Sir Ken Adam, James Bond production designer, dies aged 95


Production designer Sir Ken Adam, famous for his work on Dr Strangelove and seven James Bond films, has died at the age of 95.

He died on Thursday at his home in London after a short time in hospital.

Sir Ken’s famous sets include the triangular Pentagon War Room in Dr Strangelove and the villain’s headquarters in the 1962 James Bond film Dr No.

He also designed the car in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

He became widely regarded as British cinema’s doyen of production design, his credits including most of the James Bond films up to Moonraker (1979).

Sir Ken’s death was confirmed by Sir Christopher Frayling, his biographer, who told the BBC: “As a person he was remarkable. Roger Moore once said about him that his life was a great deal more interesting than most of the films that he designed.

“He was a brilliant visualiser of worlds we will never be able to visit ourselves – the War Room under the Pentagon in Dr Strangelove, the interior of Fort Knox in Goldfinger – all sorts of interiors which, as members of the public, we are never going to get to see, but he created an image of them that was more real than real itself.”

Sir Roger Moore hailed Sir Ken as a “visionary”, writing on Twitter: “Sir Ken Adam – a friend, a visionary and the man who defined the look of the James Bond films.”

A tweet from the James Bond Twitter account read: “The Bond family mourns the passing of our beloved friend Sir Ken Adam who was so responsible for the visual style of the James Bond films.”

Sir Ken was born Klaus Adam in 1921 in Berlin. His Jewish family, who ran a sports store, fled the Nazis to England when he was in his teens.

He began to study architecture, and later served in the RAF – one of the few members of the RAF with a German passport.

After the war, he worked on Around the World in 80 Days, coming to the attention of producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli who went on to hire him for The Trials of Oscar Wilde and, in 1962, Sir Ken’s first Bond film, Dr No.


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