Who: James David Graham Niven
Born: 1 March 1910, London, England
Died: 29 July 1983, Chateau d’Oex, Switzerland
James David Graham Niven was an English actor and novelist who was popular in Europe and in the United States. He may be best known for his roles as Squadron Leader Peter Carter in A Matter of Life and Death, as Phileas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days and as Sir Charles Lytton, a.k.a. “the Phantom”, in The Pink Panther. He was awarded the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in Separate Tables (1958).
James Bond: 1967
In 1967 he appeared as one of seven incarnations of 007 in the James Bond spoof Casino Royale. Niven had been Bond creator Ian Fleming’s first choice to play Bond in Dr. No. Casino Royale co-producer Charles K. Feldman said later that Fleming had written the book with Niven in mind, and therefore had sent a copy to Niven. Niven was the only James Bond actor mentioned by name in the text of Fleming’s novels. In On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Bond visits an exclusive ski resort in Switzerland where he is told that David Niven is a frequent visitor and in You Only Live Twice, Niven is referred to as the only real gentleman in Hollywood.
David Niven’s 007 production:
Casino Royale (1967, an unofficial 007 film)