Welcome to my April A-Z! This month I will be posting about James Bond 007 every day except Sunday, mostly focusing on the movies, not the books. Enjoy!
E.S. Blofeld is an interesting and confusing character, appearing in some form in many Bond films as a baddie out to cause havoc in the world and/or for Bond specifically. His hallmark is a fluffy white
Siamese Persian [thanks to Keera for noticing this error] cat, which he calmly pets while plotting evil. Blofeld is head of SPECTRE, a fictional global criminal organization, and referred to as Number One by others in the org. He has been portrayed by a variety of actors. Originally, his face was not shown, only the cat-petting.
Blofeld first “appears” in From Russia with Love (1963) and next in Thunderball (1965), but his name is not spoken nor is his face shown. We see only his hands and the kitty, plus we hear his voice, of course. His face first appears in You Only Live Twice (1967), where he has a jagged scar and an injured eye (played by Donald Pleasence). Charles Gray portrayed Blofeld in Diamonds Are Forever (1971), and we see his face ~ many times, due to a “cloning” device.
Ian Fleming gave Blofeld a complex backstory, in which he made money from both sides during WWII. He ultimately sided with the Allies and received medals, after which he founded SPECTRE. It is believed that Fleming based the character on a real Greek arms dealer. His last name is from one of Fleming’s classmates who became a cricket commentator.
In For Your Eyes Only (1981), Blofeld is bald and in a wheelchair as he tries to kill Bond in the opening scene. Oddly, he is not credited by name, but we know it’s him because of the white cat. Roger Moore is portraying Bond here, and the film creates “continuity” by having him pay respects at Tracy’s grave (he was married to her briefly in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Blofeld’s henchwoman killed her while trying to shoot Bond from a motorcycle). The reason for all this subterfuge stemmed from a legal dispute regarding trademarks (resolved later).
Blofeld’s appearance morphs periodically, similar to the books’ depiction, with the explanation that he changes his face via surgery to preserve his anonymity. But he always has the cat and usually wears a distinctive jacket.
That last pic is of Christoph Walz playing the baddie in Spectre (2015), where he did an outstanding job despite the absurd half-brothers storyline. Gah! I love Walz, so I’m happy to read that he’ll return in the next 007 film No Time to Die.
Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!
Info and images credited to Wikipedia.
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