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Actress Eunice Grayson starred with Sean Connery in Dr No
SHE was the first Bond girl and set up the line that introduced the famous spy to millions of moviegoers around the world.
Veteran actress Eunice Gayson played Sylvia Trench, Bond’s on-off girlfriend in the first two 007 adventures, Dr No and From Russia With Love.
They meet for the first time in a London casino in a scene that became one of the most famous in movie history.
Sylvia strikes up a conversation with the mysterious stranger sitting opposite and asks him his name.
Casually lighting a cigarette, he replies: “Bond. James Bond.”
But the relatively inexperienced Sean Connery was not quite as self-assured as the character he was playing.
Eunice, who is due to visit the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, today to promote her new autobiography, The First Lady of Bond, has revealed that he was slightly on edge and needed a couple of drinks to steady his nerves.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Echo, Eunice told how he repeatedly fluffed his opening line on the first day of shooting.
She said: “In the end the director, Terence Young, asked me to take him to the studio restaurant and get him a drink. The waiter didn’t know that Sean had been on the wagon for three months and said, ‘Your usual, Mr Connery?’ “It was difficult for Sean to say no.
I can’t remember what his usual was but it worked. He returned to the set and delivered the line in a lovely sardonic way. Terence told him, ‘That’s exactly how I want you to play the whole part’.”
Following her appearance in Dr No Eunice returned in From Russia With Love, which was set six months later.
Eunice went on to enjoy a successful career in television, appearing in series such as The Saint, starring future 007 Roger Moore.
Now a grandmother in her 80s, she believes the Bond movies saved the British film industry.
Eunice, of Richmond, Surrey, is due to arrive at Beaulieu at 12.30pm today to help the museum celebrate the 50th anniversary of Dr No.