According to the Boston Globe, Lewis Gilbert (far right in the headline photo), director of three James Bond films, passed away at the age of 97 on February 23, 2018. It was only recently reported over the last few days that Lewis Gilbert had died in Monaco.
Lewis Gilbert directed You Only Live Twice (1967) starring Sean Connery as 007, as well as The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979), which in succession starred the late Sir Roger Moore as 007. Gilbert ties with director Terence Young for helming three Bond films. You Only Live Twice was originally going to be Sean Connery's last crack at Bond, but he came back after a one-movie hiatus in Diamonds are Forever (1971). While maybe not the most popular Sean Connery Bond film, You Only Live Twice is certainly not the least popular, with its ninjas, helicopter chases over volcanoes, and man-eating spaceships and piranhas. The Spy Who Loved Me is often regarded as Roger Moore's best go as Bond, while the film itself is regarded as one of the best Bond films period, at least among franchise fans. With a death-defying ski stunt in the pre-credits sequence, sharks, pyramids, underwater cities, and a 7' tall villain with deadly metal teeth called Jaws (Richard Kiel), it's not hard to see why. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Music Original Song - "Nobody Does it Better" performed by Carly Simon, and Best Music Original Score by Marvin Hamlisch (The Informant! (2009)), The Way We Were (1973)). Moonraker was on the high heels of science fiction and laser beams, hot off the trail of blockbuster smash hits like Star Wars (1977), which certainly showed when Moonraker was Oscar-nominated for Best Visual Effects. The last twenty-minutes in the film alone of space laser battles, while maybe slightly dated today, still sounds and looks fascinating to watch.
Lewis Gilbert also was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar for Alfie (1966), as well as a Golden Globe for Best Director for the same film. Other film directorial credits include: Educating Rita (1983), Haunted (1995), Stepping Out (1991), and Before You Go (2002).
Rest in peace, Lewis Gilbert. It seems we continue to lose people who have brought so much to the James Bond family. Thank you for your amazing and unforgettable contribution to the film industry, especially to the James Bond legacy.