When James Bond was American

Sean Connery was not the first actor to portray Ian Fleming’s iconic secret agent. Long before Connery starred as 007 in Dr. No, another actor played the part on the small screen.

In 1954, a live anthology series titled Climax adapted Fleming’s first novel, Casino Royale, for an hour-long episode on ABC. But in the television version, James Bond was no longer a British spy. Instead, he was a U.S. intelligence operative named “Jimmy Bond” and played by American actor Barry Nelson.

Barry Nelson in the original Casino Royale

By the release of Dr. No in 1962, Jimmy Bond was all but forgotten, but Casino Royale would be adapted twice more, next in 1967, when David Niven played in a parody of the Bond series, and later in 2006, when Daniel Craig took up the role.