Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Did You Know That Toby Stephens Has Played James Bond? … Day 111 of Bond 365

Toby Stephens, more than a Bond villain....
Toby Stephens
Born this day in 1969
Gustav Graves in Die Another Day
Gustav Graves (voice) in 007 Legends

Unlike several other Bond alums I have come across so far, Toby Stephens attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and got his start in acting by working as a stagehand at the Chichester Festival Theatre. Orlando (1992) was Stephen’s first screen appearance and he has gone on to act on television and on the big screen. In addition to his screen performances, he spends quite a bit of time in performing theatre productions.

....he's James Bond on radio
Besides starring as Gustav Graves in the Bond film Die Another Day as well as voicing his character in the video game 007 Legends, Stephens has been involved in some other Bond related events. For instance, during the centenary celebration of Ian Fleming’s birthday, Stephens performed as James Bond in the BBC Radio 4 production of Dr. No. This was not the first radio dramatization; in 1956, Bob Holness lent his voice as James Bond for Moonraker. Later in 2008, Stephens was part the benefit “The Story of James Bond, A Tribute to Ian Fleming” organized by Fleming’s niece, Lucy Fleming and held at the London Palladium. Several stars read from the Fleming novels and Stephens read the James Bond parts.

There were a couple of parts worth mentioning from Stephens filmography on IMDB. Stephens starred as Kim Philby in the mini-series Cambridge Spies (2003), probably one of the biggest spy/espionage events in 20th century England. And interestingly, he starred in Noel Coward’s Private Lives as Elyot Chase in 2014. I wonder if any references were made to Ian Fleming, since Coward and Fleming were friends and neighbors on the tropical island of Jamaica.

Post Script: I happened across this article in Radio Times from 2014 about Stephens reprising his role as James Bond for On Her Majesty's Secret Service. This is Stephens fourth outing portraying Bond on radio. Pretty cool! 

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