Ian Fleming created James Bond’s character in 1953 and has featured him in 12 novels and two short-story collections. Eight authors had also authored Bond novels after Fleming’s death in 1964.
In the early 1960s, movie producers began to adopt the James Bond role into the movies. Bond movies began in 1962 with Dr. No and starred Sean Connery as James Bond. The Bond movies grossed over $7.04 billion, making them the sixth highest grossing film series of all time and the longest continuously running series. Music is an integral part of the Bond films, with several of the theme songs receiving Academy Award nominations and winning two themselves. The cars, guns, and gadgets with which Q Branch provides Bond are also essential elements that run throughout most films. Throughout the movie, Bond is frequently described as having romances with women, sometimes called “Bond girls.”
During the casting for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, LIFE sent photographer Loomis Dean. He took some fantastic photos of the 1967 James Bond auditions, featuring the five top candidates — including George Lazenby, who won the coveted role.