George Lazenby was born in 1939 in New South Wales, Australia. A car salesman in Canberra, he moved to the UK in 1964 and began selling high class cars in Park Lane. A Karate blackbelt and good looks earned him a modeling contract and he became one of the highest paid male models in Europe, also landing a series of TV chocolate bar commercials.
Having played a British spy in a Bond-esque 1965 Italian film, "Marc Mato, Agente SO77", George was inspired to chase the famous 007 role when Sean Connery retired his PPK in 1968. Despite only one previous movie, his determination, quirky arrogance and fighting skills impressed the Bond producers. Consequently, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" became a landmark Bond film in 1969, rated one of the best in the series. Undaunted by the shadow of Sean Connery, George's portrayal was warmly received and included one of the most touching 007 moments, as he cradles his dying wife, Teresa Draco, played by Diana Rigg. Most Bond fans believe George would have grown into the role, and the studios offered him a deal for a further 7 Bond films. However, contractual wrangles led to him declining the subsequent Bond movie, "Diamonds Are Forever" and his Bond career was over after just one outing.
After co-writing, producing and starring in "The Universal Soldier" in 1971, a diverse acting career followed, ranging from comedies such as "The Kentucky Fried Movie" to numerous TV roles including "Kung Fu" and "Baywatch", before marrying tennis ace Pam Shriver in 2002.