Tag Archives: James Bond

Sean Connery [April A2Z]

sean connery

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!

Today we will be talking about Sir Sean Connery. He was born Thomas Sean Connery in Scotland in 1930, same year as my dad. Sean passed away last October (2020). RIP. He played Bond in six Eon-produced 007 films and once in another non-official 007 film, Never Say Never Again (1983).

Sean’s first job at age 14 was a milkman, and he joined the Royal Navy at 16. He was discharged three years later for health reasons (stomach ulcer). After that, Sean had a variety of jobs, including coffin polisher, and spent a lot of time bodybuilding. In 1953, he placed third in the Mr. Universe competition. He was offered a football contract (do they mean soccer?), but turned it down and decided to become an actor. Strangely, he was not an overnight success and toiled away for years, doing janitorial work and making little money, before finally getting offered a few bit parts. He had a role in Action of the Tiger, which was directed by Terence Young, the director of the first three Bond films. Sean did four more films before he was chosen by Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman to star in Dr. No (1962).

From Russia with Love

After that, Connery starred as Bond in From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), and You Only Live Twice (1967). At this point, Sean felt he was becoming typecast and left the role. George Lazenby was then brought in for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but refused to do more. The producers were desperate for someone to portray Bond in Diamonds Are Forever (1971), so they offered Sean a huge amount of money to return for another film. He received a base of $1.25M, which he donated to charity, and 12.5% of the profits. Sean’s take, estimated at about $4.5 million, made him the highest paid actor of the time. Roger Moore then became the next Bond. Sean went on to roles in many other films, including one of my favorites, The Hunt for Red October (1990).

In 1983, Connery played Bond in Never Say Never Again, which was a remake of Ian Fleming’s novel Thunderball. As noted above, Eon already made a movie from that book in 1965. But this 80’s flick was not an Eon production; it was produced by Jack Schwartzman’s Taliafilm in association with Kevin McClory. Kevn was one of the original writers of the 1965 version. There was a protracted legal battle over rights from the 1960’s onward yada. In any case, this marked the seventh and final time Sean Connery played 007. The title is a humorous nod to Sean’s 1971 statement that he would “never” play Bond again. The storyline is about an aging Bond, brought back to investigate the theft of a couple nukes by SPECTRE.

Sean Connery

Sean was voted People Magazine’s Sexist Man Alive in 1989, when he was 69. In 2006, he received the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award. He also won an Academy Award, two BAFTA Awards, and three Golden Globes. And he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000. Connery was married twice and had one son, Jason. He died in his sleep at age 90, of pneumonia and heart failure, in the Bahamas.


Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!

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Information and images from Wikipedia, Looper, 007James, and People.

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

Roger Moore [April A2Z]

Roger Moore 007 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!

Sir Roger George Moore was born in 1927 and died in 2017. I was a fan of his from way back, when he played The Saint on black and white TV (1962-1969). I had a crush before I knew what one was and blame Moore for my predilection for older, suave men. Moore brought that classiness to his Bond role, along with a scoop of humor. To date, Moore has actually played 007 the most times in Eon-produced Bond films (1973-1985), seven to Sean Connery’s six. If we count Never Say Never Again (1983, produced by Taliafilm in association with Kevin McClory), then they are tied at seven.

Moore began his show biz career at an animation studio, but was fired after making an error. Next, through his policeman father, young Roger met a director in 1945 and was hired as an extra. He promptly became a hit with women and had a female fan-following (“stans,” as we call them now). He then attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where Lois Maxwell was studying also. Who is she? The future Miss Moneypenny, of course! At age 18, Moore was conscripted, but luckily WWII had already ended. He became a captain in West Germany, where he organized entertainment for the armed forces.

Roger Moore’s first TV appearance was in 1949 in “The Governess.” Next, he had a variety of roles until 1954 when he was signed to a seven-year contract at MGM. However, due to the colossal flop of a 1956 film in which he had a more significant role alongside Lana Turner, he was released from the contract. Poor Roger! He managed to achieve his first success in a 1958-1959 series “Ivanhoe” ~ which coincidentally also included Robert Brown in the cast. Who is he? Brown played M in several Bond films in the 1980s! Moore continued with television, signing a long-term contract with Warner Brothers in 1959. He had the lead in “The Alaskans” as well as a part in the 1960s show “Maverick,” playing a cousin to James Garner’s character. Fun fact: Sean Connery tested for that cousin part and turned it down.

Roger Moore

Moore began piling up loads of credits for TV and movies during the 1960s, including his famous role in “The Saint” as Simon Templar. Now, he was an international star, playing the debonair, bantering gentleman with a raised eyebrow. This was his signature expression, conveying coolness, control, and knowledge of your secrets. (Moore directed nine episodes of “The Saint.”) In 1970, he starred in a challenging role in The Man Who Haunted Himself, which I need to see, since I’m reading that it may have been his best role. In 1971, Moore became the highest-paid TV actor in the world, collecting a million pounds sterling for a single series, “The Persuaders.” He starred alongside Tony Curtis in that role.

Roger Moore’s first appearance as James Bond took place in the 1964 comedy series “Mainly Millicent.” He stated that he had not been considered for 007 in the first Bond film Dr. No, and only after Sean Connery declared in 1966 that he was done with 007 did Moore become a contender. Albert Broccoli signed him in 1972, and Moore played James Bond for the first time on the big screen in one of my favorite 007 films ~ Live and Let Die (1973). He had to cut his hair and lose weight for the part, which he said he resented. Moore continued to play Bond in six more films: The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (a massive success in 1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1979), Octopussy (1983), and finally A View to a Kill (1985). Between these movies, Moore was busy with roles in other major films. Dude was no slouch!

Roger Moore

Moore retired from Bond in 1985, at age 58. After 12 years in the role, he changed our perception of James Bond from Connery’s serious character into a more lighthearted one. With his trademark raised eyebrow and penchant for quips and flirtation, Moore brought a great deal of humor and fun to the 007 role. Some people vastly prefer the Connery Bond, but I enjoy both equally ~ and I also love Brosnan and Craig as Bond. Moore changed the role partly due to the atmosphere of the 1970s and also because, as he said, “I’m not that cold-blooded killer type.” He played it for laughs.

Post-Bond, Moore continued acting in movies, including ones that parodied the 007 role. His last screen appearance was in 2017, the year of his death. Over his lifetime, Moore received many awards and honors, including being named a Goodwill Ambassador in 1991 and chosen as one of GQ’s 50 best-dressed British men in 2015. Roger was married four times: first at age 18 to an ice skater 6 years his senior, later to a singer 12 years his senior, whom he left for the Italian actress Luisa Mattoli, who became his third wife (with whom he had three children, all now in “the biz”), and finally to Kristina Tholstrup in 2000. I have summarized his love life here ~ it was complicated and messy, as was his health. Roger suffered from many ailments since childhood on, finally succumbing to liver cancer at age 89 in Switzerland.

Moore was politically conservative, though he didn’t want to be seen as a political figure or involve himself much in politics. He did, however, state in 2011 that any hardline conservative who spoke out against a conservative leader (in Britain) should be viewed as a traitor. Roger supported the Queen and in particular favored keeping British currency separate from the EU’s currency, due to his desire to have the Queen continue to appear on British coins, stamps, etc. In keeping with these views, Moore also stated that he was opposed to James Bond’s character becoming anything other than a straight, white man. He favored unions though, for himself and others, supporting the Cadbury workers’ protest against their factory’s closure. Moore resented paying the high taxes in Britain, however much he adored the monarchy, and in 1978 he became a resident of Switzerland and later Monaco. Regardless, Moore was appointed Commander of the British Empire in 1999 and knighted in by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003 for charitable services. Roger Moore has a star on Hollywood Boulevard along with many other honors from various countries.

There’s a lot more to Moore and this is a longer post than I usually write ~ I’m sure I’ve lost most of my readers by now. I simply find Moore interesting, is all, and I am enjoying learning about him. Most of what I’ve written here I did not know before researching this post. I could go on, and on and on, but I will stop here.

Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!

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Information and images from Wikipedia, jbsuits.com, and 007.com.

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

Q [April A2Z]

James Bond Q

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!

Q stands for Quartermaster, which is a job title (like M). Ian Fleming created the Q character to be the head of Q Branch/Division, the fictional research and development department of the British Secret Service. Q doesn’t appear in the original novels, but is referred to indirectly. However, this Bond film fan loves scenes with Q, where Q explains to Bond how to use his latest gadget, but Bond is distracted by a pretty girl or feigns boredom. Finally, in exasperation, Q utters his trademark line, “DO pay attention, double oh seven!” Of course, Bond IS actually paying attention, since later in the film he will use one of the items Q gave him to escape from some sticky wicket. Another long-running trope centers around Bond inadvertently destroying one of Q’s inventions during a mission, and Q takes that personally.

Q has appeared in 21 out of 24 of Eon-produced Bond movies and had a role in both non-Eon films. At first, in Dr. No (1962), the gadget guy is introduced to us as Major Boothroyd, but beginning in Goldfinger (1964) and thereafter, he is referred to as “Q.” In The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), however, he is referred to as Major Boothroyd again. Why? Who knows! Just go with the flow. Q does not partake in direct action, except in two films: Octopussy (1983) and License to Kill (1989) In LTK, Q actually joins Bond in the field after Bond goes rogue to pursue vengeance.

Several actors have played Q. Peter Burton had the role in Dr. No, where he appears briefly to switch out Bond’s gun. Burton later made non-Q appearances in Thunderball (1965) and Casino Royale (1967). Desmond Llewelyn (RIP) had a long run as Q, from 1963 to 1999. John Cleese, Ben Whishaw, Geoffrey Bayldon, and Alec McCowan took on the role after Desmond’s last time in The World Is Not Enough (1999). Desmond was actually in more Bond films than any actor who played Bond himself ~ 17 films in total. Q did not have a part in the first two Daniel Craig Bonds (2006’s Casino Royale and 2008’s Quantum of Solace), and Craig said that he hoped that Q would return. He did! In the next film, Skyfall (2012), Q reappears, played by Ben Whishaw. When Bond meets him, he expresses concern that Q is so young, but new-Q proves his mettle. Ben will return in 2021’s No Time To Die.

Q and Bond

Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!

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Information and images from Wikipedia, James Bond Wiki, 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.

Pierce Brosnan [April A2Z]

Pierce Brosnan

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!

Pierce Brosnan OBE (some foofy British title) was born in Ireland in 1953. He left school at age 16 and soon found his way into the theater. Many know him from his starring role on the television show Remington Steele (1982-1987). After that, he began acting in films… finally snagging the plum role as James Bond 007 in 1995. He was the fifth actor to portray Bond and appeared in four 007 films ~ GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, and Die Another Day. He’s also been in other movies, such as The Thomas Crown Affair (which he also co-produced) and Mamma Mia. Personally, I loved him in Mamma Mia and highly recommend the original and sequel (which is really a prequel). Brosnan has won two Golden Globe noms, and he is also involved in charities and environmental activism.

Brosnan was lauded as Bond… until his final performance in Die Another Day. That one wasn’t so well-received, and though Brosnan said he’d like to do more 007 films, that wasn’t to be. He was 50 at the time and Sean Connery had been criticized for staying in the role until he was 58. Not a believable age for an action figure, I guess. Not that most of the crazy-dramatic Bond action scenes are realistic for anyone to survive at any age, but hey whatever. Regardless, Brosnan said he’d like to do six Bond films, same as Connery did. The producers had other ideas however and “kicked him to the kerb” in a short phone call. Oh well. He’s been in tons of other projects since and is still going strong at the ancient age of 67. Besides acting, producing, and activism, Brosnan is also a painter!

Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!

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Information and images from Wikipedia.

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

Octopussy [April A2Z]

Roger Moore James Bond 007 Octopussy

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!

Roger Moore takes on the 007 role for the sixth time in Eon Production’s Octopussy (1983). The title is taken from an Ian Fleming short story, but the movie plot is original. Bond is investigating the death of fellow agent 009 in Germany, which leads him to a baddie who is stealing from the Soviets. The agent was holding a fake Faberge egg when he died, so Bond tracks down the seller at a London auction, where he gets into a bidding war with Kamal Khan, an exiled Afghan prince played by Louis Jourdan. Bond swaps the real egg for a fake one and follows Khan back to his palace in India. Next, Bond meets Khan’s gorgeous associate Octopussy, played by Maud Adams. Yada yada. The convoluted idea is that Khan and Octopussy are planning to help some big baddie expand Soviet control in Europe by stealing priceless Soviet treasures, such as Faberge eggs, and replacing them with fakes. One fake contains a nuke that is supposed to explode at a US Air Force base circus, which would allegedly trigger immediate disarmament of Europe (due to nukes being too dangerous, right?), and then the Soviets could take over. What a dumb plot. Honestly, this is not my favorite Bond flick.

But it begins with O, so there ya go!

Tune in Monday for more A-Z Bond!

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Information and images from Wikipedia and 123Movie.

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

Nobody Does It Better [April A2Z]

James Bond 007 logo

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!

One of the most enjoyable aspects of a Bond flick is the music. Fans love to hear the signature theme play near the beginning after “Bond, James Bond” introduces himself and the scene segues to the “gun barrel sequence.” Almost every 007 film begins this way. That original music was written by Monty Norman, who has received royalties since 1962. John Barry wrote the “007 adventure” music for From Russia with Love, and this music has appeared during action scenes of subsequent Bond films. Norman has won two libel actions against publishers for claiming that Barry wrote the theme. The James Bond Theme is what plays during the gun barrel sequence (and sometimes other places). Monty and John are listed as composers on some of the songs that play during the films (the songs are distinct from the theme music).

Luckily for us, YouTube has a plethora of videos to choose from to watch the opening sequence of Bond films along with the music. I chose a compilation to share and it’s really interesting to view the subtle changes in the gun barrel sequence as well as slight modifications to the tune. What’s also interesting is to see how much more comfortable Connery and Craig are when firing their guns as opposed to Moore, who actually hated guns in real life. I never noticed that before, but it’s obvious when you view the openings one after another. Yes, I watched the whole thing as a true Bond aficionado.

Bond films have introduced us to memorable songs as well. I already mentioned Shirley Bassey singing “Goldfinger” and “Diamonds Are Forever,” and there are many more. Other great tunes are “Thunderball” sung by Tom Jones, “Live and Let Die” written and performed by Paul McCartney & Wings, “Nobody Does It Better” sung by Carly Simon (for The Spy Who Loved Me), and “Writing’s On the Wall” written and performed by Sam Smith (for Spectre). I had mixed feelings about Adele’s “Skyfall,” but it’s grown on me. I love her singing generally, but I thought that song was too “light” for such a heavy movie at the time.

My personal favorite is the Carly song.

Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!

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Information and images from Wikipedia, Wallpapercave.

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

Moneypenny [April A2Z]

007 and moneypenny

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!

Miss Moneypenny is a beloved recurring character in the Bond franchise. Lois Maxwell portrayed her first, from 1962 to 1985 ~ she appeared in 14 Eon-produced Bond films and on a TV special. She is the secretary to James’ boss M, who is the head of MI6, British Secret Intelligence. Though she has only a few lines per film, the amusing banter and sexual tension between Moneypenny and Bond make for delightful dialog. In Ian Fleming’s novels, we don’t see this, but the films play it up a bit. She is not considered a “Bond girl” because she never has any kind of physical relationship with Bond, nor does she prance around in sexy outfits. Moneypenny is a professional, holding the rank of Second Officer in the Women’s Royal Naval Service, and has Top Secret, Eyes Only clearance. We get the idea that she would like to have a romantic relationship with Bond, but so far that has not occurred, except in a fantasy sequence (2002’s Die Another Day has Miss Moneypenny trying out Q’s virtual reality simulator).

In Skyfall (2012), Moneypenny is given a backstory for the first time. We also, finally, get treated to her first name: Eve. Miss Moneypenny was sadly missing from the first two Craig-Bond films, but in Skyfall she is given an enlarged role. For the first time also, she is played by a non-white actress, Naomie Harris.

Eve Moneypenny James Bond Skyfall

In this film, Eve is an MI6 field agent. She tries to help Bond as he fights with a baddie on top of a train in Turkey, but she doesn’t have a clear shot at the baddie. M orders her to shoot, and she ends up shooting Bond. He appears to die (but of course he does not). After that, she is removed from the field and given a desk job. At the end, she decides to stay behind the scenes and work for the new M, and she formally introduces herself to Bond as “Eve Moneypenny.” Naomie plays Moneypenny again in Spectre (2015) and we will see her reprise the role later this year in No Time To Die.

Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!

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Information and images from Wikipedia, 007James, and James Bond Wiki.

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

Live and Let Die [April A2Z]

live and let die 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!

It must be noted that Live and Let Die was released during the height of “blaxploitation” and contains some cringey references and stereotypes.

Regardless, it may be my favorite Bond movie. This 1973 film (Eon Productions) is the first time Roger Moore stars as Bond, and, while I realize there are differing opinions, I think he does a fantastic job! The story is about the drug trade, with Mr. Big planning to distribute tons of heroin for free to put his rival drug lords out of business, thus giving himself a monopoly. While investigating the deaths of fellow British agents in New York and New Orleans, Bond discovers that Mr. Big is from the fictional island of San Monique. Naturally, Bond must visit the island, which is teeming with poppies (where heroin comes from). Complications ensue! It’s a super fun film with loads of gangsters and voodoo and of course a beautiful girl whom Bond must save. Yaphet Kotto, who recently passed away, stars as Mr. Big and his alter ego Dr. Kanaga, a corrupt Caribbean dictator who rules San Monique. For a Bond film, the plot is quite straightforward!

Jane Seymour plays Solitaire, the main love interest in this movie. She is a virgin priestess who tells the future via tarot cards and Mr. Big needs her help as he continues with his scheme. Bond seduces Solitaire with a fake deck of cards and she loses her magical abilities, consequently putting her on the bad side of Mr. Big. She now must join forces with 007, or else.

live and let die 007 and solitaire

I haven’t mentioned Felix Leiter much ~ he’s Bond’s counterpart in the CIA and has a recurring role in many of the 007 films. In this one, he’s played by David Hedison, who also portrays Leiter in License to Kill (1989). He has funny lines in LALD, in particular a dialog with a southern sheriff, J.W. Pepper (played by Clifton James), as the sheriff tries to figure out what’s going on. As Bond escapes from the baddies on a wild speedboat ride, Pepper is outrageously hysterical. “Humorous” may not be the adjective first to mind when thinking of Bond films, but I find myself laughing throughout these movies.

Watch the following video for my favorite scene from LALD!

The title song, “Live and Let Die,” was written by Paul and Linda McCartney and performed by their band Wings. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Tune in tomorrow for more A-Z Bond!

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Information and images from Wikipedia, Cultbox, PopSugar, and IMDB.

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

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!

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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!

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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.