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James Bond films celebrate 50th anniversary

On this day 50 years ago, James Bond became a movie star.


The British superspy first hit the big screen on Oct. 5, 1962, when "Dr. No" opened in theaters, introducing Ian Fleming's suave 007 to the masses.

Now, a half-century and six Bond actors later, the series is one of the longest running in history, having made $4.9 billion in ticket sales over 22 films. The 23rd Bond movie, "Skyfall," will be released in U.S. theaters on Nov. 9.

The first man to play "Bond, James Bond," was Sean Connery. George Lazenby was hired for a single film, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," before Connery returned for "Diamonds Are Forever.'' Roger Moore took over for the next seven films, followed by Timothy Dalton's two and Pierce Brosnan's four. Daniel Craig debuted in 2006 with "Casino Royale," and the upcoming "Skyfall" will mark his third film in the franchise.

The films also introduced the world to the Bond girls. When Ursula Andress emerged from the sea, curves glistening, with a dagger strapped to her bikini in 1962's "Dr. No," she made the Bond girl an instant icon. Bond girls though the years have included Honor Blackman, Jane Seymour, Barbara Bach, Grace Jones, Denise Richards and Halle Berry.

Music has also been a part of the franchise. Singers from Shirley Bassey to Duran Duran, Sheryl Crow and Madonna have lent their voices to the theme songs for the Bond films. Adele is the latest star to join that list, having co-written and performed the theme to "Skyfall."

The anniversary is being celebrated in a number of ways. A new documentary, "Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of James Bond," will premiere Friday on the EPIX channel.

That same day, a charity auction will take place at Christie's, where the items being sold include an Aston Martin featured in 2008's "Quantum of Solace."

There's a new Blu-ray anniversary box set called "Bond 50," containing all 22 released James Bond films, now available, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York is screening each of the films through October.

Are you a James Bond fan? Vote for your favorite Bond actor in our poll above and share your thoughts on the films in the comments.

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