Many people would agree that in the history of the popular culture there is no other fictional character which is more recognizable and successful than Ian Fleming’s James Bond.
The sophisticated British intelligence agent has been around since 1953 when Fleming published his first novel, Casino Royale.
During his career, the author wrote 11 more Bond novels and few more short-story collections featuring the famous secret agent. His first book went almost unnoticed, but over the years his novels became a hit and sold over 100 million copies.
Although James Bond is a fictional character, it was inspired by numerous individuals who Fleming came across, during his time in the Intelligence. The name was inspired by James Bond, a leading ornithologist, and author of Birds of the West Indies. Reportedly, Ian Fleming had a copy of the field guide and decided to adopt the ornithologist’s name for his fictional character.
At the beginning of the 1960s, Fleming’s James Bond series were already a huge success and soon, Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli, and Harry Saltzman of Eon Productions brought the suave Agent 007 to the silver screen, and the global star was born.
Some of the most famous actors at the time were considered for the role of James Bond, but Broccoli and Saltzman decided to go with a relatively unknown actor from Scotland, named Connery, Sean Connery. He was the man who set the gold standard as 007 and throughout the years, became a Hollywood icon and a sex symbol of the 20th century.
Born on August 25th, 1930, in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, Scotland, Sean Connery rose to fame from a relatively humble beginning. He quit school at the age of 13 to work as a milkman and later worked as a laborer, a lorry driver, a coffin polisher and eventually started working as a model at the Edinburgh Art School. It wasn’t until he was invited to join the King’s Theatre that he decided to make acting his career.
In the following years, he was cast in numerous films but his performance in 1962’s Dr. No would secure him a place in film history and would cement his acting career.
He inaugurated what would become the longest running film series of all time with 1962’s Dr. No, and went on to star in six more Bond movies: From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and in the non-official 1983 Bond film, Never Say Never Again.
Apparently, Connery had the style and charisma required for Bond, however, what Sir Sean Connery didn’t have was hair. The legendary actor started going bald at a very early age. In fact, he was only 21-years-old when he began losing his hair, and by the time he was in his early 30s and was cast for Dr. No, he had to wear a hairpiece.
He was never ashamed of the fact that he started losing his hair too early and he often showed up with his bald spot at press meetings. However, the role of James Bond required an absolutely styled haircut, so Mr. Connery had to wear a hairpiece in every single James Bond movie he starred.
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Of course, the fact that he started going bald very early in his life didn’t stop him from becoming an acting legend. Although it’s been more than half century after he had first appeared in a Bond movie, for most people, he remains the one and only James Bond.