From 1962 to 1967, Sir Sean Connery played James Bond before George Lazenby starred in his only 007 outing, 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. After Connery was convinced to return for one more film in 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever, it was Sir Roger Moore’s turn in his debut Bond movie, 1973’s Live and Let Die. But did you know that he actually portrayed 007 almost a decade previously for a TV sketch?
During the Sixties, Moore was the TV star of mystery spy thriller The Saint and in 1964 played a parody version of Bond on Mainly Millicent.
The 36-year-old played 007 on holiday, only for him to come across a Russian femme fatale called Sonia Sekova he’d had run-ins with in the past .
She was played by the show’s host Millicent Martin, who engaged in slapstick comedy and some bad puns alongside the future Bond.
Interestingly, both The Saint and Mainly Millicent were shot at ATV’s Elstree studios in Herefordshire just outside London, so it wouldn’t have been too much effort for Moore to take part.
Bond fans can check out the sketch below in a commentary video by 007 expert Calvin Dyson.
Moore would go on to play Bond in seven movies from 1973’s Live and Let Die all the way up to 1985’s A View To Kill, when he was 58-years-old.
Interestingly, while Sir Sean Connery would return to play Bond for the seventh time in 1983’s unofficial Thunderball remake Never Say Never Again, he would go on to portray 007 a couple more times.
Speaking with Express.co.uk last year, Mark Edlitz, the author of The Lost Adventures of James Bond, shared some fascinating insights.
Fiennes himself was considered for Bond when casting 1995’s Goldeneye and 2006’s Casino Royale, but would go on to play Gareth Mallory, the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, in 2012’s Skyfall.
While at the conclusion of the 50th anniversary Bond movie, he replaced Judi Dench as M after her character’s death and has since reprised the character in Spectre and the upcoming No Time To Die.
Following The Avengers video, Connery portrayed Bond publicly for one last time when he voiced 007 in the 2005 video game version of From Russia With Love.
Connery, who lived in The Bahamas, recorded his final time as 007 at Compass Point Studios in Nassau with Terry Manning.
Edlitz said: “One day after Connery recorded his lines, the audio engineer checked the tape. However, the engineer didn’t hear the star’s voice during playback. For some reason, Connery’s entire day’s work was missing. Blank.”
So he called up the EA games’ panicked producer, reassuring them that not to worry and that he’d handle it. It turns out the audio engineer had worked with Connery for years so knew he could work it out.
The author added: “The engineer called Connery and the actor came back and recorded the entire day’s work without charge. It was a generous thing to do. Incidentally, the reason that Connery played Bond again was that his grandchildren loved video games and he thought it would appeal to them.
“Very sweet. Incidentally, if you take out the gameplay and just put together the animated scenes you have the start of a James Bond animated movie.”