On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is a 1969 British spy film and the sixth in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions. It is based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. Following Sean Connery’s decision to retire from the role after You Only Live Twice, Eon Productions selected an unknown actor and model, George Lazenby, to play the part of James Bond. During the making of the film, Lazenby announced that he would play the role of Bond only once.
Agent 007 (George Lazenby) and the adventurous Tracy Di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg) join forces to battle the evil SPECTRE organization in the treacherous Swiss Alps. But the group’s powerful leader, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Telly Savalas), is launching his most calamitous scheme yet: a germ warfare plot that could kill millions!
George Lazenby as James Bond – MI6 agent, codename 007.
Diana Rigg as Countess Tracy di Vicenzo – A vulnerable countess and Marc-Ange Draco’s daughter, who captures Bond’s heart. Like Honor Blackman in Goldfinger before her, Rigg had come to the notice of Eon Productions through her work on The Avengers, where she played Emma Peel from 1965–68.
Telly Savalas as Ernst Stavro Blofeld aka Comte Balthazar de Bleuchamp – Bond’s nemesis, leader of SPECTRE and in hiding. Savalas had appeared in The Dirty Dozen in 1967, leading to Broccoli suggesting him to director Peter Hunt, for the role, in place of Donald Pleasence, who had appeared in You Only Live Twice. Both Broccoli and Hunt felt Pleasence was unsuited to the more physical side of the Blofeld role in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Gabriele Ferzetti as Marc-Ange Draco – Head of the Union Corse, a major crime syndicate and Tracy’s father (uncredited voice by David de Keyser).
Ilse Steppat as Irma Bunt – Blofeld’s henchwoman who assists in the attempts to eliminate Bond, and although they fail to finish him off Bunt eventually manages to kill Tracy. Said to be the most successful piece of casting in the film, the Bunt character did not appear in the film You Only Live Twice, although she did appear in the novel. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was Steppat’s last role: the 52-year-old died of a heart attack on 21 December 1969, three days after the film premiered.