“Our name’s Bond, James Bond” could be the opening line when the six actors who have played 007 in the big screen franchise meet up at a lavish Hollywood party to celebrate its 50th birthday.
They will be joined by Ursula Andress and Eva Green and at least a dozen of the other beauties who have played Bond Girls since Dr No was released in 1962.
The party will be the climax of what MGM calls “a whole year of birthday celebrations for 007 in the movies”. It will be held after October’s Hollywood premiere of Skyfall, the 23rd film in a series that has made more than £3.5billion at the box office.
Current Bond Daniel Craig said: “It’s an astonishing record for any character to endure for five decades in showbiz but I’ll bet this: the franchise is such a phenomenon that in another 50 years time a whole new bunch of actors and their leading ladies will be gathering for another party when Bond becomes a centenarian.”
The other Bonds are:
Sean Connery, 81, who was not first choice to play 007 in Dr No. Male model Peter Anthony, then 28, won an open casting contest but when shooting began was clearly not up to the role. Producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli turned to established actor Connery. Australian George Lazenby, now 72, was the star who only lived once as Bond, in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Sir Roger Moore, now 84, was initially criticised as too “boyish-looking” to play Bond but became the most enduring 007 with seven films and was eventually criticised for being too old for the role.
Welsh actor Timothy Dalton, 65, played Bond twice but says: “When you’ve seen Bond from the beginning, no one could possibly replace Sean Connery.”
Irishman Pierce Brosnan, 58, made four films but bowed out after Die Another Day in 2002, feeling he was too old to play 007.
The 1967 spoof Casino Royale, which starred the late David Niven as Bond, is not part of the franchise.