Movie News

First James Bond Barry Nelson Dead at 89

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Apr 14, 2007 | 7:55am EDT

Barry Nelson, the first actor to play James Bond, has died in Pennsylvania. He was 89.

Nelson was a big star for MGM studios in the early 1940s after he was spotted by a talent scout and signed to a series of films including Johnny Eager, Dr. Kildare's Victory and A Yank on the Burma Road.

He also became a forces favorite during World War II by starring in the wartime play Winged Victory. He reprised his role later in a movie version of the play, alongside Red Buttons and George Reeves.

Nelson returned to his acting career after the war and starred in films like Time to Kill and Undercover Maisie, and became a trivia poser when he played James Bond in a one-hour TV adaptation of Casino Royale in 1954.

He became a prolific stage star throughout the 1960s and 1970s, appearing in Broadway in hits like Seascape and The Act, which earned him a Tony nomination.

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