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, Tracy.

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 supreme 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".

Dress Code
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 submarine 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 in London.