Sean Connery as James Bond

Sean Connery as James Bond

The James Bond franchise is 50 years old, and to celebrate, the producers of the Academy Awards just announced they will have a special tribute to the super spy on the Oscar telecast Feb. 24.

“We are very happy to include a special sequence on our show saluting the Bond films on their 50th birthday,” said producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. “Starting with Dr. No back in 1962, the 007 movies have become the longest-running motion picture franchise in history and a beloved global phenomenon.”

The most recent Bond film, Skyfall, is also the most lucrative. So far it has made more than $1 billion at the box office. It was also recognized by the Producers Guild,which nominated it for best film of the year, and the Art Directors Guild, which nominated it for best production design.

Highlights from the Oscar tribute to the Bond franchise are bound to include clips from the films, along with singers performing some of the famous musical Bond theme songs. Wouldn’t it be amazing if Paul McCartney turned up to sing “Live and Let Die,” the theme song from the 1973 film which he wrote and performed with his band Wings?

And how about Shirley Bassey, who belted out the 1964 theme song from Goldfinger? She also returned in 1971 to sing “Diamonds are Forever.” Here she is last year at the Classic BRIT Awards show, singing “Goldfinger.” She still looks pretty damn good.

Of course the big “get” would be Adele performing her hit song from Skyfall, which may be the first Bond theme song to win an Oscar.

And the biggest coup of all for the Oscars would be if they could get Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig and Sean Connery all onstage together. Connery, the most iconic Bond of all, is 82 and I hear ailing. So, sadly, he may not be part of the tribute, but who knows.

Pierce Brosnan as James BondI met Brosnan a decade ago when he was promoting a small indie movie called Evelyn, where he played a single unemployed father in 1950’s Ireland — where, in fact, Brosnan was born.

It was as far from a splashy Bond film as you can get. The actor, who was devastatingly handsome, just got the ax as 007, and he told me he felt bad about it.

Die Another Day, which came out that year in 2002, was his last Bond film.  He told me he had hoped for another few more years playing Bond, but his regret wasn’t all about losing the large paycheck. He just had a blast playing the super spy.

Who is your favorite 007 and why?