FELIX LEITER

 
Full Name: Felix Leiter
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: Ian Fleming
Time Span: 1953 - 2017
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Felix Leiter is an agent with the CIA.
       Most of the time he is. When we think about him, it is in that capacity though life will throw him a very nasty curveball and he will be retired on full disability. That does not mean, though, he is out completely and will on occassion be called back for this job or that.
       We know very little about Leiter from the recorded adventures. We can read that he has "a mop of straw-coloured hair" that gave him a look far younger than his eyes would give. The impression is there that he is rather tall and lanky further making him appear almost coltish. The fact, however, that a seasoned hard-as-a-rock agent like James Bond would treat him as an equal and later as a very close friend show that Leiter, for all his youthful appearances, is a man who has been around the block more than once.
       Things we do know about him:
1. He is on hand to provide much needed resources for Bond on several occasions (Casino Royale, Goldfinger, and such)
2. He is a big fan of Jazz and in his younger days even wrote a few articles on the subject
2. He will suffer a horrendous injury thanks to a villain's shark and not let it stop him.
3. He will be married a couple of times and help create a beautiful daughter named Cedar who would, when she became an agent with the Agency like her father, attract the roving eye of his best friend (rather unsporting of Bond, IMHO).
4. Shows that he is not only capable of working on his own but is also a team player, willing to take the second chair when needed.

       Naturally since Felix Leiter is first and foremost a compatriot of 007, for more information check out James Bond.

BOOKS

Number of Books:6
First Appearance:1953
Last Appearance:1965

       There are several excellent websites with information about Felix Leiter since there are a gazillion about James Bond and Leiter is a recurring character in that guy's adventure. A good search engine will give you a lot of other places to look.

       The books listed below are the original novels by Ian Fleming. In time, I will likely scan through the continuation novels by Gardner, Benson, and others for appearances by Leiter but for now just know that he does show up a time or three.

1 Casino Royale Casino Royale
Written by Ian Fleming
Copyright: 1953

When James Bond has trouble going up against LeClerc in the casino, Felix Leiter with the CIA is there to lend some dollars and later save a life. Click James Bond for plot.

2 Live And Let Die Live And Let Die
Written by Ian Fleming
Copyright: 1954

In New Orleans working with Bond, Felix Leiter loses big time for the assist. Click James Bond for plot.

3 Diamonds Are Forever Diamonds Are Forever
Written by Ian Fleming
Copyright: 1956

No longer with the Agency, Felix Leiter is on hand as an agent with the Pinkerton Detective Agency to help James Bond. Click James Bond for plot.

4 Goldfinger Goldfinger
Written by Ian Fleming
Copyright: 1959

As Bond narrows in on what Goldfinger is planning, he needs the help of Felix Leiter, a reserve CIA agent, to stop the plot. Click James Bond for plot.

5 Thunderball Thunderball
Written by Ian Fleming
Copyright: 1961

The theft of two American nukes understandably interests the CIA. Click James Bond for plot.

6 The Man With The Golden Gun The Man With The Golden Gun
Written by Ian Fleming
Copyright: 1965

Even Bond needs help when going up against one of the world's best assassins. Click James Bond for plot.

MOVIES

Number of Movies:10
First Appearance:1954
Last Appearance:2008

1 Casino Royale Casino Royale
Director: William H. Brown, jr
Writers: Ian Fleming, Antony Ellis, Charles Bennett
Actors: Barry Nelson as James Bond, Peter Lorre as LeChiffre, Linda Christian as Valerie Mathis, Michael Pate as Clarence Leiter
Released: 1954

CIA agent James Bond must beat crime boss LeChiffre at Baccarat at the Casino Royale while keeping from being killed himself. This was a made-for-tv movie shown on Oct 21, 1954 as Season 1, Episode 3 of Climax! on CBS.

2 Dr. No Dr. No
Director: Guy Hamilton
Writers: Berkely Mather, Richard Maibaum, Johanna Harwood
Actors: Sean Connery as James Bond, Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder, Joseph Wiseman as Dr. No, Jack Lord as Felix Leiter
Released: 1962

The diabolical Dr. No has taken a Caribbean island as his fortress where he is creating a very dangerous weapon on behalf of Spectre.

3 Goldfinger Goldfinger
Director: Guy Hamilton
Writers: Paul Dehn, Richard Maibaum
Actors: Shirley Eaton as Jill Masterson, Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore, Gert Frobe as Auric Goldfinger, Sean Connery as James Bond, Tania Mallet as Tilly Masterson, Harold Sakata as Oddjob
Released: 1964

Goldfinger has a plan to irradiate all of the gold in Fort Knox, driving the worth of his own gold incredibly high.

4 Thunderball Thunderball
Director: Terence Young
Writers: Richard Maibaum, John Hopkins, Jack Whittingham, Kevin McClory
Actors: Sean Connery as James Bond, Claudine Auger as Domino, Adolfo Celi as Largo, Luciana Paluzzi as Fiona, Rik Van Nutter as Felix Leiter
Released: 1965

Two nuclear weapons are stolen by SPECTRE from a downed NATO bomber in the Caribbean. It is up to James Bond to locate them and get them back.

5 Diamonds Are Forever Diamonds Are Forever
Director: Guy Hamilton
Writers: Richard Maibaum, Tom Mankiewicz
Actors: Sean Connery as James Bond, Jill St. John as Tiffany Case, Charles Gray as Blofeld, Lana Wood as Plenty O'Toole
Released: 1971

Diamond smuggling, threatening to destroy the trade and harm England's economy, brings James Bond to Las Vegas and again up against Ernst Blofeld.

6 Live And Let Die Live And Let Die
Director: Guy Hamilton
Writer: Tom Mankiewicz
Actors: Roger Moore as James Bond, Jane Seymour as Solitaire, Yaphet Kotto as Mr. Big, David Hedison as Felix Leiter
Released: 1973

A dangerous heroin drug lord with a great plan for flooding the US with his goods is the target for James Bond.

7 The Living Daylights The Living Daylights
Director: John Glen
Writers: Richard Maibaum, Michael G. Wilson
Actors: Timothy Dalton as James Bond, Maryam d'Abo as Kara Milovy, Jeroen Krabbe as General Koskov, Joe Don Baker as Brad Whitaker
Released: 1987

An American and a Soviet are trying to start another world war and James Bond must travel literally around the world to stop the two.

8 Licence To Kill Licence To Kill
Director: John Glen
Writers: Michael G. Wilson, Richard Maibaum
Actors: Timothy Dalton as James Bond, Carey Lowell as Paum Bouvier, Robert Davi as Franz Sanchez, Talisa Soto as Lupe Lamora
Released: 1989

When a drug lord, angry at an old friend of Bond, kills the man's wife and tortures the man, James Bond vows to bring him down.

9 Casino Royale Casino Royale
Director: Martin Campbell
Writers: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Paul Haggis
Actors: Daniel Craig as James Bond, Eva Green as Vesper Lynd, Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter, Judi Dench as M, Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre
Released: 2006

Newly chosen for the Double-O program, James Bond must stop an arms dealer by beating him at a high-stakes poker game at the Casino Royale but there is more than luck against him.

10 Quantum Of Solace Quantum Of Solace
Director: Marc Forster
Writers: Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade
Actors: Daniel Craig as James Bond, Olga Kurylenko as Camille, Mathieu Armalric as Dominic Greene, Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter, Judi Dench as M
Released: 2008

As he seeks a way to stop a shadowy group from destroying a country's main resource, James Bond is also looking for revenge against the people who killed his love.

COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

Number of Stories:1
First Appearance:2017
Last Appearance:2017

       It is pretty obvious that since Felix Leiter was in six of the Ian Fleming original James Bond books, he would show up in any of those comic renditions. Go to James Bond for more information.
       His one solo adventure (to date) is below.

1 Felix Leiter Felix Leiter
Published by Dynamite Comics
Contributors: Aaron Campbell (artist), James Robinson (writer)
Copyright: 2017

A six-part solo adventure. The individual issues were:
Felix Leiter #1 (01/11/2017) - Felix Leiter finds myself in Japan tracking down a beautiful Russian spy from his past.
Felix Leiter #2 (02/08/2017) - The mission was suppose to be easy trailing a Russian Spy in Tokyo. Felix is unwittingly drawn into the investigation of a major terrorist attach. Now with Tiger Tanaka (the Japanese version of James Bond) he must find the leader of the terrorists.
Felix Leiter #3 (03/15/2017) - In the aftermath of a Tokyo terrorist attach Felix Leiter must work with Tiger Tanaka and his elite operatives to bring down the cult's leader and discovering the secret of the deadly bio-weapon before another attach.
Felix Leiter #4 (04/19/2017) - The investigation draws Leiter in deeper.
Felix Leiter #5 (05/17/2017) - [plot unknown]
Felix Leiter #6 (06/21/2017) - [plot unknown]

MY COMMENTS

       I never give supporting character their own page because, well, they are supporters, not stars. That was certainly the case with Felix Leiter where I had a reference on the Character Index for him link to the James Bond page.
       And then the highly creative people at Dynamite Comics decided to have an off-shoot of their truly terrific Bond comic series devoted to Leiter and suddenly it felt right to give Agent Leiter his own page.
       Of course, except for that solo adventure in Japan, he remains a supporting character in literature and in the movie world but he is a very important one for without his help, the more famous Bond might not have lasted as long as he has.
       I gave this series a lower grade than I did Bond but that is appropriate for a co-star.

GRADE

My Grade: B

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