Grunther was the fictional head of security of Ernst Stavro Blofeld's clinical allergy-research institute atop Piz Gloria in the Swiss Alps. A major antagonist portrayed by Russian stuntman and actor, Yuri Borienko, the character appeared in the 1969 James Bond film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
A stocky and imposing man, Grunther is Ernst Stavro Blofeld's head of security at the Piz Gloria allergy clinic; the SPECTRE chief's Alpine hideout. When James Bond infiltrates Blofeld's clinic under the guise of genealogist, Sir Hillary Bray, he is send along with Blofeld's closest aide Irma Bunt to pick up the spy at a Swiss train station. After welcoming Bond to Switzerland, Bunt instructs Grunther to take his luggage and they leave for the clinic.
After arriving at Piz Gloria, Grunther covertly examines Bond's luggage before taking him to his room. Bunt explains that Grunther will open his externally locked door and escort him if he needs to leave his suite. This 'complicated arrangement' is in place for all Blofeld's guests; supposedly to prevent them from disturbing one another. Consequently, Bond is under his constant supervision during his stay at the clinic.
The following morning he is seen denying Bond's Swiss contact, Shaun Campbell access to the Piz Gloria clinic as the man attempts to use the cable car. Campbell subsequently tries to scale the mountain face, but is caught by Grunther and his security team who take him prisoner, interrogate and finally execute him.
Later that evening, Bond lets himself into one of the patients' rooms only to be greeted by Frauleïn Bunt and Grunther, who knocks him unconscious with a blow to the back of the head. Aware of his identity, Blofeld and Grunther escort 007 to a holding cell. On the way, Blofeld takes the opportunity to point out Campbell's grisly remains hanging from the rockface outside. Bond tries to attack him, but is restrained by Grunther.
Hunting and death
Bond quickly escapes from the cable car room and takes to the slopes on a stolen pair of skis. His escape didn't go unnoticed and Grunther frantically alerts Blofeld by phone. Taking a team of men with him, he pursues Bond down the mountain before losing control and crashing into a tree. Bond temporarily evades his pursuers and reunites with his fiancée, Tracy, before being relocated by Blofeld and Grunther the following day. The chase resumes across the alps, concluding with Blofeld launching a flair and causing an avalanche which buries 007.
Assuming Bond to be dead, Grunther is dispatched to take the injured Tracy back to Piz Gloria. However, Bond survives the incident and assaults the clinic with the help of Tracy's father, Marc-Ange Draco. Grunther alerts Blofeld to Draco's incoming helicopters, only to have the mastermind dismiss the warning. As chaos ensues, Grunther is ordered by Blofeld to deal with Tracy. The two fight hand-to-hand, with the girl wielding a broken bottle and the guard holding a cudgel. Tracy manages to knock him down the stairs through a wall or ornamental rings and he is ultimately killed when she throws him against a set of decorative wall spikes, stabbing him through the back.
Behind the scenes
In his role as a stuntman, Yuri Borienko was one of the people who assisted in the auditioning of George Lazenby for the part of James Bond. In 1968, during a screen test at Pinewood Studios, the Australian accidentally broke Borienko's nose during a choreographed fight scene.
The event would assist Lazenby in obtaining the part of Bond and earn Borienko a more prominent position in On Her Majesty's Secret Service as henchman Grunther.
- Despite being Swiss, Grunther is played by the Russian Yuri Borienko.