Thursday, 19 June 2014

007 James Bond actor: George Lazenby

Who: George Robert Lazenby
Born: 5 September 1939, Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia

George Robert Lazenby /ˈlzənbi/ is an Australian actor and former model, best known for portraying James Bond in the 1969 film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. He remains the only actor to have played the role in only one Eon Productions film. He went on to a career in films and television, including several roles spoofing the James Bond character. His name has become a metaphor for actors of lesser standing who have given non-iconic performances in major media franchises.

George Lazenby trivia facts:
  • Is an accomplished skier and in fact had won two skiing contests in Australia before becoming James Bond.
  • He was a martial arts instructor in the Australian army, and holds more than one black belt in the martial arts. He studied martial arts under Bruce Lee himself.
  • He says that his favorite Bond film is Goldfinger (1964).

George Lazenby´s 007 production:

James Bond: 1969

In 1968, after Sean Connery quit the role of James Bond, producer Albert R. Broccoli first met Lazenby when getting their hair cut at the same barber. He later saw him in the Big Fry commercial and felt he could be a possible Bond, calling him in for a screen test.
Lazenby dressed for the part by sporting several sartorial Bond elements such as a Rolex Submariner wristwatch and a Savile Row suit (ordered, but uncollected, by Connery). Broccoli offered him an audition. The position was consolidated when Lazenby accidentally punched a professional wrestler, who was acting as stunt coordinator, in the face, impressing Broccoli with his ability to display aggression. Lazenby won the role based on a screen-test fight scene, the strength of his interviews, fight skills and audition footage.

Director Peter R. Hunt later claimed:
We wanted someone who oozed sexual assurance, and we think this fellow has that. Just wait til the women see him on screen ... I am not saying he is an actor. There is a great deal of difference between an actor and a film star. Didn't they find Gary Cooper when he was an electrician?

During the production of the film, Lazenby's voice was dubbed over with George Baker's in scenes in which Bond impersonated Sir Hilary Bray (Baker's character), something not traditionally done with a leading actor whose original language is English. According to an interview, Lazenby experienced difficulties on the set stemming from director Hunt's refusal to speak directly with him, and Hunt's brusqueness in asking Lazenby's friends to clear the set before filming.

See more information here

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