Nov 12, 2005 – Hello from John F. Murray. The sole purpose of this page is to honor the memory of a great friend, actor Rik Von Nutter, with a personal tribute. Rik recently passed away, as reported in the Palm Beach Post on October 17, 2005. Feel free to share your positive comments in Rik’s memory to email@example.com to be considered for later posting.
I was one of the few people who knew Rik in the past few years in the USA. He lived all over the world, but lived a very private life. This was a marked contrast to his many years acting and directing in over 25 films, and he was involved in some of the absolute best films.
Rik enjoyed telling stories about of his movie career and relationships with some of the most famous actors, as well as about his international travels. I loved renting his movies (his career spanned from the late 1950s onward) and seeing how his roles changed over the years. We often discussed his movies and sometimes I would tease him that the movie was terrible (Inchon, for example), but most of his movies were good.
Rik was a superb individual with a gentle personality and remarkable insight into human nature. He was cheerful and lucid the last time I saw him, and he would prod me to continue my success in losing weight, joking that I needed to eat slowly with a black plastic fork that he presented to me with a smile.
Rik is best remembered publicly for playing CIA agent Felix Leiter in the James Bond movie Thunderball, and starred in many other movies. He lived in Italy for years and was married to the famous movie actress Anita Ekberg in the 1960s and 70s. You remember Anita from La Dolce Vita (1960)
Rik respected Sean Connery very much as an actor. He brightened to talk about wife Anita Ekberg even though the marriage fizzled in the 1970s. He always said “the papparazi never stopped chasing her.” Rik took control of a situation with Anita one legendary evening in Rome in 1970, as reported in Time Magazine. We’ll spare the details, but Rik told me to look up the Time article. The bottom line is that no matter the conflict or the situation, Rik was able to see the glass as half full. He was an eternal optimist.
Rik admired running back Jim Brown (“he was such a great guy”) and laughed about the scene in Pacific Inferno when Jim threw him across the room – and then kept asking him if he was alright!
I will miss Rik greatly and offer my sincere condolences to his family, friends and fans. Thank you for joining me in his memory.
Rest in Peace Rik.
Dr. John F. Murray is a sports psychologist and clinical psychologist providing sports psychology and counseling services based in Palm Beach, Florida.