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Farewell, Q: Bond Actor Desmond Llewelyn Dead at 85.
By Steve Biodrowski
December 20, 1999
In what seems like a prophecy fulfilled, actor Desmond Llewelyn, who played Q in the James Bond series, is dead barely a month after the release of the latest 007 opus, THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH. In the film, Bond's gadget master introduces his intended replacement, R (played by John Clesse), suggesting that he would not be appearing in the series for very much longer.
Llewelyn was just about the last connection the series had to its glorious heydey. Having first appeared in the superspy's sophomore outing, FROM RUSSIA, WITH LOVE, Llewelyn went on to appear in all the subsequent 'official' Bond films except LIVE AND LET DIE. Although his appearances were always brief, they were memorably amusing, and banter between Bond and Q, including the later's ill-concealed contempt for 007, was one of the welcome highlight of each new entry in the series.
Llewelyn's other acting roles include appearances in two British television productions of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (1946 and 1947), A NIGHT TO REMEMBER (1958, uncredited), CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (1961, also uncredited), CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG (1968), FOLLYFOOT (1971, British television), MERLIN (1992), and a 1997 horror film called TABOO.
In one of many interviews given while promoting the release of WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, Llewelyn said, 'No, I'm not going to retire.... I'm there as long as the producers want me and God doesn't.' The actor was 85; cause of death was massive internal injuries resulting from a head-on car collision.