David Hedison, left, and Roger Moore in “Live and Let Die”

Obituary: Actor David Hedison, Who Appeared in Two James Bond Films


LOS ANGELES (BBC) — David Hedison, the actor best known for playing Felix Leiter opposite two James Bonds, died on July 18 at the age of 92.

He first played 007’s CIA ally in 1973’s “Live and Let Die,” the late Sir Roger Moore’s first Bond film.

He returned to the role 16 years later to appear alongside Timothy Dalton in 1989’s “License to Kill.”

He was also turned into an insect in the 1958 film “The Fly” and starred in 1960s submarine TV series “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.”

Seven years after “Live and Let Die,” he appeared with Moore again in the 1980 oil rig drama “North Sea Hijack.” The friends were reunited once more in 2007 when Hedison delivered a speech at the unveiling of Moore’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

David Hedison

When Hedison returned to the world of James Bond for “License To Kill,” his character survived being fed to a shark by a drug lord who also murdered his new bride.

Get the Mirror in your inbox:

His many other credits included “The Colbys,” “The Love Boat,” “The Fall Guy” and “Dynasty.”

Hedison was sanguine about his career, admitting that most films he had appeared in were “pictures you never want to see again.”

When the series ended, Hedison moved to London. “I liked London very much,” he later said. “I just wanted to go and spend a couple years there … It’s two years I’m not sorry for. The problem was, when I came back to the US, it was more difficult getting work then.”

Hedison guest starred on “Journey to the Unknown,” “Love, American Style,” “ITV Sunday Night Theatre,” “BBC’s Play of the Month,” “The F.B.I.” and “The New Perry Mason.” He could be seen in “Kemek” (1970), “A Kiss Is Just a Kiss” (1971), “Crime Club” (1973), “The Cat Creature” and “The Man in the Wood.” He was most proud of doing an adaptation of “Summer and Smoke” with Lee Remick.

“I think in this kind of film, it won’t lead to other work unless you do something stand-out with a really wonderfully written scene,” added Hedison. “Otherwise you’re just doing a job, part of the ensemble. And in this case, I have lots of action scenes, but no one scene that is memorable … Felix is a fairly one-dimensional character, you never get into any depth. You do what you can. There’s not much to play. All you can do is perform it with a simple reality … It was running around, bang bang, getting wet, screaming and yelling, and all kinds of fun, but not serious acting.”

His parents were Albert David Hedison (Heditsian) Sr. and Rose Boghosian. He and his wife Bridget were married in London on June 29, 1968. Bridget Hedison died of breast cancer on February 22, 2016. They had two daughters, actress/director/photographer Alexandra Hedison and editor/producer Serena Hedison. Alexandra Hedison has appeared in “L.A. Firefighers” and “The L Word.” She is married to actress and director Jodie Foster.

Topics: Obituary

He once remarked: “When I know they’ll be on TV I have a dinner party and invite my friends over so they can’t see them.”

Hedison’s death was announced by his daughters Alexandra and Serena, who paid tribute to his “warm and generous heart.”

“Our dad brought joy and humor wherever he went and did so with great style,” they said.

Get the Mirror-Spectator Weekly in your inbox: