Born this day in 1950
Director of Die Another Day
Lee Tamahori is originally from Wellington, New Zealand and is the only Bond director to be of Maori ancestry. He got his start in show business as a boom operator for Skin Deep (1978), a New Zealand drama, which garnered a nomination for Best Feature at the Chicago International Film Festival.
Tamahori has worked on 23 films as either director or as a second unit/assistant director since 1983. He directed Pierce Brosnan in his last outing as James Bond in Die Another Day (2002), which also marked the 40th anniversary of the franchise’s beginning with Dr. No in 1962.
He has two regal sounding projects in post-production: the adventure film Emperor starring Sophie Cookson, Adrien Brody and Rutger Hauer (yay!), and an action drama titled The Patriarch set in rural New Zealand.
Passed away this day in 2012
George Leech wore two hats in the industry: actor and stunts, which he seemed to balance well in terms of the Bond films. His earliest credit was as a stand-in for James Mason (boy, that must have been awesome!) in the film noir Odd Man Out in 1947. However, it was in 1956 that Leech carried a role in the ITV Television Playhouse episode titled ‘Teddy Gang’ and completed stunts in the film Helen of Troy, which starred Stanley Baker and Brigitte Bardot and directed by Robert Wise.
Let’s take a look at Leech’s contribution to the Bond films with stretched from Dr. No to A View To a Kill!
Stunts/Stunt Double: Joseph Wiseman for Dr. No
Man in Bulletproof Vest at Q Branch in Goldfinger
Stunts/Stunt Driver/Stunt Double: Sean Connery for Goldfinger
Disco Volante Crewman in Thunderball
Stunts for Thunderball, Casino Royale (1967), You Only Live Twice
Strangled SPECTRE Skier in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Stunt Arranger for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Stunts for Diamonds Are Forever
Cortina Gunman #2 in The Spy Who Loved Me
Stunts/Stunt Driver: Lotus Esprit for The Spy Who Loved Me
Henchman Shark Victim in For Your Eyes Only
Stunt Team for For Your Eyes Only
Stunt Driver/Explosion Stunt for Octopussy
Additional Stunts for Never Say Never Again
Stunt Double: Willoughby Gray for A View To a Kill
Passed away this day in 2014
Russian Control Room Officer in You Only Live Twice
English actor Jeffry (or Jeffrey) Wickham got his start on the television series An Age of Kings (1960) where he played a number of different roles. For much of his almost 100 acting credits, Wickham worked frequently on shows doing guest appearances. He was also one of a handful of actors that worked not only on a Bond project, but also on Doctor Who, where he was cast as Webster for the ‘Guests of Madame Guillotine’ episode in 1964. Wickham has the distinction of also working with another English institution: Hammer films. He was cast as Edgar in the ‘Carpathian Eagle’ episode of Hammer House of Horror, a television series in 1980.
In addition to all of the television appearances, Wickham was cast in a number of British films. Memorable roles would probably include The Remains of the Day (1993) in which he played Viscount Bigge and as Capt. Frank Barnes, joining Sean Connery in The Terrorists (1974).
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