It often happens that a fictional character created by an author becomes so big that the identity of the writer gets obliterated in all the fuss about his or her own creation. It’s not a new phenomenon as such especially when it comes to the fate of writers who create larger than life characters such as James Bond.
Not much is spoken about the author of the 007 series Ian Fleming even though James Bond is an internationally recognised name. This month movie lovers will celebrate 50 years since the first James Bond film “Dr.No” was released way back in 1962. Along with the hype surrounding the release of the latest Bond movie “Skyfall” is the release of the theme song of the movie by Adele which is bound to give a boost to the movie.
I have watched almost all the Bond movies and find them entertaining. It nice to sit back and watch a movie which you know will end with James Bond winning the day, however ferocious and innovative his antagonists have gotten over the years. And, yes, he also always gets the girl. And this is no mean task given the kind of women he’s managed to woo over the years – from Ursula Andress to Halle Berry.
While several actors have played the role of James Bond in the movies, the character is the creation of one man, Ian Lancaster Fleming who was born in London on 28th May 1908.
Here are some facts about him that I found on his official website. http://www.ianfleming.com/index.asp
“After an early career at Reuter’s news agency, he became a stockbroker. During World War 2 he worked throughout as assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence in the Admiralty in London, privy to many secrets. It was his experience in this job that was to provide many of the characters and incidents that he was to write about later in the Bond books.”
“Following the war he became foreign manager, in charge of foreign correspondents, for Kemsley newspapers, owners of the Sunday Times and other papers. But his creative imagination remained under wraps until 1952, when, at the age of 43, he settled down in his house in Jamaica, and produced – in not much more than two months – Casino Royale, the first adventure of James Bond. He published a further thirteen James Bond titles and lived to witness their enormous success, and having seen his character played by Sean Connery in the first two films,Dr No and From Russia with Love.”
“He married Anne Rothermere in 1952 and in August that year his only son, Caspar, was born. While convalescing from his first heart attack in 1962, he wrote a short story about a flying car for Caspar – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Ian Fleming died aged 56, on 12th August 1964 at Sandwich in Kent.”
So that is in a nutshell the life of the man who created one of the most memorable and most enduring characters ever.
So while I eagerly await the release of “Skyfall” , I ‘d also like to state how grateful I am that Ian Fleming in all his ingenuity left behind a legendary character , whose exploits not only I , but my children now enjoy.