General Orlov (Steven Berkoff)

"You should be more concerned about getting out of here alive!"

Actor: Steven Berkoff
Character: General Orlov
Movie: Octopussy
Date of Birth: 3rd August 1937
Height: 5' 9" (1.75m)
Distinguishing Feature: General in the Russian Army
Status: Terminated
Appearance: Medium height and build with crew-cut hair and small, sharp blue-grey eyes.
Organisation and Alliances: USSR Army, KGB, Kamal Kahn

General Orlov is a corrupt head of the Soviet forces - with a penchant for jewellery forging and smuggling. Orlov is over-zealous and aggrieved with the actions of the Western superpowers and would like nothing more than for the Red Army to roll across Europe with an unstoppable wave of military might. He is sly but impatient and willing to defy his superiors for his own agenda. The General is constantly pushing for the Motherland to take a more aggressive stance against the encroachment of NATO. He sees the Russian armed superiority going to waste in the new wave of detente.

Teaming up with the suave exiled prince Kamal Kahn, Orlov forges a plan to use the Octopussy circus and its illicit smuggling operation to plant a bomb in the midst of the US Airforce base in West Germany - triggering the nuclear device and making it seem an accident. With no one to blame for the atomic mishap it will cause unilateral disarmament, and Soviet tanks will easily cross into Western Europe. In return, Orlov gives Khan his stash of stolen Russian jewels which he has duplicated with undetectable fakes. Orlov madly believes that wiping out American forces in war-torn Germany will lead to Soviet domination of the West. Without the approval or knowledge of his KGB and Army superiors, Orlov plots a diabolical innihilation of Western Germany. When it becomes known that Orlov has been stealing the jewels from the Kremlin Art Repository to fund his nightmarish plan, General Gogol goes after Orlov personally.

I've Been Expecting You
Bond spies on a meet between Kahn and Orlov at the prince's monsoon palace but doesn't come face to face with the illusive General. When the plan is unmasked Bond again attempts to catch up with Orlov when he confronts the villain on the Octopussy circus train, prior to departure.

Very little is known about the operations of Orlov. The General would have operated out of USSR Army bases and KGB headquarters where he was involved in military and espionage strategy.

Gadgets & Vehicles
With the might of the Russian Army during the Cold War period, Orlov has cars and helicopters deployed at his whim.

Dress Code
Never seen out of uniform, this manic General was immensely proud to wear the Soviet colours - despite his twisted plot that could potentially fling Russia into an unnecessary war.

Goodbye, Mr Bond
In a panic to keep his smuggled jewellery a secret, Orlov pits himself against the Checkpoint Charlie guards to a nasty outcome. Orlov is shot and killed in his attempt to cross the border without the correct procedures.


Steven Berkoff was born in Stepney, London, in August 1937, to Pauline and Alfred Berks - a tailor. He studied mime and drama in his hometown before continuing his education abroad. He studied in Paris for a period, honing his chosen art form at the Ecole Jacques Lecoq.

Berkoff first performed on-stage with the London Theatre Group in 1968, which launched him into a very successful on-stage career. His first stageshow was "In the Penal Colony" - the first of several plays adapted from the work of 19th Century author, Franz Kafka. His first written piece was 1975's "East" - which was first performed at the Edinburgh Festival. Berkoff quickly rose to great respect as an onstage actor and playwrite, appearing in "West", "Messiah" and "Metamorphosis" (another Kafka adaptation).

In 1958 he made his on-screen debut but it took a slew of bit-parts during the 1960s to see Berkoff land a part in Stanley Kubrick's crazed crime-thriller "A Clockwork Orange". Out of his small but prestigious role in this picture, Berkoff landed a host of offers and opportunities. He would go on to play Lord Ludd in "Barry Lyndon", another Kubrick drama, the villainous Victor Maitland in "Beverly Hills Cop" and Podovsky in the 1985 action-flick, "Rambo II".

Berkoff continues to have an active filmmaking career through the 1990s and today - however some of his most memorable work is in theatre. He has directed a toured professional productions of "Hamlet" and "Macbeth" and more recently, "Salome" by Oscar Wilde. Berkoff is also synonymous with one-man stageshows, notably his 2000 tour of "Shakespeare's Villains". He is currently the patron for a fringe theatre venue, the Nightingale Theatre in Brighton, UK.