Goulburn-born George Lazenby (b. 1939) is still the only Aussie to have played James Bond. Lazenby was modelling in London when Sean Connery vacated the role in 1968. 414 hopefuls tried out for the part – Lazenby’s lusty audition, during which he inadvertently broke a stuntman’s nose, got him the job. His sole outing as 007, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), is still rated one of the better Bond films. But it did poorly at the box office, and Lazenby, although signed to make a further two Bonds, walked away from the franchise – a decision he later ascribed to “bad advice.” Sean Connery returned for Diamonds are Forever (1971) before passing the baton to Roger Moore. Lazenby went on to appear in such films as The Man From Hong Kong (1975), Kentucky Fried Movie (1977), Eyes of the Beholder (1993), Fatally Yours (1995) and 4 Dogs Playing Poker (2000). His TV work has included appearances in Hawaii Five-O, General Hospital , Baywatch and The Pretender.
Australians in Hollywood
Australians in Hollywood celebrates the achievements of Australian artists in the high turn over, high competition American film industry. From our pioneers of the silent era (Louise Lovely and Annette Kellerman) to the Oscar-winning stars of the so-called “Australian invasion” today, this exhibition showcases over 80 Australian actors and technicians who’ve cut it in Hollywood.
When Nicole Kidman accepted her Oscar earlier this year, she joined Russell Crowe, Geoffrey Rush and Mel Gibson among fellow Australian Oscar winners. She also became the latest in a long line that stretches back to cameraman Damien Parer collecting Australia’s first Oscar in 1942 for his wartime documentary Kokoda Front Line. In the years since, Australians have won Academy Awards for acting, direction, costume design, music, animation, special effects and other important technical achievements.
Australians in Hollywood features the current crop of stars including Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Heath Ledger, Cate Blanchett, Hugh Jackman, Eric Bana, Rachel Griffiths and Geoffrey Rush, as well as those behind-the-camera: Bruce Beresford, Gillian Armstrong, George Miller and Peter Weir, telling the often fascinating stories behind their success on the international stage.
The exhibition also reaches back into cinema’s classic past looking at the swashbuckling Tasmanian, the Australian James Bond, the notorious swimmer and the glamorous faux Australian.
Australians in Hollywood is curated by the National Portrait Gallery and is proudly sponsored by ActewAGL.