Sir Christopher Lee
For James Bond buffs, the actor—who has a penchant for portraying memorable film villains—is best known for his role as hitman Francisco Scaramanga opposite Roger Moore n 1974’s The Man with the Golden Gun. Adding on further to his association with the world of 007, he was a cousin of Bond creator Ian Fleming.
Explaining the relation, Lee stated that after his parents’ divorce, his mother, Contessa Estelle Marie Carandini di Sarzano, married a banker, Harcourt Rose, whose sister was Fleming’s mother. What followed was a friendship between Fleming and himself.
‘I used to play golf with him, and I remember him asking me on the links if I wanted to play Dr No, which was about to go into production. But by the time he got round to mentioning it to [Bond producers] Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, they’d cast another actor.’
Thankfully, Lee got another chance at Bond a little over a decade later when he got the lead villain role in The Man with the Golden Gun. ‘Scaramanga was a real name, [Fleming] didn’t make it up,’ Lee states. ‘It was a boy at Eton he disliked intensely.’
‘Ian could be very acid, certainly,’ said Lee in response to hearing Viner’s statement that Sean Connery was recently quoted as saying that Fleming was a dreadful snob.
He continues: ‘But I’m guessing Ian wasn’t enamoured of Sean, either. I do remember a quote to the effect that he didn’t think of James Bond as a former bodybuilder and coffin polisher. But I don’t know whether he disliked Sean’s performance, and even if I did know, I would never say so. Please don’t say that I said so. You raised it. I’m not making any further comment.’
To check out the entire interview with Sir Christopher Lee, head over to The Independent.
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