Bond's Q Dies

11/23/1998 at 12:00 AM EST

Desmond Llewelyn, who starred as the exasperated gadget expert Q in 17 James Bond films, was killed in a head-on car crash in England on Sunday. The collision came as Llewelyn, 85, was returning home alone from a book signing. He suffered massive internal injuries and died after being air-lifted to a nearby hospital, police said.(The three occupants of a second car were in stable condition. There was no word on the cause of the accident.) The actor was best known for his role as Q, who equipped 007 with the latest spy tools -- from exploding toothpaste tubes to a fully equipped BMW -- starting with 1963's "From Russia with Love" and running through the current "The World Is Not Enough." His other film credits included small roles in "Cleopatra" and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang." (For other deaths, see PASSAGES.)

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