Bernard Lee

Biography

Date of Birth 10 January 1908, London, England, UK Date of Death 16 January 1981, London, England, UK (stomach cancer) Height 6' 1" (1.85 m) Bernard Lee was an English actor, best known for his role as M in the first eleven James Bond films. Born in London, he attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. During the 1930s he acted mostly on stage, but after World War II developed a successful film career, including The Third Man (1949), Beat the Devil (1953), The Battle of the River Plate (1956), The Spanish Gardener (1957), Dunkirk (1958), Web of Evidence (1959), and Whistle Down the Wind (1961). Lee also starred in the 1976 television show Beauty and the Beast with George C. Scott. A year later he starred in the television show A Christmas Carol as the Ghost of Christmas Present. He was the grandfather of British actor Jonny Lee Miller. In the Bond films, Lee's character, M, is Admiral Sir Miles Messervy (only ever named, besides as 'M', as 'Admiral' and 'Miles' on screen in his appearances), Bond's irascible boss who sends him out on assignments. Lee was succeeded by Robert Brown, though not necessarily playing the same character (Brown had played another admiral in the series previously). Judi Dench, a friend of Lee's, would later take over the role of a brand-new M, starting in 1995 with some references to her predecessor, including an oil painting of Lee in the role seen in MI6's secondary HQ (a Scottish castle). In January 1981, Lee died in London after a battle with stomach cancer, while preparing his role for For Your Eyes Only. Out of respect, no new actor was hired to take over the role of M in the 1981 James Bond film For Your Eyes Only. In the film, M's lines were transferred to the Minister of Defence and Bill Tanner, M's Chief of Staff.

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Birth Name

John Bernard Lee

Birth Place

Brentford, Middlesex, England, UK

Birth Date

1/10/1908

Death Date

1/16/1981
Known For
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Dr. No

M.

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Whistle Down the Wind

Mr. Bostock

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Kidnapped

Captain Hoseason

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The Purple Plain

Dr. Harris

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Sailor of the King

Petty Officer 'Stokes' Wheatley

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Schrei im Morgengrauen

Inspector Thompson

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Breakout

Lt. Col. Huxley

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The Angry Silence

Bert Connolly

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Bucht der Schmuggler

Black John

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Long Ago, Tomorrow

Uncle Bob

Starring In
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Best Ever Bond

Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

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The James Bond Story

Himself (archive footage)

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He Said, She Said

Basketball Player #3

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Dangerous Davies: The Last Detective

Sergeant Ben

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Moonraker

M

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A Christmas Carol

Ghost of Christmas Present

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The Spy Who Loved Me

M

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Bons baisers de Hong Kong

M

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The Man with the Golden Gun

M / Admiral Myles Messervy

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The Man with the Golden Gun

'M'

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Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell

Tarmut

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It's Not the Size that Counts

Barraclough

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Live and Let Die

'M'

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Live and Let Die

'M'

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Diamonds Are Forever

'M'

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Long Ago, Tomorrow

Uncle Bob

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Dulcima

Mr. Gaskain

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On Her Majesty's Secret Service

'M'

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Crossplot

Chilmore

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You Only Live Twice

'M'

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Operation Kid Brother

Commander Cunningham

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Thunderball

'M'

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The Spy Who Came In From The Cold

Mr. Patmore - Grocer

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Dr. Terror's House of Horrors

Hopkins (segment 2 "Creeping Vine")

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Die amourösen Abenteuer der Moll Flanders

Landlord (uncredited)

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Goldfinger

'M'

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Ring of Treason

Henry Houghton

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Who Was Maddox?

Superintendent Meredith

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Saturday Night Out

George Hudson

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From Russia With Love

'M'

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A Place to Go

Matt Flint

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The L-Shaped Room

Charlie

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Dr. No

M.

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The Brain

Dr. Frank Shears

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The Share Out

Det. Supt. Meredith

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Bucht der Schmuggler

Black John

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Whistle Down the Wind

Mr. Bostock

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The Secret Partner

Det. Supt. Frank Hanbury

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Partners in Crime

Inspector Mann

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Clue of the Silver Key

Superintendent Meredith

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Sink the Bismarck!

Firing Officer (uncredited)

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Kidnapped

Captain Hoseason

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The Angry Silence

Bert Connolly

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Trouble in the Sky

Capt. Gort

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Clue of the Twisted Candle

Superintendent Meredith

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Breakout

Lt. Col. Huxley

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Web of Evidence

Patrick Mathry

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Nowhere to Go

Victor Sloane, alias Lee Henderson

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Dunkirk

Charles Foreman (British newspaper reporter)

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Schrei im Morgengrauen

Inspector Thompson

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The Key

Cmdr. Wadlow

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Across the Bridge

Chief Inspector Hadden

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Fire Down Below

Doctor Sam

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The Spanish Gardener

Leighton Bailey

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The Battle of the River Plate

Captain Dove - M.S. Africa Shell

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PT Raiders

Sam Brewster,The Customs Officer

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The Purple Plain

Dr. Harris

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The Rainbow Jacket

Racketeer (uncredited)

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The Detective

Inspector Valentine

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Out Of The Clouds

Customs Officer

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Beat the Devil

Insp. Jack Clayton

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Sailor of the King

Petty Officer 'Stokes' Wheatley

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The Yellow Balloon

Constable Chapman

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Glory at Sea

A.S. 'Stripey' Wood

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White Corridors

Burgess

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Calling Bulldog Drummond

Col. Webson

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Odette

Jack

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The Blue Lamp

Divisional Detective Inspector Cherry

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Last Holiday

Inspector Wilton

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Morning Departure

Cmdr. Gates

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The Third Man

Sergeant Paine

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The Fallen Idol

Detective Hart

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Quartet

Prison Visitor (segment 'The Kite')

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Katy's Love Affair

Colonel Gascoyne

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Murder in Soho

Roy Barnes

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Rhodes

Cartwright

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