Roger talks about his "good friend" David Hedison in his new commentary in Volume 3 of the Ultimate James Bond Collection, on the newly restored version of Live and Let Die.

"People don't know this, but I was actually cast in Live and Let Die before Roger Moore was. I was working in London at the time (1972) and my friend, Tom Mankiewicz, called me and said he was writing the script for the next Bond movie. He wanted to know if I would like to read it, as he thought I'd be good for the part of Felix Leiter.

I read the script, liked the part and took the meeting. Eon decided to hire me. I was looking forward to doing the picture with Sean, but Connery, [for reasons of his own], pulled out of the film before production began. So for a while I didn't know who was going to be Bond. Then Eon hired my friend, Roger Moore. I was overjoyed. Working on the movie with Roger was terrific. We were already friends and I think that came through on the screen."

David Hedison
May 2005


From Dixie Trek May 1993

DH: I don't know why I'm the only actor to play Felix Leiter twice. I was very lucky. I did it with Roger Moore and that was fine. I figured that was the end of it, because they kept getting different Felix Leiter's for every new picture. When they did the last one with Timothy Dalton, they flew me out to LA to meet the Director, John Glen. We talked for a while and they decided to they wanted me to play Felix again. I really don't know why they didn't get someone else, I never really asked. I was flattered and honored and I played it and it was great fun.

DT: According to a 1989 Cinefantastique article, they chose you as Felix a second time because they wanted an international celebrity - someone who was known and loved all over the world. They also wanted some continuity from the earlier films. So you ended up being the former Felix they asked to reprise the role.  (Audience erupts in cheers and applause)

DH: Ah! Thank you! (More cheers and applause) Thank you, you've made my day! (Laughter)

DT: Tell us a Roger Moore story. You must have several.

DH: Oh, God, I can't think of any offhand. He's such a funny man. He tells dirty jokes, and I'm not going to tell those.
(Audience laughter). Nooooo way! (More audience laughter).

DT: What about Sean Connery?

DH: I don't know Sean that well. I've been to dinner parties and Sean has been there, but you know, we know each other, Hello, Hello, that sort of thing, we talk, but we are not that close. Because I've worked with Roger four times, I really got to know Roger very well.

Transcribed from audiotape.



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