Ian Flemings Choice Actor for James Bond
With Sir John Morgan, Ian Fleming’s step son-in-law, acting as an exclusive source readers can expect a lot from the soon to be published Martinis, Girls & Guns: Fifty Years of 007.
One factoid from the book has appeared in the Eastern Daily Press Magazine this weekend in an article written by one of Martinis, Girls & Guns co-authors, Martin Sterling. In the article, entitled ‘The Man With The Golden Pen’ Sterling reveals Ian Fleming’s first choice for an actor to play James Bond on screen.
Fleming’s choice, according to Sir John, was was little-known actor Edward Underdown, who actually played the Air Vice Marshall in 1965’s Thunderball. “Born in London in 1908 – the same year as Ian Fleming himself – Underdown was tall and thin and enjoyed a career as a jockey and steeplechase rider as well as an actor. He made his film debut in ‘The Warren Case’ in 1934; his last film was ‘Tarka The Otter’ in 1978; and he died in 1989. Fleming obviously saw parallels in Underdown’s somewhat diffident, dour acting style with his idealized “blunt instrument of the British government” persona for Bond but the author’s enthusiasm was clearly not shared by Broccoli and Saltzman since there is no record of Edward Underdown ever having been considered for the role.”
An interesting factoid, and one of many set to appear in Martinis, Girls & Guns: Fifty Years of 007. The book can be ordered from Amazon UK.