George Smiley facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsGeorge Smiley
|First appearance||Call for the Dead|
|Last appearance||A Legacy of Spies|
|Created by||John le Carré|
|Portrayed by||Rupert Davies (film, 1965)
James Mason (film, 1966)
George Cole (BBC Radio, 1978, 1981)
Alec Guinness (TV, 1979, 1982)
Peter Vaughan (BBC Radio, 1983)
Bernard Hepton (BBC Radio, 1988, 1990)
Denholm Elliott (TV movie, 1991)
Simon Russell Beale (BBC Radio, 2009-2010)
Gary Oldman (film, 2011)
|Spouse(s)||Lady Ann Sercomb|
He is a central character in the novels Call for the Dead, A Murder of Quality, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy, and Smiley's People, and a supporting character in The Spy Who Came In from the Cold, The Looking Glass War, The Secret Pilgrim and A Legacy of Spies. The character has also appeared in a number of film, television, and radio adaptations of le Carré's books.
Le Carré, who created Smiley, wanted to show that Ian Fleming's James Bond series was an inaccurate picture of espionage life. Smiley is polite, shy and humble. He often allows others to mistreat him, especially his unfaithful wife. But his humility masks his inner cunning, excellent memory, mastery of tradecraft, and occasional ruthlessness. His genius being underestimated helps Smiley achieve his goals. In the end, he becomes one of the most powerful agents in Britain.
The character is held in high esteem in Britain, where he has become a pop-culture icon on par with Bond. The Guardian called him "the sort of spy [Britain] believes it ought to have: a bit shabby, academic, basically loyal, and sceptical of... his political masters".
George Smiley Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.