Monday, January 10, 2011

Bernard Lee, 1908-1981

If you watched The Third Man yesterday, you might have noticed the name Bernard Lee in the opening credits. The name is one that should sound familiar, albeit not necessarily from The Third Man. Lee spent his career playing supporting roles, and would only get his most famous supporting role a dozen years after The Third Man, when he was cast in Dr. No as M, James Bond's boss. The above photo is of Lee (at left; we mostly see his back) and Sean Connery in Goldfinger.

It's a bit unfair to typecast Lee as M, largely because he made so many movie appearances. They're a lot of smaller British films, though, so other than The Third Man, they're not too common on TCM. TCM has shown the anthology movie Quartet a couple of times, and once in a while shows The Fallen Idol. Lee also showed up in spy movies outside the James Bond series, most notably in The Spy Who Came In From the Cold (not one of my favorites, but there you are).

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