Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Birthdays: Overton, Hedison and Zerbe…Day 140 of Bond 365

Al Overton
Born this day in 1912
Sound Recordist for Diamonds Are Forever

Al Overton was an American sound recordist originally from Connecticut. He got his start in the film Port of Hell in 1954 and had almost 100 sound credits to his name before his death in 1985. Overton was nominated for Best Sound in Diamonds Are Forever, along with Gordon K. McCallum and John W. Mitchell at the Academy Awards in 1972.

Looking over his filmography, a couple of credits stand out: It Conquered the World (1956) starring Peter Graves and Lee Van Cleef; The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming (1966) starring Alan Arkin, Carl Reiner and John Phillip Law (swoon!); and The Shootist (1976) starring John Wayne and Lauren Bacall.

David Hedison
Born this day in 1927
Felix Leiter in Live and Let Die, Licence to Kill

I met David Hedison at a Hollywood Collector’s Shows about four years ago. Still the tall, handsome man at 80-something at the time, it was easy to see how he had made it through the industry door into acting. His IMDB profile notes that he was turned onto acting after seeing Blood and Sand (1941) starring several inspiring actors of the time: Tyrone Power, Anthony Quinn, John Carradine, and George Reeves. The leading lady was the lovely Rita Hayworth.

I believe I first saw Hedison in the syndicated Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, which originally aired from 1964 through 1968. He went onto guest star in several popular television shows during the 1970s and 1980s. Hedison was the first actor to portray Felix Leiter twice and he was the only actor that played Felix opposite two different James Bond actors, Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton. Jeffrey Wright was the second actor to have a recurring role as Felix in two Bond films, Casino Royale (2006) and Quantum of Solace (2008) with Daniel Craig playing Bond in both.

Anthony Zerbe
Born this day in 1938
Milton Krest in Licence to Kill

Nicknamed ‘Bug’, Anthony Zerbe is a SoCal man originally from Long Beach, California. I did not recognize his name on my list, but as soon as I saw his face, I did. He’s had over 100 acting credits across several genres, but he is probably best known for his westerns. 

He’s definitely one of those solid character actors does very well in making the main characters do great. I guess is no surprise that he would pull off a good villain as he did in Licence to Kill where he met a grisly end.

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