Michael Lonsdale, Former Bond Villain and ‘The Day of the Jackal’ Star, Dies at 89

British-French actor played villain Hugo Drax in 1979’s “Moonraker”

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Michael Lonsdale, the actor who played an iconic villain in 1979’s James Bond movie “Moonraker” and starred in 1973’s “The Day of the Jackal,” has died. The British-French actor was 89 at the time of his passing.

“I must unfortunately confirm the passing of Michael Lonsdale, our dear talent for so many years,” Lonsdale’s agent, Olivier Loiseau, said in a statement to TheWrap Monday.

In “Moonraker,” which starred Roger Moore as 007, Lonsdale had the role of bad guy Hugo Drax, an industrialist with plans to poison all of humanity and then repopulate Earth from his space station.

For “Day of the Jackal,” the British-French political thriller directed by Fred Zinnemann, Lonsdale played Deputy Commissioner Claude Lebel, starring opposite Edward Fox as “the Jackal.” Lonsdale’s performance in the film earned him a supporting actor BAFTA nomination.

Though “Moonraker” and “The Day of the Jackal” are the parts American audiences probably best remember Lonsdale for, they were far from his only roles. Lonsdale had a career that spanned six decades, with more than 200 film, TV and radio credits to his name at the time of his death, including Xavier Beauvois’ “Of Gods and Men,” for which he France’s Cesar award. He also had parts in “Is Paris Burning?” (1964), “Out 1” (1971) and “Murmur of the Heart” (1971), among many other films.


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