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James Bond tribute: No Bonds, but Berry and Bassey

February 25, 2013|By Glenn Whipp

There were no Bonds, but there was Bassey and Berry, making the Academy Awards telecast's tribute to the James Bond movies one of the more memorable (tolerable?) moments of this year's show.

Halle Berry, who played Bond girl Jinx opposite Pierce Brosnan in the 2002 movie "Die Another Day," introduced a clips montage that saluted the "sights, sounds and music" of the Bond series, which just celebrated its golden anniversary.

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After the brief segment, Berry gave way to Dame Shirley Bassey, who belted out the title song to the 1964 Bond film, "Goldfinger." Bassey, wearing, appropriately enough, a gold, sequined dress, earned a standing ovation after powerfully hitting the song's final note. 

That wasn't the end of the night for 007. British chanteuse Adele sang the title song from the latest Bond film, "Skyfall," and later returned to the stage, winning the Oscar for original song with co-writer Paul Epworth. "Skyfall" also shared the sound editing Oscar with "Zero Dark Thirty." The film's two wins doubled the entire series' previous Oscar take.

When the show's producers announced the Bond tribute in January, there was speculation that the segment would gather the six actors who have played 007 — Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig — on stage for the first time.

But Lazenby, who played Bond but once in 1969's "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," told Scottish newspaper Daily Record that Connery, 82, wouldn't show up because "he doesn’t need the money."

"I don’t think he could spend the money before he goes," Lazenby reportedly said while attending the Great British Film Reception at the British Consul General's residence in Los Angeles on Friday.

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Glenn Whipp

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