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Published:January 31st, 2012 23:32 EST
Ian Fleming's Super Spy James Bond Turns 50

Ian Fleming's Super Spy James Bond Turns 50

By Donna Cavanagh

This year, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the most famous spy in the world-- even though he is pure fiction-- or was he?  Author Ian Fleming created the character of the secret agent extraordinaire in 1953, but the name was real.   

Fleming named his famous spy after an American ornithologist.  Being a birdwatcher himself, Fleming read a copy of the real James Bond`s book, Birds of the West Indies, and thought the author`s name dull enough to suit his spy hero.  Fleming didn`t want his super spy to have a flashy name or appearance.  In fact, Fleming pictured James Bond, the spy, to be a cross between himself and American singer and songwriter Hoagie Carmichael.

Fleming wrote 12 Bond novels and two short story collections. After his death in 1964, six other authors were licensed to write James Bond Novels.  James Bond has been adapted for television, radio, comic strip and video game formats and is the longest running  film franchise in history.  In 1962, Sean Connery brought the spy to life in the film, "Dr. No". Since then, there have been 22 films with a 23rd scheduled to open in late 2012. 

Although actors age, James Bond cannot and because of this, there have been a succession of actors who have been fortunate enough to play the classy and debonair MI6 British agent. In addition to Connery,  Roger Moore, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig have all had the honor of bringing Ian Fleming`s character to life. 

While Bond films are known for intrigue, special effects, state-of-the-art spy gadgets plus romance and s[e]x, the main theme has remained the same: Good triumphs over powerful evil. Although Bond has never met his final end, those close to him have been killed off including his one and only wife, Teresa who was mortally wounded on their wedding day in the movie "On Her Majesty`s Secret Service".

James Bond has been the major influence for dramatic and comedic espionage films and television shows including the TV classic  "Get Smartwhich combined the famous spy with the wit of Mel Brooks. The show pitted Maxwell Smart, the good guy of Control  against the bad guys of KAOS.  

While the character of James Bond remains a constant, the actor portrayals differ from film to film making each James Bond movie a new experience to enjoy.

Bond 50: The Complete 22 Film Collection [Blu-ray]