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Creator / Donald Pleasence

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"As far as being idolized by teens, I don't know. It
must be some sort of father fixation. Or maybe
they think I'm just pretty."

"I am not one of those actors who believes he has to live the part he is playing. I can turn it on and off."

Donald Henry Pleasence OBE (5 October 1919 2 February 1995) was an English actor, credited with more than 200 movie and television appearances during a career which spanned over four decades. He is the all-time champion in the category Bald of Evil.

Pleasence was often typecast as villainous and/or psychopathic characters, and he played an iconic version of Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the James Bond film series. His portrayal of Dr. Sam Loomis in the Halloween series changed his on-screen image to a more heroic one, albeit still sometimes ruthless or creepy.

His filmography includes:

    open/close all folders 
    Film roles 

    Television roles 

Tropes about Donald Pleasence:

  • Bald of Evil: The Trope Codifier.
  • Career Resurrection: Halloween, to the point where he got a whole new career out of it. Before Halloween, he was typecast as creepy, sadistic villains, always wanting to play a good guy. After playing the heroic, Van Helsing like Dr. Loomis, his career shot back to the top and ironically he found that from then all heroic roles were ALL people wanted to see him in, though he admitted he preferred it that way.
  • Creepy Blue Eyes/Icy Blue Eyes
  • I Am Not Leonard Nimoy: Invoked in the MST3K treatment of The Pumaman; Mike and the Bots insist on referring to his character as "Donald Pleasence". This may have been partly to tease him for a role he openly admitted was an Old Shame.
  • Missing Episode: The Halloween episode of Saturday Night Live which he hosted back in 1981 hasn't been seen on American TV since then, due to the musical guest's (a punk rock group named F.E.A.R.) raucous performance (which included guitar smashing and mosh pits) and the sketches containing humor that was considered dark and disgusting at the time. Netflix had the episode on its Saturday Night Live: The 1980s collection (which has all the episodes from seasons 6note  to 15note ), albeit edited down to 27 minutes (meaning most of the sketches and the notorious musical performances by Fear have been cut). Sadly, it's not there anymore.
  • Money, Dear Boy:
    "There was a sort of horror picture that I did called The Mutations.note  I think I did that solely for the money. I have six daughters, and they can be quite expensive, so one has to keep working and be able to pay the bills."
  • Old Shame: It shouldn't be surprising Donald once declared The Pumaman the worst movie he was ever part of.
  • Shown Their Work: The makers went to great lengths to accurately build a German POW camp for The Great Escape. Of course, it did help that several of the actors had been prisoners of war during World War II. Pleasence, who had been in a German POW camp, made a few suggestions to John Sturges, who wasn't aware of that fact, and was told to keep his opinions to himself. However, when the director learned that Pleasence knew what he was talking about, he was asked for advice all the time.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Pleasence only played Ernst Stavro Blofeld once in the James Bond series (in You Only Live Twice, where he was a hurried replacement for the originally-cast actor and his face is only revealed in the last twenty minutes), which is surprising considering how definitive his take on the ultimate Big Bad of the film series became.
  • Stock Shout-Out: Just about every James Bond parody in any medium will base the villain on his version of Blofeld (perhaps most famously with Dr. Evil).


Video Example(s):


The Spirit of Dark Water

In the "Lonely Water" public information film, the Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water takes pride and amusement in seeing children drown.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / SoftSpokenSadist

Media sources: