30-Nov-2023 • Bond News
Henry Kissinger has died at the age of 100. He was an American diplomat and political scientist who served as United States Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under the presidential administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, and is known for his role in shaping American foreign policy in the late 20th century, particularly in relation to the Vietnam War and U.S.-China relations.
He had several connections to the world of James Bond.
In the early 1970s, he was reported to have dated Bond girl Jill St John, who had recently starred in 'Diamonds Are Forever' (and had dated George Lazenby beforehand). Around that time, Hugh Hefner had printed a poll claiming that Kissinger was the most desired man to date among Playboy playmates.
Above: Kissinger and St. John pictured in 1973.
The pair made tabloid headlines when they inadvertently set off the alarm at St. John’s Hollywood mansion late one night as they walked out to her pool. “What did you expect?” he said to WWD. “I was teaching her chess.” They both denied a TV report that they had “secretly married.” “There has never been a romance,” St. John told the magazine in 1971. “It has not been and will never be a great romance.”
Decades later, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson called on Kissinger to consult them on the geopolitics of the first Bond film the pair were producing together since the passing of Cubby Broccoli.
The first draft of the script for what would become 'Tomorrow Never Dies' was set during the transfer of Hong Kong from British to Chinese rule with Caver a zealot bent on destroying Hong Kong rather than hand it over to the Chinese. According to director Roger Spottiswoode, this plotline was dropped when Kissinger warned that if something actually did occur during the handover in real life the film (which was set to open a few months later) would look ridiculous. This led to a last-minute rewrite.