Charles Gray was an actor who will be remembered for his roles in a number of classic movies, but he is best known for playing Blofeld in the James Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever.
He was born in Bournemouth in 1928, being christened Donald Marshall Gray, and went to Bournemouth School, which he attended with Benny Hill, who was evacuated there during the war from nearby Southampton.
Donald was interested in acting from an early age, and it is said that his bedroom was covered with pictures of movie stars.
In the late 1950’s after some minor acting roles on the stage in Bournemouth, he moved away and changed his name to Charles, as there was already an actor called Donald Gray.
In the 1960’s Charles achieved some success in television shows such as Danger Man alongside Patrick MacGoohan and Maigret, but his big breakthrough came in 1967 when he played a lead role in The Night of the Generals, along with Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif.
His best known role came in 1971 with the character of Blofeld in Diamonds Are Forever, however he did also play an Australian intelligence officer four years prior in You Only Live Twice, which makes him one of only a handful of actors to play both a good and bad guy in the James Bond movies.
Charles went on to have further successes, as the narrator in the film version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and as Sherlock Holmes evil brother Mycroft in The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes.
His other movies include The Devil Rides Out and Mosquito Squadron
Charles Gray died from cancer in May 2000 in London. You can see a full list of his movies on Wikipedia.
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