At 83, ‘James Bond’ Star George Lazenby Rocks 3-Piece Suit On Rare Night Out
Mar 16, 2023 by apost team
It seems all the big screen actors who have stepped into the role of Britain’s most enduring fictional spy James Bond – Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan, to name a few – have gone on to garner immense fame and become household names. However, you would be forgiven for failing to recall one actor who never quite reached the heights of superstardom after playing Bond – and we’re not talking about Timothy Dalton.
George Lazenby was only the second actor after Connery to play the infamous secret service agent. He appeared in only one Bond film, 1969’s “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” and his tenure as 007 was the shortest among any actor ever cast.
Born on Sept. 5, 1939, in Goulburn, New South Wales, the Australian was the youngest of four children. In his early 20s, Lazenby moved to London and began working as a car salesman. It was during this time that he was discovered by a talent scout who suggested he try his hand at modeling. Lazenby’s rugged good looks and athletic build caught the attention of filmmakers, and he was soon offered small roles in television shows and films.
In 1968, Lazenby was cast as Bond in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” replacing Connery, who had played the role in the previous five films. Lazenby’s portrayal of Bond was different from Connery’s, with Lazenby bringing a more physical and emotional edge to the character. Despite the doors playing Bond had opened for him in the industry, Lazenby decided not to sign on for future Bond films, citing a desire to pursue other acting opportunities.
More than 50 years after he lit up the screen as Bond, Lazenby made an appearance at a pre-Oscars party in Los Angeles in March 2023, still looking sprightly and fit at 83.
After the release of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” Lazenby revealed he would no longer play the role of Bond, despite being signed on for the next series of films in the franchise. The announcement kicked off a war of words between the star and his colleagues.
“They disregard everything I suggested simply because I hadn’t been in the film business like them for about a thousand years,” Lazenby said of the film’s producers in November 1969.
“I much prefer being a car salesman to a stereotyped James Bond,” he said in another interview a month later. He added, “My parents think I’m insane, everybody thinks I’m insane passing up maybe millions of pounds. Nobody believed me. They thought it was a publicity stunt. But it’s just me doing my own thing.”
While many were convinced Lazenby’s decision boiled down to a matter of preference, rumors soon emerged of his difficult behavior on the set that rubbed many, including his co-star Diana Rigg, the wrong way.
“I truly don’t know what’s happening in George’s mind, so I can only speak of my reaction. I think it’s a pretty foolish move. I think if he can bear to do an apprenticeship, which everybody in this business has to do – has to do – then he should do it quietly and with humility. Everybody has to do it,” Express reported her as saying.
She also said: “I can no longer cater for his obsession with himself. He is utterly, unbelievably... bloody impossible.”
However, the most stinging reprisal came from Bond producer Albert Brocolli, who said:
“He was my biggest mistake in 16 years. He just couldn’t deal with success. He was so arrogant. There was the stature and looks of a Bond, but Lazenby couldn’t get along with the other performers and technicians.”
After leaving the Bond franchise, Lazenby struggled to find work as an actor. He appeared in a few low-budget films and television shows, but his career never reached the heights that many expected after his breakout role as Bond.
In the 1980s, Lazenby moved to the United States and began working as a car salesman again. However, he never lost his passion for acting and continued to audition for roles. In 1994, he landed a small but memorable role in the action film “The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.”
Since then, Lazenby has continued to act in films and television shows, often in supporting roles. He has also appeared in several documentaries about the Bond franchise and his time playing the iconic spy.
Throughout his career, Lazenby has been known for his rugged good looks, physicality, and charm. He was often compared to Steve McQueen, and some critics have suggested that he could have been a major star if he had stayed with the Bond franchise.
While Lazenby never achieved the level of success that many expected after his breakout role, he has continued to act and remained a figure in the entertainment industry. On Mar. 9, 2023, he appeared looking as dapper as any Bond character at the Drive H2 Green Pre-Oscar Gala held at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The star wore a three-piece pinstriped blue suit and brown shoes and was photographed with a big smile on his face. Despite being 83, hints of the star’s former swagger and charm were still apparent as he mingled with other celebrities such as John Savage and Bj Korros.
We’re thrilled to see Lazenby out and about and can’t wait to see what he gets up to next.George Lazenby (2023), (Elyse Jankowski/Getty Images)
Don’t you think Lazenby looks great at 83? Were you a fan of his rendition of Bond in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”? Let us know and pass this along to friends and family as well as all the Bond fans you know.