Day 52, No. 52. Ernst Stavro Blofeld

Blofeld You Only Live TwiceHAIRCUT 100: Day 52, No. 52. Ernst Stavro Blofeld – alias ‘Dr Guntram Shatterhand’ – as played by Donald Pleasence in You Only Live Twice: Quintessential Bond villain, Head of SPECTRE (Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion), sadistic madman and cat fancier. An evil genius with aspirations of world domination, Blofeld appeared in three of Ian Fleming’s original novels and the movies From Russia with Love; Thunderball; You Only Live Twice; On Her Majesty’s Secret Service; Diamonds Are Forever; For Your Eyes Only; Never Say Never Again; and Spectre. Although he has also been played by Telly Savalas, Charles Gray, Max von Sydow, and Christoph Waltz, I think we can all agree that Donald Pleasence’s performance was the definitive interpretation, as indicated by the many satires and obvious influences, for example Dr Evil (and his cat Mr Bigglesworth) in the Austin Powers movies, Dr Claw (and ‘M.A.D. Cat’) from Inspector Gadget, and Phil Cornwall’s superb suburban pastiche in Stella Street, who ‘pissed away’ all his money ‘on rockets and sharks.’ The multi-talented British character actor Pleasence left us in 1995, and we can only hope that he’s still out there, frozen in a cloaked orbiting spacecraft, or entombed beneath a dormant Japanese volcano… As one weird-looking bald academic with a cat to another, Dr Blofeld, I salute you. ‘Goodbye, Mr Bond!’

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