Legendary movie spy has link to NH political dynasty
WLTON - It's hard to imagine James Bond, the British spy who has been gracing the big screen since the early 1960s, having much to do with bucolic life in New Hampshire.
But Michael G. Wilson, who has produced and written many of the Bond films, has family ties to the Granite State.
Wilson, 70, first became involved with the James Bond films by working as an assistant to his stepfather, Albert "Cubby" Broccoli on "The Spy Who Loved Me."
From there, Wilson worked his way up through the ranks, earning various producer credits on films including "Moonraker" and "A View to a Kill."
He also became a screenwriter for a number of the movies, including "License to Kill." After Bond disappeared from theaters for six years, it was Wilson and his stepsister, Barbara Broccoli, who brought the franchise back to life with "GoldenEye," and they've produced every James Bond adventure since.
But before being swept into the glitz and glitter of Hollywood, Wilson used to vacation at his grandparents' house in Wilton Center, according to a Wilson cousin by the name of Gregg - Judd Gregg.
"Michael is a great guy," said Gregg, the former New Hampshire governor and U.S. senator, who described Wilson as a distant cousin on the side of Hugh Gregg, Judd's father and also a former governor. "Though he lives in Europe, he has always stayed in very close touch with his family in New Hampshire."
Gregg said that Wilson, who is closer in age to his brother, Cy Gregg, is also a cousin of Judge David Sullivan of Wilton. As boys, the Greggs and Sullivan and Wilson all spent time together during the summers, Judd Gregg said.
The Bond films are a source of pride for the family, said Gregg, and he admires the hard work of Wilson and Broccoli.
"They have maintained the most successful franchise in film ever," he said. "And they've managed to maintain the integrity of the Bond character along the way."
Gregg said he's never met any of the actors who have played James Bond, author Ian Fleming's iconic character, but he's always enjoyed going to the movies to see his cousin's work.
And though Wilson isn't in New Hampshire often, Gregg said, the busy producer continues to keep strong ties to the Granite State.
"Even with his success, Michael works hard to maintain a connection to New Hampshire and his family ties here," Gregg said.