Flashbacking to David Hedison’s characters from the 1980s…
On revisiting Hedison’s roles, there are some bizarre connections between his characters in two Prime time soaps and Moore supporting roles.
License to Kill Sanchez attempts to flee with this Cessna 172 plane, James Bond
On learning the American actor, David Hedison had passed way this sad news came with some uncanny timing. Live and Let Die (1973), the first of Hedison’s appearances in the James Bond franchise was due on Finnish TV the following night. His role in Live and Let Die was the first of two appearances with him repeating this role, 16 years later. In this series, Hedison’s character was one of several actors playing James Bond friend and CIA operative, Felix Leiter.
This was Roger Moore’s first Bond film but one of many of Hedison’s appearances with Roger Moore between the mid-1960s to mid-1980s. Hedison signed up for the role believed he would be starring with Sean Connery, later discovering Connery had been replaced by his good friend, Roger Moore.
The pair also starred in two 1980s movies together ffolkes aka North Sea Hijack (1980) and The Naked Face (1984). The former film was the first of Hedison’s many varied acting roles in the 1980s, with more written about this film HERE. I read more about Hedison’s extensive film and TV appearance before and after this decade. Here, I learned these joint ventures for those acting buddies started in 1964 with Hedison appearing with Roger Moore in the latter’s TV Series, The Saint (1964).
Ironically, for this acting pair, there’s even a wee James Bond reference in their storyline for this episode where a character believes Moore’s Simon Templar is in fact James Bond. IMDb states Hedison was also due to star in another film with Moore, named Mr Straker and a James Bond parody, but this film was sadly cancelled.
Following this first role with Moore in 1980, Hedison also appeared in a huge number of one off guest star roles in many of those Aaron Spelling productions. These including Charlie’s Angels (1978-81), Hart to Hart (1982) and T.J. Hooker (1982) Other 1980s supporting roles included other well known 1980s TV series such as Knight Rider (1985), Crazy Like a Fox (1985), The Fall Guy (1982-85), Hotel (1985) and Matt Houston (1982) Hedison also starred in Fantasy Island and appeared in this show in an impressive total of seven different roles.
Then in 1983 Hedison starred as Sam Dexter, in Dynasty (1981-89) in two episodes, namely The Vote and The Downstairs Bride. Hedison’s Sam Dexter character, in his back story, had had (ironically) a past affair with Alexis, Blake’s then wife. Sam Dexter was a business partner of Blake Carrington’s father Tom and Andrew Colby (father to Jason, Philip, Cecil and Constance Colby from the Dynasty spin off, The Colbys ).
In the Dynasty series, Sam Dexter was a Member of the Board of Directors of Denver-Carrington then later the CEO of the Dexter Corporation. With Sam played by a clean shaven Hedison. Sam was later revealed as the father of Joan Collins’ Alexis’s then toyboy and her future husband, Dex Dexter (Michael Nader). Hedison’s role in Dynasty had a connection with his character, Lord Roger Langdon in The Colbys.
Lord Langdon appeared in The Colbys for nine episodes. He was a diplomat and the second husband of Katherine Ross’s Francesca Colby. In a bid to possibly lessen any confusion with his Dynasty character, here Hedison was noted to have grown a moustache.
At the beginning of the series, Francesca and Roger move to Los Angeles so she can be near her son Jeff. During the two season series, we learn Francesca’s first husband was Philip Colby, Jason’s brother. This is where off screen its almost as bizarre as the soap plotline. This role was as Francesca’s first husband Philip – who returned from the dead – was played by Michael Parks of one of Hedison’s co-stars from his ffolkes / North Sea Hijack movie.
Back to this soap, where a paternity suit to discover Jeff’s true father was introduced as part of the storyline. I won’t say how this progresses but will add that Langdon and Francesca’s marriage ends as a result of the publicity around the revelations surrounding this court case.
Before Francesca married Langdon, in her back story she was in love with her sister Sable’s husband Jason (with Sable and Francesca cousins to the aforementioned Alexis). If you not confused by all this if you remember that Andrew Colby was not only Philip’s one time father in law – just like Hedison’s Colby’s character Roger Langdon – and Hedison’s Dynasty character Sam Dexter’s business partner. This may account for the moustache!
However, in the last of his 1980s roles, Hedison then returned to a familiar character in the James Bond franchise in Licence to Kill (1989). This as Hedison starred with Timothy Dalton’s James Bond, with Hedison reprising his role as Felix Leiter. This making Hedison the only actor to star as the same character in two different Bond films. We can now remember David Hedison, as an actor to have the good luck of a wide and varied 1980s career with two different Bonds and Dynastic and many Moore supporting and starring roles.