Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Early Bond Alums: Frobe and Mather…..Day 56 of Bond 365

Berkely Mather
Born this day in 1909
Screenwriter of Dr. No and From Russia With Love; Uncredited as “Man” in From Russia With Love

At first, I thought, here is another person who had one acting credit (uncredited at that) to their name and no other information. Berkely Mather does have one uncredited role, however, he was better known for his writing. In fact, he had 30 writing credits according to IMDB. He wrote for film and television. For instance, he was the writer for one episode of The Avengers (1961) and two episodes of I Spy (1967) as well as two Bond film screenplays.

Mather, a pseudonym for John Even Weston-Davies, penned 15 published novels and an anthology of short stories. The Achilles Affair (1959) was his first novel and did rather well. His follow up novel, The Pass Beyond Kashmir (1960), received high praise from Ian Fleming. In fact, Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman purchased the film rights to the novel and had planned to have Sean Connery and Honor Blackman star. Under Columbia Pictures, production began in 1964 in Britain and in the Far East. Sadly, it was not completed.

I found a thorough discussion over at Pretty Sinister Books about The Pass Beyond Kashmir that is worth a read.

Sean Connery and Gert Frobe from Goldfinger
Gert Frobe
Born this day in 1913
Auric Goldfinger in Goldfinger

Gert Frobe will always be immortalized as the gold lusting arch-villain Auric Goldfinger in the 1964 Bond film Goldfinger. At IMDB, he is quoted as having said, “I am a big man [he was 6’ 1 ¼” ], and I have a laugh to match my size. The ridiculous thing is that since I played ‘Goldfinger’ in the James Bond film there are some people who still insist on seeing me as a cold, ruthless villain – a man without laughs.” It’s often been the case when an actor does such a fantastic job embodying a character that they become forever remembered and typecast in similar roles. Looking a bit deeper though and one will discover that Frobe’s was a multi-faceted, intriguing individual.

Here are some interesting facts about Frobe that has been overshadowed by the Goldfinger personae:

Frobe’s was an accomplished violinist who decided to go into the theatre and acting.

Frobe’s was a member of the Nazi Party from 1929-1937. He used his membership to Jews from the Gestapo so they get out of the Germany. Because of his wartime past, Goldfinger was banned in Israel until a Jewish family publicly thanked him for his help.

He is commemorated on a German stamp.

He was married five times.

He was known for reciting lyric poetry, in particular Christian Morgenstern and Joachim Ringelnatz.

He was in another film based on Fleming’s writing: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968).

He was nominated for 10 awards and won 7. In all, he had 111 acting credits in a career that spanned from 1948 – 1989.

And, he played the recurring role of Kommissar Lohmann in three Dr. Mabuse films. Here’s the trailer for the 1960 The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse starring Frobe.

© 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.