I was very sorry to learn of the passing of David Hedison, the American actor probably best known to many for his roles in the James Bond franchise, but for me, as one of the stars of Irwin Allen’s hokey but fun SF adventure show, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.
Hedison, who was 92, died peacefully in his sleep last Thursday, with his two daughters, Serena and Alexandra at his side, in Los Angeles.
Born in 1927, Albert David Hedison Jr. was an American film, television, and stage actor, billed as Al Hedison in his early film work such as the horror film The Fly, released in 1958. US network NBC insisted that he change his name, when he was cast in the role of Victor Sebastian in the short-lived espionage television series Five Fingers, in 1959., and at his suggestion he was billed as David Hedison, and that stuck.
Growing up in the 1960s, I knew him for his role as Captain Lee Crane in Irwin Allen’s television series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, alongside the equally memorable Richard Basehart (Admiral Harriman Nelson), who died in 1984.
The series was adapted into comics by Gold Key, running for 16 issues, which included art by the brilliant Alberto Giolitti, among others, with covers by George Wilson. An original, short-lived strip also ran in TV Tornado for just six issues in 1967, replaced by illustrated text stories, and Look-In adapted some of the Gold Key stories in 1971.
He joined Roger Moore in the 1973 film Live and Let Die and Timothy Dalton in 1989 with License to Kill, becoming the first actor to play CIA agent Felix Leiter twice.
His many TV credits include Murder, She Wrote, The A-Team, TJ Hooker, Crazy Like A Fox, The Fall Guy and The Saint.
The Actors Fund fosters stability and resiliency, and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan