Hey, who says I can’t do “Before They Were Stars” features on fictional characters? It’s Ian Fleming’s birthday today and you may be surprised to learn that the first screen incarnation of his iconic literary creation was NOT Sean Connery in Dr. No. Eight years beforehand, a TV anthology series called Climax! actually paid for the rights to do a one-hour adaptation of Casino Royale for one of their episodes. However, they would cast an American actor named Barry Nelson in the role of James Bond and change the character’s name to Jimmy Bond! Needless to say, this version of Casino Royale bears little resemblance to any other James Bond film you’ve seen and while it’s very creaky and dated, 007 completists will probably want to check it out for curiosity purposes. Besides, you also get to see Peter Lorre in the role of Le Chiffre! Anyway, I’ve got the rest of the episode posted below.