TV Cream

Hall of Fame

GRAY, Charles

grayDerided by petifogging walloons the world over for being ‘too nice’ as Blofeld in Diamonds Are Forever, which we just can’t agree with. Iconic Donny Pleasance’s scarred bullethead may be, but the sly avuncularity of his Willard White impersonatin’ mastermind hits just the right spot for that gloriously daffy film. Espionage was his strong suit: The Seven Per-Cent Solution, Masquerade, The Executioner among others saw him daggering cloaks left and right. Oh, and we’ll take his dancing judge in Shock Treatment over his afternoon’s work in Rocky Horror any day.

FINEST HOUR: That sinister avuncularity comes to the fore in The Devil Rides Out, as charming Satanist leader Mocata.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. RONALD WARE

    May 14, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    A GOOD FRIEND OF MINE (ONE TIME RAINDANCER) ASSURED ME THAT HE AND CHARLES GRAY MADE VERY GOOD SAND CASTLES ON BOURNEMOUTH BEACH. THEIR FAMILIES HAD BEACH HUTS AT BOSCOMBE. VERY UP MARKET.

  2. Glenn Aylett

    September 23, 2021 at 7:08 pm

    The only actor to play a Bond ally and a villain, Dikko Henderson deserved a bigger role in YOLT as he was an Englishman who immersed himself in the ways of the Japanese and could have been a useful asset to Bond, but a knife in the back saw him off after a couple of minutes.
    Then as Blofeld, OK Gray lacked the deformed appearance of Donald Pleasance’s Blofeld, or the bald headed evil of Telly Savalas, but he was no Danny La Rue, the slightly camp air was offset by his Nazi like look and callous determination, thinking nothing of roasting thousands of Chinese soldiers and Russian submariners to make his point.

    • Sidney Balmoral James

      September 23, 2021 at 10:19 pm

      One of the great characters (and character actors) in the business – liked a drink, and once fell asleep on stage. Always very watchable, but was probably quite hard to cast, being so distinctive (it’s fair to say, as with Donald Pleasance, he didn’t lose himself in the part, but imposed himself on it). Cinema is much poorer for the absence of character actors like him these days.

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