George Lazenby Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (2)  | Trivia (62)  | Personal Quotes (40)  | Salary (11)

Overview (3)

Born in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia
Birth NameGeorge Robert Lazenby
Height 6' 1¾" (1.87 m)

Mini Bio (1)

George Robert Lazenby was born September 5, 1939 in Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia, to Sheila Joan (Bodel) and George Edward Lazenby. 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to get the role included spending his last pounds on acquiring a tailor-made suit from Sean Connery's tailor, which was originally made for Connery, along with purchasing a very Bondish-looking Rolex watch.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.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Family (2)

Spouse Pam Shriver (12 June 2002 - present)  (filed for divorce)  (3 children)
Christina Gannett (1971 - 1995)  (divorced)  (2 children)
Parents George Edward Lazenby
Sheila Joan Lazenby

Trivia (62)

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.
Was considered by producer Kevin McClory to play James Bond 007 in Never Say Never Again (1983) but was dropped from consideration when Sean Connery confirmed he wanted the role.
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 was at one time one of George's neighbors at one of George's Southern California homes.
He owns mansions in Hawaii, USA; Brentwood, California, USA; Australia; and a 600 acre estate/ranch in Valyermo, Unincorporated Los Angeles County, California, USA.
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 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. The Shrine of Ultimate Bliss (1974) ("The Shrine of Ultimate Bliss"), The Man from Hong Kong (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", Jimmy Wang Yu 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 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", The Shrine of Ultimate Bliss (1974). After that film, Jimmy Wang Yu 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.
Semi-retired from acting in 1993, and intended to retire completely in 2003, only to return to acting in 2012, averaging one film or television role per year since restarting, with two films in the pipeline as of 2020..
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, 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.
Living on his 600 acre ranch in Valyermo, an unincorporated community in Los Angeles County, California, USA with his wife, ESPN Sports tennis analyst and former internationally top-ranked pro-tennis player Pam Shriver. [June 2003]
Splitting his time between his homes in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, USA; in Australia; on his 600 acre ranch in Valyermo, unincorporated Los Angeles County, California, USA; while also traveling with his wife, ESPN's Pam Shriver, to all of the major pro tennis tournaments around the world. [February 2005]
His autobiography, The Other Fella, was scheduled to be released in hardcover by Century in 2013, and in paperback by Arrow in 2013, but as of 2015 the book has not been released.
In the past, admitted to not seeing any of the 007 movies to be released after his own, On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969). However, he has commented, and been quoted, on various Bond movies, especially the Bond films of the Daniel Craig era (see below).
The first film he made in his native Australia was The Man from Hong Kong (1975).
He was offered James Coburn's role in Duck, You Sucker! (1971), but turned it down.
Is mentioned by Marge Simpson in The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XII (2001).
His surname is pronounced "Lay-ZIN-bee".
Dated Jill St. John (the main Bond girl in Diamonds Are Forever (1971), the first official Bond movie after Lazenby's single appearance) and Barbra Streisand (who later married James Brolin who screen tested for 007 in the 1980s, and was considered for the Bond role at least one other time).
His father was the greens keeper for their town's bowls club.
Supposedly contracted to make twenty sequel television movies of the original Emmanuelle (1974), to be made for French television, in the role of Mario, Sylvia Kristel's mentor. In the end, he only made seven "Emmanuelle" movies, in the role of Mario, with Kristel, although she made an "Emmanuelle" feature film during that run of TV movies, without him, or the character of Mario, who was an exclusively television character.
Born on exactly the same date as William Devane (of Knots Landing (1979) fame).
He is believed to be the only Bond star who did not have his hair enhanced at all.
He is the only James Bond actor to have martial arts experience prior to taking on the role.
He is the only actor, other than Sean Connery, to play James Bond to have served in the military and the only one to have served in any branch of the Special Forces as Bond did.
With the death of actor Sean Connery, October 31st 2020, Lazenby is now the earliest and oldest living actor who has portrayed James Bond.
In his singular Bond film, On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), his James Bond character didn't either get the girl in the end nor kill the main villain. To date, Lazenby's bond is the only one to do neither one in the official EON 007 series.
He holds Black Belts Shotokan-Ryu Karate and Judo.

Personal Quotes (40)

[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 Diana Rigg] You know, the funny part was, she thought I was a complete idiot. It was like, you know, we had the love scene and, honest to god, they had to pull me off her! Oh, and then I beat her boyfriend at chess - that really made her take matters. My old man was completely sick in bed for a couple of years and he used to play chess in bed with the doctor who taught me how to play. I beat him and the doctor, lord knows how. And then he [Rigg's boyfriend] and I was playing chess and he smashed the chess board and walked out of the room. I think I upset him and made her like me.
[asked about his martial arts proficiency] Well, if you call brawling in Australian country pubs martial arts.
One guy in Australia dropped friggin' spaghetti on my head, and I said 'What did ya do that for?' He said 'oh my girlfriend said to'. So, anyway I figured he'd have a whole plate in front of him, so I could push it in his lap. I said, I didn't think I be gin to do that. And he jumped up and swung at me and I broke his jaw. That was after Bond, I think I had done three Kung Fu movies so I was pretty accurate, you know. If you miss those bloody Chinese buggers they'll belt you for good.
[on Diana Rigg] Diana and I would have been good friends except she wanted a deal where I don't muck around with any of the other girls. And I couldn't keep it. And it was funny, I'll tell you this story 'cause it was true. I had a good time you know and I was quite fascinated with the receptionist at the front desk at the hotel. And that was my league you know, I was used to that. I was into these fancy actresses at the time. I hadn't got up to that level yet. This stunt man had this tent outside of the hotel where they had all their gear and all the mattresses, full on and full of dolls and everything. And I took the receptionist in there...and I told Diana 'I'm not mucking around with anybody else', you know... And the stunt man saw me go in there and Diana's walking up the path and I'm right in the middle of it and he lifted up the side of the tent!
I was socking the bottle like crazy. I had maybe two bottles of vodka a day. I'd saturate myself and pass out. It was to insulate me from the madness around Bond.
(On his astrologer) Even before I made the Bond picture she said I would become famous, and that there would be big problems for a couple of years", he said. "Then she assured me that I would be back at the top of my profession by the end of 1973. It's absolutely fantastic, because everything she has told me has happened.
I much prefer being a car salesman to a stereotyped James Bond. 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.
(Interview with an Australian magazine) I got a few roles but nothing spectacular, yet I was ready, willing and able to work. I just don't think I'm going to make it here. If something good came along I'd stay, though.
Fantasy doesn't interest me. Reality does. Anyone who's in touch with the kids knows what's happening, knows the mood. Watch pop music and learn what's going to happen. Most film-makers don't watch and aren't in touch. People aren't going to films because film-makers are putting out films people don't want to see. As for the so-called "Tomorrow movies" they are only tomorrow movies with yesterday directors ... Actors aren't all that important. Directors are. I'm terribly impressed with Dennis Hopper. I'd like to work for him. I also like Arthur Penn, John Schlesinger and Peter Yates ... What I'm going to do is look for a great director first, a good screenplay second. Meanwhile, no more Bond. I make better money doing commercials.
(On Sean Connery The interesting thing about that is - I've never met Sean. I don't know him at all. Once, years ago, he came to pick up someone who was staying at my house and I saw him through the door. That's all. But I always admired him. I tried to copy him when I played Bond because, after all, I wasn't an actor so I thought my best chance would be to try and be as close to Connery as I could.
If I could get a TV series or a good movie, I swear I'd do it for nothing. People ask me if the Bond movie wasn't worth it if it got me into acting. It's true that it got me in, but it wasn't worth the ten years it cost me.
It hasn't been easy, trying to climb back... I admit I acted stupidly. It went to my head, everything that was happening to me. But remember, it was my first film... Now what I've got to do is live down my past; convince people I'm not the same person who made a fool of himself all those years ago. I know I can do it. All I need is the chance.
(On Harry Saltzman who offered Lazenby a leading role in a proposed science fiction film The Micronauts) When I tossed Bond in after one movie he said he'd make sure I never got another job. Now he's offering me one. It seems that the 10-year sentence is up. Harry saw me in a TV show I'd recently made for NBC. He rang me up out of the blue and said, "Now that was a damn lousy show, but one thought that you were ger-reat".
Well, I think Australians are... there is a shortage of women... put it that way. So you've got all this testosterone floating around so at 10 o'clock at night and what else is there to do but punch your mate! There's always something you did wrong.
One time, we were on location at an ice rink and Diana [Rigg] and Peter [Hunt] were drinking champagne inside. Of course I wasn't invited as Peter was there. I could see them through the window, but the crew were all outside stomping around on the ice trying to keep warm. So, when she got in the car, I went for her. She couldn't drive the car properly and I got in to her about her drinking and things like that. Then she jumped out and started shouting 'he's attacking me in the car!' I called her a so-and-so for not considering the crew who were freezing their butts off outside. And it wasn't that at all in the end, as she was sick that night, and I was at fault for getting in to her about it. I think everyone gets upset at one time.
Sean Connery was James Bond for me. He did very well and I was intimidated because he was a real actor. He had James Bond created around his personality and that weakened my position. It was difficult to follow him.
(On Peter R. Hunt He never spoke to me. Whatever Peter told me went through the assistant. This situation has existed throughout the film. He told everyone that they had to stay away from me. Peter believed that the more I was alone, the better I'd be like James Bond. That was his theory.
I think James Bond is great, but some of his little idiosyncracies I don't like, such as champagne and caviar, which I can't stand.
(On the Bond producers) They made me feel like I was mindless. They disregarded everything I suggested simply because I hadn't been in the film business like them for about a thousand years.
Bond is a brute. I've already put him behind me. I will never play him again. Peace - that's the message now.
(On roles he's been offered) But it's all commercial rubbish, such as the guy getting the girl at the end of The Battle of Britain (1969). I'll just have to wait and see.
After the Bond fiasco nobody would touch me. Harry Saltzman had always said, 'If you don't do another Bond you'll wind up doing spaghetti Westerns in Italy. But I couldn't even get one of those. My agent couldn't believe it. But the word was out - I was 'difficult'.
(In 1978) I thought I was as important as any sheik. Whatever I wanted I got. Looking back, the one thing I missed out on was reality.
(In 1978) I hung around Australia for a long time a couple of years ago. I got a few roles but nothing spectacular, yet I was ready, willing and able to work. I just don't think I'm going to make it here. If something good came along, I'd stay, though.
(In 1978) Being James Bond was like being a cola bottle. People came along and drank you dry. James Bond was so big that I myself didn't really exist.
(In 1978) I enjoy the States, to be quite honest about it. I've got an American wife and green card so I have the best of both worlds.
(On the unmade The Golden Needles of Ecstasy) I'm excited to be able to concentrate on just acting in this film. On Universal Soldier (1971) I was involved in the production, the writing and even a bit in direction. I don't think I'm a good enough actor to get fragmented like that on a job. Now I can give my full concentration to acting. I hope it will be good and lead to other roles.
(On The Shrine of Ultimate Bliss (1974)) I have worked out every day for two hours and have run three miles every morning to get fit for the role. It is the most taxing form of film fighting activity in the world. You can't be slow and hope to look as if you're standing up to these experts. But you learn from the fight masters employed on the film, learn a bit of karate and a bit of ballet and hope to keep on your feet. What I mostly want to do is earn us enough money to live the way we want to. Nothing on earth could buy me into the degradation of another Bond film, with all that entails.
I didn't like Quantum of Solace. Bond became a killer. But Casino Royale ... Daniel Craig was good in that. They scored again because they got the right guy and a good movie. I was surprised that they could pull it off, but they blew it with the next one.

Salary (11)

On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) $400,000
Universal Soldier (1971) £100,000
The Man from Hong Kong (1975) $10,000
The Man from Hong Kong (1975) $U10,000
Éternelle Emmanuelle (1993) $50,000
La revanche d'Emmanuelle (1993) $50,000
Emmanuelle à Venise (1993) $50,000
L'amour d'Emmanuelle (1993) $50,000
Magique Emmanuelle (1993) $50,000
Le parfum d'Emmanuelle (1993) $50,000
Le secret d'Emmanuelle (1993) $50,000

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