Martin Benson, Goldfinger’s Mr. Solo, dies

Martin Benson, the veteran character actor who played the gangster Mr. Solo in Goldfinger, died last week.

In that role, Benson had the most prominent on-screen presence of the gangsters who thought they were selling Goldfinger what he needed to raid Fort Knox. The presence of Mr. Solo in the story was also Eon Productions’s primary pillar in its lawsuit to stop production of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., where Ian Fleming contributed a few ideas, including the name of its hero, Napoleon Solo. In Goldfinger, Mr. Solo had the most spectacular death, which varied from Fleming’s novel and the early drafts of the screenplay.

Here’s John Barry’s score where Mr. Solo meets his demise:

Benson’s other credits include The Omen, The Saint television series, Cleopatra, A Shot in the Dark and The King and I.