BURTON, PETER

Entry Source: The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin


(April 4, 1921–November 27, 1989): British actor and member of director Terence Young’s stock company who portrayed armorer Major Boothroyd in the first James Bond film, Dr. No. When Burton proved unavailable, actor Desmond Llewelyn took over the role in From Russia with Love but quickly became more commonly known as Q—a role that lasted decades.

A native of Bromley, Kent, England, Burton made his feature debut in Young’s World War II film They Were Not Divided (1950), which also featured future Bond players Edward Underdown (Thunderball), Anthony Dawson, Michael Brennan, Christopher Lee, and Desmond Llewelyn. That same year, he was once again featured with Anthony Dawson, this time as Nigel in The Wooden Horse (1950), another war picture. Following Dr. No, Burton played an Arab sheik in Lawrence of Arabia (1962), a minister’s aide in A Clockwork Orange (1971), and Douglas Ransom in Terence Young’s The Jigsaw Man (1983), which featured the director’s usual stock company of Bond players: Yuri Borienko (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service), Anthony Dawson, Vladek Sheybal, and Charles Gray.