Name: Blofeld, Ernst Stavro [Scarface Blofeld] (Pleasance, Donald)
Blofeld plans to ignite World War III by fanning the exhaust flames of the space race, at the behest of a foreign power that stands to gain from the collapse of the two dominant powers (read: the PRC).
Head of SPECTRE, alias "Number 1"
Self-employed (Head of SPECTRE)
Escapes to slowly destroy his organization through terrible planning and good old fashioned insanity (see 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service,' 'Diamonds Are Forever' and 'For Your Eyes Only').
Of all the Blofelds whose face we see on screen, Plesance provides the only solid performance. This Blofeld is a well fleshed-out opponent with access to vast resources and the cunning to align with the right people.
Donald Pleasance sets the standard that every parody would reference. Although his character is not perfect, nobody can dispute his memorability.
Blofeld is a truly competent taskmaster in this film. Diverging from his previous hands-off tactics, he directly manages what is surely his biggest endeavor to date. His piranha pool revisits his fishy interest in 'Russia,' and he, like the piranhas, is extremely aggressive. He is so daring that he blackmails the PRC, and seemingly succeeds. It is a huge gamble (talk about the white elephant he has on his hands if they back out), but Blofeld knows his game, and he is all the more sinister for it. A classy but imposing villain, we can't help but remember him and in the end even pity him slightly.
Unfortunately, Blofeld does make his errors. He asks lackeys to do things they are clearly incapable of (i.e. kill Bond), and when they fail him predictably, he is shocked. He himself blunders when he gives 007 back his cigarettes, and again when he shoots Osato first. A perfect villain will fail because Bond outsmarts him, not because of his own mistakes. Of course, one cannot discount the fact that no human can compare with the sinister perfection of the faceless version of Blofeld from 'Russia' and 'Thunderball.'
Dance into the fire...