Professor Dent (Anthony Dawson)
"Curious old Strangways disappearing... or is it? That secretary of his was very pretty, very pretty indeed."
Actor: Anthony Dawson
Character: Professor Dent
Movie: Dr. No
Date of Birth: 18th October 1916
Height: 6' 2" (1.88m)
Appearance: Tall, with thin build. High cheekbones, gaunt features, dark brown hair and light blue eyes.
Organisations & Alliances: Dr. No, Miss Taro, SPECTRE
A slimy geologist in the pay of Dr. No and SPECTRE, Dent is tasked with killing James
Bond, but on several occasions he is thwarted by the 00 Agent. Dent proves
a useful resource on the mainland acting as informer and assassin for Dr. No.
He puts on the façade of a rich gentleman, seeing out his later-life
in the tropical Jamaican isles. He is a member of the elitist Queens Club and
a card partner of MI6 Agent John Strangways. In fact, Dent is one of the last
men to see Strangways alive.
When 007's taxi driver fails to eliminate Bond, Dent is put on the case. He proves to be one of Bond's top suspects in the case of the missing Head of Section after he discovers that Dent gave Strangways a report declaring a sample of rocks from island of Crab Key as 'clean' when they were really very radioactive. When Dent realizes Bond is onto him he makes contact with Dr. No who tasks the Professor with the planting of a black widow spider in Bond's bed. Dent meets a brutal end when 007 spends an afternoon with his cohort, Miss Taro. Dent arrives at Taro's home to do away with James Bond, only to find him ready and waiting. When faced with the scheming Professor, Bond does not hesitate to use his licence to kill.
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1916, Dawson made a name
for himself playing villainous roles in over 70 screen productions.
His first on-screen role was as a 27 year old in a James Mayson
mystery-romance "They Met in the Dark". He went on to
play in "They Were Not Divided", a war adventure directed
by Terence Young. The film also starred other soon-to-be James
Bond stars, Christopher Lee and Desmond Llewelyn. Dawson would
go on to work with Young on several other productions.
Dawson came to Hollywood recognition in the 1953 Hitchcock production "Dial M for Murder" which also starred Grace Kelly and Ray Milland. An extract from his unpublished autobiography recalls how Hitch hosted a dinner party where Dawson met his co-star Grace Kelly. "At the end of the evening I found myself escorting her home. She was staying at the Chateau Marmont, a small, classy apartment house on the strip. It was very warm, there was moonlight, there were stars reflecting on the surface of the pool, there were tall, dark cypress trees with cicadas chirruping. And again, how did it happen? We found ourselves swimming together in the tepid waters. I don't know how some things happen, they just do. They seem so natural that no other course is possible. The next evening we had a date."
Above: Anthony Dawson with Alfred Hitchcock (centre) on the set of "Dial M for Murder"...
In the 1950s Dawson moved to the US to work, appearing in a string of television bit parts - most notably a leading role in the three-part drama "I Killed The Count" - screened as part of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" in 1957.
In the early 1960s he returned from the US to the UK and won a role in James Bond's first on-screen adventure, "Dr. No". He played the suspicious Professor Dent. The film was again directed by Terence Young and the following year - despite his character's death - Dawson was welcomed back to the Bond productions to lend his figure (but not his face) to the still-unknown Number One of SPECTRE. He would play the character that would come to be known as Blofeld in both "From Russia With Love" and "Thunderball".
Above: Anthony Dawson with Grace Kelly (centre) and Ray Milland (right)...
Beyond Bond, Dawson served in four "Danger Man" episodes between 1960 and 1965 as well as the James Bond parody, starring Connery's younger brother Neil, "O.K. Connery" (1967). Dawson teamed up with Terence Young on several other productions, including "Triple Cross" (1966), "Inchon" (1982) and "The Jigsaw Man" (1983).
Outside of Hollywood, during the 1970s and '80s, Dawson worked
on a string of Italian film productions, notably "Rosolino Paternò,
soldato..." (1970) which also starred Hollywood veterans Martin Landau
and Peter Falk.
Anthony Dawson worked right up until his death in 1992, his last role was a bit part in "Selling Hitler" a five part miniseries about the fraudulent sale of Hitler's dairies. Dawson ultimately passed away in Sussex, UK, on January 8th 1992; he was 75.