Desmond Llewelyn

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Desmond Llewelyn in July 1983

Desmond Wilkinson Llewelyn [ ˈdɛzmənd ˈwɪlkɪnsn̩ ɬɛˈwɛlɪn ] (born September 12, 1914 in Newport , † December 19, 1999 in Eastbourne ) was a British actor who was best known for his role as Q in 17 James Bond films.

He played the head of the Q department of the British secret service MI6 , which Bond equipped with all sorts of gadgets . "Q" stands for "Quartermaster" (Eng. Quartermaster), the person who has to take care of the technical equipment and catering of a unit, in this case the secret service.


Llewelyn was the son of a mining engineer. Originally he wanted to be a priest, but during his school days at Radley boarding school, he took part in numerous theater productions and found pleasure in the work. Soon he took on several small roles in films and plays.

Desmond Llewelyn (1992)

At the beginning of World War II he served as a non-commissioned officer in the British Army . In 1940 he was now a lieutenant in the Royal Welch Fusiliers and was taken prisoner by Germany for five years in France . Llewelyn was among others in Rotenburg an der Fulda , where he also gained important acting experience. There, in Oflag IX A / Z , prisoners had dug an escape tunnel; Llewelyn was employed as the night before the planned escape with maintenance work, he was caught and for ten days in solitary confinement plugged.

After the war, Llewelyn continued his theater career. In 1963 he was hired for the role of Q for the second James Bond film With Love from Moscow . In the following years, Llewelyn appeared in all Bond films up to 1999 as Q , with the exception of Live and Let Die from 1973 (the role of Q was not featured in this one) and 1983 in Say Never Never (for this was a largely different cast used as this is not part of the official film series produced by Eon). Llewellyn is one of the actors who most often portrayed the same character. In 2002, John Cleese played Head of Q in Die Another Day , after he played Q's designated successor under the name R in The World Is Not Enough . Although Llewelyn appeared in 17 Bond films over a period of 36 years, more than any other actor, he can only be seen for about 30 minutes in total.

Llewelyn also appeared in other films, including a 1981 version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde .

Llewelyn died in December 1999 of a car accident in East Sussex . He was on his way home from an autograph session when he collided head-on with an oncoming car near Firle . Llewelyn succumbed to his injuries a short time later at Eastbourne Hospital . At his funeral, Roger Moore was the only one of the James Bond actors present and gave the funeral speech.

Filmography (selection)



  • Richard Mervyn (Director): Look, 007! A tribute to the actor Desmond Llewelyn ("Now, pay attention, 007!"). MDR, Leipzig 2007.

Web links

Commons : Desmond Llewelyn  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. In Jakob Grimm School: James Bond's inventor Q was imprisoned in Rotenburg. In: Hessische / Niedersächsische Allgemeine . November 6, 2014, accessed December 3, 2014 .
  2. James Bond: Girls, crooks, good spirits - The helpers: Q. In: Focus Online . September 27, 2012, accessed December 3, 2014 .