If you haven’t seen 2015’s James Bond film, Spectre, be aware there may be spoilers ahead (and hurry up and watch Spectre already)! After months of speculation, we finally know that Daniel Craig will be back as Bond for the upcoming 25th film in the series. One person who won’t be back, however, is actor Christoph Waltz as his nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
“No, I’m sorry. I’m really sad, but that’s the tradition, that there is a new… name,” says Waltz in a new interview. “Sorry. I would’ve liked to.”
The “tradition” that Waltz refers to is the fact that no actor has ever played the villainous Blofeld in more than one James Bond film.
Blofeld first appeared onscreen in From Russia With Love and Thunderball but was only seen from the waist down, stroking his trademark white cat.
Actor Donald Pleasance was the first to bring Blofeld to life in 1967’s You Only Live Twice, affecting a German accent in the role.
Kojak star Telly Salavas took over the role for a brief appearance in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, as the driver in the car when Bond’s wife is killed.
When Blofeld returned once again in 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever, actor Charles Gray (best known as the Criminologist in The Rocky Horror Picture Show) took over the role.
Blofeld appeared again briefly in 1981’s For Your Eyes Only, though his face wasn’t seen close-up and his name was never used in the film.
When Sean Connery returned as James Bond in 1983 for the rival production, Never Say Never Again, actor Max Von Sydow portrayed Blofeld.
Unlike Bond, who is generally accepted to be the same man, despite the changes in actor, Blofeld’s difference appearances are attributed to plastic surgery. The character’s appearance and demeanor have been widely parodied over the years, most famously by Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers films.