Bernard Lee (1908-1981) b. London, England.
Born into a theatrical family, British actor Lee attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, making his West End stage debut in 1928. In films from 1934, he was in the Army from 1940-46 and post-war hit his stride as an actor. Lee first showed up in many minor roles, but his screen time increased throughout the 1950s with innumerable roles as dependable police inspectors and military officers.
Some of Lee’s more memorable roles were that of Sergeant Paine in The Third Man (1949), the bullying Bert Connelly in The Angry Silence (1960) and the troubled father in Whistle down the Wind (1961). In 1962, Lee was cast as M, the immediate superior to James Bond in Dr. No (1962). Bernard Lee continued to portray the affable M in all subsequent Bond endeavours, up to and including Moonraker (1979). In January 1981, Lee passed away after a battle with cancer.