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Robert James Brown
23 July 1921
Swanage, Dorset, England
|Died||11 November 2003 (aged 82)|
Swanage, Dorset, England
(m. 1955; his death 2003)
Brown was born and died in Swanage, Dorset. Before appearing in the Bond films, he had a long career as a bit-part actor in films and television. He had a starring role in the 1950s television series Ivanhoe where he played Gurth, the faithful companion of Ivanhoe, played by Roger Moore. He had previously made an uncredited appearance as a castle guard in the unrelated 1952 film Ivanhoe. He had an uncredited appearance as the galley-master in Ben-Hur (1959) and as factory worker Bert Harker in the BBC's 1960s soap opera The Newcomers. In One Million Years B.C. (1966), he played grunting caveman Akhoba, brutal head of the barbaric "Rock tribe".
Brown first started in the James Bond franchise in the film The Spy Who Loved Me as Admiral Hargreaves, appearing alongside Lee. After Lee's death in January 1981, Broccoli and the other producers, decided to leave M out of For Your Eyes Only out of respect for Lee and assigned his lines to M's Chief of Staff Bill Tanner. In 1983, Brown was hired to portray M on the recommendation of Bond actor Roger Moore, his Ivanhoe co-star and the father of Brown's goddaughter Deborah. It was never clearly established if Brown was the same M as Lee's character, or a different M, perhaps a promoted Hargreaves. In 1995, Brown was succeeded as M by Judi Dench in GoldenEye.
Altogether, Robert Brown starred in five James Bond films.
- The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) – Admiral Hargreaves (possibly the same character as M he played in subsequent films)
- Octopussy (1983) – M
- A View to a Kill (1985) – M
- The Living Daylights (1987) – M
- Licence to Kill (1989) – M
- The Third Man (1949) – Policeman in sewer (coincidentally Bernard Lee is also in this film) (uncredited)
- Out of True (1951) – Dr. Dale
- The Dark Man (1951) – Policeman at Hospital (uncredited)
- Cloudburst (1951) – Carter
- Death of an Angel (1952) – Jim Pollard (uncredited)
- Derby Day (1952) – Foster – Berkeley's Butler (uncredited)
- Ivanhoe (1952) – Castle Guard (uncredited)
- Time Gentlemen, Please! (1952) – Bill Jordan
- The Gambler and the Lady (1952) – John – Waiter at Max's Dive (uncredited)
- Noose for a Lady (1953) – Jonas Rigg
- The Large Rope (1954) – Mick Jordan
- Passage Home (1955) – Shane
- The Dark Avenger (1955) – First French Knight
- Helen of Troy (1956) – Polydorus
- Lost (1956) – Farmer with Shotgun (uncredited)
- The Man Who Never Was (1956) – French (uncredited)
- A Hill in Korea (1956) – Private O'Brien
- Kill Me Tomorrow (1957) – Steve Ryan
- The Steel Bayonet (1957) – Company Sergeant Major Gill
- The Abominable Snowman (1957) – Ed Shelley
- Campbell's Kingdom (1957) – Ben Creasy
- Passport to Shame (1958) – Mike
- Shake Hands with the Devil (1959) – First Sergeant 'Black & Tans'
- Ben-Hur (1959) – Rowing Overseer (uncredited)
- Sink the Bismarck! (1960) – unnamed officer aboard HMS King George V (uncredited)
- The Challenge (1960) – Bob Crowther
- Sands of the Desert (1960) – 1st Tourist
- A Story of David (1961) – Jashobeam
- The 300 Spartans (1962) – Pentheus
- Live Now, Pay Later (1962) – (unconfirmed)
- Billy Budd (1962) – Arnold Talbot
- Mystery Submarine (1963) – Coxswain Drage
- Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow (1963) – Sam Farley
- The Masque of the Red Death (1964) – Guard
- Clash by Night (1963) – Mawsley
- Operation Crossbow (1965) – Air Commodore
- One Million Years B.C. (1966) – Akhoba
- Un hombre solo (1969)
- Tintin and the Temple of the Sun (1969) – Tarragon (English version, voice, uncredited)
- Private Road (1971) – Mr Halpern
- Fun and Games (1971) – Ralph
- Wreck Raisers (1972) – Cox'n
- Demons of the Mind (1972) – Fischinger
- Mohammad, Messenger of God (1976) – Otba
- Jesus of Nazareth (1977) – Pharisee
- Warlords of Atlantis (1978) – Briggs
- The Passage (1979) – Major
- Lion of the Desert (1981) – Al Fadeel
- Jugando con la muerte (1982) – 2nd bodyguard
- "Robert Brown".
- "Robert Brown - Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos - AllMovie". AllMovie.
- "Robert Brown". 19 November 2003 – via www.thetimes.co.uk.
- Staff, From; Reports, Wire (21 November 2003). "Robert Brown, 82; Actor Played Spy Boss M in 4 Bond Films" – via LA Times.
- Child, Ben (10 April 2012). "Is this really the end of Judi Dench's reign as M?". the Guardian.
- "AFI-Catalog". catalog.afi.com.