Tag Archives: characters

Kiel, Richard [April A2Z]

Richard Kiel

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!

Richard Dawson Kiel was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1939. He reached the extraordinary height of 7’2″ due to excess growth hormone. His family moved to California when he was 9 and he graduated from Baldwin Park High School. Richard held a bunch of odd jobs, including a cemetery plot salesman and math teacher, before he found his way into “the biz.” Naturally, he was often cast as the bad guy, including in the second episode of I Dream of Jeannie (1965), where he plays Ali in ancient Persia. But we are here today to focus on his iconic role as “Jaws” in the James Bond franchise. He was one of the few villains who showed up in more than one film

Richard first appeared as Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). He working as an assassin for baddie Karl Stromberg and was outfitted with special steel teeth to make him look extra-scary. Kiel said the teeth were hugely uncomfortable to wear. He doesn’t speak in the film, but he certainly smiles. Jaws was supposed to be killed by a shark after escaping from Stromberg’s ship before it was torpedoed, but he was so popular with the test audience that the producers decided to let him live. He played Jaws again in Moonraker (1979), where he was given a larger role.

Jaws and Bond

In Moonraker, Jaws becomes more of a comedic figure than a ruthless killer, even though he still looks terrifying. There are some spoofy type fight scenes, where he’s clearly stronger than Roger Moore’s 007, but Bond overpowers him by zapping him in the teeth with a broken lamp. Silly but fun. Jaws is working for baddie Drax but turns against him and helps Bond defeat him. This is primarily motivated not by Bond’s persuasiveness but by Jaws’ new love interest ~ the blonde, pigtailed Dolly who also does not talk. In both films, Jaws survives ridiculous situations which would be fatal for any normal human, such as the aforementioned shark battle and also falling several thousand feet after he screws up his parachute (in Moonraker). He gets up and straightens his jacket in the same manner as Bond himself. At the end of Moonraker, Jaws and Dolly survive the collapse of Drax’s space station, and he gets one line. “Here’s to us,” Jaws says as he pops a bottle of champagne with his teeth. There were plans to bring Jaws back for a third Bond adventure, but that didn’t happen.

After Jaws, Richard Kiel had a few more roles, notably as Mr. Larson in Adam Sandler’s Happy Gilmore. He also co-authored a biography of the abolitionist CM Clay and published an autobiography as well. Kiel was a born-again Christian, which he said helped him overcome his alcoholism. He was married twice. Diane Rogers, his second wife, was only 5’1″ and they were married 40 years until Kiel’s death. With Diane, Kiel had 4 children and 9 grandchildren. He passed away in 2014 of a heart attack right before his 75th birthday.

Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!

~*~

Information and images from Wikipedia, Fandom, and Pinterest.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Judi Dench [April A2Z]

Judi Dench

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!

Dame Judith Olivia Dench was born in 1934 in York, England. She began her stage career in 1957 as Ophelia in Hamlet and ever since has received honors for her stellar acting abilities. She’s been nominated for an Academy Award seven times and won once (for her supporting role as Queen Elizabeth I in 1998’s Shakespeare in Love). She is considered one of the greatest actors of all time and often tops the list of Britain’s favorites. In 1988, Ms. Dench was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, which is a British order of chivalry that rewards contributions to the arts and sciences, among other things. This is why she is called “Dame,” which is an honorific.

Today, however, we want to focus on her role as M in the James Bond franchise. Ian Fleming created the character of “M” in his 007 novels to be the nickname for the chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, which is known as M16. There have been four actors who played M in the Eon (Broccoli) films: Bernard Lee, Robert Brown, Judi Dench, and Ralph Fiennes, the incumbent. In the non-Eon movies, M was played by John Huston, David Niven, and Edward Fox. Ms. Dench first portrayed M in 1995’s GoldenEye, which starred Pierce Brosnan as Bond. She continued to play M in the next three Brosnan 007 films, and again when Daniel Craig took on the 007 role in Casino Royale (2006). Ms. Dench played M for another three films with Craig as Bond, and met her tragic end in Skyfall. She is the first M to be killed in the line of duty.

Dench and Craig

The film character is supposedly based on Stella Rimington, the real-life head of MI5 between 1992 and 1996.

Ms. Dench was married for 40 years to the actor Michael Williams (d. 2001); they had one daughter, Finty (who has a son). In 2010, Ms. Dench met conservationist David Mills and they’ve been a couple since. Ms. Dench is a Quaker.

Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!

~*~

Information and images from Wikipedia, James Bond Wiki, and Metro News.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

South on Highland [repost]

Freeway night

I read Liana Maeby’s book South on Highland a few days ago. It’s hard to explain how I felt about it ~ basically, I loved the writing and disliked the story. How does that make any sense? Idk, but it’s the best I can do.

Maeby’s writing is fresh and interesting. She really knows how to develop a story. Pacing, metaphors, style… all that. Wonderful!

But I simply did not like the story she told. This may be the first time I could so clearly separate writing from story in this way. Many times, I’ve started to enjoy a story but didn’t finish the book because the writing was so awful. The plot and/or characters were interesting, but there were so many errors in spelling/tense/grammar that I couldn’t focus. Not the case with Maeby ~ her writing is perfect.

And it isn’t that Maeby’s protagonist was merely unlikeable ~ I actively despised her. I knew I couldn’t hope she would die because the POV was in first person, but still… ughhh. Spoiled princess abuses substances to the extreme, squanders her talent, goes to rehab. Loads of promiscuous and stupid sex abound. Creepy and despicable supporting characters hover. Etc. We’ve all read a story like this before and seen one on TV. Yet… yet… the writing was so damn good. I had to finish the book.

And finally… the ending. A semi-redemption. Not going to say a word about it because I think you should read this book for the writing and I hope the ending blows you away too. It didn’t cause me to like the protag any better but goddamn was that a surprise and… it made me envious that someone could write like that. When I start to feel those green claws scratching at me, I know I’ve discovered a good writer.

I found this interview of Maeby and was happy to see that SoH was less of a memoir than I had assumed. It made me like the author more to read that she spent three years writing this book, sober, and the story began as a satire of the recovery culture, but morphed into something serious. Cool. I can totally see the seeds of satire now that she said this.

~*~

Image from Pexels.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Henchwomen [April A2Z]

Roger Moore James Bond 007 The Spy Who Loved Me Barbara Bach

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!

We’ve already discussed the fabulous Oddjob in my Goldfinger post, and of course I paid special tribute to Blofeld in his own post. Richard Kiel as Jaws gets his due later in this series as well. Lots of henchmen after 007! But only men? Nope. There are plenty of Bond henchwomen too. We mentioned Rosa Klebb in From Russia With Love who was an older, unattractive henchwoman. But along with the beauties bedding Bond, there are also other gorgeous women who want to put a bullet in our hero. Okay, sometimes they’re up for both. Here are a couple of good ones…

Barbara Bach (pictured above with Roger Moore as Bond) stars as Anya Amasova in 1974’s The Spy Who Loved Me. We meet her as KGB agent Triple X after an exciting ski chase. Bond and Anya are ordered to work together against a baddie who is trying to trick both the British and the Russians into launching nukes at the USA. It’s a reluctant partnership, especially when Anya discovers that James killed her boyfriend during the ski chase. She tells Bond she plans to kill him in revenge after this mission. But before Anya accomplishes her goal, she falls in love with him. Of course!

Little trivia: Barbara (Gold)bach was born in NYC, to a Jewish dad and an Irish mom. She is married to Ringo Starr and thus is properly titled Lady Starkey. Ringo was knighted in 2018 in Buckingham Palace by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.

Fatima Blush Never Say Never

Barbara Carrera stars as Fatima Blush in Never Say Never Again (1983). Here, Sean Connery returns to his iconic role as 007, for the seventh and final time. (Note that this movie is actually based on Fleming’s Thunderball novel.) Bond observes Fatima as a sadistic nurse beating a man in a health clinic where Bond is supposed to get back into top 007 shape. Fatima works for Blofeld, who has Fatima install a fake eye in the man in the clinic, which matches the USA’s President’s eye, so Blofeld can get access to nukes (it’s complicated!). After access, Fatima kills the man by tossing a venomous snake in his car ~ when he crashes, her main concern is retrieving her pet. Cold-blooded!

Fatima beds Bond, and later has him tied up and at her mercy. Fortunately for our hero, Fatima’s ego gets the best of her and before she strikes, she unties Bond and insists that he declare in writing that she was the best sex he ever had. Naturally, Q has supplied Bond with a tricked-out pen…

Barbara earned a Golden Globe nom for her role as Fatima. She is also an accomplished artist, and in 1997 was appointed Ambassador-at-Large for Nicaragua, the country of her birth.

Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!

~*~

Information and images from Vox, Pinterest, and Wikipedia.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Goldfinger [April A2Z]

James Bond 007 Goldfinger

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!

SPOILERS!

Sean Connery stars as Bond in Goldfinger (1964), where he investigates Auric Goldfinger (played by Gert Fröbe) and discovers his plot to contaminate the USA’s gold supply at Fort Knox. This will naturally result in a huge increase of value for Auric’s gold and give him gobs of power. Sounds like a reasonable idea, eh? Along the way Bond meets the beautiful blonde Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore, who supposedly is a lesbian and fails to fall for his charms, for a while anyway. But even she can’t resist him ultimately. Who could? Bond does have a lovely admirer in Jill Masterson, played by Shirley Eaton, until she gets painted out of the film (Goldfinger kills by covering people with gold paint so they suffocate). This film was the first of four to be directed by Guy Hamilton ~ and it was the first Bond “blockbuster.”

One of the most memorable scenes is when Goldfinger has Bond captured and strapped to a table. There is a scary laser about to slice through 007’s body, starting at his crotch. Bond quips, “Do you expect me to talk?” Auric says, “No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die.” Beautiful! Then Bond tricks him into thinking Bond knows more than he does, so Auric lets him live. ALWAYS A MISTAKE!

Goldfinger introduces Bond fans to a fun henchman named Oddjob played by the Japanese-American actor and professional wrestler Harold Sakata. Oddjob works for Goldfinger as his bodyguard, chauffeur, servant, and hitman. He is portrayed much differently in film than he was in Ian Fleming’s book, where he was shockingly grotesque. On screen, Oddjob’s appearance isn’t cause for terror, but his method of killing is: he flings his razor-sharp bowler hat at his subject and decapitates them. He also has a speech defect and only Goldfinger can understand what he says (good way to avoid paying someone to dub his lines!). Unfortunately, he has a literal taste for cats.

Goldfinger Oddjob

Shirley Bassey performs the memorable theme song for this movie.

Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!

~*~

Information and images from Wikipedia, IMDB, and Pinterest.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld [April A2Z]

Blofeld and cat

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.

Charles Gray as Blofeld

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.

Blofelds

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.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Light Paulas [repost]

Carnival mask

They’re out there somewhere…
Not a joke.
I catch glimpses of their lives
Floating through mine
Via misdirected emails:
The other Paula Lights.

One of them has DISH TV–
That might be nice,
All those channels.
I could watch anything
And everything!
Well, I do have trouble with choice;
This is known.

Another one, married,
Bought homeowners insurance;
They seem like a solid couple,
Smart financial planning.
I was like that once,
With a house and a husband,
Doing all the things
I was supposed to do.

Sad day–
One of the Paulas has a tribute page
Posted for a deceased relative.
The confirmation came to me.
(Please do not reply.)
I probably should have done
Something like that
For my parents.

One shops at Wal*Mart
And I get her alerts,
No way to unsubscribe.
She bought a granite-topped cart,
Which looks pretty cool.
I had a cart once,
In that house with the husband.
They’re convenient, at times:
Carts and husbands.

Fun! One of them just visited
Margaritaville Casino
In Bossier City (Bossier!),
Louisiana.
The casino asked me
If I enjoyed my stay–
I’m sure I did.

These other Paula Lights
Are in the Midwest,
Where I once lived too
Among the blizzards and ‘nadoes.
For all I know,
They’re the same person,
Or maybe they’re reflections of me,
The OP,
Living my parallel life.

~*~

Poetry form: free verse.
Image from Pixabay.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Bond, James Bond [April A2Z]

James Bond

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!

Ian Fleming originally envisioned his fictional James Bond character to look like the above sketch (image and info from Wikipedia). Bond was meant to be a composite of various secret agents and commandos Fleming had encountered during his time with the British Navy in WWII, including his brother. He created Bond to be an intelligence officer in MI6, the British Secret Intelligence Service, with the code of 007.

Fleming chose the name “James Bond” from an American ornithologist (bird scientist) because he saw the name on a book and thought it sounded unromantic and masculine, perfect for his character. He also thought it sounded “dull,” which was appealing because Bond was supposed to be neutral and anonymous, a plain man who would be stuck into exotic situations.

Roger Moore as James Bond on jet ski

Bond was supposed to resemble the American singer Hoagy Carmichael, and indeed this is mentioned in some of the books by other characters commenting on Bond’s appearance. Fleming also gave Bond some of his own traits, as writers are wont to do, such as his love of golf and gambling. We don’t hear much about Bond’s early life or family, which adds to his mystique.

Many fans love to hear Bond introduce himself early on with his trademark “Bond, James Bond,” during which the familiar theme music begins to play. The first time he said it was in the first 007 movie, Dr. No (1962). But he doesn’t say it in every movie! It’s supposedly missing in a few… I’ll have to rewatch them all to figure out which ones. Here he is in all his glory.

Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!

~*~

Information and images from Wikipedia and Pinterest.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.