Saturday, May 9, 2015

Birthday Boys Continue: Armendariz, Hauser & Finney…Day 129 of Bond 365

For living in SoCal, it was anything but warm and sunny today. I had to pull out a sweater and a long-sleeve shirt to wear while out and about. I made a stop at Barnes & Noble because I was told that they had Roger Moore’s Bond on Bond book in the clearance section for ten dollars. Unfortunately the bookstore in Orange did not have it. I was a bit bummed because I have wanted to pick it up.

In lieu of Moore’s book, I left the store with a couple of pre-teen spy oriented books. The first is Stuart Gibbs’ Spy School (#7 on the Children’s Best Sellers List) and it is the first book of an ongoing series that also includes Spy Camp and the recently released Evil Spy School. The book series is geared for kids ages 8 – 12. 

The second book I picked up is Judith Viorst’s Lulu’s Mysterious Mission and it is written for kids 6 – 10 years old. Kevin Cornell beautifully illustrates it throughout. I actually read the Lulu story this afternoon, so expect a review shortly!

Young Armendariz
Pedro Armendariz
Born this day in 1912
Kerim Bey in From Russia With Love

Pedro Armendariz, born in Mexico City, lost his parents by the time he was ten years old. His uncle stepped in, caring for Armendariz before he went off to Polytechnic Institute of San Luis Obispo. Armendariz studied business and journalism, graduating in 1931. He returned to Mexico City and secured work in a number of industries.

Director Miguel Zacarias discovered Armendariz while he was reciting Hamlet to an American tourist. It was start of a career in Mexico that led him to the US and Europe. His good looks, green eyes, fluency in English, and refinement endeared him to directors and co-stars. IMDB has his first role listed in the 1935 film Rosario in which he played Enrique, and Armendariz kept busy with roles up into his death in 1963.

Armendariz in From Russia
 From Russia With Love, in which he played Kerim Bey, was his last role. Armendariz had found out he had cancer, which was attributed to radioactive exposure during the filming of The Conqueror (1956), starring John Wayne and Susan Hayward. Production was shifted in From Russia With Love so Armendariz could finish shooting his scenes so his family could receive his earnings. He shot himself on 18th of June 1963 in Los Angeles. He was only 51 years old. 

Bond Trivia: His son, Pedro Armendariz Jr., was cast as President Hector Lopez in Licence to Kill (1989) starring Timothy Dalton.

Hauser and Amelia Bayntun as Mr. and Mrs. Karski

Philo Hauser
Born this day in 1915
Mr. Karlski in Thunderball

Born in Vienna, Philo Hauser got his first acting role in the Ealing Studios’ Against the Wind (1948), a spy story set in Europe in which he played Joseph. Checking some of the 47 acting credits, Hauser was in quite a few war and spy oriented films and television series, including a couple of episodes of The Saint, once in 1964 and again in 1967. He also had an uncredited role as a Night Porter in the anti-Bond film, The Quiller Memorandum (1966).

There was little to be found on Hauser on the Internet. He passed away in 1970 at the age of 55.

Finney as Kincade in Skyfall (2012)
Albert Finney
Born this day in 1936
Kincade in Skyfall

Albert Finney has had a long and successful acting career that spans stage, film and television. He got his start on stage acting in a number of Shakespearean productions during the 1950s. Starting in the 1960s, Finney transitioned to films. Over the years, he has received many acting nominations and he has taken home about a dozen or so awards. And, interestingly, he turned down offers of the CBE and Knighthood, stating the honors “perpetuate snobbery”.

For a brief period of time, Sean Connery was considered for the role of Kincade that eventually went to Albert Finney (n.d., It would have been a first to have a former Bond cast as a different character in another Bond film, but Sam Mendes decided it would have been “distracting” to have Connery on board. I don’t know, I think it could have been fun, especially since the film included a changing of the guard with regards to M. I think it was a missed opportunity to at least ask Connery, although I’m thinking he probably would have said no.

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