George Lazenby

MikeyB

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Sep 13, 2018
Does anyone know the background of how George Lazenby ended up in Gettysburg? Just kind of seems out of nowhere that an Australian actor, formerly James Bond would end up playing a Southern general. Was curious if he was friends with Turner or something else or if it really was just a guy who showed up and got the part.
 

RedRover

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Dec 16, 2019
Does anyone know the background of how George Lazenby ended up in Gettysburg? Just kind of seems out of nowhere that an Australian actor, formerly James Bond would end up playing a Southern general. Was curious if he was friends with Turner or something else or if it really was just a guy who showed up and got the part.
The movie was a $20 to 30 Million dollar production, and the intent was to present "an all-star cast" so far as that budget allowed. Mr. Lazenby (according to his IMDB page) had been resident in the United States, and doing many TV movies etc. or several years. Gettysburg was an expensive TV movie produced by Ted Turner, so that kind of work was his forte. Most actors have to "apply" for roles (jobs) by testing for them, but perhaps a prior connection with some of the Gettysburg television production staff led to the role.

I do not have a copy, but a 1992-93 copy of Civil War Times Illustrated (with Jeff Daniels on the cover if I recall correctly) has a very thorough narrative of the production history, and the many subsidiary companies and persons engaged in putting it all together. I seem to recall that Robert Duvall was originally noted as cast for General Lee, but he dropped out, and Mr. Sheen was subsequently secured for the role.

J. Marshall,
Hernando, FL.
 

MikeyB

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Sep 13, 2018
The movie was a $20 to 30 Million dollar production, and the intent was to present "an all-star cast" so far as that budget allowed. Mr. Lazenby (according to his IMDB page) had been resident in the United States, and doing many TV movies etc. or several years. Gettysburg was an expensive TV movie produced by Ted Turner, so that kind of work was his forte. Most actors have to "apply" for roles (jobs) by testing for them, but perhaps a prior connection with some of the Gettysburg television production staff led to the role.

I do not have a copy, but a 1992-93 copy of Civil War Times Illustrated (with Jeff Daniels on the cover if I recall correctly) has a very thorough narrative of the production history, and the many subsidiary companies and persons engaged in putting it all together. I seem to recall that Robert Duvall was originally noted as cast for General Lee, but he dropped out, and Mr. Sheen was subsequently secured for the role.

J. Marshall,
Hernando, FL.

interesting. I hadn't realized Lazenby was active in American TV at the time. The only things I know him for are Bond and Gettysburg.
 

RedRover

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Dec 16, 2019
interesting. I hadn't realized Lazenby was active in American TV at the time. The only things I know him for are Bond and Gettysburg.
He played Superman's father, "Jor-El" on the "Adventures of Superboy" before Gettysburg; or at least an alien who fooled Superboy by impersonating him. I think I actually saw that back in 1990. It was a syndicated show aired on weekends.

J. Marshall,
Hernando, FL.
 

Grant's Tomb

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When I had watched the film the first few times, I wasn't aware that it was George Lazenby portraying James J. Pettigrew who was briefly in command of Heth's division after Heth had been wounded.
 

RedRover

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Dec 16, 2019
When I had watched the film the first few times, I wasn't aware that it was George Lazenby portraying James J. Pettigrew who was briefly in command of Heth's division after Heth had been wounded.
Mr. Lazenby served in the Australian Army. Notice that though he portrays a "scholar" general of volunteers in his brief scene, he reflexively turns away from Longstreet (Berrenger) with an "about-face."

I first saw Gettysburg: the movie, in a theater, and was particularly interested in the cast/credits. It was fun to see who they got to play the various historical personages. Cooper Huckabee (Harrison) I recognized was one of the unfortunate Geyser brothers from "Blue & the Gray" (1981). He was also in the horror movie "Funhouse" in the early 80s co-starring with Kevin Conway (Buster from Gettysburg).
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I also recognized Andrew Prine (Garnett) from the "Devils' Brigade" and some westerns.

J. Marshall,
Hernando, FL.
 
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RedRover

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Dec 16, 2019
For those amused by the old parlor game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" which challenges the player to connect any screen actor's work with the actor Kevin Bacon, it might be of interest to note that George Lazenby, (Pettigrew) in Gettysburg, has a score of "2." That is one-removed as the highest score is "1" (Mr. Bacon alone holding a "0" as I recall). Lazenby performed in a movie with Forrest Whitaker ("Four Dogs Playing Poker", 2000), who co-starred with Bacon ("The Air I Breathe" 2007).

Recall that Mr. Whitaker co-starred in "Platoon" (1986) as "Big Harold" with both Tom Berenger (Longstreet), and Mark Moses (Sgt. Owen/20th Maine) in "Gettysburg."

Martin Sheen, who plays Lee in Gettysburg, also has a "Kevin Bacon" degree of "2"; starring in the "Amazing Spider Man" with Campbell Scott, who was in "Loverboy" (2005) with Mr. Bacon.

Campbell Scott, portrayed Captain Carter Blair (fictional) in ABC network's "The Perfect Tribute" (1991), wounded in Pickett's Charge. I seem to recall reading many, many years ago that ABC first considered making "Gettysburg" for its network, but dropped it to make the smaller-scale, and cheaper "Perfect Tribute." Gettysburg was salvaged by Ted Turner's interest for airing on his channels, and filmed the next year.

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Cheers,

J. Marshall,
Hernando, FL.
 

RedRover

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Dec 16, 2019
Mr. Lazenby's screen time in Gettysburg is very brief, but here is some historical comparison. Here is Mr. Lazenby, costumed in the uniform of a Confederate General, in regulation cap, gray frock coat and trousers, etc.

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Below is a model wearing General Pettigrew's actual dress frock coat (steel gray), with General Pender's pants, and Gen. Robert Ransom's cap. This Pettigrew coat is in the North Carolina Museum of History collections.
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At Gettysburg national military park is a frock coat ascribed to Gen. Pettigrew, though its provenance states it was captured by federals in 1862, so not worn at Gettysburg evidently (who knows what exactly he was wearing at Gettysburg?). It is the one shown in the "Echoes of Glory" Time-Life books of uniforms of the Confederacy about 1990.
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Because I, like many, had practically memorized all the uniforms photographed in the Echoes of Glory books, including Pettigrew's brown/gray coat; on seeing the movie I immediately noticed they made Mr. Lazenby's Pettigrew costume a sort of brownish-gray, like the above coat: I assumed the movie costumer's might have cracked that same book, so was slightly impressed. To show what I mean, compare with the cadet-gray of Stephen Lang's "Pickett" costume:

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I assume it lacked the better tailoring as demonstrated for say, "Pickett" or "Longstreet's" uniforms because of the small role, and the general's insignia is "sutler's row." Regardless, as mentioned, Pettigrew's brown-gray colored coat was evidently no longer in his possession by mid-1863, but if the movie maker's did make some effort to replicate any Pettigrew uniform in any measure, then way to go. Of course, perhaps the whole getup is off-the-rack sutler-row.


Perhaps not hired for a direct resemblance to Gen. Pettigrew, it is evident Mr. Lazenby cultivated a short mustache and goatee for the role. Sure it's too short, but I don't mind, as his preparation spared the use of more false-whiskers. In fact, Hurrah for Mr. Lazenby! Below is a comparison.

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Hey, I notice James Permane is the fellow standing behind Mr. Lazenby in the above image. He might have details about "James Bond's" appearance on the Set of July 3 at Gettysburg!



J. Marshall,
Hernando, FL.
 
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