The M actors

Posted on April 2, 2013

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So, which actors have portrayed M? Here is the full list.
Bernard Lee
Bernard Lee 1962-1979
Dr No
From Russia with Love
Goldfinger
Thunderball
You only live twice
On her Majesty’s Secret Service
Diamonds are Forever
Live and let die
The Man with the Golden Gun
The Spy who loved me
Moonraker

Robert Brown 1983-1989
Octopussy
A View to a Kill
The Living Daylights
Licence to Kill
Bond & M in Scotland, Skyfall
Judi Dench 1995-2012
GoldenEye
Tomorrow never dies
The World is not enough
Die Another Day
Casino Royale
Quantum of Solace
Skyfall
*Spectre*

Ralph Fiennes 2012-
Skyfall
Spectre

not forgetting these…

John Houston 1967
Casino Royale (’67)

Edward Fox 1983
Never Say Never Again

The only film where M is missing altogether is “For your Eyes only” following the death of Bernard Lee. James Villiers took on the M role but as Tanner, chief of staff, not in the chum fashion of recent films or Fleming’s novels.
Villiers thought he was to succeed Lee but Robert Brown was cast instead. Brown, an old pal of Roger Moore’s also starred in “The Spy who loved me” as Admiral Hargreaves. Some have thought of Hargreaves and Brown’s M as the same character but nothing from Eon Productions confirms this. He is most likely to play the same part as Lee, M as Sir Miles Messervy.
As for Judi Dench, the real name of her M was revealed by a sharp-eyed fan. It says “From the estate of Olivia Mansfield” on the box given to Bond at the end of Skyfall. This would probably be a reference to Mansfield Smith-Cumming, the first head of MI6, who signed his letter with the letter C.
This information confused some fans as the female M was called Barbara Mawdsley in the Raymond Benson Bond novel “The Facts of Death”, 1998. Maybe, as there was a reboot of Bond series with Casino Royale in 2006 with Judi Dench as the only cast member left, her M character is an altogether new one?
Maybe not. Bond films have always been dodgy with continuity, especially since the Daniel Craigs.

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