Walter Gotell

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Walter Gotell
General Gogol by Walter Gotell.jpg
Gotell, as General Anatol Gogol in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).
Walter Jack Gotell

(1924-03-15)15 March 1924
Died5 May 1997(1997-05-05) (aged 73)
Years active1942–1997
Yvonne Hills
(m. 1958; died 1974)

Celeste F. Mitchell
(m. 1974)

Walter Jack Gotell (15 March 1924 – 5 May 1997) was a German actor, known for his role as General Gogol, head of the KGB, in the Roger Moore-era of the James Bond film series,[2] as well as having played the role of Morzeny, a villain, in From Russia With Love. He also appeared as Gogol in the final part of The Living Daylights (1987), Timothy Dalton's first Bond film.

Life and career[edit]

Gotell was born in Bonn; his family emigrated to Britain after the arrival of Nazism in Germany. A fluent English speaker, he started in films as early as 1943, usually playing German villain officer, such as in We Dive at Dawn (1943). He began to have more established roles by the early 1950s, starring in The African Queen (1951), The Red Beret (1953) for Albert R. Broccoli, Ice Cold in Alex (1958), The Guns of Navarone (1961), The Road to Hong Kong (1962), Lord Jim (1965), Black Sunday (1977), The Boys from Brazil (1978) and Cuba (1979).

His first role in the James Bond film series was in 1963, when he played the henchman Morzeny in From Russia with Love. From the late 1970s he played the recurring role of KGB General Anatol Gogol in the series, beginning with The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). Gotell gained the role of Gogol because of his resemblance to the former head of Soviet secret police Lavrentiy Beria. The character returned in Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983), A View to a Kill (1985), and The Living Daylights (1987). As the Cold War neared its end, the role of leader of the KGB was seen to change attitudes to the West – from direct competitor to collaborator. Gotell is one of a few actors to have played a villain and a Bond ally in the film series (others being Charles Gray, Richard Kiel and Joe Don Baker).

Throughout his career, Gotell also made numerous guest appearances in television series including Danger Man, Knight Rider, The A-Team, Airline, Airwolf, The X-Files, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, MacGyver, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Miami Vice, Cagney & Lacey and The Saint among others. He played Chief Constable Cullen in Softly, Softly: Taskforce (1969–75).


Gotell was a businessman as well as an actor, and used his acting salaries to fund his business interests. He had one daughter, Carol, born in 1960. He died on 5 May 1997 in Los Angeles, from cancer, at the age of 73.




Other appearances[edit]

  • Inside 'From Russia with Love' - Video documentary short (2000) - Himself / Morzeny


  1. ^
  2. ^ Tom Vallance Obituary: Walter Gotell, The Independent, 20 June 1997.

External links[edit]