Speed Reads


Geoffrey Holder, Bond villain and 7-Up spokesman, is dead at 84

Geoffrey Holder was a sort of Renaissance man — an accomplished visual artist, dancer, choreographer, costume designer, and composer with two Tony Awards — but he will mostly be remembered for two roles: The 7-Up spokesman in the 1970s and '80s who declared the soft drink "absolutely maahvelous" and Baron Samedi, the villainous Voodoo henchman in the James Bond film Live and Let Die. Holder died on Sunday at age 84 in New York, after being ill with pneumonia.

Holder was born in Trinidad and Tobago in 1930, moved to England, and then New York City in 1954, when he made his Broadway debut. Along with the Bond movie, Holder was in Annie (1982), Doctor Doolittle (1967), Boomerang (1992), and Woody Allen's Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex. He was a painter, photographer, and sculptor whose work was shown at the Guggenheim in New York and Washington's Corcoran Gallery. And he choreographed, designed costumes for, and directed The Wiz on Broadway — the source of his Tonys.

Holder also danced with New York's Metropolitan Opera Ballet and played Lucky in an all-black Broadway cast of Waiting for Godot, among other more serious roles. Holder was great in whatever part he played, including arguably his most famous role, from Live and Let Die — watch a supercut of his scenes below. --Peter Weber