... I had never met Hitchcock before, and yet he was about to do me the most fantastic good turn I could imagine. In that wonderful fat man's Cockney voice, he said, slowly, drooping every word separately, as though he had all day: 'Tony, I just called to let you know that I want you for this picture, so you're quite safe to make yourself a nice deal.' What could I say? I mumbled my thanks and put the phone down, feeling rather dazed, electrified, stunned; all of these. The full impact of this call from Hitch was very soon to come home to me.
Throughout his career he could often be found in the films of Director Terence Young, including the aforementioned Dr. No, They Were Not Divided (1950),Valley of Eagles (1951), The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders (1965), Triple Cross (1966), Red Sun (1971), Inchon (1982) and The Jigsaw Man (1983). Young also cast him as the physical presence of Ernst Stavro Blofeld in his Bond films From Russia with Love (1963) and Thunderball (1965), stroking the ubiquitous white cat. His face was never seen, however, and Blofeld's voice was provided by Eric Pohlmann. Dawson appeared alongside fellow Bond veterans Adolfo Celi, Lois Maxwell and Bernard Lee in the Italian Bond knockoff O.K. Connery.
It was while there that he appeared on Broadway in the play, and then the subsequent Alfred Hitchcock film of Dial M for Murder (1954), playing C. A. Swann/Captain Lesgate. In the film, he is blackmailed by Tony Wendice (Ray Milland) into murdering his wife Margot (Grace Kelly). In his unpublished memoirs, Rambling Recollections, Dawson reminisced about getting the part:
After the early 1960s, his roles got progressively smaller, but he continued to act until his death.
He had two other memorable roles on his return to Britain, including the evil Marques Siniestro in Hammer's Curse of the Werewolf (1961) and henchman Professor Dent in the first James Bond film, Dr. No (1962).
He died in Sussex of cancer at the age of 75 in January 1992.