Licence To Thrill – Anderson Actors In James Bond Films
When you think of legendary television series’, the chances are that a Gerry Anderson series will feature somewhere in your musings. Whether you love Thunderbirds, Space:1999 or any of the others, each series contributes something special to the Anderson Legacy. When it comes to legendary films, you might well think of names like Goldfinger, Thunderball and The Spy Who Loved Me. Yes James Bond has been gracing the silver screen for almost as long as the Anderson shows have appeared on the small screen, and as the 007 films were often filmed in and around Pinewood Studios, a staple filming locale for the Anderson team, it’s no surprise that many actors made the leap from Anderson series to James Bond films, and in some cases vice versa!
Here’s a brief list of just some of the actors you may recognise from Gerry Anderson series and James Bond films! Just to keep things simple, I’m only including the 24 EON Productions Bond films (i.e. not the Climax! production of Casino Royale, the 1967 spoof version of the same name, or the rival film Never Say Never Again, although I’m aware there are definitely some crossovers with those productions too, including some of the actors on this very list!)
Anouska Hempel (SHADO Operative Tamara Paulson in UFO, Annette Fraser in Space:1999) received credit for her role as ‘The Australian Girl’, one of Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s Angels of Death in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Anthony Chinn (Rescue Operative in Doppelgänger, Lt. Tony Chin and Alien in UFO, Chino in The Protectors) clocked up roles in no less than four James Bond films. He appeared as a technician in Dr No, a stud farm servant in Goldfinger, A SPECTRE guard in You Only Live Twice and a Taiwanese Tycoon in A View To A Kill). Appearing in four Bond films places Chinn tied for first with another Anderson alumnus, who I’ll mention later, for most appearances in the James Bond series for an actor who is not part of the regular cast.
Burt Kwouk (Slik Ostrasky in Space Precinct) appeared in Goldfinger as Mr Ling and You Only Live Twice as SPECTRE Number 3.
Best known to Anderson fans for her role as Maya in Space:1999 season 2, Catherine Schell previously appeared in season 1 playing a guest role in Guardian Of Piri. In the world of 007, Schell portrayed Nancy in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Christopher Lee (Captain Zantor in Space:1999) battled Roger Moore’s James Bond in The Man With The Golden Gun as the titular villain, Francisco Scaramanga.
Taking over the roles of both Professor Popkiss and the villainous Masterspy in the second series of Supercar and a doctor in The Protectors, Cyril Shaps played the role of reasearch scientist Dr. Bechmann in The Spy Who Loved Me.
David Healy’s distinctive tones can be heard as many guest character voices in Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons, Joe 90 (including series regular Shane Weston), The Secret Service, Space Police, Space Precinct and even as Jeff Tracy in a couple of Matchbox toy commercials from the early 1990s. He appeared on screen in one episode of UFO as Franklin. Healy can be spotted in You Only Live Twice as the Houston Radar Operator and Diamonds Are Forever as the Vandenburg Launch Director.
Douglas Wilmer (Dr. Ward in UFO, Commander Whiting in The Protectors and Commissioner Dixon in Space:1999) appeared as Jim Fanning, accompanying Roger Moore’s 007 to an auction in Octopussy.
Ed Bishop is probably best known to Anderson fans for his starring roles as the voice of Captain Blue in Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons and SHADO chief Commander Ed Straker in UFO. Ed also appeared in Doppelgänger as David Poulson, The Protectors as Colonel John Hunter and The Day After Tomorrow as the Narrator. It’s perhaps unsurprising that his roles in the Bond films had him situated behind as control desk as Hawaii CapCom in You Only Live Twice and in a secret underground facility as Klaus Hergersheimer in Diamonds Are Forever.
Geoffrey Keen voiced James Glenn, the President of the New World Aircraft Corporation in the feature film Thunderbird 6. Keen played the recurring role of Sir Frederick Gray in six consecutive James Bond films, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View To A Kill and The Living Daylights after which the character was retired from the series.
George Baker made a single appearance in The Protectors, playing the role of George Dixon. Baker’s credits in the Bond films include a NASA Engineer in You Only Live Twice, Sir Hilary Bray in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (also dubbing George’s Lazenby’s 007 when the character is impersonating Bray) and Captain Benson in The Spy Who Loved Me.
George Murcell voiced Professor Rudolph Popkiss, Masterspy, and many guest characters in series one of Supercar, also appearing as Diamond in Crossroads To Crime. He later appeared as a Russian Diplomat in the pre-credits sequence of You Only Live Twice.
Jeremy Wilkin is perhaps best known to Anderson fans as the voice of Virgil Tracy in series two of Thunderbirds and the films Thunderbirds Are Go and Thunderbird 6, and also the voice of Captain Ochre and numerous guest roles in Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons. He continued to appear in Anderson productions, voicing many guest roles in Joe 90 and The Secret Service (including the recurring character of the Bishop) before moving to live action. These roles included Trajectory Analyst in Doppelgänger, Lieutenant Gordon Maxwell in UFO and Inspector Lars Bergen in The Protectors. He appeared in the world of James Bond alongside many other Anderson alumni in The Spy Who Loved Me, portraying Captain Forsyth.
Julian Glover played the memorable role of Jarak in the Space:1999 episode Alpha Child. He proved to be almost as much trouble for James Bond in his role as the villainous Kristatos in For Your Eyes Only.
Lois Maxwell lent her voice to the character of Atlanta Shore in Stingray and appeared as Miss Holland in two episodes of UFO. Maxwell tops our list for the most appearances in the James Bond series for an Anderson alumnus, clocking up fourteen consecutive appearances as the legendary Miss Moneypenny, running from the very first Bond film, Dr No through to Roger Moore’s last, A View To A Kill.
Maryam d’Abo appeared in Space Precinct as Cambria Elon and soon found herself of the wrong side of the law (and a cell door). She appeared in The Living Daylights as cellist Kara Milovy, opposite Timothy Dalton as James Bond.
Maxwell Shaw may be familiar to UFO fans for his recurring role as Dr. Shroeder in the early episodes of the series. He also appeared as Baruna in The Protectors. Shaw’s entry in the Bond series is almost right at the beginning, appearing on screen in Dr No as a Communications Operator before Sean Connery’s 007 has been introduced to the audience.
Michael Billington (Colonel Paul Foster in UFO) played ill-fated KGB agent Sergei Barsov in the pre-credits sequence of The Spy Who Loved Me, but screen tested for the role of 007 himself on a number of occasions. Fellow UFO star Ed Bishop once said that Billington came within a hair’s breadth of being Bond.
Paul Stassino portrayed Captain Carozza in The Protectors episode 2,000 Ft. To Die. He previously appeared in Thunderball playing the dual roles of François Derval and Angelo Palazzi.
Paul Weston portrayed various Moonbase Alpha personnel in Space:1999, usually when there was some degree of danger involved for the character. Weston has appeared in various stunt sequences in at least 11 Bond films to date, in roles ranging from uncredited stunt work to Stunt Supervisor and Stunt Coordinator. Perhaps his most memorable line was delivered in The Living Daylights. After shooting Timothy Dalton’s Bond with a paintball gun during a training exercise, Weston’s character stares at the 00 agent’s running form and yells “Hold on, you’re dead!”
Peter Burton appeared in three episodes of UFO, twice as Dr. Murray and once as Perry. Burton was the first actor to play the role of Major Boothroyd, more commonly known as “Q” in Dr No, and would be more memorably played by Desmond Llewelyn until the nineteenth film in the series, The World Is Not Enough.
Robin Bailey may be familiar to UFO fans for his portrayal of Kofax in Exposed, the episode that introduced viewers to Paul Foster. He appeared in the pre-title sequence of You Only Live Twice as the Foreign Secretary.
Roland Culver made a single appearance in UFO as Sir Esmond, a visitor to Harlington Straker Studios who senses something amiss with Colonel Craig Collins. Like Robin Bailey, Culver also played a Foreign Secretary in the world of James Bond, this time in Thunderball.
Shakira Caine can be spotted in several episodes of UFO as SHADO Moonbase Operative Joanna. Caine appeared in George Lazenby’s sole outing as 007 in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service as one of the extras in the casino scene.
Shane Rimmer’s distinctive voice will be familiar to most Thunderbirds fans, having played the role of Scott Tracy in all 32 episodes of the series and both feature films. He provided guest voices in Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons, Joe 90, Dick Spanner P.I. and The Investigator the 1973 Supermarionation pilot episode. As well as voicing characters, Rimmer appeared on screen in episodes of UFO, The Protectors, Space:1999 and Space Police.
He is the only actor who was not part of the regular cast, aside from Anthony Chinn, to appear in four James Bond films. Shane can be spotted as Hawaii Radar Operator in You Only Live Twice, Tom in Diamonds Are Forever (along with multiple voice roles), Hamilton in Live And Let Die (voice only) and in his most prominent role as Commander Carter in The Spy Who Loved Me.
Steven Berkoff portrayed SHADO Interceptor pilot Captain Steve Minto in several episodes of UFO and would later been seen in the role of Dr. Paul Jorry in an episode of Space Precinct, Deadline. He played the fanatical General Orlov in the thirteenth James Bond film, Octopussy.
Valerie Leon appeared in Death’s Other Dominion, an episode in the first season of Space:1999. She went on to appear as a hotel receptionist in The Spy Who Loved Me.
Vincent Wong can be seen in Space:1999, playing the character Toshiro Fujita. He also played a medic in the series. Wong appeared in Diamonds Are Forever as a Casino Croupier, The Spy Who Loved Me as a Liparus Guard and in Die Another Day as General Li.
Vladek Sheybal played the memorable role of Dr Jackson in UFO, but also made appearances in Doppelgänger and The Protectors. Perhaps his most memorable film role was the cold, calculating SPECTRE agent Kronsteen in the second James Bond film, From Russia With Love.
But what about…?
Phew, that was a longer list than I was expecting when I started this article! I’m acutely aware that there will be lots of actors I haven’t mentioned, including those who appeared in the non-EON Bond films. There are also countless (and I mean COUNTLESS) hard-working crew and behind-the-scenes personnel common to both the Anderson and Bond franchises and while I could start listing a few of them easily, I feel it would be unfair to mention anyone by name without compiling a similar list to the one you’ve just read!
How many other actors can you think of who have appeared in both an Anderson series and a James Bond film? Leave your answer in the comments below! That’s all from me for now, but just like James Bond, the productions of Gerry Anderson will return!
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