|James Bond Archives 007 edited by Paul Duncan, published by Taschen|
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.