do not speak up because they want to make it home in time to catch the last bit of a cricket match. I thought it was a clever idea.

Apparently, he was also known for his comedic roles. I did a YouTube search on Mr. Bailey and sure enough, he did a humorous commercial for Cockburns (pronounced “Co-burns”) Special Reserve that aired many years ago. I couldn’t find an original date for this classic commercial, but it gives you an example of Bailey’s masterful articulation skills.

Rest in Peace, Brian Clemens

Brian Clemens, passed away January 10

I wanted to take a moment to wish condolences to the family of British screenwriter, Brian Clemens OBE, who passed away on January 10. Although Clemens didn’t work with the Bond franchise at any time in his career, he did however have several beautiful ties to it via his screenplays. In particular, The Avengers (1961-1969), Dr. Jekyll & Sister Hyde (1971), See No Evil (1971), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973), The Avengers (1976-1977), The Professionals (1977-1983), Remington Steele (1984), and Highlander II: The Quickening (1991) were some of the films and television shows in which he worked with Bond alums Honor Blackman, Dame Diana Rigg, Johanna Lumley, Martine Beswick, and Caroline Munro as well as a few distinguished men: Patrick Macnee, Pierce Brosnan, Robin Bailey, Roger Moore, and Sean Connery.

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