Bond actor Michael Lonsdale dies aged 89

21 September 2020, 18:11

Michael Lonsdale died aged 89
Michael Lonsdale died aged 89. Picture: PA

By Ewan Somerville

Michael Lonsdale, who starred in the 1979 James Bond film Moonraker, has died at the age of 89.

The Anglo-French actor passed away at his home in Paris, his agent Olivier Loiseau told the news agency AFP. 

He played the villain Hugo Drax opposite Roger Moore's Bond, an industrialist planning to poison all humans on Earth before repopulating the planet from his space station.

It was one of more than 200 roles he played in a career spanning six decades on the English and French screen. 

His other film credits included The Day of the Jackal, Ronin and Munich.

Michael Lonsdale starred in James Bond
Michael Lonsdale starred in James Bond. Picture: PA

When quizzed by the fan site Mi6-HQ if he was worried that playing a Bond villain would affect his career, he said: “Not at all! On the contrary! Because, I made so many films that were not really very popular or didn't make much money, and I only made poor films, so I thought I might like to be in a rich film.”

He appeared as Jean-Pierre in 1998 US action film Ronin, alongside Robert De Niro, and as Papa in Steven Spielberg's 2005 historical thriller Munich. 

Among those paying tribute was writer and film-maker Jesse Hawken, who wrote on Twitter: "RIP to one of my favs, the great Michael Lonsdale, one of the best Bond villains."