Frederick Stafford

  1. John Gavin, Niente rose per OSS 117 (UK: OSS 117 Murder For Sale; US: OSS 117 Double Agent), Italy-France, 1968.       After two chapters of the 117 franchise and another as Agent 505 (I’m not making any of this up!), the Czech-born Stafford was out. (Well, Alfred Hitchcock had surprisingly chosen “Stifford” for Topaze, 1968; well, yes, there was a touch of Cary Grant/Sean Connery, about him, except he could play spies, but not act them). French producer André Hunebelle wanted an US hero (how many Americans are called by 117’s real name: Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath?). Hunebelle put the wooden Gavin opposite past, future and nearly 007 players (Luciana Paluzzi, Curd Jurgens, Margaret Lee) and, amazingly, after this OSS twaddle, Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman actually signed Gavin for Bond in Diamonds Are Forever. Until Connery phoned home. (Gavin’s spy was loved by French/Italian critics, tanked in America and sank to the bottom half of a UK double-bill).

 Birth year: 1928Death year: 1979Other name: Casting Calls:  1