Anthony Dawson

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 Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder (1954) and Midnight Lace (1960), as well as playing Professor Dent in the James Bond film Dr. No (1962).[1] He also appeared as Ernst Stavro Blofeld in From Russia with Love (1963) and Thunderball (1965).[2]

Anthony Dawson
Dawson as Professor Dent in the James Bond film Dr. No
Anthony Douglas Gillon Dawson

18 October 1916
Died(1992-01-08)8 January 1992 (aged 75)
Alma materRADA
Years active1940–1991


Dawson was born in Edinburgh, the son of Ida Violet (Kittel) and Eric Francis Dawson.


Following RADA training and WW II service, he made his film debut in 1943's They Met in the Dark.[3] He went 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.[4]

It was while there that he appeared on Broadway in the play, and then the subsequent Alfred Hitchcock film of Dial M for Murder (1954), playing C. A. Swann/Captain Lesgate.[5][6] 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 In his unpublished memoirs, Rambling Recollections, Dawson reminisced about getting the part: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 The Curse of the Werewolf (1961) and henchman Professor Dent in the first James Bond film, Dr. No (1962).[7]

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).[8] 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.[9] His face was never seen, however, and Blofeld's voice was provided by Eric Pohlmann.[10] Dawson appeared alongside fellow Bond veterans Adolfo Celi, Lois Maxwell and Bernard Lee in the Italian Bond knockoff O.K. Connery.[11]

After the early 1960s, his roles got progressively smaller, but he continued to act until his death.


He died in Sussex of cancer at the age of 75 in January 1992.

Selected filmography


  1. "Anthony Dawson - Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  2. "The men who have been Bond". 15 November 2006 via
  3. McFarlane, Brian (16 May 2016). "The Encyclopedia of British Film: Fourth edition". Oxford University Press via Google Books.
  4. "Anthony Dawson - Movies and Filmography - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  5. League, The Broadway. "Dial "M" for Murder – Broadway Play – Original - IBDB".
  6. "Dial M for Murder (1954) - Alfred Hitchcock - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  7. Smith, Patrick. "James Bond is 24 What is Spectre and who is Blofeld". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  8. "Anthony Dawson".
  9. Benson, Raymond (7 December 2015). "The James Bond Bedside Companion". Crossroad Press via Google Books.
  10. DeMichael, Tom (1 December 2012). "James Bond FAQ: All That's Left to Know About Everyone's Favorite Superspy". Hal Leonard Corporation via Google Books.
  11. "O.K. CONNERY (1967)".
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