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25 James Bond Facts You've Never Heard Before

We know that his name is Bond (...James Bond), and that he prefers his martinis shaken, not stirred, but it turns out that this International Man of Mystery isn't such a mystery after all.

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Ian Fleming wrote Bond an obituary for You Only Live Twice. From it, we learn that Bond’s parents were Andrew Bond, a Scottish man, and Monique Delacroix, a Swiss woman. Mr. Bond worked for a weapons company and traveled often with his family. Both parents died when Bond was 11. He lived with an aunt in England, studied at Eton and Fettes College in Edinburgh, graduated from high school at 17 and was recruited into the Royal Navy. “The world is not enough” is the Bond family motto. (Incidentally, Fleming also studied at Eton and was recruited into naval intelligence.)


Fleming chose the name “James Bond” because he wanted to find a name “as mundane as possible.” Bond’s namesake is actually the ornithologist Dr. James Bond – lifted from a birdwatching book that Fleming had handy.


Actors once up for the role of Bond: David Niven, Cary Grant, Patrick McGoohan, Christopher Lee, Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, Adam West, Tom Jones, Liam Neeson, Mel Gibson, Sam Neill, Hugh Grant, Gerard Butler, Sean Bean, and Will Smith. (Spoiler alert: Sean Bean would have died.)


Richard Kiel, who played Jaws, could only keep his metal teeth in his mouth for about half a minute at a time, and the chain that he bit through at the Pyramids in The Spy Who Loved Me was made of licorice.


Many claim the Bond character was based on Ian Fleming: both preferred coffee to tea, smoked the same kind of cigarettes, were commanders in the British Navy, loved women, and preferred their martinis shaken – not stirred. Fleming was also a spy. Once he was recruited into naval intelligence, he became the personal assistant to Admiral John Godfrey – who may have served as inspiration for M.


Each scene that shows Roger Moore running in his seven Bond films was performed by a body double – Moore felt he looked awkward when running. Despite handling and being around many firearms on set, Moore suffers from Hoplophobia – a fear of firearms which dates back to a childhood accident where he was shot in the leg with an air rifle by his brother.


While Bond producer Cubby Broccoli was impressed with Sean Connery after seeing him in Darby O’Gill and the Little People, he wanted verify his attractiveness to women – so he took his wife to another screening of the film. Mrs. Broccoli was impressed.


President JFK is partly responsible for Bond’s success in the US. In a 1961 interview with Life Magazine, he listed From Russia, With Love as one of his favorite novels of all time. Sales boomed, and the next Bond film made was From Russia, With Love due to the president's influence. Incidentally, this is the last movie JFK ever saw – he watched it one day before his trip to Texas in 1963. JFK also included Fleming in conversations about how to defeat Fidel Castro in Cuba – perhaps why some of the plans sound like something out of a James Bond novel!


A visit to Jamaica during World War II inspired Ian Fleming to buy an estate there, which he called Goldeneye. Fleming wrote many of his 14 novels there and, long after Fleming’s death, it became the namesake of the 17th Bond film – Pierce Brosnan’s Bond debut.


George Lucas found inspiration for the character of Indiana Jones by watching Sean Connery’s portrayal of Bond. When Connery was cast in The Last Crusade, Lucas said: “Who else but Bond could have been worthy enough to play Indiana Jones' dad!”

To get more behind-the-scenes Bond, check out Ian Fleming's biography, written by Andrew Lycett and available now from St. Martin's Press!

Read more about it here:

"The only Fleming biography I have read which gets to the heart of this complex, fascinating man." -- Charles Cumming, author of A Foreign Country and The Trinity Six