Felix Leiter (Rik Van Nutter)
Character: Felix Leiter
Actor: Rik Van Nutter
Appearance: Male, Short Black/Grey hair, medium build, medium
completion, is often seen wearing sunglasses and a casual suit
Date of Birth: 1st May 1929
Height: 6' 4" (1.93 m)
Place of Birth: California, USA
Pleased To Meet You
Although Leiter is much less of a field agent than 007,
his knowledge and expertise have often arrived for
Bond just in the nick of time. Leiter slowly becomes
the closest thing that Bond has had to a friend, as
shown by 007's extreme reaction to his torture in Licence
He has also been played by Jack
Lord (Dr No), Cec Linder (Goldfinger), Norman
Burton (Diamonds Are Forever), David
Hedison (Live And Let Die, Licence To Kill), John
Terry (The Living Daylights) and Jeffrey
Royale, Quantum of Solace).
"Well, hello Double-Oh... [Bond punches him to
shut him up] Fine way to treat the CIA!"
Although Bond and Leiter have become quite good friends,
not much is known about Felix's private life. Leiter
appears to have somewhat of a sense of humour, but
During Operation Thunderball, James Bond first encounters
in his hotel room, where the CIA agent is waiting for his British ally - unbeknownst
to 007. Caught by surprise, Bond punches Leiter to avoid him blurting out
his code-name to the goon hiding in the shower. Leiter has been assigned
by the CIA to help track down the two atomic bombs being held to ransom
by SPECTRE's #2, Emilio Largo.
As with the Dr No mission, Leiter proves
an essential ally to Bond in the Bahamas, providing knowledge,
contacts and resources. After 007 discovers the location
of the bombs, it is Leiter who rescues Bond from a cave -
to organise a raid against Largo.
Rik Van Nutter was born Frederick Allen Nutter on 1st May 1929 in California,
USA. His acting career began in 1959 with an uncredited role in the Italian
comedy/horror movie "Tempi Duri Per I Vampiri". A few minor roles
in European movies lead to him landing the part of Freddie in Peter Ustinov's "Romanoff
and Juliet" in 1961. Van Nutter occasionally took the stage name of Clyde
Rogers for his European films.
His most famous screen appearance was that of
Felix Leiter in the 1965 James Bond film "Thunderball". He was
the third actor to play the part,
following Jack Lord in "Dr. No" and Cec Linder in "Goldfinger. Unfortunately,
Van Nutter falls in to the trap of trying to play the character
both serious and cool, and fails
to convince the audience. There is no light relied in the script
either, with Leiter playing a wooden straight-man in every scene
he is involved with. John Terry would suffer a similar problem
years later in "The Living Daylights".
A couple more low-key European movies followed
in successive years after "Thunderball", before he took a ten
year break from acting. This was due in part to his marriage
to Swedish model and high-profile actress Anita Ekberg, who
he wed in 1963 (it was her second marriage after divorcing Anthony
with screen-writing, penning the 1971 film "Casting Call".
Following his divorce from Ekberg in 1975, Van
screen in 1977 for the Hong Kong flick "Woo Fook",
in the World War II movie "Pacific Inferno" in 1979. Van Nutter
retired from the industry to lead a private life, marrying
Emily Frankel Von Nutter in 1998. The couple divorced five years
Rik Van Nutter died on 15th October 2005 at
age 76 in West Palm Beach, Florida, USA from a heart attack.