Felix Leiter (Jack Lord)
Character: Felix Leiter
Actor: Jack Lord
Movie: Dr. No
Appearance: Male, short dark hair, medium build, medium
complexion, is often seen wearing sunglasses and a casual suit.
Date of Birth: 30th December 1920
Height: 6' (1.83m)
Place of Birth: New York City, New York, USA
can be pretty touchy about trespassing."
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 was subsequently played by Cec
Linder (Goldfinger), Rik Van Nutter (Thunderball), Norman
Burton (Diamonds Are Forever), David
Hedison (Live And Let Die, Licence To Kill), John
Terry (The Living Daylights) and Jeffrey
Wright (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace).
Although Bond and Leiter have become quite good friends, not much
is known about Felix's private life. A CIA agent, Bond first encountered
Leiter during the Dr No mission, since then, he has been involved
in a number of missions with Bond, and they have not only remained
allies, but become great friends. Leiter appears to have somewhat
of a sense of humour, but his interests are unknown.
Upon his arrival at Kingston Airport Bond is shadowed by a mysterious
man in sunglasses. Bond goes to interview Quarrel at the Kingston
docks, but finds the suspicious Cayman Islander to be uncooperative.
with his questions in a local bar, Bond finally persuades his
subject to talk in a back storeroom. There, however, the agent
is jumped by Quarrel and the bar owner. Bond rapidly subdues
them in a brief fight—only to be held at gunpoint by the
mystery man from the airport. He reveals himself to be CIA agent
Felix Leiter, and that not only are the two agents on the same
mission, but Quarrel is helping Leiter. The CIA has traced the
mysterious radio jamming of American rockets to the Jamaica vicinity,
but aerial photography cannot
pinpoint the exact location of its origin. Leiter is Bond's contact
who supplies him
with information on the case.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Jack Lord was the son of
Irish-American parents. His father, William Lawrence Ryan was
a steamship company
executive. He was educated at John Adams High School in Ozone
Park, New York, Fort Trumbull United States Merchant Marine Academy,
then located in New London, Connecticut, graduating as an Ensign
with a Third Mates License. He attended New York University on
a football scholarship, and earned a degree in Fine Arts.
He spent the first year of World War II with the War Department's
Corps of Engineers, building bridges in Persia. He then returned
to the Merchant Marine as an Able Seaman before enrolling in
the deck officer course at Fort Trumbull. While making maritime
training films, he took to the idea of acting. This is when he
decided to attend the Neighborhood Playhouse, working first as
a salesman for Horgan Ford, then later as a Cadillac salesman
in New York to fund his studies. Later, at the Actor's Studio,
he studied with Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, and Marilyn Monroe.
Lord's first marriage ended in divorce. Lord met his son (from
his first marriage) only once when the boy was an infant. The
boy was later killed in an accident at age thirteen. Later, he
His first work on Broadway was in Traveling Lady with Kim Stanley.
He was then cast as a replacement for Ben Gazzara in Cat on a
Hot Tin Roof. Prior to that he had been in several off-Broadway
and pre-Broadway plays including The Little Hut (his first play),
The Illegitimist, and The Savage. His first Hollywood movie role
was in The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell with Gary Cooper.
Early in his career, he met his wife, Marie de Narde, who gave
up her own career to support him.
Lord the first actor to play CIA Agent Felix Leiter in the EON
Productions series, beginning with Dr. No in 1962.
His real name, John
Patrick Ryan, is also the name of the CIA Agent hero of Tom Clancy's
novels. Both characters first appeared
on film opposite Sean Connery.
Also in 1962, Lord starred as Stoney Burke, a rodeo cowboy from
Mission Ridge, South Dakota, in the television series of that
featured Warren Oates and Bruce Dern in recurring supporting
roles. He also appeared in an episode of Bonanza. Other television
guest appearances include such series as The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,
The Reporter starring Harry Guardino, The Fugitive, The Untouchables,
The Invaders, Rawhide, Ironside, and The F.B.I..
According to screenwriter Richard Maibaum, Lord demanded co-star
billing, a bigger role and more money to reprise the Felix Leiter
role in Goldfinger which resulted in director Guy Hamilton casting
the role to an older actor to make Leiter more of an American
'M'. Producer Albert R. Broccoli also feared that his portrayal
of 007's CIA partner would overshadow the persona of James Bond
as the main character.
In 1965, Jack Lord was considered for the role of Captain Kirk
on Star Trek; the role ultimately went to William Shatner. Because
Lord wanted to co-produce and have a percentage in ownership
of the series, he was ultimately rejected by both Gene Roddenberry
and Desilu Studios.
He starred for twelve seasons on Hawaii Five-O as Detective
Steve McGarrett; his catchphrase, "Book 'em, Danno!",
became a part of pop culture history. He was dubbed "the
Lord" (behind his back) by the cast and crew of Hawaii Five-O
because of his imperious manner. It was Lord who insisted his
character be given Ford Motor Company products to drive.
Jack Lord died of congestive heart failure at his home on January
21, 1998 in Honolulu, Hawaii, at the age of 77. He left an estate
of $40 million, and being a philanthropist in his lifetime, the
entire estate went to various Hawaiian charities upon his wife
Marie's death in 2005. Portions of their estate were auctioned
on eBay in March 2007. Friends of Lord claimed that in his final
years he suffered from Alzheimer's disease.