Biographic by Steve McGarry for April 23, 2006
Of the six actors who have portrayed secret agent James Bond in the 21 official movies in the series, only two Roger Moore and Daniel Craig - are english, scotsman Sean Connery was followed by Australian George Lazenby, while Timothy Dalton is Welsh and Pierce Brosnan hails from Ireland. Born on May 28, 1908 Ian Fleming served at the highest level of british naval intelligence during the second world war. He later purchased land in Jamaica and built Goldeneye- the house where he escaped the British climate each winter to write his James Bond books. The first, "Casino Royale" was published in 1953, after which Fleming wrote one Bond novel each year until his death in 1964. The first time James Bond appeared on screen, he was not the suave british spy of Fleming's invention he was CIA agent "Jimmy" Bond as portrayed by American Barry Nelson. The 1954 CBS tv production of "Casino Royale" was broadcast live as an episode of "Climax Mystery Theatre" veteran actor Peter Lorre was the first Bond villain, playing first Bond villain, playing the dastardly le chiffre in that production. The 1962 movie "Dr. No" saw the debut of 32-year-old scotman Sean Connery as James Bond. He went on to play Agent 007 in a string of increasingly successful hits, including "From Russia With Love" and "Goldfinger" sparking worldwide Bondmania. When Connery refused to sign for a sixth outing as 007, the producers launched a search for a replacement to star in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" and chose George Lazenby, an Australian model whose previous acting high point was in a British TV commercial for a chocolate bar. Following that movie, Connery was persuaded to reprise the role one more time before Roger Moore took over the reins, Roger Moore took other the reins, Moore, a tv star, appeared in seven Bond movies between 1973 and 1985. He was followed in the role by Timothy Dalton, whose two-movie tenure saw a return to a darker, less frivolous depiction of agent 007, Pierce Brosnan took the franchise to even greater box-office success with the next four movies, beginning with "Golden Eye" in 1995. After intense media speculation about his successor, the lead in the 21st Bond movie, a remake of "Casino Royale" went to Daniel Craig.