may have been a controversial choice when he was initially cast as James Bond, but blond hair and a hulking physique can be overlooked. What audiences may not have adapted to is a guy best known for comedy pratfalls and a deranged fake cockney accent. The star of such classics as Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Diagnosis: Murder, the great , was approached to play Bond back in the day.
I really wanted to use lots of exclamation points there, but refrained in the name of professionalism. Here's what Dick Van Dyke had to say about his conversation with original Bond head honcho, (known as 'Cubby') in the late 60s:
I was doing Chitty, Sean Connery had spoken about leaving the Bond pictures. He had done several at the time. Cubby Broccoli actually pulled me in and asked me if I wanted to do Bond.
Here's a couple of gifs of Dick in his heyday. Do you think he could have bonded with the role of 007?
He's certainly a good looking guy, and that's some properly slick Bond hair going on, but having the Diagnosis: Murder star rock the Walther PPK would be kind of like casting as Lara Croft. No wait, that's a great idea. I fully endorse this.
Sadly, Van Dyke never made it into the Aston Martin. He told Broccoli very firmly:
I said, 'Have you heard [my British accent]?' And [Broccoli] said, 'Oh, that's right! Forget it!'
Have you heard Dick's British accent? It's probably the worst one ever except 's in My Fair Lady. Van Dyke then gave his two cents on the current casting of Daniel Craig, saying that he was a 'wonderful' actor, but didn't have the 'panache to be Bond'.
Hmmm...well, will always be my Bond, but I have no complaints about Craig. What do you think, guys?
You can watch Dick Van Dyke's whole chat with below, if you wish.