The actor who played James Bond’s evil nemesis Hugo Drax in the classic film ‘Moonraker,’ Michael Lonsdale, has died at the age of 89.
In addition to his role in ‘Moonraker’ Lonsdale also was well known as a star of the french stage and also starred in films by directors like Steven Spielberg and Orson Welles.
As Fox News reports:
His agent confirmed he died on Monday at age 89. Lonsdale also worked as a theater actor in France with his acting career spanning more than 60 years.
From his role as the villain in the 1979 James Bond film “Moonraker” to that of a French monk in Algeria in the 2011 movie “Of Gods and Men,” Lonsdale acted, often in brilliant second roles, under top directors including Orson Welles, Steven Spielberg, Francois Truffaut, and Louis Malle…
"We are very sad to learn of the passing of Michael Lonsdale, who played Hugo Drax in Moonraker. He was an extraordinarily talented actor and a very dear friend. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time” – Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. pic.twitter.com/oMepLcSP0d
— James Bond (@007) September 21, 2020
Lonsdale was a man of faith and played several roles reflecting his Christian beliefs. He was monk Brother Luc in the real-life drama “Of Gods and Men,” destined to die with fellow monks at the hands of Islamist extremists and played a priest in Welles’ 1962 film “The Trial.”
The French daily Le Parisien quotes him as saying in an interview in 2016 that he had no anxiety about dying. “I give myself a reason. It’s life.”