13 James Bond Facts You Should Know

Posted Mar 14, by Greg Porter

George Lazenby got the role of James Bond by lying about being an actor!

George Lazenby, like most males around the world, fell in love with James Bond the moment that he laid his eyes on him. George fell for Bond’s charm, his spy gadgets, and his ability to make any woman that he came into contact with fall in love with him. George Lazenby wanted to become Bond.

However, George had never acted before, and had not taken any form of acting lessons. He just wanted to play Bond more than anyone that he knew. He even went as far as to get a suit, Rolex watch, and a haircut to match Sean Connery, the man who played the original Bond. He went to the building where the auditions for the next Bond film were and ran past the secretary up into the audition room and famously said “I heard you’re looking for James Bond”.

He then told the producers that he had acted in movies all around the world so they would be unable to look him up! He eventually told the director that he wasn’t an actor, but they hired him anyway! The director was impressed with George’s ability to fool everyone at the audition!

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Ian Fleming made James Bond's weapon of choice a 'lady's gun.' He changed it once a fan wrote to him.

The Beretta 418 pistol was James Bond’s gun of choice until a fan wrote Ian Fleming a letter saying it was a lady’s gun. The Beretta M418 is a 6.35 mm Italian 'pocket pistol,' which was first introduced between 1919 and 1922. It's so small you can fit it in the palm of your hand. While the fan said it was a lady's gun, it was actually pretty popular among high ranking Italian officers during World War II. However, due to the size, it's really underpowered for real combat. 

It was a relatively popular gun and Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond series, originally had it as Bond’s gun of choice. Fleming stuck with the gun for some time until the Dr. No movie was to be released and he received a letter from a fan criticizing its use. The fan said the Beretta was 'a lady’s gun' and suggested the Walther PPK as a replacement. Fleming liked the man’s suggestion. The way he did it was he wrote a character in called Major Boothroyd, who was 'the greatest small-arms expert in the world' and insisted Bond replace his gun with the Walther PPK. 

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One of the Bond Girls Was Born a Man!

One of the Bond Girls, Caroline Cossey, was actually born as Barry Kenneth Cossey. She is now an English model and perhaps most popular for being the first transsexual person to pose for Playboy. 

Courtney fought for her right to be legally considered a woman, and triumphed. She began her hormone therapy at 17, and a few years later, had a full sex reassignment surgery. Barry was somewhat feminine growing up, because he had a condition called Klinefelter's syndrome. 

People with Klinefelter's usually have two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome. In Cossey's case, he had three X chromosomes instead. He never got along with boys and his closest companion was his sister.

Courtney was cast as an extra in the James Bond film "For Your Eyes Only." The tabloid News of the World responded by doing what they had threatened to for years; revealing that she was transsexual. 

This brought her modeling and acting career to a halt until she decided to fight the assault. In 1982, Cossey retaliated with her first auto-biography; I Am a Woman. 

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James Bond has killed over 150 men and slept with 44 women so far!

This is since James Bond's creation in 1962. 3/4 of the women he's slept with have tried to kill him! Funnily enough, James Bond's favorite drink, the Martini (shaken, not stirred) contains about 130 calories, which is about how much he burns when having sex!

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Liam Neeson refused to be James Bond because he didn't want to star in Action Movies!

Liam Neeson was reportedly offered the role of James Bond in 1995s Goldeneye. He reportedly turned it down because he wasn't interested in starring in action movies! Of course, he would revert that decision only 4 years later when he starred in Star Wars, Episode I. He must have really regretted it because he also showed a particular set of skills in his 2008 movie Taken that would have made him a great 007.

It's interesting to think, though, what could have been if Liam Neeson had been James Bond, instead of Pierce Brosnan. Interestingly enough, on the list of rejected actors for the role of Bond is Robert Pattison "because his image of being dirty and possibly his age."

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A scene in a Bond movie in which he takes off a wetsuit to reveal a dry tux happened in real life!

In the opening of Goldfinger, James Bond is shown scubadiving into a compound. When he gets there, he removes his wetsuit to reveal a dry and crisp tuxedo. He calmly walks in and blows up the compound.

This scene, as implausible as it sounds, is actually based on real life events. The mission was slightly different, but more difficult! A real life MI6 agent, Peter Tazelaar, was charged with a pretty difficult mission: to rescue two agents who were in a Nazi controlled casino.

He scuba-dived to the casino with a wetsuit, which was specially made to keep his tuxedo dry. Then, he splashed alcohol on himself, to get past the security guards. He went in, acting drunk, and rescued the agents.

According to the historian who uncovered the mission, he repeated the feat later. He also found that one of the screenwriters for Goldfinger was a secret agent himself, which means he potentially could have known about the mission and written it into the movie.

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A woman in the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only used to be a man.

That\'s right - one of the Bond girls used to be a man! Carolyn Cossey began her life with the name Barry until deciding to get a sex change in 1972. This required female hormone pills, breast augmentation, and surgery to alter her \"plumbing.\" For nearly a decade after the procedure, she worked as a model under the name \"Tula.\"

In 1980 Carolyn caught a big break when she was cast in the new James Bond film. Shortly after the movie was released, a British tabloid exposed her as a transsexual, which derailed her modeling and acting career. You can still catch her in a brief moment in the Bond film, though! She is one of ten actresses credited as \"girl at pool\". Happy hunting!
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President John F. Kennedy was a huge fan of James Bond.

John Kennedy had a collection of Ian Fleming’s series of books about James Bond and, in an interview with Life Magazine, he listed From Russia, With Love as one of his favorite novels of all time. In 1961, He watched the first James Bond film, Dr. No, in a private screening. Due to Kennedy’s influence, the next movie was based on the president’s favorite Bond novel, From Russia, With Love. This was the last movie that the president ever saw, the day before making his fateful trip to Texas in 1963.

JFK had the opportunity to meet Ian Fleming in 1960. At Fleming was even included in conversations about how to defeat Fidel Castro in Cuba. This might explain why some of the plans (like exploding cigars and shellfish) sound like something out of a James Bond story. You can read our story about that here.

JFK's favorite books.

More miscellaneous JFK information.

More trivia about From Russia, With Love.

If you type \"James Bond\" into Google Translate and have it translated to Standard Chinese, it will translate to \"007\".
(try it!)

A group of British celebrities, such as Roald Dahl and Ian Flemings, were ordered to spy on the US during World War II in very unusual ways.

 

Usual reconnaissance is strictly monitored and almost always undercover, making the acts of these celebrities even more legendary for the fact that not only were they all some of the most famous people in the world, but also they performed in broad daylight as themselves. The story begins with Britain unable to effectively combat the Germans. While they sweated out what most of them assumed could be their last days before they begin speaking German, an elite group of celebrities was assembled with one objective: to spy on the United States and convince them to join the war. 

The group was named the “Baker Street Irregulars” and consisted of such famous names as Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, children’s author Roald Dahl, Noel Coward, and Leslie Howard. If this group wasn’t badass enough, their boss was Canadian soldier and inventor Sir William Stephenson who was the inspiration for James Bond! These people were primarily picked for their uncanny abilities to seduce, charm, and win over the hearts of foreigners. One interesting mission was when Dahl was ordered to seduce the wife of Henry Luce, the owner of Time, Life and Fortune magazines, because he was considered to be an anti-British isolationist.

Dahl did the job successfully. So successfully in fact that he begged his superiors to let him stop saying, “I am all fucked out! That goddamn woman has absolutely screwed me from one end of the room to the other.” The Irregulars were stunningly successful. They even managed to slip a false map of South America to President Roosevelt that convinced him that the Germans planned on conquering the rest of the world! Even after the US had joined the war effort the Irregulars continued to stay in North America among the many celebrities of the day. 

In fact, Dahl was invited to the White House because Eleanor Roosevelt said her grandchildren enjoyed his books. However, things got a little awkward when FDR casually let Dahl know that he was aware of his mission and his particular…methods. 

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Goldeneye had 9 developers. 8 of them had NEVER worked on a videogame before!

GoldenEye 007 is a first-person shooter video game developed by rare and based on- you guessed it-the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye. It was exclusively released for the Nintendo 64 video game console on 25 August 1997. The player is given the role of British Secret Intelligence Service agent James Bond, but also includes a split-screen multiplayer mode in which 2-4 players can compete in different types of deathmatch games.

It has become a huge hit with gaming and James Bond fans alike. However, despite being so successful, the game was developed by an inexperienced team; eight of its nine developers had never previously worked on video games. David Doak (one of the developers) commented in 2004; “Looking back, there are things I’d be wary of attempting now, but as none of the people working on the code, graphics, and game design had worked on the game before, there was this joyful naivete.”

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‘From Russia With Love’ was made thanks to JFK. It was also the last movie he saw before he died

JFK listed the Bond novel as one of this top 10 in Life magazine. The film was also the last one that JFK saw. He watched it a day before he left for Dallas.

It was chosen to follow ‘Dr. No’ by producers Broccoli and Saltzman, because JFK had listed it as one of his favorite novels. The studio doubled the budget to 2 million from the first James Bond film and Sean Connery got a $100,000 bonus. The film premiered in London in October 1963.

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Sean Connery was once threatened with a gun on set and swiftly disarmed the man before tossing him out the door!

Legendary Scottish actor Sean Connery is most famous for his role as the original James Bond and many other celebrated roles. And while he often played the suave badass, he isn’t so different in real life. Johnny Stompanato was a famous US marine who eventually became a bodyguard and enforcer for gangster Mickey Cohen. Stompanato couldn’t exactly be characterized as a wholesome individual. 

After being married a couple times, he began an affair with actress Lana Turner, who just so happened to be making a movie with Sean Connery. The always jealous Stompanato once stormed onto the movie set of Turner and Connery and proceeded to point a gun at the actors. Connery, in full James Bond mode, quickly disarmed the ex-marine and gangster in front of the entire set. He then picked him up and tossed him out back, solidifying his legendary reputation. 

Stompanato was then deported from the UK for his offense and later stabbed to death by Lana Turner’s daughter. Connery embarrassing Stompanato became so well known that at the time of his death, Connery was forced to go into hiding as rumors flew that he was responsible! 

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