007 AUDITIONS 1969
It's always interesting to look back at film and television projects to see who might have won the leading roles had auditions gone differently. LIFE magazine has posted a wonderful collection of photos from the auditions held to fill Sean Connery's tux for On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969). I seem to remember having a copy of the magazine and seeing some of the images, but a number of unpublished photos have been added to their website. Chosen from 400 hopefuls, five actors were in the running: John Richardson (She, One Million Years B.C.), Anthony Rogers (El Dorado, Camelot), Robert Campbell, Hans de Vries (Shalako), and commercial actor George Lazenby.
As seen in the photos, each candidate went through screen tests to determine their on-screen chemistry to woo women, dispatch baddies, and sip martinis. The story is that Lazenby broke a stuntman's nose during the tests, which gave him a physical edge over the others. But take a look at the still test shots over at LIFE. It seems to me that Lazenby shines with a kind of charisma and rises above the rest. I think he was a fantastic Bond and On Her Majesty's Secret Service remains among my top few 007 faves. Check out the audition pictures. Who would you have chosen as James Bond? If you could go back in time to cast the 1969 film, who would you have suggested for the role?