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In Memoriam 2023

29th December 2023

MI6 remembers those the Bond canon has sadly lost in 2023, and their unique contributions to the world of 007, on-screen and off

MI6 logo By MI6 Staff
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Tina Turner (1939-2023)
The Queen of Rock and Roll, a true icon whose powerful voice and electrifying performances captivated the world, passed away at the age of 83 on May 24th at her home in Küsnacht, Switzerland, following a long illness, including cancer, strokes, and kidney failure in her final years. For 1995's high-stake relaunch of the franchise, Bono & The Edge called on Turner to perform their title song for 'GoldenEye'.

Erik Lomis (1958-2023)
MGM and United Artists Releasing distribution boss Erik Lomis died suddenly on March 22nd at his home in Santa Monica. During his career, Lomis led MGM’s distribution two different times, overseeing several James Bond releases and becoming a valued advisor to the franchise’s producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. It was Loomis who ultimately safeguarded 'No Time To Die' during the pandemic from begin relegated to a Premium VOD when many of the world’s circuits were closed. 

Chaim Topol (1935-2023)
Chaim Topol, the charismatic Israeli actor, and singer, who played Greek smuggler Milos Columbo in 'For Your Eyes Only' died at the age of 87 on March 8th, 2023. Looking back on his Bond outing, Topol admitted, “I don’t watch my films, I saw it once, or twice the most. [But] it was a joy to work with Roger and with Cubby. It was an atmosphere that is rare on films. Appreciation was strong on that film.” 

Ricou Browning (1930-2023)
Underwater director and stuntman Ricou Browning died at home in Southwest Ranches, Florida, on February 27th, 2023, at age 93. When Bond producers needed underwater expertise for 'Thunderball' they turned to Browning. Over his career, he worked on over 20 film productions as well as his hit TV shows 'Sea Hunt,' 'The Aquanauts,' and 'Flipper.'

Raquel Welch (1940-2023)
The 'Bond Girl Who Never Was,' died on February 15th, 2023, at her home in Los Angeles, following a brief illness at the age of 82. She was eyed by producers to star as Domino in 'Thunderball'. She recalled in her autobiography, "Producer Cubby Broccoli had seen my photo in a 'Life' magazine layout called 'The End of the Great Girl Drought!' The subsequent buzz around town created so much excitement that it enabled me to bag a long-term contract at 20th Century Fox. Because of a technicality involving start dates and contract options, Fox put me in the sci-fi classic Fantastic Voyage." Years later in 1986, she took Bond studio MGM to court - and won. 

Burt Bacharach (1928-2023)
The world-famous songwriter, composer and musician, Burt Bacharach, responsible for scoring the 1967 James Bond spoof, ‘Casino Royale’, passed away in Hollywood, at the age of 94 on February 8th, 2023  from natural causes. 

Not Forgetting...
Jamie Christopher ('GoldenEye' Assistant Director)
Richard Hammatt (Stunts: 'GoldenEye')
Henry Kissinger ('Tomorrow Never Dies' Script Advisor)
Dinny Powell (Stunts: 'The Spy Who Loved Me', 'A View To A Kill')
Julian Sands ('Q' for BBC Radio 4's adaptations of Ian Fleming novels)
Chris Webb (Stunts: 'For Your Eyes Only', 'Octopussy', 'A View To A Kill'

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