David Hedison, who played James Bond ally Felix Leiter, dies at 92

Ben Arnold
Contributor
David Hedison in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (Credit: Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

David Hedison, the actor who played James Bond's CIA counterpart Felix Leiter, has died at the age of 92.

According to PA, he died at his home in Los Angeles on Thursday with his daughters at his side.

Hedison played Leiter opposite Roger Moore in Live And Let Die in 1973 and again opposite Timothy Dalton in 1989's Licence To Kill.

He also played scientist Andre Delambre who turns himself into an insect in the original 1958 movie The Fly, famously remade with Jeff Goldbum in 1986.

“Even in our deep sadness, we are comforted by the memory of our wonderful father,” his daughters Alexandra and Serena said in a statement.

Read more: First look at Bond 25

“He loved us all dearly and expressed that love every day. He was adored by so many, all of whom benefited from his warm and generous heart. Our dad brought joy and humour wherever he went and did so with great style.”

David Hedison awards Sir Roger Moore with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (Credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

Born in Rhode Island, he began his acting career in the theatre, and studied at the Actors Studio in New York with visionary coach Lee Strasberg.

As well as stage and movie work, he was a regular face in a wealth of iconic TV shows including Perry Mason, Murder, She Wrote, The A-Team, Hart To Hart, T.J. Hooker, Crazy Like A Fox, The Fall Guy, The Love Boat and The Saint, once again opposite Roger Moore, who remained a great friend.

Seven actors have played the character of Felix Leiter across the 24 James Bond films to date, but Hedison was the first to play him in multiple movies.

Jeffrey Wright currently inhabits the role, having played the CIA agent opposite Daniel Craig in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, and he’s set to return as Leiter in 2020’s Bond 25.

Wright paid tribute to Hedison on Twitter, posting “RIP, brother. 92 - nice run.”

David Hedison is survived by his two children.