Felix Leiter is a fictional American CIA intelligence operative. Based on the literary character created by Ian Fleming, Leiter appears for the second time in EON Productions' 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger and was portrayed by Canadian actor Cec Linder. He was the second of seven men to play the iconic role of Leiter officially on screen.
After the pre-credit sequence, Felix Leiter travels to Bond's hotel in Miami, where he finds him getting a massage from a girl, Dink. Leiter tells Bond about Auric Goldfinger and when his friend asks where he is, the CIA agent points him out just emerging from the hotel for his daily card game.
Felix Leiter is seen with a couple of times throughout the film checking on Bond's progress and making sure he does not require his help.
Behind the scenes
When the role of Leiter was brought back for the third Bond film, Goldfinger, in 1964, Jack Lord was again approached to play Leiter; according to screenwriter Richard Maibaum, Lord demanded co-star billing with Connery, a bigger role and more money to reprise the role. The producers instead decided to recast the role, initially with Canadian actor Austin Willis. At the last minute, Cec Linder switched roles with Willis, who instead filled the role of Simmons, card partner of Auric Goldfinger. Linder was the only actor actually on location in Miami. Raymond Benson considers that Linder was "miscast" as Leiter because he looked too old: "he looks like Bond's uncle rather than his best friend."
- p.49 Dunbar, Brian Goldfinger: Director, Guy Hamilton 2001 Longman