Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ernst Stavro Blofeld
Blofeld usually appears accompanied by a white Angora cat in the films (but not in the novels). It was also briefly a trademark of the Bond films to not show Blofeld's face, only a closeup of Blofeld stroking his cat. This "trademark" was later broken in the film You Only Live Twice and subsequent films.
Ernst Stavro Blofeld was born on May 28, 1908 to a Polish father and a Greek mother in Gdynia. Blofeld attended the University of Warsaw where he studied economics and political history. He later went to the Warsaw Technical Institute to study engineering and radionics.
In the novel series by Ian Fleming, Blofeld first appears as the leader of S.P.E.C.T.R.E. in Thunderball, however, his role is reduced to a minor character. The plot, formulated by his organization and by him is carried out by his henchman Emilio Largo. After an absense in The Spy Who Loved Me, during which Bond is supposedly searching for him, Blofeld returns in On Her Majesty's Secret Service where he is responsible for the murder of Bond's wife Tracy Bond. Blofeld is later killed at the end of what is typically known as the "Blofeld trilogy" in You Only Live Twice.
In the film series Blofeld first appears in From Russia With Love and has a very small role. Similarily, he also plays a minor role in Thunderball after a one film absense. Afterwards, Blofeld takes on the role of the main villain in You Only Live Twice and again in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the latter being virtually identical to the novel. Blofeld returns once again in Diamonds Are Forever, seeming independent of S.P.E.C.T.R.E.. Blofeld's final appearance is in the pre-title sequence of 1981's For Your Eyes Only where he finally receives his comeuppance for the murder of Bond's wife. For copyright reasons involving Kevin McClory and the film rights to Thunderball (see the controversy over Thunderball) Blofeld's name was never mentioned either verbally or in the final credits of For Your Eyes Only. The only indications that this wheelchair-bound character is Blofeld are the presence of the Angora cat, baldness and the original trademark of not showing Blofeld's face.
|Novel series||Year||Film series||Year|
|Thunderball||1961||From Russia With Love||1963|
|On Her Majesty's Secret Service||1963||Thunderball||1965|
|You Only Live Twice||1964||You Only Live Twice||1967|
|On Her Majesty's Secret Service||1969|
|Diamonds Are Forever||1971|
|For Your Eyes Only||1981|
In the films, Blofeld's physical appearance and personality varies wildly due to the change of actors (i.e. Blofeld's scar does not appear in On Her Majesty's Secret Service or Diamonds Are Forever, and in On Her Majesty's Secret Service it is revealed that Blofeld has removed his earlobes, but they return in Diamonds Are Forever along with a full head of hair). This is actually in keeping with the Blofeld of Fleming's novels, who is described as drastically changing his personality and appearance in order to hide from Bond.
In addition, in the books Blofeld has a few scruples. For instance, in Thunderball he learned that during a standard fundraising kidnapping mission of a young girl, the responsible agent sexually molested her. In response, Blofeld had the agent killed as punishment and returned the girl and half the ransom to her father as compensation. His reasons had nothing to do with morality, but rather with the importance of S.P.E.C.T.R.E. being known for keeping their word to those they did their "business" with.
Actors who have played Blofeld in the films (order of appearance):
- Anthony Dawson — (From Russia with Love) (uncredited; only his hands stroking his cat are shown)
- Eric Pohlmann — (From Russia with Love) (uncredited; voice)
- Anthony Dawson — (Thunderball) (uncredited; again his face is not shown)
- Eric Pohlmann — (Thunderball) (uncredited; voice)
- Jan Werich — (You Only Live Twice) (he filmed a number of scenes before illness forced him to be replaced)
- Donald Pleasence — (You Only Live Twice) (replaced Jan Werich)
- Telly Savalas — (On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
- Charles Gray — (Diamonds Are Forever)
- Max Latimer — plays Blofeld's double in Diamonds Are Forever.
- John Hollis — (For Your Eyes Only) (uncredited)
- Max von Sydow — (Never Say Never Again)
- Blofeld's birthdate, May 28, 1908, is Ian Fleming's birthdate.
- The name Blofeld was inspired by the father of English cricket commentator Henry Blofeld, with whom Fleming went to school.
- Ernst Stavro Blofeld and S.P.E.C.T.R.E. were set to be the villains in the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me, but because of copyright issues between Ian Fleming and Kevin McClory the villain was changed to Karl Stromberg.
- The look of Donald Pleasence's Blofeld in You Only Live Twice inspired the look of Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers films, down to the Nehru jacket and facial scar.
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