Tag Archives: on her majesty’s secret service

George Lazenby is James Bond

Born September 9th, 1939 in Goulburn, Australia…this model turned actor will forever be a question mark in the series, a trivia answer on Jeaporady! and an enigma and controversial topic of conversation for diehard Bond fans.

To be fair to Lazenby, it wasn`t easy being the first actor to try and replace Sean Connery. Nor could it have been easy jumping into the material he was given to start off with (the love and death of Bond`s wife, Tracy). But Lazenby also made it harder on himself than was neccessary.

At the time the Bond talent hunt was under way in 1968, Lazenby was working as a male model and car salesman in London. On the advice of his agent, he made solid plans to challenge each and every eligible male actor for the role. Considering the lengths Lazenby went to to get the role, one has to wonder why he became so cavalier about returning to it. He spent his last pound on acquiring a tailor made suit from Sean Connery`s clothier, along with a very Bondish Rolex watch. A chance encounter with series producer Cubby Broccoli in a hair salon gave Lazenby his first shot at getting the role. Broccoli made a mental note to remember Lazenby as a possible candidate.

Lazenby was up against John Richardson, Anthony Rogers, Robert Campbell and Hans de Vries, but Lazenby won the role based on a screen-test fight scene.Several months went by while hundreds of other men auditioned for the role. On the strength of his interviews, fight skills, audition footage and lack of substantial competition, Lazenby got the role. From there the situation went downhill.

Lazenby`s ego went to his head. Instant success spoiled him before filming even began. He told Life magazine, which had been given exclusive access to the search for a new 007, this much about his attitude of taking on the role: “I`m looking forward to being Bond for the broads and the bread.” The situation became tense and bitter during the filming, with tabloid reports exaggerating some elements of the filming, while other rumors ran rampant that Diana Rigg disliked Lazenby so much that she ate garlic before each scene in which they kissed.

Lazenby received some bad advice that led him to believe that one outing as Bond would be enough to make him an international superstar; a man that didn`t need Bond to get acting roles. Before On Her Majesty`s Secret Service premiere, Lazenby announced to the world that this would be his first and last turn as James Bond. Broccoli cautioned Lazenby to rethink his position; that if he chose this path, Lazenby would never amount to anything of an actor and never get offers beyond “Spaghetti Westerns”. Cubby was right.

Lazenby took a year long cruise around the world after `Majesty` debuted, refreshed and ready to get back to work. The only problem was that Lazenby was a cold commodity, and the scripts were definitely not piling up on his agent`s desk.

In his post-Bond career, Lazenby acted in a few tv movies, soft core porn, and B-grade films. During the early 1970s, Lazenby worked in Hong Kong, and was going to make a film with Bruce Lee right before the actor`s death. He took several years off from show business to race cars and tend to his sick son, who died of brain cancer at 19 years of age. He often attends 007 conventions and has recently moved from Hawaii to Los Angeles to resume his acting career. His most recent notable credits have included a guest appearance on Diagnosis: Murder, and The Pretender, as Jarrod`s father.

Born: 9/9/1939
Goulburn, Australia

James Bond and The Golden Globes

1970 George Lazenby nominated Most Promising Male Newcomer for On Her Majesty`s Secret Service

1978 The Spy Who Loved Me nominated for Best Original Score
Marvin Hamlisch Nominated for Best Original Song “Nobody Does It Better”.

1985/86 Duran Duran and John Barry nominated for Best Original Song: “A View To A Kill”

1998 Sheryl Crow nominated for Best Song in “Tomorrow Never Dies”

Collecting On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Charles Helfenstein just might be the premier collector of memorabilia surrounding the 1969 James Bond movie “On Her Majesty`s Secret Service.”

It was that collection, and his connections with the film`s director, Peter Hunt, which brought Mr. Helfenstein from his Mount Pleasant home to Hollywood and to the attention of the producer of a new series of Bond films for DVD.

“I don`t think anybody could do in-depth research on `On Her Majesty`s Secret Service` without talking to Charles,” said John Cork, one of three producers of the DVDs and the director of the documentary portion of the videos. “We interviewed more people involved with `Majesty` than anybody has in the past.” The film`s director and producer were interviewed, as well as George Lazenby, the star.

For the full story, be sure to visit the Frederick News-Post.

On Her Majesty`s Secret Service

The Hero: James Bond; The Bond Girl: Tracy Devicenzo; The Villain: Ernst Stavros Blofeld; Supporting characters: Irma Bunt, Ruby Windsor, Marc Ange Draco Shaun Campbell; Locations covered: London, France, Switzerland. First Publishing: 1963

As Marc-Ange had put it, “On Her Majesty`s Secret Service.” What would Her Majesty think of the crimes committed in her name?

That is one of the questions that Ian Fleming poses in On Her Majesty`s Secret Service. He also poses many questions like why Bond would be on the trail of Blofeld for almost a year. So what? He stopped Largo a year before, mainly with blind luck and a good woman like Domino. But, wouldn`t Blofeld drop off the face of the earth? The answer is no, and he puts every spotlight on himself by contacting the College of Arms.

This possibility is almost outragous. As put in “The Usual Suspects”, “Do you think that he comes this close to being caught and sticks his head out?” Fleming posed the question and the answer is yes. He wrote that Blofeld was intelligent, but yet he wants to be a Count and blows his entire cover.

The real highlight of the book is the love affair between Bond and Tracy, from the opening scene on the beach to the tragic final scene. Tracy would be the type of woman that Bond would marry, because she was the only one to “truly” help him avoid Blofeld`s henchmen. I really felt for Bond when Tracy is murdered at the end, and “You Only Live Twice`s” start.

The start of the novel has Bond chasing the shadow of Blofeld all over Europe, and heading to France, where he meets Tracy, gambles on two long shots, and becomes face to face with another one of Europe`s most dangerous criminals, Marc-Ange Draco, Captain of the Union Corse. Marc-Ange bribes Bond into going out with Tracy. The bribe? The location of where Blofeld is known to be…Swizterland.

Two Months pass from the meeting of Bond and Draco, and he is still involved with Tracy, and has tried everything to find Blofeld. Bond finally tries another long shot, the College of Arms. After an attempt to connect James with Bond Street, 007 finally gets to talk to Sable Basilisk. Basilisk has the only info on Blofeld that is worth while. His lawyer`s address.

With meetings and crash courses about Blofeld`s line of descent, Bond is sent to meet Blofeld in Swizterland, with no weapons, only books and his razor blade. Met in the airport by Irma Bunt, 007 is taken to Piz Gloria in the Swiss Alps, by helicopter. On his first night he is introduced to Blofeld`s “patients” at the club dinner. It seems that Blofeld`s cover is now a man interested in allergies. He creates cures for the patients as well as hypontizing them to do his dirty deeds.

The next event shake up Bond: his first meeting with Blofeld. The meeting goes well for Bond and his research causes another meeting between himself and Blofeld. This time the arrival of Shaun Campbell from Station Z interupts them, and Blofeld dismisses 007 quickly. With Campbell`s arrival, 007 knows that he has to escape at any costs, including Campbell.

Bond`s escape from Piz Gloria is the most exciting part of the novel. Bond`s blind luck and amazing skill on skis are the best part of the chase sequence, which leads Bond into Samaden and to the waiting arms of Tracy, at a Christmas party. Tracy drives Bond safely to Zurich where Bond does what no one ever thought he would… he asks Tracy to marry him.

Tracy accepts and Bond is off to London to see M. The meeting with the Man from Agriculture and Fisheries doesn`t go well. Bond knows that Blofeld could kill everyone in the United Kingdom with his pests. Bond leaves and makes a call to Draco, and soon devises a plan to destroy Blofeld.

The plan suceeds with one problem, Blofeld escapes down the bob-run with Bond right behind him. The climax happens when Blofeld blows up the track with a grenade. Bond, coming away black and blue, gets married on January First and as they are heading for their honeymoon, Tracy is killed by Blofeld in a drive-by shooting. Bond says one of the most chilling lines of all, “Don`t worry…, We have all the time in the world.”

ADam West, Bat-bond

In Back to the Batcave by Adam West with Jeff Rovin (Berkley Books, 1994) West had this to say: “Over a lovely dinner, Cubby asked me point-blank if I`d be interested in playing 007. Sean Connery had completed `You Only Live Twice` and said he wasn`t coming back, a talent search was proving unsuccessful, and it was getting close to the time when `On Her Majesty`s Secret Service` was due to begin production. Lew (Sherrell, West`s agent) nearly spit out his tea when a firm offer was made.

“I`ll have to admit I was tempted. There were three B`s that really made an impact on the 1960s: Bond, Batman and the Beatles. I had the chance to be two of them. The money would have been good, too. But the big problem, as I saw it, was that I wasn`t British. Of course I could have done the accent. But fans would have complained, and the British press would have been all over me. (As they were with Michael Keaton when `Batman` was shot in London. They`d decided he was all wrong for the part and hounded him mercilessly.)

“In this case, though, they would have been right. In my heart, I felt that Bond should definitely be played by an Englishman, and I said so. Cubby respected my stand, and I still think I did the right thing, especially when you consider how Australian George Lazenby got roasted for his one stab at the part.”