James Bond Movie Producer Albert ‘Cubby’ Broccoli Dies at 87
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) _ Hollywood producer Albert R. ``Cubby″ Broccoli, whose 17 James Bond movies matched suave 007 with beautiful women, diabolical villains and gee-whiz gadgets for three thrilling decades, has died at 87.
Broccoli died Thursday at his Beverly Hills home. He had undergone heart bypass surgery a year ago.
The James Bond movies, inspired by the Ian Fleming novels about the urbane British spy, is the most successful, longest-running film series of all time.
Broccoli successfully kept the entertaining packages of adventure, sex, posh backgrounds, gadgetry and wit coming even though the actor playing Bond changed several times and the supply of Fleming novels was exhausted.
Broccoli and co-producer Harry Saltzman began the Bond series in 1962 with ``Dr. No.″ It is said that Broccoli’s wife, looking at audition films, saw the then-unknown Sean Connery on the screen and said, ``Take that one! He’s gorgeous!″
The film made Connery a star, and he continued as Bond in films such as ``From Russia With Love,″ ``Goldfinger″ and ``Thunderball.″
But Connery and Broccoli eventually had a falling out that included a bitter court battle in 1984 and 1985 over profits from James Bond movies.
``My previous differences with Cubby Broccoli were well-known, but I recently took the opportunity to make my peace with him. I’m extremely sorry to hear of the loss. He will be missed,″ Connery said in a statement.
Broccoli and Saltzman parted ways in 1976, and Broccoli maintained the rights to produce the Bond series on his own. The films that followed included ``For Your Eyes Only,″ ``Octopussy″ and ``Licence to Kill.″
Through the years, Bond has also been played by Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and George Lazenby. Connery’s last turn as Bond was ``Never Say Never Again,″ 1983.
``I have lost a dear friend,″ Moore said. ``Cubby was my friend for 35 years, and for 14 of those he was my producer. We never had an argument or a disagreement.″
The most Bond film was last year’s ``Goldeneye,″ starring Pierce Brosnan.
``Not a day went by during the making of `Goldeneye’ that I didn’t think of Cubby, and we wanted it to be the success it was for him. I’m deeply saddened that he’s gone,″ Brosnan said in a statement.
Born in New York, Broccoli was an agronomist before entering the film business. It was in the family: Ancestors in Italy crossed cauliflower with Italian rabe to create the vegetable that bears their family name.
In 1938 he became an assistant director at 20th Century Fox. In the early 1950s, he moved to England, where he founded Warwick Pictures with Irving Allen.
His first film as a producer came in 1953 with ``Red Beret,″ starring Alan Ladd. The movie was released in the United States as ``Paratrooper.″
Broccoli also got into thoroughbred racing with Allen in England in the 1950s, when they owned Derisley Wood farm near Newmarket.
Broccoli’s most successful horse was Brocco, who captured such major stakes races as the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in 1993 and the 1994 Santa Anita Derby.
In addition to his wife, Dana, Broccoli is survived by two daughters, a son, a stepson and five grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements were incomplete.