The timeless James Bond is everyone’s favorite spy, and he’s been successfully killing bad guys, scoring beautiful women and saving the world on the big screen since 1962’s Dr. No. When he released Casino Royale in 1953, English novelist Ian Fleming could never have imagined the heights of popularity his 007 character would reach. Since then, Bond has been played by six different actors in more than 20 movies and has appeared in cartoons, radio programs and video games. Yet, despite all this exposure, we’ve found five things you probably didn’t know about James Bond.
1.) James Bond was inspired by an American zoologist
To come up with his Bond character, Fleming pooled traits from several people he knew and had read about. In naming his soon-to-be famous spy, Fleming picked James Bond after the famed bird expert with the same name. Bond wrote the acclaimed Birds of the West Indies, considered by many experts to be the definitive book on Caribbean birds. To come up with Bond’s cool demeanor, Fleming took attributes from real-life spies Sidney Reilly and Sir William Stephenson, as well as popular jazz composer Hoagy Carmichael. In fact, Fleming, who worked in British naval intelligence, also channeled his former peers in the creation of his iconic character.
2.) Bond was created on summer vacation
Agent 007 may have never materialized had Fleming not bargained with one of his bosses. Specifically, when Fleming applied for a job with Kemsley Newspapers, owned by the famed London Sunday Times, he asked that he be granted two months of vacation each year. His request was approved, and each year from 1953 until his death in 1964, Fleming used those months to write a different Bond novel while vacationing at his Jamaican estate. The estate’s name? Goldeneye.
3.) Bond has a drink every 24.3 minutes
It’s not uncommon for the world’s best spy to crash the most lavish parties around the world, and while he’s there, he might as well have a drink if it’s offered. Bond’s staple is the classic vodka martini, shaken, not stirred, but he’s also been known to sample other drinks. In the Bond films up to Casino Royale, Bond is seen to consume 114 drinks — the equivalent of one every 24.3 minutes. Interestingly enough, he drinks champagne more than anything (35 glasses) and only enjoys one beer. In the Bond novels, he drinks a total of 317 alcoholic drinks — one every seven pages, on average. Though he may enjoy the occasional drink, Bond has steered clear of smoking since 2002’s Die Another Day — which was the last time he smoked a cigar.
4.) There are only seven 00’s
You’re forgiven if you were under the impression that Bond’s MI6 organization was fully stocked with agents. Throughout the movies, we learn that Bond is one of just seven 00 agents spying for the British, but he has the best knack for staying alive. In different movies, we’ve see the deaths of 002, 003, 004, and 009. Agent 006, believed killed, returns as the villain in GoldenEye before he’s disposed of. Besides Bond, only the unnamed 008 proves to be a skilled agent. He’s mentioned several times as Bond’s replacement should he die or be pulled off a mission for insubordination. It’s unclear why no 001 or 005 have ever been mentioned.
5.) Bond became a 00 at the age of 38
In each movie, we learn a little more about not only Bond, but also his background — and it all amounts to what would be a very impressive resume. A decorated serviceman, Bond attended the University of Geneva, served in the Royal Navy and later joined the special forces. While there, he was successful in several key missions across the globe. Still needing a challenge, Bond joined MI6 at the age of 30, and 8 years later received the prestigious 00 status, granting him a licence to kill for his country. More than just a typical action hero, the cerebral Bond holds a degree in Oriental languages, is fluent in English, French, German, Italian, and Russian, and can get by with passable Greek, Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese. (Reprinted from AskMen.com)