LIFE magazine have unveiled previously unpublished
photos from the James Bond screentests back in
The Men Who Would Be Bond
16th December 2009
In the early '60s, movie producers adapting Ian Fleming's novels
about a suave British spy named James Bond plucked a relative
unknown, Sean Connery, out of obscurity and offered him the role
of a lifetime. And when Connery left the franchise after five
movies, the hunt for Bond was on again. LIFE magazine sent photographer
Loomis Dean to the final casting sessions for On Her Majesty's
Secret Service (released 40 years ago this week), and the magazine
published a handful of those photos.
Above: The final five candidates
But some of the choicest frames — Bond wannabes suiting
up, holding guns, drinking martinis, wooing women — have
never been seen…until now. Meet each of the five top candidates
(including ultimate choice George Lazenby), and check out their
best moves. Click here to see all 30 pictures on LIFE.com
Above: Peter R. Hunt oversees
a test love scene between John Richardson and an actress,
moving her leg just so.
Before his brush with the Bond role, the 34 year-old English
actor had played opposite Dr. No starlet Ursula Andress in She
(1965) and Raquel Welch (who had been lined up to play Domino
in Thunderall) in One Million Years B.C. (1966). He was once
married to Thunderball Bond girl Martine Beswick.
Above: In his screen test, Anthony
Rogers persuades an actress to lower her defenses.
In the few years leading to his Bond screentest, Rogers worked
up from television bit parts in The Avengers and Doctor Who to
big screen adventures El Dorado (1966) with John Wayne and musical
Camelot (1967) with Richard Harris.
Above: Director Hunt
helps Campbell get into a shoulder holster.
Born in New Jersey, USA, Robert was the less famous brother of
the prolific television actor William Campbell and his writer
sibling Robert Wright Campbell. Coincidentally, Connery would
play a character named Robert Campbell in Medicine Man (1992).
Above: Hans de Vries and France
Anglade are put through the kissing paces.
Hans de Vries
A small time actor who had played a control room technician in
You Only Live Twice, he had appeared in bit parts in TV’s
Doctor Who, the Saltzman produced Billion Dollar Brain (1967),
and the Connery vehicle Shalako (1968) before testing for Bond.
Above: Lazenby twirls a gun beside
potential Bond girl Marie-France Boyer. "I'm really
looking forward to being Bond, for the bread and the
birds," he told LIFE after his casting.
Her Majesty's Secret Service - Movie Coverage
A plucky Australian who moved to London and worked as a car salesman
with a part-time job as a male model, Lazenby was best known
in Britain as the ‘Big Fry’ man, after the chocolate
bar commercials he starred in, carrying an outsize bar on his
All photographs on this page copyright LIFE / Loomis Dean. Click
here to see all 30 pictures on LIFE.com