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"Good morning, boss."
"Good morning."
"It's sure going to be a beeautiful day. Yes, a beeeautiful day.
― Baron Samedi and James Bond[src]

Baron Samedi is a character from the James Bond novel and film Live and Let Die. In Ian Fleming's 1954 novel, Baron Samedi is a voodoo figure with whom Mr. Big has chosen to identify himself with to inspire fear among his followers. In the 1973 film adaptation, he was a separate character and henchman to Dr. Kananga and a major antagonist. Samedi was portrayed in the screen by the late actor, dancer, choreographer and singer Geoffrey Holder.

Novel Biography[]

In the original novel Live and Let Die, Baron Samedi is described as the voodoo spirit of darkness and death. No such character appears in the book, although many people in Harlem and elsewhere believe the novel's main villain, Mr. Big, to be a manifestation of Samedi himself or perhaps his zombie. Mr. Big encourages this beneficial belief by keeping a Baron Samedi totem near his desk.


Baron Samedi is perhaps the most enigmatic villain/henchman the cinematic James Bond has ever faced. The character is an ambiguous one, and the audience cannot tell if he really is the Voodoo god Baron Samedi himself, or simply a dangerous mortal who has assumed Samedi's identity. Contributing to the mystery is the fact that Samedi seems to operate as an aide to Dr. Kananga aka Mr. Big, but is not entirely under his control. In one scene, for instance, as Kananga interrogates Solitaire (the film's main Bond Girl), Samedi engages in an odd ritual of burning Solitaire's Tarot cards. The ritual seems to convey a sinister message to Dr. Kananga and Solitaire, and although it irritates Kananga, he refuses to put a stop to Samedi's card-burning.

Film Biography[]

Baron Samedi is first introduced as a so-called entertainer who does a voodoo dance act for tourists, flatly laughing multiple times, when James Bond arrives at the island on which most of the action takes place. The announcer introduces Samedi as an "immortal", though obviously neither Bond nor the viewer seem to think much of it at the time.

While on the way to Dr. Kananga's heroin fields on San Monique, Bond and Solitaire stumble across a small abbey in the woods. There, Samedi, now without makeup, coat and hat, sits on a tombstone and greets the two. He gives the appearance of a friendly native, playing a flute and telling the couple he feels it is going to be a beautiful day for them. Bond and Solitaire continue their journey and after they are out of sight, Samedi warns Kananga with a radio built into his flute, telling the drug lord that "they're heading for the hill".

After Bond has been captured in New Orleans and been brought to the crocodile farm, Samedi, now dressed in a black suit, meets with Kananga while the latter confronts Solitaire for her betrayal as he wants to know why she betrayed him although he gave her everything and she lacked for nothing. She tells him that the cards foresaw it. Kananga angrily smacks the medium to the ground, telling her that in proper time he would have given her love and that she knew that. The villain says that there is only one appropriate way to deal with this betrayal, to which Samedi draws the tarot card 'Death', laughing maniacally. This is then followed by Kananga also declaring there is one proper time to administer it, and on cue, Samedi draws another tarot card, this one the card 'Midnight'.

Samedi is encountered again when Kananga orders Solitaire to be executed during a voodoo ceremony, a fate that befell Baines. Though it initially seems that Solitaire is to be killed by the bite of a poisonous snake, the henchman holding the snake backs of in the last moment. A man with a hat then approaches a tombstone nearby and leaves it on the grave. After two women drag on the tombstone with a machete three times and ring a bell, Samedi rises from the grave, with the hat on his head. Samedi blinks, indicating a go-ahead for killing Solitaire. At this point Bond reveals himself and shoots Kananga's henchmen, including the one holding the snake, before cutting the ropes holding Soltaire in place.

When shooting Samedi in the head, the head simply breaks. After shooting the body multiple times it becomes clear that it wasn't the real Samedi, but just a clay figure. After fighting more henchmen, another motionless Samedi rises from either another grave or the same one as the mannequin. Bond ignores him, deeming him another impostor, but Baron Samedi then opens his eyes widely and starts to laugh, revealing the real person. He then takes the machete from the tombstone and engages Bond in a brief fight, but Bond hits him in the stomach and knocks him back, causing Samedi to fall into the coffin full of poisonous snakes, where he is bitten multiple times. Eventually Samedi falls silent and does not move anymore, and Bond believes him dead.

Bond then uses the machete to hit the tombstone three times. It is revealed that the tomb in fact is a hidden elevator, which brings Bond and Solitaire down into Kananga's underground headquarters where they would face and defeat the main antagonist.

But at the very end of the film, at the point when 007 typically has achieved total victory in the Bond films, we seen Baron Samedi riding on the front of the speeding train carrying him and Solitaire, laughing demonically as the camera zooms in to focus on him while the credits start playing, further suggesting that he is in fact a supernatural character, a first (and so far only, besides Solitaire) for the James Bond films of the franchise.

Baron Samedi has never reappeared in any subsequent Bond film, unlike the henchmen Jaws and Mr. White or the main villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld (most likely because Samedi is inseparably connected to Voodoo and Bond never had to deal with this cult again), but neither has the series endeavored to solve the mystery of Samedi's nature. Since Samedi's last appearance was over five decades ago, the mystery will very likely remain unsolved.

Video game appearances[]


Baron Samedi as he appears in GoldenEye 007.

Samedi appears in the 1993 Sega Genesis game The Duel as one of the cloned bosses in Stage 2.

In the 1997 Nintendo 64 game GoldenEye 007, Samedi appears as a Boss in an unlockable post-game bonus mission separate from the main plot called Egyptain, as well as the game's multiplayer. In the game, Bond is sent to the ancient el-Saghira temple in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt in response to a letter sent by someone claiming to be Baron Samedi. Additionally, Samedi claims to have possession of Francisco Scaramanga's infamous Golden Gun.

915GoldenEye - Character Render Baron

Baron Samedi as he appears in the 2010 GoldenEye 007 remake.

Bond is sent to retrieve the legendary weapon and use it to defeat a cackling Samedi a total of three times before completing the mission, with each encounter becoming more powerful. In the ending cutscene that follows, Bond strides down a corridor of the temple with the Golden Gun in hand. Just as he is about to leave, Samedi emerges from the shadows and laughs manically. However, he can be killed a fourth time during the cutscene using a glitch, but this does not result in any new cutscene.

He is also a multiplayer character in the games Nightfire, Everything or Nothing, GoldenEye 007 (2010), and 007 Legends.




  • In the 2000 video game for the Sega Dreamcast called Fur Fighters, a character very similar to Samedi, known as Odebah Bear, appeared as a mini-boss.
  • The character is inspired by the loa Baron Samedi, an important Haitian Voodoo figure.
  • A character in Shadowrun Returns uses the alias and likeness of Baron Samedi.
  • Samedi's infamous evil laugh in the original GoldenEye 007 game is actually a slightly slowed down version of a stock sound effect from Cartoon Trax Volume 1.
  • Baron Samedi is a tall individual, as Geoffery Holder stands at 6'6", the same height as the legendary NBA basketall player Michael Jordan.
  • Ironically, his actor, the late Trinidadian-American Geoffrey Holder, as well as the late Roger Moore (James Bond) have a fear of snakes in real-life. Both Holder and Moore hated to do the scenes where snakes are present but only relented after they learned that the production coincided with a royal visit to Jamaica (the filming location) by Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy, and were informed that the aforementioned British royal will be visiting the set and would be watching the filming.
    • Holder declined to perform the stunt of diving into the the snake-filled casket when his character is knocked by Bond into it, but only agreed to do so in order not to dismay a member of the Royal Family.
  • Holder himself died in October 2014 due to pneumonia complications, at the age of 84. Outside of Baron Samedi, he was also known as a voice actor, narrating a series of TV commercials for 7-Up, calling it "the un-cola", as well as the narrator for the 2005 film Charlie & the Chocolate Factory.
  • In the video game Saints Row 2, one of the gangs the player feud with is called "The Sons of Samedi".