Jimmy Dean: Renaissance Man & Bond Buddy

Jimmy Dean passed away yesterday at 81, and will likely be remembered as a the grinning sausage pitchman who recorded Big Bad John during his early life as a Country & Western star. But Dean’s pre-pork entertainment career added up to more than just a hit single. He worked variously as a radio personality, a morning TV anchor, and for many years as the host of his own The Jimmy Dean Show, which introduced the world to any number of country stars as well as Jim Henson’s beloved Rolwf the dog. Dean also tried his hand at acting, with repeated stints on Daniel Boone, Fantasy Island, and something called J.J. Starbuck. His most high-profile gig, however, was in 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever. Behold one of the most incongruously funny Bond moments ever after the jump.

Dean plays Willard Whyte, an entrepreneur loosely based on Howard Hughes, who assists 007 in, once again, defeating SPECTRE. His “Tell him he’s fired!” line here is about as close to a one-liner as you’ll find in any of the Bond picture.

Links: Movie Stars Steal All the Tony Awards, Sausage Man Jimmy Dean Dies

● Movie stars Scarlett Johansson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Denzel Washington took home trophies at last night’s Tony Awards, in part because Hollywood is greedy and also because no one would care about theater otherwise. [NYT] ● Not one, but two Mean Girls sequels are in the works, at least one of which is going straight to DVD, at least one of which is titled Mean Moms, and none of which feature Lindsay Lohan, angry drinking binge or not. [Jezebel] ● A 59-year-old woman hit Jackass star Bam Margera in the head with a bat. [E!]

● Jimmy Dean, American country music legend, actor, and sausage magnate, has died at age 81. Eat a patty and pray. [AP] ● Simon Monjack, Brittany Murphy’s widower, who passed away soon after the young actress died, had two secret children, making this story a more and more tragic screenplay. [TMZ] ● In the battle of ’80s remakes, The Karate Kid tops The A-Team at the box office, but we all lose because karate puns are uncreative. [ET]