Where is James Bond actor George Lazenby now?
31 July 2020, 12:56 | Updated: 5 October 2020, 11:49
George Lazenby was a one-time James Bond back in the 1960s, but what has he been up to since?
The Australian actor was the surprise choice to take on 007 after Sean Connery, and appeared in arguably one of the greatest Bond films ever, On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
But he didn't return to the role, making him the only actor to play Bond just once.
Who is George Lazenby?
George Lazenby is an Australian actor and former model. He is best known for playing British secret agent James Bond in the film On Her Majesty's Secret Service in 1969.
Aged 29, he was the youngest actor to have played Bond.
Before Bond, Lazenby was a model and appeared in various adverts.
How did George Lazenby land the part of James Bond and why didn't he do more?
In 1968, Sean Connery had left the role of James Bond, and producer Albert R Broccoli met Lazenby while they were getting their hair cut at the same barbershop.
Broccoli later saw him in the 'Big Fry' advert, and felt he could be a possible Bond and invited him to do a screen test.
At an audition, he was given the role after he accidentally punched a professional wrestler, who was acting as stunt coordinator, in the face. This impressed Broccoli due to his ability to show aggression.
Director Peter R Hunt later said: "We wanted someone who oozed sexual assurance, and we think this fellow has that. I am not saying he is an actor. There is a great deal of difference between an actor and a film star. Didn't they find Gary Cooper when he was an electrician?"
Lazenby originally intended to make the next Bond film, The Man with the Golden Gun. But by late 1969, Lazenby said that he no longer wished to play the role of James Bond, saying: "The producers made me feel like I was mindless. They disregarded everything I suggested simply because I hadn't been in the film business like them for about a thousand years."
He soon grew a beard and long hair, saying: "Bond is a brute ... I've already put him behind me. I will never play him again. Peace – that's the message now.
"I much prefer being a car salesman to a stereotyped James Bond. My parents think I'm insane, everybody thinks I'm insane passing up maybe millions of pounds. Nobody believed me. They thought it was a publicity stunt. But it's just me doing my own thing."
George Lazenby now: What has he done since Bond?
Lazenby continued to act in Italy, Hong Kong, Australia, and Hollywood.
However, his career came to an end in the 1970s, and he moved into business and invested in real estate.
He later appeared in various films and TV series, including parodies of Bond.
In 2017, he featured in the Hulu docudrama film, Becoming Bond.
Who is George Lazenby's wife and does he have children?
In 1973, George Lazenby married his girlfriend Chrissie Townsend, a member of the Gannett family.
They later had two children, Zachary and Melanie. Zachary was diagnosed with a brain tumour when he was 11, and sadly died when he was just 19 years old. Melanie later became a real estate broker in New York.
In 2002, Lazenby married former tennis player Pam Shriver. However, they divorced in 2008.
The couple have three children together: George, Jr (born 2004) and twins Kate and Sam (born 2005).
George Lazenby age: How old is he?
George Lazenby was born on September 5, 1939. He celebrated his 80th birthday in 2019.
He was born in Goulburn, New South Wales, to railway worker George Edward Lazenby and Sheila Joan Lazenby, who worked at Fosseys.
His sister Barbara, was a successful dancer.