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Sunday, 19 December, 1999, 22:03 GMT
Bond actor killed in crash

Desmond Llewelyn Desmond Llewelyn appeared in all but two Bond films


Actor Desmond Llewelyn, famous for his role as Q in the Bond films, has been killed in a head-on car crash.

Mr Llewelyn, 85, from Bexhill, East Sussex, was killed in the crash on the A27, near Firle, East Sussex.

He had been at a book signing event at nearby Drusillas Park before the fatal smash involving his blue Renault Megane and another car.

A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said he was airlifted from the scene by the Sussex Police helicopter and taken to Eastbourne District General Hospital, where he died from his injuries on Sunday evening.

He was the sole occupant in his car, the spokeswoman added.

Mr Llewelyn's son was with him at the hospital.

Family 'devastated'

Ivor Llewelyn said: "We are just devastated because like any car crash it is totally unexpected and sudden.

"We were expecting him to come back and have supper with us tonight. We are very close.

"You can't describe it when something like this happens out of the blue.

"He ate with us every evening when he was at home. He was so pleased to have done the last James Bond film and as an actor he liked to be working, he was such a very active man."

He added: "Really what you saw in the films was what he was.

"He was a very kind man, very loveable man."

The actor, as the caustic gadget-minded Q, featured in all but two of the Bond films.

With a 30-year history in the classic spy movies he had become one of its institutions and was immensely popular with Bond fans.

Crowd-puller

Despite his advancing years, he was still proving a big crowd-puller after completing his 17th Bond film The World is Not Enough.

On Monday he was due to sign copies of Q, The Biography of Desmond Llewelyn, at Forbidden Planet in New Oxford Street, central London.

Derek Malcolm, film critic for The Guardian newspaper, said: "The thing about him was that he was very likeable on screen despite the fact that he was evil, creating these terrible things to give to Bond to kill his enemies.

"Now he has died I don't think Bond will be the same again, because he was just so good at it.

"He was actually a very kind and gentle man, he did a lot of work outside of films.

"But it was because of the Bond films that he really got known."

'Massive' injuries

A police spokeswoman said that Mr Llewelyn had suffered "massive" internal injuries.

The other car involved in the crash was a bronze Fiat Bravo company car driven by a 35-year-old man, who was seriously injured.

He was also taken to Eastbourne District General Hospital with his female companion, in her thirties, who suffered from minor injuries.

The man is said to be stable and they have both requested their details are not released, the police spokeswoman said.

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See also:
19 Dec 99 |  UK
Private tragedy of 007 eccentric
19 Nov 99 |  Shaken Not Stirred
Four decades of Bondage
01 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
Old Bonds voted best

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