|Bond... James Bond. (As first played|
by [Sir Thomas] Sean Connery.)
In 1953 he published his first book, Casino Royale, about a character who would make him famous, James Bond. The playboy spy — code name "007" — was accompanied by "M" at headquarters, Miss Moneypenny as his awed secretary, and a host of fast cars and gadgets prepared by "Q" at "Q branch" of MI6. Not to mention a series of sexy women, many of whom pay for their dalliance by being slaughtered in gruesome ways (e.g., pursued by two Dobermans trained to kill).
The first of many successful movies featuring several incarnations of James Bond as Dr. No in 1962. Fleming went along with the idea (from the casting of Bond by Sean Connery in the first movies) that Bond was Scottish, since in his last books he talked about Bond's Scottish ancestry.
The Wikipedia entry on James Bond and his knockoffs and parodies is astonishingly thorough, showing how and why the character now ranks among the top ten or even five of the best-known heroes of all time. The introductory line, when Bond introduces himself - "Bond... James Bond" - has been called the most famous line in movie history, apparently now out-ranking the many oft-repeated-by-me sayings of Rick and friends in Casablanca.
Fleming's fictional character was a composite of spies and "commando types" he came across in the Naval Intelligence Division in World War II. Among them were, says Wikipedia:
...his brother, Peter, who had been involved in behind-the-lines operations in Norway and Greece during the war, ... Conrad O'Brien-ffrench, Patrick Dalzel-Job and Bill "Biffy" Dunderdale.
|Cover of new book on Roger|
Moore at BookExpo America.
Update, May 29, 2014: A new book is coming out in 2014 on the man who succeeded [Sir] Sean Connery as James Bond - [Sir] Roger Moore, starting in 1973, for a string of seven movies. The cover shown at the BookExpo America has the title One Lucky Bastard.
A TV miniseries called "Fleming" is also out in 2014.