COVER STORY : Bonds . . . James Bonds

Six actors have previously donned their tuxes in behalf of Her Majesty. Our 007-watcher’s guide:


Nelson has the distinction of having been the first Bond, starring as American agent “Jimmy” Bond in “Casino Royale.” The TV adaptation of Ian Fleming’s first novel was telecast live on Oct. 21, 1954, on the CBS series “Climax.” Decked out in a crooked bow tie and cut-rate suit, Nelson’s Bond is in dire need of a decent tailor. Nelson, pictured in the 1963 film comedy “Mary, Mary,” played Bond as sexless and glum.



The first movie Bond appeared in the chorus of the London production of “South Pacific” and the 1959 Walt Disney flick “Darby O’Gill and the Little People” before being cast in “Dr. No” (1962). During the next 21 years, he appeared as 007 six more times, in films including “From Russia With Love” (1963) and “Goldfinger” (1964). To many fans, Connery is still the best of all Bonds--sexy, quick-witted and brutal. He certainly looked the best in a tux. Connery, 64, received the best supporting actor Oscar for “The Untouchables” (1987) and can be seen wooing Julia Ormond, 30-plus years his junior, in “First Knight.”


The debonair Oscar-winning English actor starred as retired Sir James Bond in the ill-fated 1967 spy spoof “Casino Royale,” which co-starred Woody Allen as Bond’s nephew Jimmy. Niven’s bond was suave and sophisticated, but even his charms couldn’t salvage this turkey. Niven’s career survived; he continued working in films and became a best-selling author. He died in 1983.



The Australia-born actor went to England in 1964 after selling cars in the land down under. A top model in England, he did TV commercials before becoming 007 in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969). He was an OK Bond but was overshadowed by the spectacularly staged action sequences. The actor, now 55, developed a reputation for being difficult on the set and experienced rough going for a few years. He appeared on the ABC daytime soap “General Hospital” in the ‘80s. Lazenby can be seen on Cinemax’s “Emmanuelle: The Series.”


The classically handsome English actor came to Hollywood in the mid-'50s and made a name for himself as the wealthy Robin Hood-type crook Simon Templar in the ‘60s British TV series “The Saint.” He starred in seven Bond films, including “Live and Let Die” (1973), “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977), “Moonraker” (1979) and “Octopussy” (1983). Handsome and debonair, Moore’s Bond was always quick with a quip or innuendo. Moore, 67, co-stars in the upcoming Jean-Claude Van Damme film, “The Quest.”


The green-eyed Welsh actor made his film debut opposite Katharine Hepburn and Peter O’Toole in “The Lion in Winter” (1968). Producers had actually showed interest in Dalton as Bond as far back as 1971, but he was considered too young. Dalton, who played 007 in “The Living Daylights” (1987) and “Licence to Kill” (1989), is the serious, no-nonsense Bond. He definitely has a dark side. Since “Licence,” Dalton, 51, has played another famous literary creation, Rhett Butler, in the much-ballyhooed 1994 CBS miniseries “Scarlett.”