Willard Whyte is a reclusive billionaire from the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever. He was played by American actor and singer Jimmy Dean.

Film biographyEdit

Willard Whyte is a millionaire and the owner of The Whyte House until Ernst Stavro Blofeld kidnaps him. Blofeld uses a voice simulator to impersonate the billionaire. James Bond traces suspicious activity back to the recluse Willard Whyte, who resides in his penthouse apartment in the Whyte House in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to Felix Leiter, no one has seen him for years, yet he still apparently runs his multi-billion-dollar business empire single handed.

After Bond gives Bambi and Thumper free-stroke lessons, the CIA, Felix Leiter and Bond rescue Whyte. While making their way out, they are shot at by Bert Saxby but they easily shoot him dead and when Bond identified him, Whyte yells "Tell him, he's 'fired'!" While looking for Blofeld's latest lair, they found he had stationed himself in Baja California on an oil platform. Whyte realizes something is amiss, telling Bond he made no investments in Mexico.

Once the deception is uncovered, Whyte uses his contacts and funds to assist in the destruction of Blofeld's lair on the oil rig. After Bond presumably killed Blofeld, rescued Tiffany Case and destroyed Blofeld's lair, Whyte and Felix bid Bond and Tiffany farewell, with Whyte jokingly remarking "If you are having a good time, I will have the captain steer the ship in circles!"

Behind the scenesEdit

The character of Whyte takes several traits from eccentric industrialist Howard Hughes such as the similar name and notably the reclusive behavior. Around the time of filming Hughes too was secluded at a Las Vegas hotel, similar to the character in the movie. Although Whyte wasn't seen until later, Jimmy Dean dubbed for Charles Gray while he impersonated the billionaire.