Villechaize’s breakthrough role as Nick Nack in the 1974 Bond movie turned his life around. The artist and aspiring actor had been living in his car and working as a rat-catcher in Los Angeles before he landed the part of Scaramanga’s servant. Christopher Lee, who played the main villain, later said that the period while they were filming was the happiest time in Villechaize’s life. Apart from the boost to his career, it may also have been due to the other less savoury opportunities it gave him.
Moore told the audience at an event in London: “He was a very small man and he used to touch me and I used to say, ‘Don’t touch me. You are diseased.’
“I wasn’t being cruel about his size, it was just that he was a sex maniac. He had a lust for ladies, unnatural.”
The Bond legend also revealed that his co-star boasted of a staggering number of conquests while they were making The Man With The Golden Gun, as well as sexual adventures with prostitutes – although some of them refused his advances and his money.
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Moore was speaking at the Southbank Centre, when he revealed the sexual peccadillos of Villechaize, who was 3ft 11ins tall.
The actor recalled: “When we were in Hong Kong he would find girls in girly clubs and go with a flashlight, saying ‘You, you, not you.'”
In a staggering evocation of the bygone days of promiscuity and sexism, Moore added that he asked Villechaize exactly how many women he had slept during the film shoot in the Far East.
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Moore said: “He (Villechaize) told me 35. I told him that did not count as he paid for them, but he said, ‘Sometimes when I pay they refuse.'”
Sadly Villechaize did not enjoy a long and prosperous life full of anecdotes like Roger Moore. After almost two decades in the limelight his life had a tragic ending.
After finding global fame in the Bond franchise, he embraced a second round of success when he starred alongside Ricardo Montalban as Mr Roarke’s assistant, Tattoo, in the global smash-hit television series Fantasy Island from 1978.
Unfortunately, he was fired in 1984 after repeatedly clashing with the show’s producers over his pay demands and unwelcome propositioning of female cast members and crew.
Villechaize’s life came to a tragic end when he shot himself in the garden of his Hollywood home in 1993, aged 50. The actor, who was also a talented artist who had exhibited at the Museum of Paris at just 18, had been supporting himself with sporadic guest appearances.
He left a suicide note which read: “I love everybody. Nobody is to blame for this.”
He had made numerous attemopts before and had spoken publicly about the extraordinary physical difficulties of living with dwarfism. His girlfriend Kathy Self revealed that he had been suffering from chronic pain due to the stresses his normal-sized organs were putting on his small body.
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