Gary James Bond was an English actor born into a military family (originally from Cardiff, Wales) in Liss, Hampshire on 7th February, 1940. From an early age he wanted to be an actor, much against the wishes of his father who wanted him to go into the Army. Following his father's death in 1956, Gary Bond trained at Central School of Speech and Drama, gaining several awards in his final year.
In 1962 he joined the rep company at the Connaught Theatre in Worthing where he made his professional stage debut in 'Not By The Book'. From then he followed a steady course on the stage, making his West End and Broadway debuts in 'Chips with Everything' in 1963, and later joining both the Prospect Theatre Company and the Royal Shakespeare Company for successful seasons. He was a regular performer at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park and at the Chichester Festival, and in 1966 made his musical debut in Brian Epstein's 'On The Level', which was later recorded for posterity on an LP. His main musical triumphs on stage came as Joseph in 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' (1972-4) and as Che in 'Evita' (1978-80).
Gary Bond made his television debut in 1963, in 'War and Peace', and his film debut in 'Zulu' the following year, where he was memorable as the young terrified soldier Private Thomas Cole. Regular work in television plays and series episodes continued throughout the 1960s, notably as Pip in 'Great Expectations' (1967). In 1971 he played John Grant, the lead role in the Australian film adaptation of Kenneth Cook's book 'Wake in Fright', which was re-released and restored in 2009 to glowing reviews.
Much loved and respected by his many friends and colleagues, Gary Bond enjoyed close and loving relationships with the actor Jeremy Brett, with whom he lived for many years in Notting Hill, West London, and the American artist EJ Taylor, who shared his life in Ealing, West London, for the last sixteen years of his life. At the time of his death on 12th October 1995 from complications with AIDS, he had experienced a resurgence in popularity thanks to his appearance as George Dillingham in the stage musical 'Aspects of Love' (UK tour and London residency, 1993-4).
He was remembered in obituaries as a talented and handsome actor and singer with a great love for life, a seeming lack of envy for the achievements of others, and his sunny disposition. His fans remember him as a leading actor at home with romantic, villainous, or comic roles, with a beautifully modulated voice and a pleasing personality on the stage.