English actor Robert Brown was best known for playing the character of M, fictional head of the British Secret Service, in four James Bond movies beginning in 1983 after the death of the role's originator, Bernard Lee. A classically trained stage actor, Brown began his screen career with small, often uncredited work in films like the acclaimed adaptation of the Graham Greene thriller "The Third Man" (1949) and the Grecian epic "Helen of Troy" (1956). Brown was also a staple on British television, where he developed a fortuitous friendship with dashing leading man Roger Moore on the series "Ivanhoe" (ITV, 1958-59) and "The Saint" (ITV, 1962-69). He later appeared opposite Moore's 007 for the first time as a stuffy navy admiral in "The Spy Who Loved Me" (1977) and after the passing of Lee in 1981, it was Moore who recommended Brown for the vacated role. He began his tour of duty as the taciturn M with "Octopussy" (1983), continued for "A View to a Kill" (1985) and stuck around for the Timothy Dalton years in the later entries "The Living Daylights" (1987) and "License to Kill" (1989). Having gone into retirement after this last effort, Brown remained a beloved addition to the cinematic mythology of Bond with appreciative fans of the indomitable franchise.