Bond director behind Thunderball and Never Say Never Again has died

Actor and director Ricou Browning is best known for his underwater stunt work, particularly in the 1954 horror Creature from the Black Lagoon. Ricou portrayed the antagonist Gill-man during the film’s underwater scenes, while Ben Chapman played the creature on land.

He reprised the role for the underwater scenes in the sequels: Revenge of the Creature (1955) and The Creature Walks Among Us (1956).

He later co-created Flipper (1963) and directed the underwater sequences in 1965’s Thunderball, the fourth James Bond film, as well as 1983’s Never Say Never Again.

Ricou also directed underwater scenes in the comedy films Hello Down There (1969) and Caddyshack (1980)

His family confirmed his death to The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday.

His daughter, Kim, told the outlet that the 93-year-old died of natural causes at his home in Southwest Ranches, Florida.

She said: “He had a fabulous career in the film industry, providing wonderful entertainment for past and future generations.”

Ricou had four children: Ricou Jr, Renee, Kelly and Kim; as well as 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

His wife, Fran, died in March 2020.

Ricou was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2012.

In 2019, he was inducted into the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards’ Monster Kid Hall of Fame.

He reportedly held his breath for up to four minutes while portraying the frightening Gill-man.

Speaking about his experience on the set, the Hollywood star told Halloween Daily News in 2019: “I would hold my breath and go do the scene, and I’d have other safety people with other air hoses to give me air if I needed it.

“We had a signal. If I went totally limp, it meant I needed it.

“It worked out well and we didn’t have any problems.”

More to follow…

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