JB Fact File: Gary Bond
  • Gary Bond (Obituary) written by Derek Granger: here.
  • Audio sample of Gary singing in Anne of Thousand Days: here.
Gary James Bond was born in Hampshire on the 7th February 1940. Like Jeremy Brett, he came from a family with a strong military background - his father and uncles were in the army - and Gary's father expected his son to follow in his noble footsteps by joining the army, and becoming a professional soldier.
** PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS IMAGE **
Following his father's death in 1956, the sixteen-year-old
realised he could follow his own dreams of becoming an actor.
After leaving Churcher's College in Petersfield (and spending a
gap year in South Africa), he was fortunate enough to win a
scholarship to the highly regarded Central School of Speech
and Drama in London.
Gary's theatrical debut was in 1962, at the Connaught Theatre in
Worthing, in the play 'Not By The Book'. His first appearance on
television was to come the following year, when he played
Nicolai Rostrov in the ITV Play of the Week: War and Peace.
This was promptly followed by his film debut as the young,
and quite terrified, Private Cole in Zulu (1964), playing opposite
Michael Caine and Stanley Baker.
Stage and television work continued to be in regular supply throughout the 1960s, and in 1969 Gary found himself back on the big screen, in 'Anne of the Thousand Days', starring acting legend Richard Burton. Gary's part as the young court minstrel, Mark Smeaton, gave him a chance to display his natural grace and beautiful singing voice on film. Even if the end result was, inevitably, being tortured by one of King Henry's henchmen, after being accused of being involved with Queen Anne!
In 1970 the opportunity arose to star along side Australian
legend, Chips Rafferty, and British horror star, Donald
Pleasence
, in the controversial Australian Film, 'Wake
in Fright' (also known as OUTBACK); it explored the dark
under belly of rural Australia with considerable brutality.

The film - in which Gary played the lead role of English
teacher gone astray, John Grant - provoked outrage
across Australia upon its release in the autumn of 1971.

In 2009 'Wake in Fright' was restored and re-released in
Australia to great acclaim, firmly establishing its self
as a genuine cult classic.
By the 1970's Gary Bond had already started working in musicals, first for Brian Epstein in 'On The Level' (1966), before having his first major success for Andrew Lloyd Webber in 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' (1972). The musical caught the attention of the Queen's sister, Princess Margaret; she went to see the critically acclaimed musical five times, and was to become firm friends with Gary as a result. The production was also recorded by Granada Television and televised in the UK on Christmas Eve 1972.

ILLNESS & DEATH

Many years later on a visit to Gary who was gravely ill in hospital Jeremy is said to have gently sung to him at his bedside - in a revealing and beautiful moment emphasizing Jeremy's thoughtful nature, and the bond of friendship that still existed between both men.

Sadly, Gary would pass away on the 12th October 1995 at Ealing Hospital, leaving behind his true soul mate, his devoted partner of some sixteen years, talented American artist E.J. Taylor. Taylor had sustained Gary through a long and painful illness.








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Fact File © Rebecca Wilde 2011/2012