Sean Connery, before taking on his iconic James Bond role, actually secured a spot on “Maverick” as Beau Maverick. He didn’t take it, though.
Back in 1960, James Garner, who played Bret Maverick on the ABC western, was leaving the series after three seasons. Show producers needed another actor to fill his shoes.
They looked at Connery with an intent toward giving him a shot on “Maverick” as the Beau Maverick character.
Connery Had ‘Modest’ Deal For A Role on ABC’s ‘Maverick’
According to Connery biographer Michael Feeney Callan, in a ME.tv article, “(Connery was) offered long-term television contracts, for ‘Maverick’ and ‘Wyatt Earp.’ Those proposed deals were modest, but either would have guaranteed him the permanent access to Hollywood he sought.”
People associated with the show really wanted the Scottish-born actor to fill the role. They flew him in and held conversations. In the end, though, Connery turned down the role.
Why? Callan pointed out two reasons: one, the actor felt he would be short-selling American viewers; and two, he wanted to be close to girlfriend Diane Cilento.
Connery Turns Down Role, Which Goes To Future James Bond
Once Connery said no, he went on to film “Dr. No” and become James Bond. Who got the Beau role? Would you believe Roger Moore? Yes, Moore became Beau Maverick in 1960. He also was being looked at for the role alongside Connery.
The British native hung around only for 14 episodes of the show. Moore returned to England and pretty soon started a six-season run as Simon Templar on “The Saint.”
Obviously, in just a few years, Moore would himself become Agent 007 after Connery left the role.
“Maverick,” in its own way, played a part in bringing two James Bond actors across its path.