Jimmy Ray Dean the American country singer, actor, and sausage king was born in Seth Ward, Texas in 1928 and almost immediately his remarkable life was off and running.
That life would take him to the heights of the country charts, to the head of the breakfast table, and yes to the top of “The Whyte House” in Las Vegas as Willard Whyte in 1971’s James Bond hit film ‘Diamonds Are Forever’.
Jimmy Dean was not a logical choice to play the role yet “Cubby” Broccoli caught Dean’s act in Vegas and he asked him straight away to be in the picture – Dean said yes.
Did you know Jimmy Dean was petrified his then employer, Howard Hughes, would fire him because of how he portrayed Willard Whyte (the character was based on Hughes)?
Did you also know in between takes Dean learned more about golf from 007 himself, Sean Connery, then any golf pro he ever met…before or after?
Want to learn more about movies and more about Bond? Check out The Latch Key Kids podcast series “Breaking Bond” especially the episode “Breaking Bond Part IX: Diamonds Are Forever”.
Stream all the Seasons of The Latch Key Kids on Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and now on iTunes!