Full Name: George Robert Lazenby
Date of Birth: 5th September 1939
Place of Birth: Queanbeyan, NSW, Australia
Height: 6' 2" (1.88m)
Also Famous For: Universal Solider, The Kentucky Fried Movie
Active Duty: 1969
Only Bond: The only 007 actor/athlete, winning two ski competitions in Australia.
1969 - On Her Majesty's Secret Service
"Had I been
so-called 'successful' and continued on, I would
probably have had three or four Hollywood wives and
addition. That was me at the time. I just went where
the flavour was at the time. "
George Robert Lazenby was born on the 5th of September 1939, in
the sunny town of Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia. He
was the only child of a railway worker. After study at
a local school, Lazenby enlisted in the Australian army. He rose
quickly to the rank of Sergeant, gaining expert skills in unarmed
When his spell of four months in the force had ended, he moved to the Australian capital, Canberra, where he took up a variety of odd jobs - including one as a ski instructor - before becoming an agent for the Morris Motor Company.
In 1964, Lazenby moved to London with the hope
of building a career as a model. However, before getting into
the industry, the aspiring showman would have to find work as
a car salesman and mechanic once more. He gained his first modeling
work after being approached by a freelance photographer. Once
Lazenby got himself on the books of a UK-based agent, his career
as a model
began to gain pace and within a year of successful jobs,
Lazenby became one of the highest paid models in Europe.
The 28-year-old reportedly earned over £40,000
from his chosen profession in 1967. Most memorably, the
Australian star was the face of Marlboro in their advertising
campaigns - casually known as the European "Marlboro
"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."
As a model his career
bloomed and Lazenby was soon a familiar face on billboards
around the UK
and Europe. He starred in a host of television advertisements
before trying his hand at acting.
Prior to auditioning for the role of Ian Fleming's
007, Lazenby's only filmmaking experience was a walk
on part in a 1965 Italian Bond spoof, "Espionage in Tangiers". Yet, when Sean Connery stood
down from the role of 007 after his fifth consecutive
adventure, "You Only Live Twice", Lazenby's agent suggested he attend an audition for Bond.
With a bit of spunk and a large wallet,
George Lazenby prepared himself for his audition and
his first true brush with cinema by visiting the tailor
preferred by Connery and purchasing the most expensive
suit on offer. Lazenby showed up at the offices of EON
Productions without an appointment and persuaded the
producers to offer him an audition.
The charming and handsome model had to fight
off the likes of Anthony Rogers, Robert Campbell and John Richardson
to win the role of his life. Audition footage captured with Lazenby
performing as 007 was undeniably impressive and the ex-army officer
excelled in the fight sequences. This Bond would have a more
brutal edge and press rumours of the day claimed the Lazenby
broke a stuntman's nose during his audition.
R. Broccoli and Harry
Saltzman decided on Lazenby to be their new 007,
they were betting on something wildly different. Lazenby
was supported by a stellar cast, which included Diana
Rigg and Telly
Savalas as well as having first time director (but
long time Bond editor) Peter Hunt to guide him in dress
and behaviour. There was one
hurdle left and that was the sign off of United Artists.
Broccoli and Saltzman were confident their casting choice
was right but it took much convincing from Lazenby and
his supporters to get the go-ahead from the studio.
As cameras rolled on 007's sixth adventure,
the tension between the cast was already building. The
bold personalities of both Rigg and Lazenby reportedly
clashed on set, making the production of the biggest Bond
event more stressful. Shortly before the premiere of "On
Her Majesty's Secret Service" Lazenby announced
that he would not be continuing in the Bond role - despite
a very lucrative offer for a six-picture contract. This
gauged a rift between the producers and the star. Despite
controversy brewing in the Bond world, Lazenby was nominated
for a Golden Globe after his performance in "Majesty's".
After 007, Lazenby's film career flopped, performing
in a variety of low budget flicks. In 1971 he performed as Ryker
in the war drama "Universal Solider", but Lazenby's
attempt at a more serious production failed at the
The male model moved to Hong Kong in the 1970's
and won a string of roles in Kung Fu adventures. While many proved
to be a financial success for the actor, none were
particularly memorable to the Western audiences. During his time
in the East, Lazenby managed to set up a production with martial
arts legend Bruce Lee. Unfortunately, the production did not
get beyond the planning
stages due to the untimely passing of Lee.
In 1971, Lazenby married
his first wife Christina Gannett - heiress to the publishing
company Gannett - with whom he had two children, Zachary
and Melanie. During the 80's and 90's, Lazenby signed
a contract with ABC's American smash drama "General
Hospital", prime time soap opera "Rituals",
as well as "The Pretender", "Batman" and
even took a role in a token episode of "Baywatch".
In 1994, Lazenby's son Zachary tragically
passed away after a prolonged period of cancer before his
divorce from his wife, Gannett. Lazenby's film career teetered
in the late '90s and he took a break from the public scene,
buying and selling real estate, before he married tennis
pro Pam Shriver in 2002. The pair had three children: twins
Kaitlin and Elizabeth and Samuel. In August 2008 the pair
filed for divorce.
"I'm still waiting
for that one right, perfect role, to set things right. I'd
really love that chance."
- The Man From Hong Kong (1975)
- The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)
- Saint Jack (1979)
- Star of (1998)
- Gettysburg (1993)
- The Evil Inside Me (1993) - Buy Now
- Four Dogs Playing Poker (2000) - Buy
- Spiders Web (2002) - Buy