The Lazenby Year and the Return of Connery
With Sean Connery’s departure from the role of 007 the Bond series would continue with a different actor assuming the role. To many fans there was no replacing Connery, but 29-year-old Australian model George Lazenby was hired for the task.
Lazenby’s 1969 sole 007 film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service would be a box office hit, but fan reception to him as the new Bond wasn’t exactly enthusiastic. He ended up never returning to the role, but his one film would eventually be considered as one of the best Bond films ever by hardcore fans.
With no Bond the filmmakers made Connery a substantial offer to return to the role for one more time. With a then staggering payday and agreements that United Artists would back two films of his choice Connery returned in 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever.
Again this interesting changing of the guard, the apparently tumultous reception of Lazenby and the return of Connery is very glossed over in my second review. There’s much more to talk about with this unique time period in the series history than I spent here.