A Secret Service agent, Bond was a composite based on a number of commandos whom author Ian Fleming had known during his service in the Naval Intelligence Division during World War II, to whom he added his own style and a number of his own tastes. Fleming appropriated the name from American ornithologist James Bond. Bond's code number 007 comes from one of British naval intelligence's key achievements of World War I: the breaking of the German diplomatic code. One of the German documents cracked and read by the British was the Zimmermann Telegram, which was coded 0075, and which was one of the factors that led the US entering the war. Subsequently if material was graded 00 it meant it was highly classified. Fleming later told a journalist, "When I was at the Admiralty ... all the top-secret signals had the double-0 prefix ... and I decided to borrow it for Bond".
Although James Bond is in his mid-to-late thirties, he does not age in Fleming's stories. Fleming biographer Andrew Lycett noted that, "within the first few pages [of Casino Royale] Ian had introduced most of Bond's idiosyncrasies and trademarks", which included his looks, his Bentley and his smoking and drinking habits:Bond's penchant for alcohol runs throughout the series of books and he smokes up to 70 cigarettes a day.[a]
Fleming decided to underplay Bond's character, observing that "Exotic things would happen to and around him, but he would be a neutral figure". On another occasion, he reinforced his point, saying, "When I wrote the first one in 1953, I wanted Bond to be an extremely dull, uninteresting man to whom things happened; I wanted him to be a blunt instrument"
Commander James Bond, CMG, RN—code number 007—is a fictional character created by the British journalist and novelist Ian Fleming in 1952. The character appeared in a series of twelve novels and two short story collectionswritten by Fleming and a number of continuation novels and spin-off works after Fleming's death in 1964. Seven actors have played Bond in 25 films.
Fleming portrayed Bond as a tall, athletic, handsome secret agent in his thirties or forties; he has several vices including drinking, smoking, gambling, automobiles and women. He is an exceptional marksman, and skilled in unarmed combat, skiing, swimming and golf. While Bond kills without hesitation or regret, he usually kills only when carrying out orders, while acting in self-defence and occasionally as revenge.
American actor Barry Nelson was the first to portray Bond on screen, in a 1954 television adaptation, "Casino Royale". In 1961 Eon Productions began work on Dr. No, an adaptation of the novel of the same name. The result was a film that began a series of 23 films that celebrated their fiftieth anniversary in 2012. After considering the likes of 'refined' English actors such as Cary Grant and David Niven, the producers cast Sean Connery as Bond in the film. Fleming was appalled at the selection of the uncouth, 31-year-old Scottish actor, considering him to be the antithesis of his character. However, Connery's physical prowess and sexual magnetism in the role came to be closely identified with the character, with Fleming ultimately changing his view on Connery and incorporating aspects of his portrayal into the books.
Following Connery's portrayal, David Niven, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan andDaniel Craig have assumed the role in twenty-five feature film productions. These screen versions have retained many traits from Fleming's depiction, although some of Bond's less fashionable attitudes have been dropped, such as racism,homophobia, retaining the services of a maid, and in the more recent films, smoking. Despite playing the same character, there have been notable differences among the portrayals. Daniel Craig is the incumbent Bond in the long-running Eon series, and played the part for a third time in the latest film, Skyfall, released in late 2012.