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Who is James Bond?
James Bond, also known as 007 (pronounced "double-oh seven"), is a fictional British spy created by writer Ian Fleming in 1952. Fleming wrote numerous novels and short stories based upon the character and, after his death in 1964, further literary adventures were written by Kingsley Amis (pseudonym "Robert Markham"), John Pearson, John Gardner, Raymond Benson, and Charlie Higson. In addition, Christopher Wood wrote two screenplay novelisations and other authors have also written various unofficial permutations of the character.
Although initially made famous through the novels, James Bond is now best known from the EON Productions film series. Twenty-one films have been made (as of late 2006) as well as two that were independently produced and one American television adaptation of Fleming's first novel under legal licence. However, it is generally considered that only the EON films are "official". Albert R. (Cubby) Broccoli and Harry Saltzman produced most of these up until 1975, when Broccoli became the sole producer. From 1995, his daughter, Barbara Broccoli, and his stepson, Michael G. Wilson, jointly continued production duties.
To date, six actors have portrayed James Bond in the official series. They are:
* Sean Connery (1962-1967; 1971)
* George Lazenby (1969)
* Roger Moore (1973-1985)
* Timothy Dalton (1987-1989)
* Pierce Brosnan (1996-2002)
* Daniel Craig (2006-present)
In addition, Barry Nelson portrayed Bond in an Americanised television episode adaptation of Casino Royale in 1954. Bob Holness portrayed James Bond in a 1956 South African radio adaptation of Moonraker. David Niven played the role in a non-EON production of Casino Royale in 1967, and Connery reprised the character in another non-EON film, Never Say Never Again in 1983. Since none of these films was produced by EON, they are not considered official.
The twenty-first official film, Casino Royale, with Daniel Craig as James Bond, is in post-production and is scheduled for a November 17, 2006 release.
Broccoli's family company, Danjaq, LLC, has co-owned the James Bond film series with United Artists Corporation since the mid-1970s, when Saltzman sold UA his share of Danjaq. Currently, Columbia Pictures and MGM (United Artists' parent) co-distribute the franchise.
In addition to novels and films, Bond is a prominent character in many computer and video games, comic strips and comic books, and has been the subject of many parodies.