Desmond Llewelyn, the actor who played Q in 17 of the 19 James
Bond films, died Sunday in a head-on car crash in Britain. Llewelyn provided
007 with his killer fountain pens and other death-dealing apparatus in every
Bond film except "Dr. No" and "Live and Let Die." Llewelyn, who had played
small parts in other pictures such as "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," and "Merlin,"
had just published his life story, "Q: The Authorized Biography of Desmond
Llewelyn," by Sandy Hernu, last month. He was returning alone from a book
signing when the collision occurred. The three occupants of the second car
were believed to be in stable condition. Although John Cleese had signed on
for the next three Bond pictures to play a new gadget man, Q's assistant, Bond
franchise producers had said the 85-year-old Llewelyn could continue in his
role as long as he wanted. Nevertheless, Llewelyn's character is given a
graceful exit in the latest Bond movie, "The World Is Not Enough." While
descending slowly on a lift out of the bottom of the film frame, Q tells Bond
two things to remember: "Never let them see you bleed, and always have an
escape route."