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|Born||Anthony Douglas Gillon Dawson
18 October 1916
Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, UK
|Died||8 January 1992
Sussex, England, UK
Anthony Douglas Gillon Dawson (18 October 1916 – 8 January 1992) was a Scottish actor, best known for his supporting roles as villains in British films such as Dial M for Murder, (1954), Midnight Lace (1960) and Dr. No (1962).
Dawson was born in Edinburgh, the son of Ida Violet (Kittel) and Eric Francis Dawson.
He made his film debut in 1943's They Met in the Dark, going on to appear in such classic British films as The Way to the Stars (1945), The Queen of Spades (1948) and The Wooden Horse (1950), before moving to America in the early 1950s.
It was while there that he appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder (1954), playing C. A. Swann/Captain Lesgate. In the film, he is blackmailed by Tony Wendice (Ray Milland) into murdering his wife Margot (Grace Kelly). In his unpublished memoirs, Rambling Recollections, Dawson reminisced about getting the part:
... I had never met Hitchcock before, and yet he was about to do me the most fantastic good turn I could imagine. In that wonderful fat man's Cockney voice, he said, slowly, drooping every word separately, as though he had all day: 'Tony, I just called to let you know that I want you for this picture, so you're quite safe to make yourself a nice deal.' What could I say? I mumbled my thanks and put the phone down, feeling rather dazed, electrified, stunned; all of these. The full impact of this call from Hitch was very soon to come home to me.
He had two other memorable roles on his return to Britain, including the evil Marques Siniestro in Hammer's Curse of the Werewolf (1961) and henchman Professor Dent in the first James Bond film, Dr. No (1962).
Throughout his career he could often be found in the films of director Terence Young, including the aforementioned Dr. No, They Were Not Divided (1950),Valley of Eagles (1951), The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders (1965), Triple Cross (1966), Red Sun (1971), Inchon (1982) and The Jigsaw Man (1983). Young also cast him as the physical presence of Ernst Stavro Blofeld in his Bond films From Russia with Love (1963) and Thunderball (1965), stroking the ubiquitous white cat. His face was never seen, however, and Blofeld's voice was provided by Eric Pohlmann. Dawson appeared alongside fellow Bond veterans Adolfo Celi, Lois Maxwell and Bernard Lee in the Italian Bond knockoff O.K. Connery.
After the early 1960s, his roles got progressively smaller, but he continued to act until the early 1990s.
He died in Sussex of cancer at age 75 in January 1992.
- The Way to the Stars (1945)
- The Wooden Horse (1950)
- Dial M for Murder (1954)
- Hour of Decision (1957)
- Action of the Tiger (1957)
- The Haunted Strangler (1958)
- Tiger Bay (1959)
- Midnight Lace (1960)
- The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)
- Offbeat (1961)
- Dr. No (1962)
- From Russia with Love (1963) (body only)
- Thunderball (1965) (body only)
- The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders (1965)
- Operation Kid Brother (1967)
- Death Rides a Horse (1967)
- The Rover (1967)
- Battle of Neretva (1969)
- Deadlock (1970)
- Red Sun (1971)
- Inchon (1981)
- The Jigsaw Man (1983)
- Pirates (1986)
- Ghoulies II (1988)
- Run for Your Life (1988)
- Smith, Patrick. "James Bond is 24 What is Spectre and who is Blofeld". telegraph.co.uk. The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 July 2015.