Finley Light – To Be James Bond
Although my feelings about Skyfall were lukewarm I’ve still been enjoying much of the Bond memorabilia which has appeared on the web recently. Only six actors have played James Bond in the official Eon series, but many more have been considered for the part. Somehow I just can’t imagine Burt Reynolds, Mel Gibson or John Gavin, all of whom were considered – Gavin even signed a contract which was subsequently bought out, saying those immortal lines “The name’s Bond, James Bond.” Then again, the actors who did play Bond had time to establish themselves in the role, and I guess we just accept them in the established Bond history. I wouldn’t have pictured American actor James Brolin as Bond either, but he did a fantastic screen test (now on YouTube), re-enacting a scene from From Russia With Love with Maud Adams, when the producers were considering him for the role for Octopussy.
There is an excellent essay on Alternative007 about the actors who were in the frame at one time or another to be Bond. Michael Billington appears to have come closer to the role than any of the other contenders, and I think he would have made a wonderful Bond. He has a brief but important role in The Spy Who Loved Me as the Russian spy Sergei Barsov. One named I have heard repeated a few times regarding potential James Bonds is the rather distinctive sounding ‘Finley Light’. Light was apparently considered after Roger Moore stood down in 1985 but on Alternative007 Light is only briefly mentioned with the rather intriguing line, ‘Australian model called Finlay Light was strongly linked to the role but to this day no one is sure if such a person exists!’ I was puzzled by this and began pondering whether Finley Light might have been some elaborate ploy by the producers to hoodwink the press and Bond fans at the time. Light just seems too reminiscent of George Lazenby, another Australian who was plucked from obscurity for what turned out to be a brief tenure as James Bond, and I certainly couldn’t recall coming across Light in any other films. Apparently, the Mail on Sunday ran a world exclusive breaking the story that Light had signed a ten year contract to be Bond. However, before I let my conspiracy-theory-inclined-mind run away with me a little bit of internet searching seemed to confirm there is such a person as Finley Light (some sources spell it Finlay with an a). Light has an imdb page which lists him as having one screen acting credit for a single episode of an Australian television series titled Case for the Defence, broadcast in 1978 and there appears to be some information on Light at the National Library of Australia although unfortunately its not digitised, and I can’t find any photos of Mr Light. I’ve also found a Finlay Light who played drums in the British Heavy Metal band Necrosanct who were active in the late 1980s and early 90s, although I’ve no idea if this is the same person as the enigmatic would be spy.
I guess I’m intrigued. If any readers, particularly Australian ones, remember Finley Light I’d like to hear from you.
UPDATE: I’ve finally come across some images of Finley Light and they’re quite striking. Here’s the link to some photos of Light that were taken in 1986 around the time he was being considered for Bond (scroll down to the bottom of the page to see him). Light has a distinctive look which makes me think he could have suited the role of Bond.
Does this blog post from 2010 show an older Finley Light?