Sunday, May 10, 2015

DP, Set Decorator & Actor….Day 130 of Bond 365

Alec Mills
Born this day in 1932
Director of Photography on The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill
Camera Operator in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, and Octopussy

Englishman Alec Mills was well established behind the camera lens by the time he began working with Eon Productions in the late 1960s. In fact, he had already worked Sir Roger Moore on The Saint for two years, prior to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and then worked with Moore when he became Bond. The last two Bond films he worked on starred Timothy Dalton and Mills graduated to the position of DP.

He wrote an autobiography of his experiences working on the Bond films entitled Shooting 007 and Other Celluloid Adventures, published last year. It is available on Amazon.

John McLaren
Passed away this day in 1970
Brigadier in Goldfinger

Originally from Canada, John McLaren got his acting start in Welcome, Mr. Washington in 1944. The majority of his credits were for one-off guest parts in television shows fairly consistently up until his death. Unfortunately, there was little written that I could find.

John P Austin
Passed away this day in 1997
Set Decoration in Diamonds Are Forever

Oscar nominated American set decorator John P Austin started working on sets for the 1947 film, A Double Life. He worked on 100+ sets for just over 30 years and was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on Gambit (1966), which starred Shirley MacLaine and a very young Michael Caine. I was unfamiliar with most of Austin’s sets with the exception of Touch of Evil (1958), What’s Up, Doc? (1972) and Westworld (1973). I did like the sets in Diamonds Are Forever, especially Willard Whyte’s (played by Jimmy Dean) home where Bond fights Bambi and Thumper.

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