Trivia question: how many men have portrayed James Bond on the big screen? We’ll highlight five here, but there are actually seven actors to have played Ian Fleming’s iconic character on the silver screen.
Sean Connery (1962–67; 1971; 1983)
Sean Connery brought his brash personality and sexy — albeit rather furry — physique to his performance as Agent 007.
Connery’s first Bond role was in 1962’s “Dr. No.” In 1963, he would star in “From Russia with Love,” in 1964, “Goldfinger.” In 1965, there was “Thunderball” and in 1967, his fifth Bond role in as many years, Connery starred in “You Only Live Twice.”
The Scottish actor would take some time off from his marathon performances in the role but he’d make reprisals in 1971’s “Diamonds Are Forever” and in 1983, Connery would star in his final Bond performance, “Never Say Never Again.”
Connery, now 86, officially retired from acting in 2006 after receiving the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The knighted actor was known for being frustrated with the “idiots now making films in Hollywood,” which made his decision to retire that much easier.
David Niven (1967)
Niven was Fleming’s first choice for the role of James Bond and finally got his chance, starring in a 1967 performance of “Casino Royale.” We’ll forgive you if you forgot this Bond. Sadly, Niven passed away in 1983 at the age of 73.
George Lazenby (1969)
Lazenby is another oft-forgotten Bond who starred in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” The Australian actor was said to be similarly sexy, yet he offered a more vulnerable performance than his contemporary, Sean Connery.
Sir Roger Moore (1973–1985)
The late Roger Moore holds the title as the longest running Bond actor. Moore starred in 1973’s “Live and Let Die” and followed that performance up the following year with “The Man with the Golden Gun.” In 1977, Moore would play in “The Spy Who Loved Me.” His final four Bond roles were “Moonraker” (1979), “For Your Eyes Only” (1981), “Octopussy” (1983), and, at 58 years of age, “A View to a Kill” (1985).
Moore had been living a rather quiet retirement in Switzerland before passing away on May 23, 2017.
“Being eternally known as Bond has no downside,” Moore told The Guardian in 2014. “People often call me ‘Mr. Bond’ when we’re out and I don’t mind a bit. Why would I?”
Timothy Dalton (1987–1989)
Wikipedia has a fantastic synopsis of Dalton’s 1987 and 1989 performances as Agent 007 in “The Living Daylights” and “Licence to Kill,” respectively:
“Dalton’s Bond was a serious one: dark, cold, emotional, stern, ruthless, showing
Many of the now 71-year-old actor’s recent appearances have been somewhat different from the character of Bond, voicing the role of the “Toy Story” franchise’s Mr. Pricklepants.
Pierce Brosnan (1995–2002)
Brosnan brought Bond into the digital age with 1995’s “GoldenEye.” He would reprise the role in 1997 with “Tomorrow Never Dies,” in 1999’s “The World Is Not Enough,” and wrapped up his Bond days with “Die Another Day” in 2002.
Brosnan still has a very active IMDB profile and is rumored to be booked to star in a 2018 sequel far from the world of intrigue and espionage, “Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again.”
Daniel Craig (2006–present)
Daniel Craig now holds the title of the second longest tenure as Bond following only the late Roger Moore.
Craig burst onto the scene — literally breaking through walls — in 2006 with a remake of “Casino Royale.” The English actor returned to the role in 2008 with “Quantum of Solace,” in 2012 with “Skyfall” (the franchise’s highest grossing film to date), and in 2015 he starred in “Spectre.”
In 2015, Craig had an uncredited cameo in another smash franchise, “Star Wars.” The now 49-year-old actor played Stormtrooper JB-007 in “The Force Awakens.”
Will Daniel Craig return to the role? We’ll have to wait and see!