If Austin Powers had actually existed, his swinging 1960s escapades would have surely been captured by photographer of the moment Terry O’Neill, who we imagine would have then shared a bottle of Bolly and a tryst or two with the sartorial spy. Of course, there was no shortage of the real thing around London at that time, and O’Neill turned his lens on most of them, including The Beatles, Rolling Stones, David Bowie, and perhaps most famously Elton John, with those images helping to launch the “Rocket Man” into the stratosphere.
In addition to rockers, models, and actresses—O’Neill eventually married Faye Dunaway, one of his famous subjects—he has also held a decades long job documenting the on- and off-camera adventures of none other than James Bond. Starting with 1964’s Goldfinger and continuing through to the recent Daniel Craig films, his camera has caught the on set and behind the scenes antics of Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and assorted Bond babes, in all their dapper stylistic splendor. And now the results have been collected in the glamorous new book Bond: Photographed by Terry O’Neill (from ACC Art Books).
Featuring archival images, alongside a series of original essays on the world of Bond by BAFTA-longlisted film writer James Clarke, plus new interviews with several of the actors featured in the photographs, the book is an absolute stunner, and a thrilling look back at the sort of movie star glamour that is in so short supply these days (with all respect to Brad, Leo and Renee’s 2020 Oscar appearances). The shots of Connery cavorting around a glittery Las Vegas in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) are alone worth the price of admission.
The book is meant to complement an exhibition at London’s Iconic Images Gallery, which of course is currently closed; but the museum has launched a virtual exhibit in its stead. The actual book release has also been compromised by the pandemic, but it will be available in the UK May 1, and in the US later this summer. Naturally, we recommend all digital viewings be conducted over a gin martini or two—shaken, not stirred, surely.