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'James Bond' Villain Michael Lonsdale Dies at 89 — Remembering His Legacy

Junie Sihlangu
Sep 22, 2020
06:57 A.M.
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On Monday, September 21, 2020, actor Michael Lonsdale sadly passed away at the age of 89. The actor was well known as the villain of a James Bond movie.

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Michael Lonsdale’s agent, Olivier Loiseau, confirmed his death this week. The Aartis agency agent, who worked with Lonsdale for 20 years, revealed that he passed away peacefully at a Paris old age home.

Loiseau confessed that the actor’s death was unexpected. He also shared that he’d recently spoken with Lonsdale on the phone stating:

“His spirit was alive but his body was tired.”

Michael Lonsdale at the XIVe Bal de Paris at Place Vendome on December 3, 2011, in Paris, France | Photo: Trago/WireImage/Getty Images

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MICHAEL’S LONG-STANDING CAREER

The late actor had a long career that spanned over 60 years and he also starred in theater plays in France.  In 1979, Lonsdale starred as a villain in the James Bond film “Moonraker.”

The Twitter James Bond account paid tribute to Michael Lonsdale.

In 2011, the versatile actor played a French monk in Algeria in the film “Of Gods and Men.” The film earned the actor a César for Best Supporting Role.

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LONSDALE’S ACCOLADE

A César is France’s equivalent of an Oscar. The star was born on May 24, 1931, as the child of a British father and a French mother.

In his lifetime, Lonsdale worked on more than 100 movies. He started his career on stage in theater and in 1962 he played a priest in the movie “The Trial.”

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MICHAEL’S SPY FILM ROLE

Some people might recognize him for his performance as detective Claude Lebel in the 1973 spy film “The Day of the Jackal.” The role landed him a supporting actor BAFTA nomination.

In 1982, Lonsdale starred in the miniseries “Smiley's People.” The movie was based on the John le Carré novel of the same name.

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LONSDALE’S OTHER ACTING ROLES

In 2012, he acted in “Gebo and the Shadow,” and the following year he appeared in “Le Renard Jaune” (“The Yellow Fox”). His last full-length feature was in 2015, “Les Premiers Les Derniers” (“The First, The Last”).

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MICHAEL’S LAST ROLE

His final performance was in 2019 in the short film “Degas et Moi” (“Degas and Me”) which was for the Opera of Paris. Lonsdale was never married and had no children.

STAR MOURNED BY JAMES BOND & OTHERS

The Twitter James Bond account paid tribute to the late star along with Sir Roger Moore who was  Lonsdale’s co-star in “Moonraker.” The James Bond 007 movie series has run for more than 6 decades.

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