Bill Tanner (James Villiers)
Bill Tanner played by James Villiers
Born in London, England on 29th September 1933
Died 18th January 1998
Starred In For Your Eyes Only (1983)
Tanner gives Bond his mission orders in For Your Eyes Only assisted by Sir Frederick Gray after M is 'on leave'. Later Tanner criticizes Bond's failure to get information out of Hector Gonzales by letting Melina Havelock perforate him with her crossbow.
Bill Tanner, chief of staff at MI6 is a very rigid, formal, humourless character. Bond's mission briefing is very functional and practical; he gives Bond only the cold hard facts and information he needs to get the job done, and that's it. Needless to say Tanner is not amused when Bond's mission to get information from Hector Gonzales goes awry.
The character of Bill Tanner would appear a number of times throughout the films, although played by many actors.
Sadly Bernard Lee died shortly before production started on For Your Eyes Only, leaving Tanner to give Bond his orders. The role of M was left unfulfilled as a sign of respect. §