(July 23, 1921–November 11, 2003): Authoritative British character actor who became the second person to portray British Secret Service chief M in the James Bond series. Brown was actually introduced as Admiral Hargreaves, Flag Officer, Submarines, in The Spy Who Loved Me.
When Bernard Lee, the first M, died prior to the making of For Your Eyes Only, his role was temporarily assumed by Chief of Staff Tanner (James Villiers). Brown became M in Octopussy, and played that part in every Bond until he was replaced by Dame Judi Dench in GoldenEye.
A native of Swanage, Dorset, England, Brown made his feature film debut as a British military policemen in director Carol Reed’s classic mystery thriller The Third Man (1949), which featured Bernard Lee. After a number of minor parts, Brown’s career began to pick up in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The roles were still small—but the movies were more important, including Ben Hur (1959), as the chief of rowers; Sink the Bismarck! (1960), as the gunnery officer on the battleship King George V, who orders all batteries to fire by yelling “Shoot!”; It Takes a Thief (1960); The 300 Spartans (1962); Billy Budd (1962); Operation Crowbow (1965); and One Million Years B.C. (1966).