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Blofeld (Telly Savalas)

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"Merry Christmas, 007!"
― Ernst Stavro Blofeld to James Bond[src]

Ernst Stavro Blofeld is a fictional character and a supervillain from the James Bond series of novels and films, who was created by Ian Fleming and Kevin McClory. An evil genius with aspirations of world domination, he is the archenemy of the British Secret Service agent James Bond and is head of the global criminal organisation SPECTRE.

He was played on screen by Telly Savalas in the 1969 film On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Shared background

Beginning in 1962, the EON series of Bond films placed a far greater emphasis on the SPECTRE organisation, which effectively replaced SMERSH as the primary antagonists of the novels. As a result of this move, SPECTRE's leader, Blofeld, also plays a more prominent role than he had in the books.

History

Blofeld attempts to ransom the major world powers into pardoning him of his past crimes so that he may live the rest of his life free from fear of reprisals for trying to spark a third world war. He hides in Switzerland under the guise of the Comte Balthazar de Bleuchamp, and has his earlobes removed surgically to back up a claim of nobility.

James Bond ventures to Switzerland posing as Hilary Bray to gather intel on Blofeld. There he learns that Blofeld's plot is to contaminate and ultimately sterilize the world's food supply. Blofeld claimed he would not carry out his plan if all his past crimes are pardoned and he was recognized as the current Count de Bleauchamp.

Ignoring Bond, M would not allow Bond to attack Piz Gloria. Bond contacts Marc-Ange Draco to arrange a "demolition job" of Blofeld's lair. Bond joins Draco and his Union Corse henchmen in a mercenary helicopter assault on Piz Gloria. The raid is successful, and Bond and Blofeld are the last to escape before the institute is detonated by Draco's assault team.

The pair engage in a furious bobsled chase down Piz Gloria, with Bond leaping onto Blofeld's bobsled after he destroys Bond's bobsled with a hand grenade. In the fist fight aboard the bobsled, a distracted Blofeld is snared by the neck in low overhanging tree branches, ripping him out of the bobsled and apparently killing him. Bond loses control of the bobsled, which flies out of the run, but Bond survives unscathed.

Later on in Portugal, Blofeld drives the car from which Irma Bunt fires shots at Bond's car. The attack causes fatal wounds to Tracy, just hours after she married Bond.

Henchmen & Associates

Trivia

  • Unlike the novel, Blofeld is not the actual killer of Tracy. He drives the car from which Irma Bunt (Ilse Steppat) fires the fatal shots at Tracy.
  • Many scoffed at burly Telly Savalas as a robust Ernst Stavro Blofeld — in sharp contrast with the subdued portrayal of the character by Donald Pleasence in You Only Live TwiceIan Fleming's novels established that Blofeld could substantially alter his appearance and change his demeanor. Therefore, the change in actor for each of Blofeld's appearances in the series, is in keeping with the James Bond literary canon.
  • Telly Savalas' iteration of Blofeld partially inspired the appearance and demeanor of Lex Luthor in the cartoon shows Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League voiced by Clancy Brown.

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See also

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