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Geoffrey Keen

Geoffrey Keen



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It isn't the easiest job in the world to rein in its sexiest super-spy, but for 10 years, as Sir Frederick Gray, Great Britain's Minister of Defence, the actor Geoffrey Keen held just that job. In fact, Keen held his post even as shifts in the political landscape deposed his real-life counterparts between 007 flicks. The baton between James Bonds even switched hands during Keen's tenure; the actor went from scolding the smooth operator Roger Moore in "The Spy Who Loved Me" to tempering Timothy Dalton in "The Living Daylights." But, by the time Gray resigned from MI6, having done the long-lasting franchise a good six films' worth of service, the actor had already amassed a considerable opus in his career as a "civilian." He'd joined the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company the same year that England entered World War II, and there wasn't much time before his focus shifted to the Royal Army Medical Corps. After the war, he embarked on his movie career and turned up in three of Carol Reed's most fondly remembered features: "Odd Man Out," "The Fallen Idol," and the peerless Orson Welles classic "The Third Man." For seven years, he played one of the lead characters on "The Troubleshooters," a BBC drama about the higher-ups in big oil--a British forerunner to the American prime-time hit "Dynasty." His roles in expansive historical epics like the Richard Harris-Alec Guiness "Cromwell" and David Lean's "Doctor Zhivago" were forerunners of Keen's stodgy public official.

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