Peter Lamont, the Oscar-winning production designer, art director and set decorator who worked on several James Bond films and Titanic, died on Friday. He was 91.
Producers of the James Bond franchise Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said, “Peter Lamont was a much beloved member of the Bond family and a giant in the industry. Inextricably linked with the design and aesthetic of James Bond since Goldfinger (1964).”
He won the Academy Award for Titanic in 1998 as well as nominations for Fiddler On The Roof (1971), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), and Aliens (1986). Our hearts go out to his family and all those who worked with him over many years. He will be very sorely missed.”
— James Bond (@007) December 18, 2020
Lamont was born in London on November 12, 1929. He began his work as a runner at Pinewood Studios, and left to serve the Royal Air Force. He then joined the studio again as a draughtsman in the art department and worked on films like The Importance of Being Earnest, A Day To Remember, and Miracle In Soho.
His first big break came in 1964 when he worked on the James Bond film, Goldfinger. He was recruited by the then producer Ken Adam and asked to design the exterior of Fort Knox. Fort Knox would later be built in the back lot at Pinewood Studios.
Recalling his work on Goldfinger, Lamont had said in one interview with Mi6, “I almost fell through the roof because the estimate was for £56,000 which was the most expensive set that had ever been built at that time. I thought ‘oh God, I’m going to get fired for this..’” However, the producers agreed and the cost of the set design was later brought down to £40,000.
Lamont worked on 18 of the 21 James Bond films that were released. He was the set decorator on Thunderball, the visual effects art director on Moonraker (1979), and the production designer for For Your Eyes Only. His final Bond film was the 2006 Casino Royale.
The only Bond film Lamont could not work on was the 1997 film Tomorrow Never Dies. He said, “I was on the sinking ship at that time.” He was working on Titanic at that time with Steven Spielberg, and went on to win an Oscar for the Best Art Direction for the film.
Lamont’s autobiography, The Man With the Golden Eye: Designing the James Bond Films, was published in 2016. The book covers his experience working behind the scenes on 18 James Bond films.
Roger Moore, who played secret agent James Bond in seven films, including Moonraker and For Your Eyes Only, paid tribute to Lamont on social media. He said that “[Lamont] was a tremendously talented master of his craft”.
Terribly saddened to hear long time Bond production designer Peter Lamont has passed away today. He was a tremendously talented master of his craft, and a lovely, fascinating and knowledgeable man to have on any film set or at any dinner table. Below: Octopussy barge he designed pic.twitter.com/XXs2ZIiN1j
— Sir Roger Moore (Legacy) (@sirrogermoore) December 18, 2020
Lamont is survived by his son Neil Lamont and daughter Madeline.