MI6 remembers all those the Bond canon has sadly
lost this year, and their unique contributions to
the world of 007, on screen and off...
31st December 2012
Bob Anderson (1922-2012)
Olympic fencer, movie stunt coordinator and sword master Bob
Anderson began his career in film after competing in the Olympics
Britain, when he was called up to help out on Errol Flynn's "Master
of Balantree" after the competition. Over the years he became
the most legendary of sword-fight trainers/choreographers, having
trained everyone from Errol Flynn to the cast of the "Lord
of the Rings" film trilogy. 2002's "Die Another Day" saw
James Bond and Sir Gustav Graves settle a bet in Blades Club, and
it was Anderson who was sword master on the stunt sequence. He
also supervised the training of the actors, including Rosamund
Pike who played Olympic fencing champion Miranda Frost. But that
was not his only brush with Bond. Way back in 1963, he was was
an uncredited stunt coordinator on the second film
in the series, "From Russia With Love". He also performed
the same duties on the spoof version of "Casino Royale" in
Gerry Anderson (1929-2012)
As well as inventing the fantastic puppetry technology Supermarionation
and putting it to use in the hit shows "Stingray", "Joe
90" and probably most famously "Thunderbirds",
TV producer Gerry Anderson also pitched a story idea or two to
Harry Saltzman and Cubby Broccoli, producers of the Bond films.
In the early 1970s Anderson was asked to provide a treatment
Ian Fleming's novel, "Moonraker". He worked with his
usual script editor Anthony Barwick to create an outlandish plot.
The partnership created a seventy page draft which featured a
supertanker, a villain named Zodiak and identical triplets Tic,
Tac and Toe. The treatment was turned down and Eon Productions
decided to move ahead with Sean Connery in "Diamonds Are
Forever" instead. Some of his ideas bore similarity to those
used in the final shooting script of 1977's "The Spy Who
Loved Me", and
for a while Anderson considered suing the production company,
EON. The matter was ultimately settled out of court with Anderson
selling the rejected treatment to the Broccoli family for £3,000.
Two years ago Anderson was diagnosed with dementia and spent
his time raising awareness of the illness and funds to further
research the disease. Anderson passed away in December aged
Hal David (1921-2012)
Best known for his collaborations with composer Burt Bacharach and his association
with Dionne Warwick, Harold Lane "Hal" David was an American lyricist.
For James Bond fans, he will be lovingly remembered for his on "We Have
All the Time in the World", written with John Barry and sung by Louis
Armstrong for the 1969 James Bond film "On Her Majesty's Secret Service".
Ten years later, David teamed up with Barry again for the title theme for "Moonraker" performed
by Shirley Bassey. But his work with Bond began in 1967 on the spoof "Casino
Royale" for which his song "The Look of Love" was Oscar-nominated.
Hal David died in the morning hours of September 1, 2012, due to a stroke.
He was 91.
Norman Felton (1913-2012)
Born in London, England, on 29th April 1913, Norman Felton became a successful
television producer in America. The greatest successes of Felton's career came
in the 1960s, when he produced and developed several classic television shows
including The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Dr. Kildare. It was Felton who approached
James Bond creator Ian Fleming to collaborate in the development of U.N.C.L.E.
When contractual obligations forced Fleming to pull out, Felton brought in
Sam Rolfe to replace him. The show ran for more than 100 episodes, until 1968.
He died of natural causes in Santa Barbara, California on June 25, 2012.
Marvin Hamlisch (1944-2012)
Marvin Hamlisch, the composer and conductor best known for the
torch song "The Way We Were," will be best remembered
by Bond fans for his score to the 1977 adventure "The
Spy Who Loved Me",
including penning the title song "Nobody Does It Better" with
his then-girlfriend Carole Bayer Sager. The song, performed by
Carly Simon, went on to be nominated for an Oscar in 1977 losing
out to "You Light Up My Life." In a career
that spanned over four decades, Hamlisch won virtually every major
award: three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys, a
Tony, and three Golden Globes. Hamlisch composed music for more
than 40 motion pictures, including his Oscar-winning score and
song for "The Way We Were," and his adaptation of Scott
Joplin's ragtime music for "The Sting" for which he received
a third Oscar. Marvin Hamlisch died in August in Los
Angeles, California. He was 68 years old.
Bob Holness (1928-2012)
Whilst a household name in the UK for his work on television, legendary broadcaster
and accomplished theatre actor Bob Holness has his place in 007 history for
being the second person to portray James Bond after American
actor Barry Nelson had appeared in CBS' American television adaptation of "Casino
Royale" in 1954. In 1956, Holness played the title role in a radio play
of Fleming's 'Moonraker' novel in the production based in Durban. Sadly, no
of the broadcast exists today, making it the ultimate lost Bond outing. Holness
told the BBC in 2008 that the opportunity "just came up through a hole
in the floor. I was doing lots of radio plays at the time but I wanted to do
something a bit different, so when James Bond came up I ventured in and said
yes." He said he had never heard of the character but that it "became
an amazing part to play and the response from listeners was terrific".
Robin Ian Evelyn Milne Stuart de la Lanne-Mirrlees
Robin Ian Evelyn Milne Stuart de la Lanne-Mirrlees (born 13 January 1925) was
an author and former officer of arms at the College of Arms in London. Mirrlees
held the post of Rogue Dragon Pursuivant from 1952 to 1962 at the College of
Arms in London, and was promoted to the office of Richmond Herald of Arms in
Ordinary until his retirement in 1967. During this time at the College of Arms,
he provided James Bond creator Ian Fleming with background information pertaining
to heraldry and the College of Arms. In return, Fleming created the character
Sable Basilisk and based him upon Robin for his 1963 novel "On Her Majesty's
Secret Service". Mirrlees' traced his own genealogy and discovered the common
family trait that they are born with no ear lobes. Fleming grafted this characteristic
on to the book's villain Blofeld. This trait would be carried through to the
film adaptation, although the character based on Mirrlees would have a name change
to Sir Hilary Bray. After several years of ill health, he died at a nursing home
in Stornoway on 23 June 2012, aged 87.
George Leech (1921-2012)
Veteran stuntman George Leech performed stunt double duties, as well as appearing
on screen himself as various goons and henchman, in multiple James Bond films
from "Dr. No" in 1962 up to "A View To A Kill" in 1985.
Born in London, England, on December 6th, 1921, George Leech started his
film career in the mid 1950s in the Pier Angeli film "Port Afrique",
and soon found himself in great demand. A few years later his first 'big
action film' came with "The Guns Of Navarone". The following year
he was engaged on a modest film called "Dr No" - it was to be the
first of eleven James Bond films, which took him through to Roger Moore's
last outing in "A View To A Kill" in 1985. George doubled for George
Lazenby and Roger Moore, as well as having a few fisty-cuffs with Sean Connery
and his adversaries. His other credits include "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", "Kelly's
Heroes", "The Eagle Has Landed", "Revenge Of The Pink
Panther", "Superman" and "North Sea Hijack". George
Leech passed away on Sunday 17th June 2012. He is survived by two daughters.
One of them, Wendy Leech, who was one of the first stunt-women in the business,
is married to fellow 007 stuntman extraordinaire Vic Armstrong.
Harry Myers (?-2012)
Harry Myers photographed almost all the Bond premieres from "Dr. No" to "Tomorrow
Never Dies" and his family carries on the tradition to this day. Myers learned
the photo trade during the Second World War when he was employed at a photo journalist
publication: London News Agency, where he worked between the ages of 14 and 17.
After serving his time in the dark room and with a good head for names and places,
Myers was soon dispatched on assignments. One fateful day he met Cubby Broccoli
at a photoshoot, and struck up a friendship. At that time Cubby was still in
partnership with Irving Allen, with whom he produced a number of war adventures,
prior to 007. In 2007, Myers compiled some of his most famous photos from the
Bond years (and beyond) into an autobiography: "Premieres and Pictures",
which he co-wrote with John Willis & Gareth Owen. Harry Myers passed away
on June 26th 2012.
Tiny Nicholls (1922-2012)
British costume designer Tiny Nicholls was costume/wardrobe supervisor on 41
films in his career, five of which were consecutive James Bond films, from "The
Man With The Golden Gun" in 1974 though "The Living Daylights" in
1987, working with Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton during their tenures. Tiny
Nicholls passed away in July after a short battle with cancer.
Paul Stassino (1930-2012) - Angelo Palazzi, "Thunderball"
Bill Weston (1941-2012) - Stuntman in eight 007 outings including an acting credit
as Blayden Butler in "The
Joaquin Martinez (1930-2012) - "Die Another Day"