2020 was a horrendous year for the globe. We lost loved ones for all different reasons, we could not mourn as we should and often never had time to properly grieve – all compounded by a pandemic that sat in the wings of all our lives, our movies and our movie headlines.
None more so was the year of losses experienced by the Bond world. Whilst the passage of time was often more to blame than any new virus, the passing of 007 alumni, creatives, friends and vital sparks added shadows to an already dark year.
Despite Bond’s third bullet being the one that changed everything in 1964, it was oddly EON Productions Goldfinger that yielded the biggest Bond losses in 2020. The original Bond himself Sir Sean Connery, actress Honor Blackman, actress Margaret Nolan and newcomer junior draughtsman (and later production designer) Peter Lamont all left Bond’s gilded classic for that big soundstage in the skies in a silver DB5.
Other sad losses from the Bond world also included one of the legends of both the British acting scene and Bond – Dame Diana Rigg (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, 1969), the pioneering black British actor Earl Cameron (Thunderball, 1965), second-unit director and cinematographer Arthur Wooster (A View to a Kill), legendary actor Max Von Sydow (Never Say Never Again, 1983), art director Alan Tomkins (Dr. No, A View to a Kill, Die Another Day), actor Jeremy Bulloch (For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy), actor Geoffrey Palmer (Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997), actor Louis Mahoney (Live and Let Die, 1973), actor David Prowse (Casino Royale, 1967), actor Rafer Johnson (Licence to Kill, 1989), actor John Sessions (BBC Radio 4’s Fleming novel dramatisations), stuntman John McLaughlin (Thunderball, 1965), actor Aleta Morrison (Goldfinger, 1964), actor Alan Harris (The Living Daylights, 1987) and actress Barbara Windsor (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 1968).
This bullet catcher remembers five of those Bond losses…
Mark O’Connell remembers Sir Sean Connery with Sky News
Art by Stuart O’Neill