Everyone needs a friend. Don Quixote had Sancho Panza. Superman had Krypto the Superdog. And Buffalo Bill had that girl in the well in his basement. That’s why even James Bond gets one. Since Dr. No in 1962, the cinematic super spy has been joined on his missions now and again by his American counterpart from the CIA, Felix Leiter.
An interesting decision was invented early on in the series to have a different actor play Leiter when he pops up in order to add suspense to his introduction. In Thunderball for example, you think he’s an assassin coming after Bond; in Diamonds are Forever he’s disguised as an airport employee; in Never Say Never Again you believe he’s a man tossing a grenade at 007. An official Leiter had been absent from the fifty-year old franchise since 1989 when he was finally re-introduced as an ostensibly unsuspecting poker player in 2006′s Bond reboot, Casino Royale.
And while it does seem that the CIA won’t be sending their best and brightest over to England to help Bond out of his most current predicament in next month’s Skyfall, we pay homage to our own homegrown hero with our Top Five Favorite Felix Leiters.