VERNON, RICHARD

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


(March 7, 1925–December 4, 1997): Scene-stealing British character actor who portrayed the very intelligent and distinguished Colonel Smithers of the Bank of England in Goldfinger. Smithers briefs 007 (Sean Connery) and M (Bernard Lee) on the activities of Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe)—both legal and very illegal.

A native of Reading, Berkshire, England, Vernon, who looked much older than his years (was he really only thirty-nine when he portrayed Smithers?), made his credited motion picture debut in director Henry Watt’s crime drama Four Desperate Men (1959). The following year, he was Sir Edgar Hargraves in Wolf Rilla’s iconic science fiction drama Village of the Damned.