It was a meeting of the two most famous British people on the planet: Queen Elizabeth II turned to her tuxedo-wearing guest and said, "Good evening, Mr. Bond."
The pairing of these icons, the English monarch and the king of spies — in a film for the opening ceremony of the London Olympics — was a thrilling moment. It scarcely mattered that one of them was fictional. Agent 007 is real to millions of moviegoers, and once again they will flock to see Bond battle for queen and country when his 23rd official screen adventure, Skyfall, opens this fall.
He's come a long way in the 50 years since the release — on October 5, 1962 — of a modestly budgeted spy movie called Dr. No. It introduced a dapper but deadly secret agent who wore Savile Row suits, drove an Aston Martin, liked his martinis shaken, not stirred, and announced himself as "Bond, James Bond."
What's the secret of his survival? Familiarity, says Roger Moore, who played Bond in seven films, more than any other actor.
Text & images: AP