(Changes Roger Moore's nationality to English in 10th
By Piya Sinha-Roy and Tim Reid
LOS ANGELES Feb 24 Dame Shirley Bassey earned a
standing ovation at the Oscars on Sunday when she lead a tribute
to James Bond's 50th birthday by singing "Goldfinger," the 1964
Bond theme song that launched her international career.
Bassey, 76, wearing a gold dress, gold necklace and gold
earrings, appeared on stage following a film and music tribute
to the Bond movie franchise, which began in 1962 with the first
Bond film "Dr. No," starring Sir Sean Connery.
Last year, "Skyfall," the 23rd installment of the Bond
series - the longest-running motion picture franchise in history
- was released and became the highest-grossing Bond film,
crossing the $1 billion mark at the global box office.
Bassey has become synonymous with the Bond franchise,
singing the theme songs not only for "Goldfinger," but 1971's
"Diamonds are Forever" and 1979's "Moonraker."
The Welsh diva was preceded on the Oscars stage by actress
Halle Berry, who appeared as Bond girl Jinx in the 2002 movie
"Die Another Day," starring Pierce Brosnan as Bond.
"Tonight, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of James Bond in
motion pictures," Berry said, adding that the music of the films
"is as inextricably linked to Bond as the martini, exotic cars
and Pussy Galore."
Halle, who won a Best Actress Oscar for "Monster's Ball" in
2001, was asked about her role as a Bond girl on the red carpet
before Sunday's Oscars ceremony.
"I've not been more proud to be part of a franchise than
that one," Berry said.
Connery went on to play the British secret service agent
five more times after "Dr. No" until 1971's "Diamonds Are
English actor Sir Roger Moore embodied Bond seven times,
including 1973's "Live and Let Die," 1983's "Octopussy" and
1985's "A View to Kill."
Actors George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan
also played the lead role.
Bond films have historically received only a handful of
Oscar nominations, mainly within the technical or music
This year, "Skyfall," starring Daniel Craig in his third
appearance as Bond, landed five nominations including Best
Cinematography, Best Original Song and Best Original Score.
(Editing by Sandra Maler and Mary Milliken)