dbroccoli.jpgM wasn’t the only woman capable of telling James Bond what to do. He also answered to Dana Natol Wilson Broccoli, the president of the company that owns the film rights to Ian Fleming’s 007 novels.
In 1961, Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli and Harry Saltzman founded Danjaq, the Los Angeles-based film studio that bought the film rights to Fleming’s books. Dana Broccoli became president of Danjaq when her husband died in 1996. Three Bond films (“Tomorrow Never Dies,” “The World Is Not Enough” and “Die Another Day”) were produced during her tenure. After 20 cinematic forays, the Bond franchise has become the longest-running movie series of all time.
Dana was studying drama at Cecil Clovelly’s Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City when she met Lewis Wilson, who was the first actor to play Batman. After World War II ended, they married, moved to Los Angeles, joined the Pasadena Playhouse and divorced. To support herself, Dana became a screenwriter and pitched a movie idea to producer Cubby Broccoli at a party. He didn’t buy the story, but they wed in Las Vegas six weeks later. Actor Cary Grant was their best man.
Broccoli penned two novels, “Scenario for Murder” and “Florinda,” and adapted the musical, “La Cava,” into a book. She also served as the lead producer of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” which opened in London’s West End in 2002. The production is scheduled to debut on Broadway in 2005.
Broccoli died on Feb. 29 from cancer. She was 82.