Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Charles Gray)
Actor: Charles Gray
Character: Ernst Stavro Blofeld
Movie: Diamonds Are Forever
Date of Birth: 29th August 1928
Height: 6' 2" (1.88m)
Distinguishing Feature: Has a body double
Appearance: Tall and broad-shouldered with receding white hair, harsh brow and wiry smile.
Status: Presumed Dead
Organisations And Alliances: SPECTRE,
Mr. Wint & Mr. Kid, Bambi & Thumper
A criminal mastermind of the highest order, Blofeld has
already played off against the ever-victorious 007 twice.
By the "Diamonds Are Forever" mission,
the villain seems, at first, immune to Bond's quick wit.
Nevertheless, Ernst Stavro Blofeld is an arrogant man
with a hunger for extreme power and a sadistic taste
for grueling death.
Head of the Special Executor for Counter-Intelligence,
Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion (SPECTRE), Blofeld will give
over all his resources for one last effort to hold the world's
governments to ransom for millions. This is a cool-headed and
suave villain but with a key flaw - egotistical inflammation.
"As La Rochefoucauld
observed, 'humility is the worst form of conceit.' I do hold
the winning hand."
After holding Willard Whyte,
America's richest man to physical and financial ransom, this master
villain assumes the billionaire's place as the head of the Whyte
Corporation and launches a diamond-smuggling ring to do his bidding.
The final destination of these precious gems is a super-satellite
- launched into space unwittingly by NASA, armed with a high density
laser and ready to cripple the world's military outposts. After
a demonstration that destroys some nuclear stockpiles in
the US, China and Russia, Blofeld
plans to accept the highest price paid to him
from any country to save their weapons whilst every country's
nuclear stocks would be destroyed.
I've Been Expecting You
Not only does 007's mission require the
assassination of Blofeld but Bond, has a personal score
to settle with this villain after the death of his wife,
Bond grapples the outside of the Whyte
House in Las Vegas to come face to face with his arch
enemy, the kingpin of SPECTRE.
Bond fires a piton into the villain's head but there
are - after
plastic surgery experiments - two "Blofeld's" and
Bond had targeted the decoy.
"Right idea, Mr.
Bond, but wrong pussy."
High above the sprawling desert-city of Las Vegas, Blofeld is entrenched
in the penthouse of the Whyte House. With a futuristic luxury
apartment laden with models of
rockets, steel walls and a large safe, the villain can conduct
his plan in
privacy - until 007 drops in. Once the scheme is uncovered, Blofeld
retreats to the head of his satellite control centre - a gigantic
oilrig off the coast of Baja California.
Gadgets & Vehicles
When Bond, Felix and his friends at the CIA ambush his stronghold, Blofeld attempts
an escape in the speedy Bathosub, however
Bond sees to it that the mini-sub does not reach water. Blofeld has also acquired
a voice-altering device so that he can carry out phone conversations as the
industrialist Willard Whyte. Q-branch is easily
able to replicate this "children's toy".
In slick tan trademark suits, Blofeld cuts an imposing figure. However, when
escaping the Whyte house in disguise this manic mastermind dresses as an
old lady to allude the Las Vegas police - albeit temporarily.
Goodbye, Mr Bond
In a last ditch effort to escape the CIA's raid on his Baja outpost,
Blofeld boards the Bathosub - but before he can be deployed into
the depths, Bond takes charge of the lowering-crane Blofeld and
are impaled in the operations room of the oil rig. It is unclear
whether Blofeld escaped the wreckage of the rig.
Born Donald Marshall Gray to Maud Elizabeth and Donald Gray in 1928, Charles
Gray grew up in Hampshire, UK, where he attended a local Bournemouth school.
Gray shared a classroom with would-be
fellow screen actor, Benny Hill. As early as his primary
school years, Gray's ambitions were clear. Friends recall
his bedroom walls being plastered with posters of the latest
films and their movie stars.
Gray took an interest in the local Bournemouth
theatre troupe and when a production of "The Beaux
Stratagem" required a last minute stand-in, Gray made
his stage debut. After his schooling years in 1952, Gray
made his professional debut in "As You Like It".
There was already an established actor Donald
Gray, so he opted for a stage name: Charles Gray. The selection
of the nom de plum 'Charles' was inspired by his maternal grandfather
of the same name. During his time on the stage he would also
be credited as Oliver Gray - notably when he was performing in
the 1961 Broadway production of "Kean".
In 1956, Gray first appeared on Broadway in "Richard
II" at the Winter Garden Theatre and followed this appearance
up with a steady run of on-stage appearances, notably in a string
of Shakespeare productions that included "Macbeth" and "The
Merchant of Venice".
In the late fifties, Gray earned himself a selection
of parts including his first feature
film, "I Accuse!" (1958). In the 1960s Charles Gray
appeared in a selection of British television series including
Patrick McGoohan's TV spy show, "Danger Man" and the
Honor Blackman drama: "The Four Just Men".
Grey had his first run-in with 007 in the 1967 Far East adventure "You Only Live Twice". In Sean Connery's fifth outing as James Bond, Charles Gray performed the short-lived role of Dikko Henderson, Bond's contact in Japan.
In the late 1960s, Gray performed roles
in "The Mosquito Squadron" alongside David McCallum,
in Richard Harris' "Cromwell" and a TV adaptation
of "The Merchant of Venice" - all before reuniting
with the Bond team to play 007's arch enemy, Blofeld. It
was for this role that he is best remembered, despite having
over 100 on-screen credits to his name.
Beyond Bond, Gray appeared in a slew
of long-forgotten TV series, guest starring in various
shows both in the UK and across the Atlantic. Some of
his more notable roles post-Blofeld include the narrator
of the musical comedy "The Rocky Horror Picture
Show" and the comedy cult-flick "Shock Treatment" (1981).
Gray had an active TV career but often unmemorable
roles in various productions right up until his death in 2000.
Charles Gray passed away on March 7th 2000 after suffering from
Cancer. His ashes remain at the historic Golders Green Crematorium