Walter Gotell Biography
Walter Jack Gotell was born on March 15, 1924, in Bonn, Germany. His family emigrated to Britain following the rise of Nazism in Germany. A fluent English speaker, Gotell made his film debut in 1942, with an uncredited role in The Day Will Dawn.
Throughout the 1940s, he played villains and German officers in various films such as We Dive at Dawn (1943). In the early 1950s, Walter Gotell began to land more established roles and appeared in films like The African Queen (1951), The Red Beret (1953), Ice Cold in Alex (1958), The Guns of Navarone (1961), The Road to Hong Kong (1962), Lord Jim (1965), Black Sunday (1977), The Boys from Brazil (1978), and Cuba (1979).
However, Walter Gotell was best known for his roles in James Bond films. He played the henchman Morzeny in From Russia with Love (1963), and went on to play the recurring role of KGB General Anatol Gogol from the late 1970s in the series, starting with The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). Gotell’s resemblance to former head of Soviet secret police Lavrentiy Beria earned him the role of Gogol, and he played the character again in Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983), A View to a Kill (1985), and The Living Daylights (1987) alongside his third 007 Timothy Dalton. He is one of the few actors who played both an antagonist and a Bond ally in different Bond films, alongside Charles Gray, Richard Kiel, and Joe Don Baker.
In addition to his film roles, Walter Gotell also made numerous guest appearances in television series in The Saint with future Bond Roger Moore, and in 1980s classics Knight Rider, The A-Team, Airwolf, Miami Vice, Cagney & Lacey, and later in The X-Files.
Aside from acting, Walter Gotell was also a businessman and used his acting salaries to fund his business ventures. He had one daughter, Carol, born in 1960. Gotell passed away on May 5, 1997, at the age of 73.