Ian Fleming dies of a heart attack in Canterbury, England, 1964. “I wanted the simplest, dullest, plainest-sounding name I could find,” the author said about arriving at the right moniker for his famous creation. “’James Bond’ was much better than something more interesting like ‘Peregrine Maltravers.’” During World War II, when Fleming worked in British naval intelligence, he trailed a rather dashing spy who later became a double agent for the British. The man served as the prototype for Bond, and, when the war was over, Fleming retired to Jamaica, built a home he called Goldeneye and set to work on writing his 007 adventures, the first of which was Casino Royale. In all, Fleming penned 12 novels and nine short stories featuring the fictional double agent and harbored no illusions about their importance in the world of great literature. “I always make it a rule never to look back,” he remarked. “I’d ask myself how I could write such piffle and live with myself, day after day.”
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Ursula Andress is born in Bern, Switzerland, 1936. No actress she, Andress was at least able to move her arms and legs and looked darned good doing it. She was primarily a sexy side dish, bringing a dull vivaciousness to 4 for Texas (1963), What’s New Pussycat? (1965) and Casino Royale (1967). Most notably, she emerged from the sea in a bikini in Dr. No (1962), the first James Bond movie to hit the silver screen, playing Honey Ryder opposite Sean Connery’s double agent. Cinema’s first Bond girl also had a long history of famous beaus, Jean Paul Belmondo, Ryan O’Neal, Marlon Brando and Warren Beatty among them. James Dean was another notch on her belt; the volatile nature of their relationship inspired one tabloid to report that Dean was learning German so they could argue in another language.