Anthony Dawson (1916-1992) was a Scottish actor who was most famous for playing the iconic James Bond villain, Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
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 Mason 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 An extract from his unpublished autobiography recalls how Hitch hosted a dinner party where Dawson met his co-star Grace Kelly.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."
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".
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.