George Lazenby

Biography

Date of Birth 5 September 1939, Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia Birth Name George Robert Lazenby Height 6' 2" (1.88 m) Mini Biography 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 'Cubby 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get the role included, spending his last pounds on acquiring a tailor-made suit from Sean Connery's tailor, which was originally made for Connery, along with purchasing a very Bondish-looking Rolex watch, and an Aston Martin DB5 car, the Bond car at the time. 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 Emmanuel, 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 Spouse Pam Shriver (12 June 2002 - present) 3 children Christina Gannett (1971 - 1995) (divorced) 2 children Trivia 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 60s and early 70s. Was the number one male fashion model in the world from 1964 to 1968. By 1968, he had become the highest paid male model in European modeling history. 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 hobbie 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. Has a daughter named Melanie Andrea from his first marriage to Christina Gannett. She was born on September 13, 1973. Melanie is currently one of Manhattan's top real estate agents. 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. He was the headlining star of the prime time soap opera _Rituals (1984)_. This was during the time when soap operas were airing in prime time on the major US networks and receiving huge ratings. Rituals was a _Desperate Housewives (2004)_ type of show. Lazenby winning the major network prime time show's lead role was a major breakthrough in his Hollywood career and was considered to be his "comeback gig". Many industry experts expected this would bring him to A status in Hollywood, after he had been popular on _General Hospital (1963)_ in 1982 when it was airing in prime time and receiving huge ratings. However, Rituals received poor ratings and was cancelled after just one season by ABC. Although the show did run in syndication and in several other countries after that, it was cancelled shortly after ABC pulled it. Lazenby signed a 4 film contract with Raymond Chow's famed Hong Kong- based Golden Harvest Production studio 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 when 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 3 Golden Harvest films that were originally set to feature himself and Lee. Tie jin gang da po zi yang guan (1974) AKA "The Shrine of Ultimate Bliss," The Man from Hong Kong (1975), and E tan qun hing ying hui (1976) AKA "A Queen's Ransom." In Tie jin gang da po zi yang guan (1974), Lazenby took on Lee's role and actress Angela Mao took on the role Lazenby was first intended to play. While in the next two films, The Man from Hong Kong (1975) and E tan qun hing ying hui (1976), actor Jimmy Wang Yu replaced Lee and Lazenby returned to his original role. The first film that Lazenby was signed to make with 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 bad press surrounding Lee's death, and because Lazenby was to have dinner with Lee the night he died, Golden Harvest studios 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. 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," Tie jin gang da po zi yang guan (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, due to his shrewd financial investments and marriage into the Kennedy family. 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. Personal Quotes "Producer Cubby 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." "I didn't have a job, I had two kids, I was married, and I was broke." - describing the outcome of his decision not to continue playing James Bond. "I'm looking forward to the broads and the bread." - his answer when asked why he wanted to be James Bond. "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." "If Brosnan walked into a room, I doubt anyone would look up. But this is the Nineties and women want a different man, a man who shows his feminine side. Pierce definitely has that." - On GoldenEye (1995) "I'm still waiting for that one right, perfect role, to set things right. I'd really love that chance." Salary The Man from Hong Kong (1975) $10,000 Universal Soldier (1971) £ 100,000 On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) £ 50,000 Where Are They Now (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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Birth Name

George Robert Lazenby

Birth Place

Queanbeyan

Birth Date

9/5/1939
Known For
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Who Saw Her Die?

Franco Serpieri

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The Man From Hong Kong

Jack Wilton

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The James Bond Story

Himself

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Becoming Bond

Himself - James Bond

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Never Too Young to Die

Drew Stargrove

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Kung Fu Killers

Self

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La Leyenda de Bruce Lee

Himself

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Emmanuelle's Magic

Mario

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Emmanuelle's Revenge

Mario

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Éternelle Emmanuelle

Mario

Starring In
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Becoming Bond

Himself - James Bond

Movie Poster

Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007

Himself

Movie Poster

Bruce Lee - La destinée du Dragon

Himself

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Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!

Himself

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Winter Break

Campbell Grady

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Bond Girls Are Forever

James Bond (archive footage) (uncredited)

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Best Ever Bond

Himself

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Spider's Web

Leland De Winter

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Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey

Fighter (archive footage)

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4 Dogs Playing Poker

Carlo

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Passen Sie mal auf, 007!

James Bond (archive footage) (uncredited)

Movie Poster

The James Bond Story

Himself

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Batman Beyond: The Movie

Mr. Walker/The King (voice)

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Fox Hunt

Chauncey

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Twin Sitters

Leland Stromm

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Gettysburg: Extended Edition

Brig. Gen. J. Johnston Pettigrew

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Le secret d'Emmanuelle

Mario

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Le parfum d'Emmanuelle

Mario

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L'amour d'Emmanuelle

Mario

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Emmanuelle à Venise

Mario

Movie Poster

Éternelle Emmanuelle

Mario

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Emmanuelle's Magic

Mario

Movie Poster

Emmanuelle's Revenge

Mario

Movie Poster

Superboy - The Complete First Season

Jor-El (2 episodes, 1990)

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Hell Hunters

Heinrich

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Never Too Young to Die

Drew Stargrove

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Bruce Lee: The Legend

Himself (archive footage)

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Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair

J.B.

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The Nude Bomb

Himself (uncredited)

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Saint Jack

Senator

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Death Dimension

Capt. Gallagher

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Game Of Death

Fighter (archive footage) (uncredited)

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The Kentucky Fried Movie

The Architect (segment "That's Armageddon")

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International Assassin

George

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The Private Eyes

Jack Wilton (archive footage)

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The Man From Hong Kong

Jack Wilton

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Stoner

Joshua Stoner

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Kung Fu Killers

Self

Movie Poster

La Leyenda de Bruce Lee

Himself

Movie Poster

Who Saw Her Die?

Franco Serpieri

Movie Poster

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

James Bond

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