LLEWELYN, DESMOND

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


(September 12, 1914–December 19, 1999): Tall, silver-haired Welsh character actor who effectively portrayed Q (a.k.a. Major Boothroyd), the long-suffering British Secret Service equipment officer. Llewelyn appeared in every James Bond film produced by United Artists from 1963 to 1995, except for Live and Let Die. Sadly, this fine actor died in a head-on traffic collision in East Sussex on December 19, 1999, as he was driving home from a book signing to promote his autobiography.

After actor Peter Burton briefly introduced the Major Boothroyd character in Dr. No, Llewelyn took over the role in From Russia with Love, where he introduced the iconic trick briefcase. A perfect foil to 007’s frivolous attitude towards “gadgets,” Q became one of the series’ most enduring characters.

Born in Newport, Wales, Llewelyn made his credited motion picture debut in director and future Bond veteran Terence Young’s World War II film They Were Not Divided (1950), working with future Bond players Edward Underdown (Thunderball), Michael Brennan, Anthony Dawson, Christopher Lee, and Peter Burton.