Lewis Gilbert, director of 3 James Bond films, dies at 97


LONDON (AP) — Director Lewis Gilbert, whose dozens of movies included three James Bond thrillers –"You Only Live Twice," ''The Spy Who Loved Me" and "Moonraker" – and the Swinging London classic "Alfie," has died at 97, colleagues said today.

Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson said in a statement "it is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of our dear friend Lewis Gilbert." The Bond fan site "From Sweden With Love" said he died Friday in Monaco.

Broccoli and Wilson said Gilbert was "a true gentleman" whose Bond films "are considered classics within the series."

The British Film Institute's filmography lists 33 features directed by Gilbert between 1947 and 2002, making him the most prolific of British filmmakers. But, he acknowledged, most people remembered him for his 007 thrillers.

"When I go around the world now when I'm working it's amazing – they're not interested in any of my films until I say 'James Bond,'" Gilbert told the BBC in 2010. "And the minute I say 'James Bond' they practically genuflect."

Gilbert's first Bond film was "You Only Live Twice" with Sean Connery in 1967. He returned a decade later to direct Roger Moore as 007 in "The Spy Who Loved Me" and "Moonraker."

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