Friday, March 6, 2015

Humble Beginnings, War and Hysteria….Day 65 of Bond 365

Happy Friday all you Bond aficionados! We made it through another week and it is time for the weekend! To get you started, let’s have a look at Day 65!

Bauer's American Diplomat look
David Bauer
Born this day in 1917
American Diplomat in You Only Live Twice and as Mr. Slumber in Diamonds Are Forever

David Bauer was born in Chicago shortly before America would enter the First World War of the modern era. His first acting credits were in 1958 as Frank/Head Waiter in Kraft Theatre and Lt. Fletcher in Decoy. Both were television series. By 1961, he had migrated to the UK after becoming embroiled in the anti-Communism hysteria that washed across the US and shook Hollywood in the early to mid 1950s.

Bauer's Mr. Slumber persona

He played American gangster types in the English television series of the 1960s and 1970s including The Avengers and The Saint. Beyond playing in two Bond films, Bauer was in a couple of other high profile films of interest. He was the Young Judge in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965) and as Lt. General Harry Buford in Patton (1970). 

Bauer passed away in 1973 at the age of 55.

Lewis Gilbert
Born this day in 1920
Mat at St Mark’s Square (uncredited) in Moonraker
Director of You Only Live Twice, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Moonraker

Lewis Gilbert is an interesting fellow, who I sadly, always think has passed away only to remember he is alive and well and 95 years young. Gilbert was born in London to a family of music hall performers. Prior to his first on-stage role at the age of 5, he would watch from the wings as the shows delighted and entertained audience-goers. After his father died when he was 7, he eventually became the breadwinner for the family.

Gilbert reached an important crossroads when director/producer Alexander Korda offered Gilbert the opportunity to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. However, Gilbert took a different path. He studied direction and became an assistant to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1939 Jamaica Inn.

Barbara Bach and Lewis Gilbert
The Second World War broke out and Gilbert joined a film unit for the Royal Air Force, where he served under William Keighley, who was an American film director known for his direction on The Prince and the Pauper and The Adventures of Robin Hood.

After the war, Gilbert continued to gain directorial experience by writing and directing documentaries for Gaumont British. He did well in the 1950s and 1960s, usually filling the shoes as director, writer, and producer. He became known for films that explored personal drama, such as Alfie (1966), Educating Rita (1983), and Shirley Valentine (1989). However, those are not films that necessarily scream possible Bond film director in the making, but Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli saw something in Gilbert. They were able to persuade Gilbert to direct not one but three Bond films!

In 1997, Gilbert was awarded the CBE and in 2001, he was made a Fellow of the British Film Institute. And, in 2010, Reynolds & Hearn published All My Flashbacks: The Autobiography of Lewis Gilbert Sixty Years a Film Director.   

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