The Men Who Would Be Bond

The Men Who Would Be Bond

Back in 1969, after it was certain that Sean Connery would not be returning to the role he made famous, LIFE magazine ran a photo story about the various actors auditioning to take his place as the cinematic James Bond. Obviously, the magazine did not print every picture photographer Loomis Dean took, focusing instead on the eventual winner, George Lazenby.

Now, LIFE’s website is running the previously unpublished photographs documenting the tryouts of actors John Richardson, Anthony Rogers, Robert Campbell, and Hans de Fries, as they vie for cinematic history. (There’s also some choice shots of Lazenby that we haven’t seen before.)

So, stop wasting your time reading this, and get yourself over to the LIFE magazine website for the answer to that vexing question: Who Would Be James Bond?

Louis Armstrong’s swan song for 007

We continue with our look at the UK documentary about James Bond songs. We’re skipping ahead because, well, we’re going straight to a rather touching tale. But, like anything associated with James Bond, it didn’t come very easily.

For Louis Armstrong, his performance of We Have All the Time in the World capped a magnificent career. As song writers John Barry and Hal David relate, they were concerned whether Armstrong had the energy to perform because of health problems. But, as David discusses, something magical happened when the “record” button was hit.

Still, there were obstacles. This time, it was producer Albert R. Broccoli who could have gummed up the works. Broccoli wasn’t being volatile like his then-partner Harry Saltzman. Broccoli’s initial objection was more basic — money. He thought Armstrong’s asking price of $35,000 to $50,000 was too high.

Despite that, a Bond classic was produced. It didn’t hit the charts — until decades later when it was used in a beer commercial.

One other note: Barry calls his score On Her Majesty’s Secret Service his most Bondian because he “poured everything” into to help the audience forget it was George Lazenby instead of Sean Connery playing Bond.

Take a look below. The compelling story of We Have All the Time in the World starts at the 57-second mark.