Sunday, April 21, 2013

George Lazenby, Autograph and Story

James Bond Archives 007 edited by Paul Duncan, published by Taschen
Last November, it so happened that the Taschen release of the book The James Bond Archives coincided with my birthday, hence a very welcomed present from my boyfriend was added to my growing library of James Bond related literature and memorabilia. The oversized hardcover book culminated into a lengthy retrospective of filmic Bond to commemorate the franchise’s 50th anniversary of Bond on film. Each film was treated with several pages of interviews, production notes, and behind-to-scenes photographs. In addition, the often maligned satirical version of Casino Royale (1967) and Connery’s Never Say Never Again (1983) in which he decided to don the tuxedo just one more time, were situated within the same timeline as the rest of the Eon Productions films. The book even came with a filmstrip – about 12 frames – from Dr. No (1962). It was a magnificent book and well worth the hefty price tag, especially since in a couple of months would be the opportunity to meet several Bond stars at a Hollywood Collector’s Show in Los Angeles.

Since we live within easy driving distance of Los Angeles, one of the other pastimes that my boyfriend and I indulge in is the collection of autographs. Hence, I was quite happy to have said commemorative book, some extra cash, and a collector’s show this past January that brought together nearly twenty celebrities that had starred in the Bond films. Of course there were several Bond Girls from Eunice Gayson (the first Bond Girl) to Maryam d’Abo, some bad guys such as Richard Kiel, Bruce Glover and Robert Davi, and the British agent himself, as represented by second official James Bond, Mr. George Lazenby.

The show in January was the second encounter I have had with Lazenby. The first time was at another collector’s show back in the July, 2009. At that time, my boyfriend got an Emmanuelle box set signed, in which Lazenby’s character reminiscences about the dalliances of his youth. As much as we can recollect, he had indicated it was a paycheck movie for him. This time around, I had my huge 20 lb. book (not an exaggeration, by the way!) that I delicately placed in front of Lazenby. Impressed by the real estate that the book took up on the table, he spent some time thumbing through his Bond section On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969). Although there were a number of memorable movie stills throughout the chapter, I had really liked the photo of him tossing his hat across the room as he gingerly greeted Lois Maxwell’s Miss Moneypenny. I asked if he would sign that photo and while he was signing, Lazenby said that he was the only Bond actor who was able to hook the hat on the coat rack. And sure enough, when I recently rewatched the film, Lazenby’s toss to the coat rack was captured in one fluid shot!

Mr. Lazenby's autography

As with most of the celebrities I’ve been fortunate to meet, Lazenby was one of the more friendly and engaging stars. For all of the Bond actors, both he and Sir Roger Moore (who I have not met, but know of his long-time commitment to Bond Stars and his support of Bond events for the fans) seem to be the most gracious and humbled by their association to such an enduring franchise. Although a lot has been said and written about Lazenby’s Bond over the years, many quite critical of his portrayal, I think that regardless of whether he was a diva on the set or she ate garlic prior to going in front of the cameras, what counts is the performance. And having just revisited OHMSS, I think that a blog post is in order at some not too future date. In the meantime, please look forward to more stories and photos of Bond stars in the coming weeks.


  1. Lazenby always gets the shaft. He may be the one-off Bond, but I think he does a decent job as the eponymous hero. The story itself is pretty tight - not the greatest Bond flick, but far, far from the worse that we would witness during the Roger Moore era.

    The Emmanulle stuff he is in is pretty sexy. It's at the tidepool era of when Emmanuelle was starting to become more "mystical", but still bourgeois. The next set of Emmanuelle movies would put her into space. so really, the Lazenby Emmanuelle are an end to different era of films.

    There's also been some comparisons between Bond and Emmanuelle - both are quite bourgeois characters, they travel to exotic locales and fuck the indigenous population. Both are world recognized characters with long running series of films, and both have different actors/actresses play them. Worth a look at maybe....?

  2. A comparative analysis between Bond and Emmanuelle would be interesting indeed.


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