WHO IS ONLY A SILHOUETTE:" JAMES BOND
is not a hero, nor is he depicted as being very likeable or admirable. He is a
Secret Service agent. He's not a bad man, but he is ruthless and self-indulgent.
He enjoys the fight - he also enjoys the prizes. In fiction, people used to have
blood in their veins. Nowadays they have pond water. My books are just out of
step. But then so are all the people that read them."
- Ian Fleming, 1960
Click on each actor for a brief biography
Bond is agent 007 in the MI-6 of the British Secret Service.
The "00" prefix gives him the right to kill at his discretion in the line of duty.
As the "00" section is one of the more dangerous in the Special Branches, Bond
lives for the moment, and leads a fast, extravagant,
licentious, not to mention decadent lifestyle (at least
while he's on the job - after all, that's when he can use his company's expense
a brief history of James Bond (as 007 has not aged in about 40 years, I've removed
all dates and historical references):
As with most spies, the details of Bond's life are sketchy. His birth year is unknown, because Ian Fleming changed the dates and times of events. Most biographers conclude that he was born either in 1917, 1920, 1921, or 1924. Still, a few things are known: He was born on November 11 to a Scottish father, Andrew Bond of Glencoe, and his Swiss wife, Monique Delacroix, of the Canton de Vaud. His father worked for the Vickers Armaments Company, and the family spent much of their time in Europe, where little James learned to speak French and German.
James' parents died in a mountain climbing accident in the Aiguilles Rouges, near Chamonix, when he was 11, and their loss may be one reason why he avoids
intimacy and emotional attachment as an adult -- the other reason being that he's constantly having sex with a multitude of beautiful women and killing people. (NOTE: A subplot throughout the 2011 continuation novel Carte Blanche, Bond uncovers a KGB operation code-named "Steel Cartridge" and discovered that his father was a spy for England during the Cold War, and that he was killed by Russian agents. But further evidence suggests that Steel Cartridge was a clean-up operation, with the Russians assassinating their own agents that had infiltrated Western intelligence organizations. The suggestion that his father was a traitor does not sit well with Bond, until he unearths further evidence that shows the Russians carried out a Steel Cartridge assassination on a Western spy-hunter who was dangerously close to identifying Soviet moles -- his mother, Monique Delacroix Bond.)
Bond then went to live with his spinster aunt, Charmian Bond, in Pett Bottom village, where he completes his early education. Bond then entered Eton at the age of 12. (NOTE: The 2006 film Casino Royale, a reboot of the film series, had an official website with a biography of the Bond that parallels the backstory of Fleming's literary character, but it is updated to reflect Bond's new birth date of 13 April 1968 – the 13th of April being the day in which Casino Royale was published in 1953 and 1968 being the year in which Daniel Craig was born. This version of the character was born in West Berlin, Germany. His parents, Andrew Bond and Monique Delacroix Bond, died in a climbing accident, so he was brought up in Kent by his aunt Charmain.)
Traditional schooling was not for James, who was expelled after getting into unspecified but all-too-predictable trouble with a maid during his second semester. The young Bond transferred to Fettes College in Edinburgh, Scotland, his father's school, where James acquired renown as a lightweight boxer and helped institute a judo class. Per Pearson's James Bond: The Authorised Biography and an allusion in From Russia, with Love, Bond briefly attended the University of Geneva.
dropped out of school when he was 17, though he subsequently took some courses
at the University of Geneva. It was there that he learned how to ski, which was
to aid him greatly in his later Service work -- as would the things he learned
from the women of Geneva (one of whom stole his wallet after a rendezvous).
In 1941, Bond lied about his age in order to enter the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve during World War II. Whilre in the RNVR, Bond is mentioned travelling in the U.S., Hong Kong, and Jamaica, and that he joined another organisation, such as the SOE or the 00-Section of the SIS or as leader of a Royal Marine unit on secret mission behind enemy lines in the war or in (Fleming's) "Red Indians" 30 Commando Assault Unit (30 AU). One supporting fact is Bond in the Ardennes firing a bazooka in 1944. The 30 AU were the only British small unit attached to the US Army in Europe. In Bond's obituary, his commanding officer, M, alludes to the rank as cover:
"To serve the confidential nature of his duties, he was accorded the rank of lieutenant in the Special Branch of the R.N.V.R., and it is a measure of the satisfaction his services gave to his superiors that he ended the war with the rank of Commander."
— You Only Live Twice, chapter 21: "Obit"
His heroism during during wartime led him to the rank of commander, and landed a job with the Ministry of Defense. Bond was then invited to join the Secret Service.
Thus, Bond became a civil servant, working in the Ministry of Defence as a Principal Officer -- a civilian grade equivalent to a Captain in the Royal Navy. After successfully completing two important assassinations (a sniper kill of a Japanese cypher in New York, and another job which he would only describe as "messy"), he was awarded the seventh Double-O number by the British government, which finally gave him a legal license to kill. (NOTE: Fleming never stated when Bond became a 00-agent, though references in Casino Royale suggest during World War II, while Goldfinger suggests 1952. In the 2006 film re-boot, Casino Royale, the official website chronicled Bond's military service by stating he joined the Special Boat Service while in the Regular Royal Navy, where he obtains the rank of Commander, and then was placed in the 030 Special Forces Unit. Bond served covertly in Iraq, Somalia, Iran, Libya, Bosnia and was then recruited by the RNR Defence Intelligence Group. At age 30, during his MI6 training, he received exceptionally high marks for physical endurance, logic, and Psychological Operations exercises. He was then promoted to 00 Agent at the age of 38 in 2006. The 2011 novel Carte Blanche updates Bond even further to fit with the 21st century setting: Bond was born in the early-1980s, making him a veteran of the wars in Afghanistan (Operation Herrick) and Iraq.)
Bond was promoted to commander in recognition of his exceptional service. In 1954, after many near-death experiences, a Soviet file on him cited in From Russia, With Love, reported that Bond was made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George, supposedly only awarded upon retirement from the Service; in The Man With The Golden Gun, he rejects an offer of investiture as a Knight Commander in that order, extended as a reward for his having successfully carried out his assignment to kill the Soviet assassin Francisco Scaramanga, as he does not wish to become a public figure. (NOTE: Bond retains the commander rank while in the British Secret Service of Fleming's novels, John Gardner's continuation novels, and the films. Continuation novelist John Gardner promoted Bond to Captain in Win, Lose or Die. Since Raymond Benson's novels are a reboot, Bond is a Commander, and a member of the Royal Naval Volunteer Supplementary Reserve, an association of war veteran officers.)
is very attractive to the opposite sex, and there's usually some sort of romantic
entanglement occuring in his life, whether on a mission or at home in England (where he shows a predilection for married women). Bond is drawn to women with tiny, endearing flaws: a broken nose, a tiny limp, or a severe lack of acting talent (such as an inexpressive face or a dubbed voice).
closest he's come to a lasting relationship was when he married Countess Tracy
di Vincenzo, and planned to retire from the Service...
... unfortunately the
marriage only lasted about five minutes -- Tracy was shot to death during their
he's only fallen in love a handful of times, and rarely beyond the final chapter
or end titles. Smuggler Tiffany Case lived with him for a while between missions,
but moved out a few months later (she may have been asking for too much money
to appear in the next adventure).
Bond lives in a large ground-floor apartment off the Kings' Road in Chelsea, as well as a summer home in Jamaica. His King's Road flat is looked after by an elderly Scottish housekeeper named May, who is very loyal and often motherly to him. (NOTE: According to Higson's Young Bond series, May previously worked for Bond's aunt, Charmian.) Bond hardly ever brings women back to his home: it happens only once between the novels Diamonds Are Forever and From Russia, With Love when he briefly lived with Tiffany Case. In From Russia, With Love, it's hinted that Tiffany and May didn't get along, and Bond stuck with May. In the film series: Sylvia Trench is waiting for him dressed only in his shirt when he comes home to pack before leaving for Jamaica in Dr. No,; and in Live And Let Die, M and Moneypenny visit Bond at his flat, forcing him to hide his female company in the wardrobe.
Bond has two telephones at his home. One for personal use, and a second red phone that is a direct line between his home and headquarters; the latter is said always to be ringing at inopportune moments.
He has few friends, but many enemies.
His favorite color is navy blue.
His favorite author is Eric Ambler.
His favorite actor is Sean Connery (he saw The Untouchables twice).
Transportation: Bentleys, Aston Martins, fake alligators.
Turn-ons: Blonds, brunettes, gadgets, scrambled eggs, martinis.
Turn-offs: SMERSH/SPECTRE agents, megalomaniacs, giant squid.
His hobbies are golf, gambling, swimming, skiing, mountain climbing, cards, and killing people.
During the course of his career, he was also featured in various (heavily fictionalized) thriller novels by school friend Ian Fleming, and then later in a series of imaginative (not counting Moonraker),
if implausible (counting Moonraker) films.
think it's hysterical that an audience of intelligent people will discuss Bond
- Guy Hamilton, Bond film director