George Lazenby was born on September 5th, 1939, in Australia. He moved to London, England in 1964, after serving in the Australian Army. Before becoming an actor, he worked as an auto mechanic, used car salesman, prestige car salesman, and as a male model, in London, England. In 1968, Lazenby was cast as "James Bond", despite his only previous acting experience being in commercials, and his only film appearance being a bit-part in a 1965 Italian-made Bond spoof. Lazenby won the role based on a screen-test fight scene, the strength of his interviews, fight skills and audition footage. A chance encounter with Bond series producer Albert R. Broccoli in a hair salon in 1966, in London, had given Lazenby his first shot at getting the role. Broccoli had made a mental note to remember Lazenby as a possible candidate at the time when he thought Lazenby looked like a Bond. The lengths Lazenby went to to get the role included spending his last pounds on acquiring a tailor-made suit from Sean Connery's tailor, which was originally made for Connery, along with purchasing a very Bondish-looking Rolex watch.
Lazenby quit the role of Bond right before the premiere of his only film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), citing he would get other acting roles, and that his Bond contract, which was fourteen pages thick, was too demanding on him.
In his post-Bond career, Lazenby has acted in TV movies, commercials, various recurring roles in TV series, the film series "Emmanuelle", several Bond movie spoofs, TV guest appearances, provided voice for several animated movies and series, and several Hong Kong action films, using his martial arts expertise.
|Pam Shriver||(12 June 2002 - present) (filed for divorce) 3 children|
|Christina Gannett||(1971 - 1995) (divorced) 2 children|
Was the highest paid male model in Europe prior to playing James Bond.
Except for TV commercials, he had no previous acting experience when he was cast as James Bond.
Zachary, his son with Christina Gannett, died of brain cancer when he was 20 years old in 1994.
Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli, remarked that Lazenby could have been the best Bond had he not quit after just one film.
He was a martial arts instructor in the Australian army, and holds more than one black belt in the martial arts. He studied martial arts under Bruce Lee himself.
He was set to co-star in the biggest budgeted action/martial arts film of all time in 1973, along with Bruce Lee. However, Lee died two weeks before the film was to begin shooting. (The film, originally titled "Shrine of Ultimate Bliss," was eventually made, but on a considerably smaller budget, and was given a limited theatrical release, excluding the U.S.)
Broke a stuntman's nose during a Bond fight screen test, and it was this physical strength that finalized his selection as Bond.
He was offered a seven-movie deal by the Bond producers, but quit the role because he felt that the tuxedo-clad Bond would die out in the new hippie culture that had permeated society in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Was the #1 male fashion model in the world from 1964 to 1968.
His agent, Maggie Smith, told him that he should apply for Bond, since in her opinion, his arrogance would surely win him the role.
His publicist, Ronan O'Rahilly, announced that Lazenby would not make a second Bond film. After this he was released out of his Bond contract. Lazenby himself, stated afterward that he never told his publicist he was quitting Bond.
Was a car salesman in Canberra, Australia after leaving school.
Is an accomplished skier and in fact had won two skiing contests in Australia before becoming James Bond.
Competes on the senior circuit in off-road dirt bike racing, and in stock car racing. George has won several celebrity stock car races and dirt-bike races, as well as amateur and professional races in both.
Lazenby has ridden his various motorcycles across the United States, on three different occasions.
Lazenby's favorite hobby is playing golf. He plays it at least 5 or 6 times a week.
Lived in Keith Moon's famous London Waterhouse complete with Hydro Hovercraft that came right into the living room through the front door, for a period of 6 months in the late '60s.
His daughter Melanie Andrea, from his first marriage to Christina Gannett, was born on September 13, 1973. Melanie is one of Manhattan's top real estate agents, and in May 2013 was the broker for the sale of a unique, block-long, $10 million condominium apartment to Chelsea Clinton and husband.
He was the youngest actor to play James Bond, being 30 when On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) was released.
John Cleese wanted him to play the part of Jesus in the Monty Python movie, Life of Brian (1979). Cleese said in his opinion it would be absolutely hilarious to have Lazenby portray Christ, and he wanted the tag line of the film to be "George Lazenby IS Jesus Christ." But when the film's producers contacted his agent they were informed that he was overseas working on another film project and was unavailable. Kenneth Colley was then cast as Jesus.
Son: George Samuel Lazenby (b. 12 July 2004) with Pam Shriver Twins: Samuel Robert and Kaitlin Elizabeth (b. 1 October 2005) with Pam Shriver
He says that his favorite Bond film is Goldfinger (1964).
Lakers star Kobe Bryant is George's neighbor at one of George's Southern California homes.
He owns mansions in Hawaii, Brentwood, California, Australia, and a 600 acre estate/ranch in Southern Caifornia.
He is a big fan of Australian tennis star Lleyton Hewitt.
Served as a sergeant in the Australian Special Forces.
He holds the unique distinction of having been both The Marlboro Man and James Bond, as he played 007 in one film and was also the European Marlboro Man.
His lead role in the prime time soap opera "Rituals" (1984) was considered to be his "comeback gig". Many industry experts expected this would bring him to "A" status in Hollywood. However, "Rituals" received poor ratings and was canceled after just one season by ABC.
Lazenby signed a four-film contract with Raymond Chow's famed Hong Kong- based Golden Harvest Productions in 1973. He was first to co-star with Bruce Lee in Lee's upcoming film The Game of Death (1978), as Lee's Western adversary. However, Lee died just four days after Lazenby signed the contract. At the time Lazenby signed the contract, it was considered the most coveted available contract in the international movie industry. But Lazenby's soon-to-be huge comeback after having earlier quit the role of James Bond ended when Lee suddenly died. Lazenby would go on to star in the next three Golden Harvest films that were originally set to feature himself and Lee. Stoner (1974) ("The Shrine of Ultimate Bliss"), Dragon Flies (1975) and International Assassin (1976) ("A Queen's Ransom"). In "Tie jin gang da po zi yang guan" Lazenby took on Lee's role and Angela Mao took on the role Lazenby was first intended to play. While in the next two films, "The Man from Hong Kong" and "E tan qun hing ying hui", Yu Wang replaced Lee and Lazenby returned to his original role.
He was Golden Harvest studios original replacement for Bruce Lee after Lee died. Lazenby had already signed a contract with the studio to co-star with Lee in The Game of Death (1978), but Lee died during filming. Lazenby then replaced Lee in what was to be Lee's next film, "The Shrine of Ultimate Bliss", Stoner (1974). After that film, Yu Wang was signed to replace Lee and Lazenby moved back to his original co-starring role as the "Western Adversary". This makes Lazenby the actor that first replaced Sean Connery as James Bond and also the actor that first replaced Bruce Lee as Golden Harvest's martial arts action hero after Lee's death. Many subsequent actors would then follow Lazenby playing Bond as well as imitating Bruce Lee.
He was supposed to have dinner with Bruce Lee the night that Lee died. He attended Lee's funeral service.
He was a close personal friend of Bruce Lee. He met Lee in 1972 and the two became fast friends. Lazenby studied Lee's personal martial arts and philosophical teaching of "Jeet Kune Do" under Lee until the time of Lee's death in 1973. Lazenby was actually going to have dinner with Bruce the night he died. Lazenby would later say that it was Lee's teachings that allowed him to go on to have such a successful business career and personal life.
During the 1970s and 1980s he raced motorcycles and in the 1990s he backed a restaurant chain, the Spy House.
He is estimated to be the wealthiest actor to have played James Bond.
He has a black belt in karate.
First non-British actor to portray James Bond.
Semi-retired from acting in 1993, and retired completely in 2003.
Earlier in life, Lazenby donated a kidney to a family member.
Lives in Los Angeles, California.
Worked as a prestige car salesman in London's Park Lane district in the 1960s.
Worked as an auto mechanic in the 1960s.
Competitor in the senior off-road dirt-bike and stock car racing circuits.
The first film that Lazenby was signed to make with Bruce Lee, The Game of Death (1978), which was already in production at the time of Lee's death in 1973, was not released until 1978. Because of the press coverage surrounding Lee's death, and because Lazenby was to have dinner with Lee the night before he died, Golden Harvest Productions decided to delay the film and remove Lazenby from it. Because Lazenby had an agreement to be in the film he was paid for it, and also was edited into the film with archive fighting footage from one of his other Golden Harvest films.
Later regretted leaving the Bond series after just one film. He claimed he listened to bad advice.
[Albert R. Broccoli] will tell you that I was a failure and difficult to work with. Unfortunately, he told a lot of people that and it meant that it was impossible to get employment.
[the result of his decision not to continue playing James Bond] I didn't have a job, I had two kids, I was married, and I was broke.
[when asked why he wanted to be James Bond] I'm looking forward to the broads and the bread.
I look back and think, "How did that happen?" I had no idea where I was going when I got into the Bond film. When I became famous I didn't know how to handle it, so it almost drove me crazy. In retrospect you can only blame yourself. I'd loved to have had that time over again and done another one or two [Bond films], it would have worked out great for me.
Fame is short-lived and you're the last to know when you are no longer hot. I used to be able to stroll into London clubs like Tramp. But one day I turned up and the doorman blocked my way. Suddenly I was no longer Bond, I was just plain old George Lazenby, and that didn't even give me license to get into a club.
[describing the James Bond character] He was a ruthless bastard, really.
[on GoldenEye (1995)] If Pierce Brosnan walked into a room, I doubt anyone would look up. But this is the '90s and women want a different man, a man who shows his feminine side. Pierce definitely has that.
I'm still waiting for that one right, perfect role, to set things right. I'd really love that chance.
[In 2002, speaking in retrospect about his decision to resign from the role of James Bond after only one film] Without any doubt I should have gone back to do at least one more, just to dispel any rumours that they fired me. Anybody that knows me and has been around me knows that I walked away from it, which wasn't a smart thing to do from a career stand-point.
I don't know where my life would have gone if I hadn't have done it. Had I been so-called 'successful' and continued on I would probably have had three or four Hollywood wives and a drug addition. That was me at the time. I just went where the flavor was at the time. I didn't have a mind of my own, which was sad. I would liked to have had the mind I have now at twenty nine.
[on being cast as James Bond] At first I was very humble about it and naive. And then I kinda got on the bandwagon and sort of said, 'I must be who they say I am' and demanded limousines and the whole bit.
|On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)||$400,000|
|Universal Soldier (1971)||£100,000|
|Dragon Flies (1975)||$10,000|
(June 2003) Lives on his large Southern California Ranch with his wife, ESPN Sports tennis analyst Pam Shriver.
(February 2005) Splits his time between his homes in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, Australia, his 600 acre ranch estate in Valyermo, California, and traveling with his wife, ESPN's Pam Shriver, to all of the major pro tennis tournaments around the world.
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