Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sean Connery, Lex Barker, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton

It seems that, when he was just 21, Timothy Dalton was offered the role of James Bond. He turned it down because he thought he was too young. Most actors that age find themselves playing high school kids, so he probably was.

The role went to George Lazenby after he accidently slugged a professional wrestler during an audition.

I've heard different explanations for why Lazenby quit. That he was in over his head, that he realized he wasn't experienced enough as an actor to do it. But it's also been reported that his agent urged him to quit. It was the '60s! Nobody liked secret agents anymore!

Sean Connery was in a movie with Lana Turner in the 1950s. Turner's insanely jealous gangster boyfriend, Johnny Stompanato (pictured above), pulled a gun on Connery and Connery took it away from him and beat the crap out of him. Which may not be as impressive as it sounds since Stompanato was later stabbed to death by Turner's 14-year-old daughter.

Lana Turner had terrible taste in men. She was married to former Tarzan actor Lex Barker. Turner threw Barker out of the house at gunpoint when her daughter, then 13, revealed that he had been molesting her for years. Pretty shocking. What the hell was wrong with that guy.

Back to George Lazenby, I'm not sure that accidentally punching a stuntman in an audition is such a good thing. It's been reported that David Carradine kept sending stuntmen to the hospital on the show Kung Fu. When I heard that, I wasn't sure what to think. Should I be impressed? Did it show that his kung fu really worked? Or did it show that he was clumsy and didn't know what he was doing?


twiggy said...

The story of Cheryl Crane about Lex Barker is not confirmed. There was no evidence. In fact, look at this interview (before the book of Crane came out):

Would Lana Turner talk of Lex Barker that way if he had done anything bad to her one and only daughter? Would’nt she say: Leave me alone, I don’t want to talk about him? She talks without hate, she even has warm words for him (in the beginning of their romance).

Nobody who knew Barker confirmed this story.

On the other hand you have a little girl that killed a man with a knife (or her mother did and they both lied).

Waldo Scott said...

Johnny Stompanato was a "man", was he?

A child sticking a knife in a mobster attacking her mother is entirely admirable.

Lex Barker obviously wouldn't have told anyone he molested his stepdaughter and it's hard to imagine Turner regaling her friends with the story. I wouldn't expect there to be any evidence that it happened.

But I don't know if it was true or not. I should have said what the source of the story was and not stated it as fact.