South Wales, Australia
Robert Lazenby /ˈleɪzənbi/ 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.
- 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:
In 1968, after Sean Connery quit the role of James Bond, producer
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
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.