Rare Behind-the-Scenes Photos from the James Bond Auditions in 1967

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.

#1 A composite image of the five top candidates (including ultimate choice George Lazenby, bottom right). Published in the October 11, 1968, issue of LIFE.

#2 John Richardson during James Bond auditions, 1967.

#3 On Her Majesty’s Secret Service director Peter R. Hunt oversees a test love scene between John Richardson and an actress, moving her leg just so.

#4 John Richardson during James Bond auditions, 1967.

#5 James Bond audition candidate John Richardson (left), in profile, 1967.

#6 John Richardson reacts as his screen-test costar pulls out a gun, 1967.

#7 Director Peter Hunt studies John Richardson during his audition, 1967.

#8 John Richardson continued to act after he lost out on the Bond role, appearing in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970) and a string of Italian movies.

#9 James Bond audition finalist Anthony Rogers, 1967.

#10 Anthony Rogers and an actress during a screen test, 1967.

#11 Anthony Rogers smokes a cigarette during his James Bond audition, 1967.

#12 Anthony Rogers during his James Bond audition, 1967.

#13 Robert Campbell during James Bond auditions, 1967.

#14 Director Peter R. Hunt helps Robert Campbell get into a shoulder holster, 1967.

#15 Robert Campbell checks a page of lines during a James Bond audition, 1967.

#16 James Bond hopeful Robert Campbell adjusts his shirt and jacket, 1967.

#17 Robert Campbell looks in the mirror between filming scenes for his James Bond audition, 1967.

#18 Robert Campbell during a kissing test, opposite actress France Anglade, 1967.

#20 Hans De Vries and France Anglade, James Bond audition, 1967.

#23 James Bond hopeful George Lazenby fiddles with a knife while chatting with Bond director Peter R. Hunt, 1967.

#24 George Lazenby goofs off behind the scenes of his screen test, boxing with an unidentified man, 1967.

#25 George Lazenby twirls a gun beside potential Bond Girl Marie-France Boyer, 1967.

#26 George Lazenby during auditions for the role of James Bond, 1967.

#27 George Lazenby and Bond Girl hopeful Agneta Eckemyr, 1967.

#28 George Lazenby leans against a bar during a moment away from James Bond auditions, 1967.

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Written by Jacob Aberto

Sincere, friendly, curious, ambitious, enthusiast. I'm a content crafter and social media expert. I love Classic Movies because their dialogue, scenery and stories are awesome.

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