Lewis Gilbert, director of Alfie and three James Bond movies, passes away aged 97

PTI

February 28, 2018 18:30:26 IST

British producer-director Lewis Gilbert, best known for films such as Alfie and James Bond films such as The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, has died. He was 97.

The news of his death was shared by the Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli.

"It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of our dear friend Lewis Gilbert. Lewis was a true gentleman," the duo said in a statement.

Gilbert directed 1967's You Only Live Twice starring Sean Connery, The Spy Who Loved Me in 1977 and Moonraker in 1979, both starring Roger Moore.

Lewis Gilbert/Image from Twitter.

Lewis Gilbert/Image from Twitter.

"He made an enormous contribution to the British film industry as well as the Bond films, directing You Only Live Twice, The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. His films are not only loved by us but are considered classics within the series. He will be sorely missed," they added.

Gilbert, who was born into the family of music-hall performers, began his career as a child actor. In 1939, he worked as an assistant on Alfred Hitchcocks Jamaica Inn.

He was also known for directing Educating Rita and Alfie. For the latter, he received an Oscar nomination for best director. Alfie was also instrumental in actor Michael Caine's rise to fame.

On Twitter, a number of celebrities, including directors Edgar Wright and Peyton Reed, paid to tributes to Gilbert.

"Lewis Gilbert, director of You Only Live Twice, The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, has passed away. Spy was the first Bond film I saw in the theatre. (And I have a tiny homage to Moonraker in Ant-Man and The Wasp.) Rest in Peace," tweeted Reed.

Wright wrote, "Rip Lewis Gilbert, the great British director who, among his 40 plus credits, directed Alfie, Educating Rita, Reach For The Sky, Shirley Valentine and one of my very favourite Bond films: The Spy Who Loved Me.

Updated Date: Feb 28, 2018 18:30 PM