Robert Hoffman

  1. Christopher Jones, The Looking Glass War, 1968. The third  movie from a John le Carré book (after The Spy Who Came in From  the Cold and The Deadly Affair  (ex-Call for the Dead)  was such a mess  it would be  15 years  before another was made (the similar   Little Drummer Girl, in 1983). The bigger problem was the age of the hero – Fred Leiser, “a German-speaking Pole turned Englishman,” said le Carré.   He was middle-aged, like everyone else in the book, so first choice was Peter Finch, 52 (and seen for James Bond in 1962). opposite James Mason reprising his George Smiley surrogate from The Deadly Affair. US director Frank Pierson decided Leiser should be younger, to grab the youth market (which preferred 007). He thought of Oskar Werner, from The Spy Who…  a Columbia favourite from Ship of Fools, 1964.  But yet, he was 46.  As Austrian as Werner, Robert Hoffman was 29.  Ah but Christopher Jones was two years younger – and so dreadful, he had to be dubbed here and in Ryan’s Daughter. 

 Birth year: 1939Death year: 2022Other name: Casting Calls:  1