The playboy who was the inspiration for James Bond

According to forensic historian Daniel J. Voelker, Dominican diplomat Porfirio Rubirosa was the real life 007.

Meryl D'Souza October 11, 2016

Remember that time Daniel Craig said he would rather break a glass and slash his wrist than do another Bond movie?

Well, to the dismay of actors like Tom Hiddleston – who would make a very dapper Bond given his recent Gucci shoot – Craig recently hinted he’d be okay with another Bond run.

Speaking at the New Yorker Festival over the weekend, Craig, 48, said: "I've got the best job in the world doing Bond. The things I get to do on a Bond movie and the type of work it is, there's no other job like it."

In case you’re wondering what prompted this change of heart, the answer is $$$. You see, there’s talk of Sony dropping a cool $150 million to retain his services. Now, his return hasn’t been confirmed and frankly we here at EDGAR would prefer Hiddlestone or, even better, the first black 007.

In fact, litigator and historian Daniel J. Voelker wrote an 8-page article in which he made the case that a mid-20th-century playboy from the Dominican Republic called Porfirio Rubirosa was the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s infamous British spy James Bond. 

Who was Porfirio Rubirosa?

The part of Rubirosa’s life we cannot confirm is him being described as an international playboy, secret agent, jewel thief, avid golfer, millionaire, gigolo, jet-setter and a man of ruthless cruelty.

What we can confirm is that Rubirosa was a good-looking Dominican diplomat who was married to dictator Rafael Trujillo’s daughter. He never worked a proper day in his life – he’s said to have carried out political killings for his father-in-law, who in turn rewarded him with blank checks - and charmed his way to a lifestyle that had him rubbing shoulders with royalty and film stars.

Rubi (as he is warmly known) would rise at noon, spend roughly an hour on grooming before driving his blue Ferrari to the Bagatelle Polo Club to exercise his string of ponies. By nightfall, he’d hang out at hotel bars with friends where he “wooed women with a sense of fabricated warmth and feigned concern for every ounce of their body and psyche.”

Titled Will The Real James Bond, Please Stand Up? Voelker cites “Rubirosa’s Creole or mixed racial background” as the possible reason Fleming never disclosed his muse. “Fleming’s audience in the 1950s and early ’60s may not, unfortunately, have been very accepting of such a revelation,” wrote Voelker.

The eerie similarities

Inside his carefully crafted 8-page study, Voelker connects the dots that link Rubirosa to Bond:

  • For starters, Rubirosa and Fleming shared a series of social connections. Both travelled with celebrities like Errol Flynn and Noel Coward “and even shared a ‘love connection’ through certain well-known women, including Rita Hayworth and Eva Perón.”
  • Rubirosa, like Bond, felt the need to look dapper no matter what the occasion. He too wore handmade suits from England and was a constant fixture on best-dressed lists.
  • Fleming was a fan of the tabloids that published Rubirosa’s adventures. Sometimes, those papers referred to Rubirosa as an assassin.
  • Both Fleming and Rubirosa enjoyed the casinos of Monte Carlo. It was in those casinos where Rubirosa would take his martinis shaken, not stirred.

To backup his claim, Voelker drew comparisons between Fleming and Rubirosa’s lives and even had an infographic accompany his article. See below:

Oscar Wilde said, “Die young and you’ll always be handsome”.  Rubi did just that one night in 1965 when he lost control of his Ferrari, hit a tree at 100 miles per hour and died at the age of 56.

It was an accident but, keeping to his image, no self-respecting playboy wants to stick around past his heydey.