George Lazenby

From James Bond Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Bond Actors | Bio | Filmography | Pics & Clips | Interviews

George Lazenby - James Bond Wiki

Film appearances as James Bond:

Other appearances as James Bond:


George Robert Lazenby was born in Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia, on 5 September 1939. He is the second official actor to portray 007, following Sean Connery, and the youngest actor in the role to this day (he was 29 at the time of the filming).

It was Lazenby's first serious acting role (he was a model before). He aproache producer Cubby Broccoli at a hairdresser. The producer, perhaps mistrusting Lazenby's ability to carry the picture, took the unusual step of overdubbing Lazenby's voice with that of George Baker in major scenes in which Bond impersonated Baker's character. The technique had never been used in a Bond film for a leading actor before. It was rumoured that Lazenby had been "difficult to work with". He subsequently admitted that he had neither the maturity nor the experience to completely understand the studio system. According to an interview with Lazenby, the difficulties were due to director Peter R. Hunt refusing to talk directly to Lazenby after Lazenby was too brusque in passing on a request that Hunt's friends clear a set before filming.

Certainly, Lazenby's Bond is a man less amused by life than was Connery's, less accessible, more a man who lives from ruse to ruse, more stoic and resigned. Until he falls in love, he is a hedonist without pleasure. This treatment was the deliberate approach of the film's director Peter Hunt, who has stated in an interview that "I was very insistent that we stay with the story of the book". Hunt reshot scenes where he was unhappy with Lazenby's portrayal of emotion.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service follows the plot of the novel more closely than did the other film adaptations of the eponymous source novels, including serious dramatic subject matter pivotal to the development of Bond's character: Bond's contemplated resignation from MI6; his comically botched impersonation of a sexually ascetic genealogist at a mountaintop allergies clinic for beautiful young women; and his brief, tragic marriage to the daughter of a Corsican crime syndicate leader.

Lazenby quit the role of Bond right before the premiere, citing he would get other acting roles, and that his Bond contract, which was one and a half pages thick, was too demanding on him.


  • In 1968, Lazenby was the highest-paid male model in the world.

Critical Acclaim:

  • Although the film was not as successful as previous Bond films at the box office, some aficionados consider it as one of the best films of the James Bond series, with many critics feeling George Lazenby "nailed" the character of James Bond as described in the novels. Commercially, On Her Majesty's Secret Service is widely believed to have paled in comparison to the previous Bond film You Only Live Twice and to the following, Diamonds Are Forever (both featured Sean Connery as James Bond); this has been partly attributed to a poor publicity campaign. In fact, the film was not much less successful than You Only Live Twice, taking about 80% the box office gross with 74% of the budget, and was the second highest grossing film of 1969. (It has also been suggested that it was partly arresting a slide in what was at the time a declining franchise; receipts for You Only Live Twice already reflected a substantial decline from the previous hit Thunderball, yet, in comparison, the receipts for On Her Majesty's Secret Service declined at a lesser rate than did those of You Only Live Twice). When adjusted for inflation, OHMSS is the median performer of the entire James Bond franchise.

Notable credits:

  • Universal Soldier (1971)
  • The Man from Hong Kong (1975)
  • International Assassin (1976)
  • The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)
  • Gettysburg (1993)
  • Twin Sitters (1994)
  • The Pretender (TV series, 1999-2000)
  • Batman Beyond (Animated series, 1999-2000)

Life after Bond:

  • On December 17th, 1969, Lazenby was a guest star on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson". This was just one day before the premiere of On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Lazenby showed up as the new James Bond and Carson's main guest sporting long hair and a full beard. Lazenby's appearance was a surprise to the studio audience and millions of TV viewers who were getting their first glimpse of the new 007, and instead of getting the clean-cut look of Sean Connery that they were so accustomed to, they saw someone that didn't look like Bond, with his long hair and beard. Lazenby then furthered the studio and TV audiences surprise when he told Carson that On Her Majesty's Secret Service was going to be his only Bond film, as he had decided he was quitting the role and opting out of his contract. Carson had asked Lazenby how many Bond films he was planning on doing, and Lazenby's response that he was quitting the biggest movie franchise of all time after just one film got a laugh from Carson and the audience. When Lazenby told Carson that he was in fact being serious, the audience and Carson were clearly surprised. This turned out to be one of the most remembered episodes in the history of The Tonight Show, when George Lazenby surprised everyone with his announcement on the night that the entire show was dedicated to Bond and Lazenby's new film. Bond producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman were watching the show and were furious with Lazenby's appearance and announcement, as they felt both would severely hurt On Her Majesty's Secret Service's box-office gross.