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Michael Lonsdale, who played James Bond villain in Moonraker, dies aged 89

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Anglo-French actor Michael Lonsdale, who played the villain opposite Roger Moore’s James Bond in the 1979 film Moonraker, has died at the age of 89.

In the film, he played Hugo Drax, an industrialist planning to poison all humans on Earth then repopulate the planet from his space station.

Michael Lonsdale, 'Day of the Jackal' Star & James Bond Villain Hugo Drax,  Dies at 89

It was one of more than 200 roles he played in both English and French over a career that spanned six decades.

His other film credits included The Day of the Jackal, Ronin and Munich.

Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli called Lonsdale an “extraordinarily talented actor and a very dear friend”.

The official Twitter account for the late Sir Roger Moore described his character as “a smooth-tongued and cultured adversary to 007”.

In an interview with Mi6 HQ in 2012, Lonsdale was asked whether he had been concerned that playing a Bond villain might have a negative impact on his career.

“On the contrary!” he replied. “Because, I made so many films that were not really very popular or didn’t make much money, and I only made poor films, so I thought I might like to be in a rich film.”

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