While there were certainly some headline-grabbing moments at Sunday night’s Oscars, the ceremony also featured some noteworthy celebrations as part of the live telecast. Among them was a tribute to the 60th anniversary of the James Bond franchise. The tribute featured presenters Tony Hawk, Kelly Slater, and Shawn White talk about the franchise and introduced a video montage honoring the films and the actors who have portrayed the beloved super spy. However, one Bond actor was left out of the presenters’ remarks despite factoring prominently in the montage: George Lazenby.
Lazenby was the second actor to play Bond and appeared in only one film, 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, taking up the role of Bond after Sean Connery departed the franchise (Connery returned the role for 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever). Lazenby opted not to play Bond a second time as part of the official franchise, though over the years the actor has appeared in various parodies. He also appeared in a 2017 documentary drama, Becoming Bond, that tells Lazenby’s story of becoming Bond, his decision to leave the role, and the impact it had on his life and career.
It is not entirely surprising that Hawk, Slater, and White missed mentioning him in the tribute’s introduction. Given Lazenby’s short tenure as Bond — the shortest of any actor to play the role to date — It’s possible that the writers for that segment of the show simply forgot to include him. However, Lazenby’s contribution to the overall franchise can’t be minimized. While On Her Majesty’s Secret Service did receive mixed critical reviews upon release, it’s gone on to be considered one of the strongest entries in the entire Bond franchise with some even going so far as to rank Lazenby’s performance among the best of Bond as well.
As for what’s next for the Bond franchise, the most recent actor to play Bond, Daniel Craig, ended his tenure as the iconic character with last year’s No Time to Die. A new actor will take on the iconic role for future films in the franchise, but MGM chief Pamela Abdy, who works with Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson on the franchise, said previously that they are letting No Time to Die have its moment before moving on to find the next Bond actor.
“It’s wide open,” Abdy said. “We’ve had very early preliminary conversations with Barbara and Michael, but we wanted Daniel to have his last hurrah.”
What do you think about Lazenby being left out of the host’s introduction of the James Bond 60th anniversary tribute? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section!