Contributed by: The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin

(June 12, 1914–December 20, 1975): Distinctive-voiced American actor and former radio announcer who was hosting CBS’s Climax Mystery Theater on the night of October 21, 1954, when Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale made its debut as a live, one-hour television show. Lundigan was thus the first person to introduce the screen adventures of Ian Fleming’s James Bond to the public.

Lundigan appeared on screen while holding a baccarat “shoe,” the significance of which he explains in his opening remarks: “Good evening. This doesn’t look dangerous, does it? But it’s killed plenty of men and women. It’s made beggars of many and millionaires of a few, mighty few. In French gambling casinos, this is called a shoe. It holds the cards for baccarat—king of gambling games—and its purpose is to make sure that no one can pull any funny business, like dealing from the bottom. The game to be played tonight is for the highest stakes of all. A man is going to wager his life. Climax presents Casino Royale from the bestseller by Ian Fleming. It stars Barry Nelson, Peter Lorre and Linda Christian. And now, Casino Royale.”


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