James Bond

All about James Bond (Classified Information Included)

If you haven’t been living on another planet, you must have heard about James Bond. He is the most famous secret agent in the world. (What a paradox!)

He is the nightmare of all villains. He’s always dressed to the nines. Women fall for him quicker than you can say “007”. But besides that, what do you really know about him? I bet not that much.

He is a mysterious character, but you wouldn’t be too surprised if you saw him in the flesh. He lives on the border between fact and fiction.

Let me introduce you to a more humanlike James Bond. I’ll give you plenty of lesser known details, which are surprisingly interesting. (But you didn’t hear about them from me. I care about my life.)

Bond. James Bond

The American ornithologist James Bond

That’s all I have to say to make you feel like a story is already taking shape.

You can only utter your name in this manner, whatever it may be, and you’re already part and parcel of the adventure.

It’s like a magical phrase, a sort of “Open, Sesame!” Only that it doesn’t open a cave full of treasures, but rather, it unbuttons something.

Knowing that we’re talking about a secret agent, you may be thinking that James Bond is just a cover-up. Actually, it really is his name.

And it’s a pretty common name. Many famous people share it, be they sportsmen, military men, politicians, scientists… The most famous common name.

There was even a church with this name: St. James-Bond United Church in Toronto, Canada. The designation seems to make reference to a saint called James-Bond – how hilarious. Actually, this church was founded in 1928, as a result of the union between St. James Square Presbyterian Church and Bond Street Congregational Church. It was dissolved in 2005 due to inactivity 1)St. James-Bond Church” in Wikipedia. I can almost hear: “I’m going to Saint James-Bond to pray for forgiveness of my sins.”

It must be funny to be named James Bond. But only if you have a sense of humor. Some people are not exactly thrilled by this coincidence. For example, the American jazz singer James Bond became known as Jimmy Bond, while a New Zealander rugby player would rather be called Jim Bond.

On the big screen, the name of James Bond became a synonym for Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig etc.

0000007
is the numeric identifier of the page about the James Bond character (Agent 007) in IMDB
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As you may know, James Bond first appeared on the big screen in 1962 in the movie called “Dr. No” (with the look borrowed from Sean Connery). But that was not actually the first time he could be seen.

Barry Nelson

In 1954, he made his appearance on the TV screen in the movie “Casino Royale” – the adaptation of the first novel (published in 1953 with the same title). It was part of “Climax!” – an anthology series (with episodes that had no connection between them) produced by CBS. Here, James Bond was played by the American actor Barry Nelson.

Roger Moore officially became the new James Bond in 1973. It couldn’t be done earlier, since from 1962-1969 he played Simon Templar, the main character in the successful series “The Saint“. But few people know that Roger Moore was James Bond before being… James Bond. It happened in 1964 in a sketch from the TV show “Mainly Millicent”. It consisted of 7 minutes of pure spy comedy.

Roger Moore in 1964

The birthday of James Bond

I know that James Bond seems so very impeccable to you, like he just came out of a secret agent factory.

Still, he’s just a human. He played with a shovel in the sandbox when he was a little boy. He played with a toy gun on street corners. He pulled the ponytails of little girls. He did what boys who dream of becoming a spy do.

It’s not clear when his birthday really is. According to a novel-like study, conducted by John Pearson, it would be on November 11, 1920 2)James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007” by John Pearson, book published by Sidgwick & Jackson in 1973. John Griswold, who conducted a more serious study, believes that Bond’s date of birth is more likely to be on November 11, 1921 3)Ian Fleming’s James Bond: Annotations and Chronologies for Ian Fleming’s Bond Stories” by John Griswold, book published by AuthorHouse in 2005.

James Bond’s family

Since he made his appearance on the big screen with his Sean Connery look, you noticed his Scottish side. And this is actually true because Andrew Bond, James’s father, is a Scot.

On the other hand, the elegance of Agent 007 is not representative for a Scot. I’ll tell you a little secret: indeed it’s not. And that’s because his mother (who gets mentioned in all the swear words of his enemies) is… Swiss. The French area – the Vaud canton. Monique Delacroix 4)You Only Live Twice” by Ian Fleming, book published by Jonathan Cape in 1964 – because that was her name – must have been a very beautiful and elegant woman. Because his father was a very busy man, she was the one who instilled in little James so many qualities.

James was born in Wattenscheid, Germany, where his father had been assigned for a while as a military man 5)James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007” by John Pearson, book published by Sidgwick & Jackson în 1973. Afterwords, Andrew Bond worked in a weapons factory 6)You Only Live Twice” by Ian Fleming, book published by Jonathan Cape in 1964. I can almost see little James trying to make his father proud whenever he was hunting birds with a slingshot.

The family traveled a lot, both because of his father’s job and for the pleasure of it. That’s how James Bond got used to knocking about the world. The family motto might sound familiar to you: “The world is not enough” (“Orbis non sufficit”).

When he was 11, they went to the French Alps on a holiday. The parents went rock-climbing and, unfortunately, never returned. People say it was an accident.

Aiguilles Rouges

James Bond is an educated man

After his parents’ tragedy, James was taken into the care of his English aunt, Miss Charmian Bond. And because she realized he was a smart boy, she thought to put him in a decent school.

At just the age of 12-13, James became a student at Eton College, a boys only boarding school. (What a coincidence: Ian Fleming, “the spiritual father” of James Bond, studied there too 7)Why James Bond ran away to Fettes” by William Boyd, article published in The Spectator in 2015.)

After only two halves, he was expelled. My, my! The reason: he was caught making out with a maid. What a precocious boy!

He was then moved to Fettes College, the same school his father went to. Here, he learned to fight close-handed. In a sporting manner, I mean. This school has stricter regulations and holds physical abilities in high esteem. (Interesting to know: another James Bond graduated this school. That was his name on the birth certificate. He became a well-known diver.)

This is where he was recruited by the Royal Navy when he was only 17. Later on, he attended Cambridge University. He was to become a colonel, and, afterwards, an officer in the Secret Services (just like Ian Fleming – all these coincidences are getting more and more suspicious).

Fettes College

James Bond is a polyglot

Obviously, James Bond speaks English.

He was speaking French fluently with his mother, so that’s one more.

He spent his childhood in Germany, so he learned to speak German as well.

He later learned to speak Italian and Russian. Plus, he proved he can get along well in Greek, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese.

Sean Connery 1964

James Bond’s blue eyes

The charm of James Bond is partly due to his blue eyes. (Only during Sean Connery’s era they were a little darker.)

Who does he get them from? We cannot know for sure because the genetic mechanism is a very complex one. But he’s more likely to have inherited them from his father’s side. That’s because half of all Scotsmen are blue-eyed 8)Map of blue-eyed Britain: As scientists suggest, colour is more attractive. The study shows it is most common in Ireland and Scotland, but least likely in the south” – article published in Daily Mail on 30 August 2014. Only 20% of the Franco-Swiss people are blue-eyed, so they’re less likely to have them from their mother’s side.

Daniel Craig

James Bond’s favourite colour is midnight blue

What else would you expect from a former marine officer?

Midnight blue is that particular shade of dark blue, perfect for elegantly smoking. It can seem black in a dim light, but it still emanates that je ne sais quoi.

Sean Connery in 1963

James Bond doesn’t wear an undershirt

He is too cool for that. It would be a pity. For the ladies, I mean.

A secret agent needs maximum freedom of movement. Any extra garment would hamper him. Especially when he gets in bed.

Moreover, he always seem to wear that “flannel”. The natural one.

Sean Connery's naked bust

James Bond appeared in Playboy

I’m sorry to disappoint the ladies, but it’s not about some revealing pictorial. You’re more likely to see a Bond girl.

Still, over the years, the Playboy magazines published several stories about Agent 007. Even the novel “You Only Live Twice” was published in the magazine in serial-story column. Ian Fleming was on good terms with Hugh Hefner, the owner of the magazine, with the two of them sharing the same ideas 9)James Bond and Popular Culture: Essays on the Influence of the Fictional Superspy” by Michele Brittany, book published by McFarland in 2014.

James Bond reading Playboy

James Bond got married

It’s no secret that James Bond likes beautiful women. He had dozens of them.

Still, one won his heart (despite appearances, secret agents do have a heart). Her name is Teresa di Vicenzo.

The love story ended with a wedding. The ring-inscription reads “We have all the time in the world” and it’s the dream of every avid James Bond collector. Here are some photos with the newlyweds, which did not appear on the big screen (although they are linked to the movie):

But their marriage lasted less than 24 hours. On the very day of the wedding, the bride was killed in an attempt to assassinate James Bond 10)On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” by Ian Fleming, book published by Jonathan Cape in 1963. It seems pretty impossible to be the wife of Agent 007.

Tracy Bond's Grave

But there was another wedding related to James Bond:

Cassandra Harris was Lisl von Schlaf – one of the beauties who spent the night with James Bond in “For Your Eyes Only“, the movie from 1981.

During the filming, Cassandra Herris was in a relationship with Pierce Brosnan. While he was visiting his girlfriend on the movie set, he met the producer Albert R. Broccoli.

Just a few months before the premiere of the movie, Cassandra Harris and Pierce Brosnan got married.

In 1986, Pierce Brosnan was offered to play James Bond. Back then, the Irish actor was in a contract for the main character in the American series “Remington Steele”. For this reason, and others as well, the matter was put on hold until the movie “GoldenEye“, which had its premiere no sooner than 1995.

Unfortunately, Cassandra Harris died in 1991 due to ovarian cancer. She didn’t live to see her husband play James Bond.

James Bond has a child

According to the novel “You Only Live Twice”, James Bond had relations with Kissy Suzuki of Japan. So well did they get along in matters of love, that Agent 007 fired his bullets right on target. Although our agent can obtain any information, this remained a secret even for him 11)You Only Live Twice” by Ian Fleming, book published by Jonathan Cape în 1964.

In 1967, when the movie was in the making, the authorities allowed the crew to film in Japan provided that Japanese actors were cast in several roles. That’s how Mie Hama got to play Kissy Suzuki. The Japanese woman was good-looking, but she didn’t speak a word of English. When the producers let her know she was going to be replaced, she threatened to jump out a window. It seems like some women would give their life to be with James Bond. Especially if they got the chance to give him a baby. The producers didn’t take the risk and let her carry on with her role. But the baby part was left out of the movie.

You Only Live Twice

Scrambled eggs and bacon is James Bond’s favourite dish

Scrambled eggs and bacon

James Bond often eats scrambled eggs and bacon with a black coffee 12)Licence to Cook: Recipes Inspired by Ian Fleming’s James Bond” by Edward Biddulph, book published by Lulu in 201013)James Bond: Does 007 eat all the wrong things?” by Michelle Warwicker, article published by BBC on 5 October 2012. Which is pretty good for a breakfast. Even more so if he has someone in bed to bring it to. (You can try it. Then you’ll see how much better your day starts. Afterward, you can enjoy the meal together.)

At noon, James Bond would rather have a beef or a lamb steak. He’s a male, after all. He needs protein for his muscles. Still, he needs some more carbohydrates for energy. A strong and very active man can burn up to 6000 calories a day 14)James Bond: Does 007 eat all the wrong things?” by Michelle Warwicker, article published by BBC on 5 October 2012. He may be playing the refined type of man, eating caviar and oysters, but I bet when nobody’s looking he stuffs his face with doughnuts. Hot doughnuts. Chocolate iced doughnuts. And a bit of cream. (If I continue like this any longer, James Bond will be less dangerous than you.)

Another problem would be his drinking habit: vodka-martinis for a start, then some wine and he must end with champagne 15)James Bond: Does 007 eat all the wrong things?” by Michelle Warwicker, article published by BBC on 5 October 2012. After the death of his wife, he actually turned into a notorious drinker 16)You Only Live Twice” by Ian Fleming, book published by Jonathan Cape in 1964. But he usually doesn’t get drunk. He rejects the alcohol the way he rejects bullets. That’s what it means to be a secret agent.

James Bond at dinner

Aston Martin DB5 is Agent 007’s favourite car

Agent 007 drove many exquisite cars, but only one came to be associated with him: the Aston Martin DB5. This mechanical jewel was fabricated between 1963-1965 (1023 units). It can reach 230 km/h.

In 2010, an Aston Martin DB5 which appeared in the movie “Thunderball” was sold at auction for 2.9 million dollars. It was armored, equipped with machine guns, the license plates changed at the touch of a button and it had an ejector seat 17)James Bond’s DB5 Sells for 2.9 Million Pounds” by Scott Reyburn, article published in Bloomberg Business on 27 October 2010. Still, at this price you don’t even dare to take it on the road.

Many other Aston Martin cars have made their appearances in the James Bond movies. Actually, the luxury brand has done anything in its power to strengthen this association.

Daniel Craig fell in love with this car during the filming. On his 45th birthday, he bought an Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster. He paid 150,000 pounds and he didn’t even receive the “optional” features fit for James Bond 18)Daniel Craig Bought Himself an Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster Birthday Present” – article published in Topspeed on 14 March 2013.

Aston Martin DB5

James Bond’s favourite gun is the Walther PPK

The first gun used by James Bond in the movie “Dr. No” is a “pocket pistol” Beretta 418, 6.35 mm caliber 19)Beretta 418” in Wikipedia. It’s a discreet gun, not really a dangerous one.

Later, he used the Walther PPK, a German pistol, 7.65 mm caliber, manufactured in 1931. PPK is the short for Polizeipistole Kriminalmodell, meaning police pistol detective model 20)Walther PP” in Wikipedia.

James Bond used the same gun until the movie “Tomorrow Never Dies“.

Meanwhile, the German brand was acquired by Smith & Wesson. At the 75th anniversary of this famous pistol, the manufacturer launched a 24k gold-plated limited-edition, describing it as “the pistol that helped make James Bond famous” 21)Smith & Wesson Introduces Walther PPK 75th Anniversary Edition” – press release held by Smith & Wesson on 19 December 2005.

Even if, recently, James Bond changed guns, in the movie “Skyfall” he used, yet again, a Walther PPK.

Walther PPK

James Bond’s salary

Let’s not forget that James Bond is a state employee. He’s also waiting to have his salary indexed by the government.

In 1955, he was earning 2,000 net pounds a year (meaning 47,000 in 2015). It’s not much, if you take into account how much he’s risking his life. One of the advantages would be that he can spend whatever he needs during the missions 22)The James Bond Bedside Companion” by Raymond Benson, book published in 1984, updated in 1988 and reprinted in 2012 by Crossroad Press. No limits. Anyway, just his luck that he appears in the movies. He earns incomparably more by doing them.

Casino Royale

James Bond’s bald head

Sean Connery in 1989

Can you imagine James Bond bald? Maybe at retirement (if he lives until then), but still it’s rather difficult.

Nonetheless, if you think a little, Sean Connery is kinda baldy. This really is part of his personality.

Nobody gets bald all at once (only if one uses hair clippers). Sean Connery started to lose his hair at 21. At first, only from the forehead.

When he was playing in “Dr. No“, it was not that obvious, but still he needed to have a few hair wisps applied.

During the next movies, James Bond really did wear a toupee. He was undercover, what can I say.

Diamonds Are Forever

Indiana Jones is related to James Bond

According to George Lucas, Sean Connery playing James Bond was his main inspiration for Indiana Jones, the famous character he created. This being the reason that Indy’s father in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” was played by the same Sean Connery.

In 2003, the American Film Institute made AFI’s 100 Years…100 Heroes & Villains, a classification of the most appreciated movie characters. James Bond came in 3rd place, Indiana Jones in 2nd. The little ones always get ahead of the seniors.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

An asteroid was named 9007 James Bond

9007 James Bond Asteroid

Yes, James Bond reached into the galaxy!

The Czech astronomer Antonín Mrkos is “to blame.” On October 5, 1983, he discovered an asteroid in the main belt of the Solar System and named it 9007 James Bond 23)9007 James Bond” in Wikipedia24)9007 James Bond (1983 TE1)” – information published by NASA. An audacious admirer!

Global James Bond Day

James Bond has an international celebration in his name.

Starting in 2012, October 5 is celebrated as Global James Bond Day. During this holiday, fans all over the world have the chance to participate in all kinds of events in connection with their favourite hero.

Miratico has a full article about...
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The date was not chosen by accident: “Dr. No” – the first appearance of James Bond on the big screen – had its premiere on October 5, 1962. Interesting to know is that on the same day, The Beatles released their first single: “Love Me Do”.

The music video of the song “Skyfall“, performed by Adele, was the theme for the homonymous movie. It was also released on October 5, 2012.

They did it again in 2015 with the music video “Writing’s on the Wall“. The song by Sam Smith for the ending credits of the movie “Spectre” was released on October 5th.

The celebration of James Bond’s fans coincides with World Teacher’s Day 25)World Teachers’ Day” in Wikipedia. If a teacher comes to school dressed up as Agent 007, I’m sure he will have the attention of the entire class.

0.007 kg

You see how a few details can change your opinion about a character? You see him, think you know who you are dealing with, but, after learning more about him, you realize how superficially you’ve treated the matter.

Of course, this happens only when it comes to characters, not to real people too. Or does it?

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Article written exclusively for Miratico by Velea. Lucian Velea
Lucian Velea is the founder of the website Miratico and has been a fan of James Bond ever since he saw "Octopussy".

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References   [ + ]

1. St. James-Bond Church” in Wikipedia
2. James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007” by John Pearson, book published by Sidgwick & Jackson in 1973
3. Ian Fleming’s James Bond: Annotations and Chronologies for Ian Fleming’s Bond Stories” by John Griswold, book published by AuthorHouse in 2005
4, 6, 16. You Only Live Twice” by Ian Fleming, book published by Jonathan Cape in 1964
5. James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007” by John Pearson, book published by Sidgwick & Jackson în 1973
7. Why James Bond ran away to Fettes” by William Boyd, article published in The Spectator in 2015
8. Map of blue-eyed Britain: As scientists suggest, colour is more attractive. The study shows it is most common in Ireland and Scotland, but least likely in the south” – article published in Daily Mail on 30 August 2014
9. James Bond and Popular Culture: Essays on the Influence of the Fictional Superspy” by Michele Brittany, book published by McFarland in 2014
10. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” by Ian Fleming, book published by Jonathan Cape in 1963
11. You Only Live Twice” by Ian Fleming, book published by Jonathan Cape în 1964
12. Licence to Cook: Recipes Inspired by Ian Fleming’s James Bond” by Edward Biddulph, book published by Lulu in 2010
13, 14, 15. James Bond: Does 007 eat all the wrong things?” by Michelle Warwicker, article published by BBC on 5 October 2012
17. James Bond’s DB5 Sells for 2.9 Million Pounds” by Scott Reyburn, article published in Bloomberg Business on 27 October 2010
18. Daniel Craig Bought Himself an Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster Birthday Present” – article published in Topspeed on 14 March 2013
19. Beretta 418” in Wikipedia
20. Walther PP” in Wikipedia
21. Smith & Wesson Introduces Walther PPK 75th Anniversary Edition” – press release held by Smith & Wesson on 19 December 2005
22. The James Bond Bedside Companion” by Raymond Benson, book published in 1984, updated in 1988 and reprinted in 2012 by Crossroad Press
23. 9007 James Bond” in Wikipedia
24. 9007 James Bond (1983 TE1)” – information published by NASA
25. World Teachers’ Day” in Wikipedia

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