The man with the golden touch

The man who brought Pussy Galore to the screen, gave new meaning to the word "explosion" and made gadgetry the stuff of the big box office died yesterday, not in the violent manner of one of his cinematic bad guys, but peacefully, at his Beverly Hills home.

Albert R "Cubby" Broccoli, producer of 17 Bond films from Dr No to Goldeneye, died in his sleep after a series of heart problems. He was 87.

The film world was quick to praise a man whose titles have grossed more than $1bn in a career spanning 58 years.

Honor Blackman, who played Pussy in Goldfinger, said of him: "He was a lovely man. He was always the gentle, kindly uncle of the Bond films. You always felt you could go to Cubby about any problem and he would understand."

Broccoli himself wrote: "From the first I knew Bond was forever." When Goldfinger, Broccoli and co-producer Harry Saltzman's second Bond movie, broke all box office records, an associate told a calling journalist: "Cubby is dancing in the streets... Harry's on the phone doing a deal."

Saltzman, from whom Broccoli split many years later, once described their relationship thus: "We have a kind of chemistry that gels. We fight with the distributors, we fight with the agents, and we fight with each other. We're real professionals."

Broccoli was born in Long Island, New York, the son of Italian farming immigrants.

He moved to Hollywood in 1938 after abandoning life as, first, a market gardener and, later, a funeral director.

His ancestors are credited with breeding the vegetable that bears his name.

His first job was as an assistant director in Howard Hawkes's The Outlaw at Twentieth Century Fox, but he took more control after moving to Britain in the early 1950s to set up Warwick Pictures with Irving Allen. His first film as a producer was the 1953 Red Beret, starring Alan Ladd.

Broccoli's first big break came in 1962 when he and Saltzman persuaded United Artists to provide backing for Dr No.

His wife, Dana, is reported to have played no small part in the film's success.

While viewing audition films, she is said to have squealed: "Take that one! He's gorgeous!" and the career of an unknown actor called Sean Connery was born.

The film was an instant success and it spawned the longest-running sequence of action movies to date.

Among them, making Ian Fleming's character James Bond a worldwide name, were From Russia With Love, Thunderball, Live and Let Die, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Never Say Never Again.

Among the actors who have played Bond are Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, George Lazenby and, most recently, Pierce Brosnan.

Broccoli's company, Eon Productions, said in a statement that he had "passed away peacefully" at his home in Beverly Hills.

A spokeswoman said he had been ill for some time. She added: "He was very much the godfather, in the best sense of the word, in Bond pictures.

"He persuaded Ian Fleming that if he were given the rights to the films they would be in very good hands, and so it's turned out.

"He was very much the father figure of the people who worked on Bond, from the superstars like Sean Connery to the humble plasterer."

Desmond Llewelyn, who has played gadget expert Q in 15 Bond films, said: "He was a wonderful man, he really was. He was responsible for the real fantastic success of the Bond films because he was in control.

"There are lots of stories of Cubby vetoing certain things that people wanted, and people grumbling and saying, 'I'm sure we ought to do this or that', but Cubby said no, and of course he was always proved right."

Broccoli was awarded the OBE in 1987 and was also named Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres by France.

In 1982, he received the Irving G Thalberg Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, held by Alfred Hitchcock, Cecil B de Mille and Walt Disney before him.

He leaves two daughters, a stepson and five grandchildren.

Obituary, page 14

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
business
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Sport
Germany's Andre Greipel crosses the finish line to win the sixth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 194 kilometers (120.5 miles) with start in Arras and finish in Reims, France
tour de franceGerman champion achieves sixth Tour stage win in Reims
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' is based on historical events
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Digital Marketing Manger,Mill Hill,London

To £55kpa (12 Month Contract): Charter Selection: Major household name charity...

Project Co-ordinator/Administrator - Central London

£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...

Linux Systems Administrator - UNIX, Linux, Shell, Bash

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Linux Systems Administrator - UNI...

UNIX Systems Administrator - Oracle DBA, UNIX, Scripting

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: UNIX Systems Administrator - Orac...

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil