After five Bond movies, Sean Connery had had enough: he announced in 1966 that he was done with the role. He would eventually return to it, but the producers of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service would need to replace him. The process through which they found George Lazenby was documented by LIFE magazine, and the photos from five actors’ auditions can be seen online here.
But how to explain the new face within the film? Although it was eventually decided that Bond would just be Bond and audiences would have to adjust — which they did just fine — that was not a foregone conclusion. In early discussions of how to handle the switch for OHMSS, it looked as if Bond would opt for plastic surgery, with the intent of throwing his enemies off his scent.