Gottfried John, actor most famous for his role as James Bond villain General Arkady Grigorovich Ourumov in GoldenEye passed away this morning at age 72, after a long bout with cancer. He is survived by his wife Barbara.

Gottfried John Dead At 72

John was mostly known for his filmwork in his native Germany for such films as Asterix and Obelix vs. Caesar, Berlin Alexanderplatz, and his collaborations with director Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In America, John was known for his appearence on the TV series Millennium, as well as films such as Proof of Life, The Marriage of Maria Braun and GoldenEye.

Gottfried John and James Bond

John has a significant place among Bond villains. His role as the villainous general was lauded as arguably the best of the Pierce Brosnan era. As General Ourumov, John was raspy and quiet; gruff and solidly powerful — a far cry from many of the Bond villains of the Roger Moore era. GoldenEye was the first Brosnan-as-Bond film, and the first Bond film in six years, acting as a reboot to the franchise which had been halted by repeated lawsuits and creative setbacks. GoldenEye went on to become the largest grossing Bond film of all time (not adjusted for inflation) until 2006's Casino Royale.

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