It’s one of the iconic roles in movie historical past: The identify’s Bond, James Bond. Solely a choose group of actors have had the prospect to play the character, with Daniel Craig about to complete his run with the long-anticipated No Time to Die. Earlier than him, 5 different actors have “formally” performed Bond: Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan. With the query nonetheless very a lot within the air about who will play Bond after Craig hangs up his tuxedo—maybe one among these actors?—right here’s a glance again at the perfect bonds of all time, ranked.
Greatest Bonds of All Time, Ranked
7. David Niven
It’s in all probability not even honest to check David Niven (and Peter Sellers) to the remainder of the perfect Bonds, as the 2 actors performed the position for laughs in 1967’s On line casino Royale, however the movie stays a notable half—even when not an official half—of James Bond historical past. Based mostly on the identical ebook that might later launch Daniel Craig to superstardom in his 2006 Bond debut, the movie is a parody of spy movies of the period, together with the Sean Connery-led Bond movies. The complete forged was crammed with stars: Niven had already gained an Oscar for Greatest Actor and Sellers was thought-about one of the in style comedian actors on the earth. Different Hollywood legends like John Huston, George Raft, William Holden, Peter O’Toole, and Orson Welles all appeared, with Welles enjoying the villain Le Chiffre. The film went very meta in making enjoyable of the Bond movies, even bringing in unique Bond lady Ursula Andress from Dr. No to play Vesper Lynd. Each Sellers and Nevin tackle the mantle of Bond within the film—and whereas the tone is clearly utterly totally different from every other Bond flick earlier than or after, seeing every in a tuxedo taking up the villainous group “SMERSH” (a thinly disguised joke on Bond’s Spectre), makes one surprise if both of the gifted stars may have truly pulled off a “actual” James Bond movie.
Variety of appearances: 1
Bond movie: On line casino Royale (1967)
Enjoyable reality: James Bond creator Ian Fleming initially needed Niven to play Bond in Dr. No, however the producers went with Sean Connery as an alternative.
6. Timothy Dalton
Timothy Dalton stepped in with a reasonably large problem, coming after Sean Connery and Roger Moore, among the many greatest Bonds, who every performed the position for over a decade. The filmmakers of Dalton’s two Bond films needed to indicate a unique aspect of the character, one which was extra according to Ian Fleming’s ebook model of Bond, slightly than the playboy-type most followers had been used to seeing. The end result was a efficiency extra according to what Daniel Craig would find yourself doing later—a severe, business-like Bond who battled in opposition to KGB brokers and drug cartels slightly than flamboyant villains. Dalton solely had two films to make his mark—lawsuits ended up derailing his probability at making one other film earlier than Pierce Brosnan was handed the reins—so it’s exhausting to check with the perfect Bonds of the bunch. That mentioned, each movies are strong and 1989’s License to Kill may be among the finest Bond titles of the collection.
Variety of appearances: 2
Bond movies: The Dwelling Daylights (1987) and License to Kill (1989)
Enjoyable reality: The Bond collection hadn’t used an Aston Martin since 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, however the firm made a return to the franchise with The Dwelling Daylights, they usually’ve been utilized in each Bond movie since.
Aston Martin automotive used: Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante
5. George Lazenby
George Lazenby has the inglorious milestone of being the one official James Bond actor to star in only one movie within the collection, taking up for Sean Connery in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The movie has one of many darkest and bleakest endings of any Bond movie—spoiler alert: after marrying “Bond lady” Tracy, the couple are attacked by iconic Bond villain Blofeld, leaving Tracy lifeless and Bond holding her in his arms. Like we mentioned, bleak. Partially resulting from that darkish ending, the movie was not well-received on the time, however through the years each the movie and Lazenby’s efficiency have been re-assessed by critics and followers alike as one of many higher entries within the collection. Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh calls it his favourite Bond movie, whereas a 2012 ballot from 007 Journal noticed followers vote it as the best of the collection. Lazenby bowed out of the franchise after only one movie, permitting Connery to return on what was a then-record wage of $1.25 million. Whereas he was short-lived as Bond, Lazenby went on to have a prolonged movie and tv profession—which remains to be ongoing—and he stays lively on Instagram, regularly posting in regards to the Bond collection and his time filming his one film.
Variety of appearances: 1
Bond movie: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
Enjoyable reality: Lazenby’s position as Bond was his first-ever movie look. He had been a mannequin and starred in commercials earlier than being forged within the position.
Aston Martin automotive used: Aston Martin DBS
4. Roger Moore
Of all the perfect Bonds, Roger Moore’s portrayal may be probably the most consultant of the period his movies had been made in (the 70s)—and he mirrored that along with his dashing allure and over-the-top persona, bringing comedy to the collection that contrasted Connery’s gruff-but-suave Bond. Moore’s Bond was much less severe and approach wittier, however he additionally took the character to new heights. Moonraker noticed Bond battle villains in house, together with Richard Kiel’s memorable henchman Jaws. Moore was already a little bit of a longtime identify earlier than taking up the position of the superspy, having starred in tv collection like The Saint and Maverick, however Bond introduced him worldwide stardom and he stayed within the position for over 10 years and 7 movies—the longest consecutive James Bond till Daniel Craig.
Variety of appearances: 7
Bond movies: Stay and Let Die (1973), The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Liked Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Solely (1981), Octopussy (1983), A View to a Kill (1985)
Enjoyable reality: Moore was the oldest actor to painting Bond, as he was 57 years previous when his last movie, A View to a Kill, was launched in 1985.
3. Pierce Brosnan
Pierce Brosnan did a strong job as Bond, with GoldenEye as his greatest entry of the collection—a film that spawned among the finest video video games of all time. Whereas Brosnan’s flip as the long-lasting spy doesn’t fairly attain the extent of greatest Bonds like Daniel Craig or Sean Connery, he helped carry the franchise again to worldwide prominence after Timothy Dalton’s flip left some followers chilly. The six-year break between films was an extended one for Bond, and that put stress on Brosnan to ship a efficiency that might get followers jazzed once more. On that degree, he actually delivered. Brosnan’s Bond introduced again extra of the flamboyant villains, secret lairs, and wild devices to the collection after Dalton’s extra serious-tinged movies, for higher and worse. The motion scenes are unbelievable all through the collection, however the devices and storylines typically veered into the ridiculous (like invisible automobiles and DNA restructuring), and a few of the dialogue was tacky. In the long run although, Brosnan helped carry the franchise again to life and fashioned the bridge that led the Bond collection from its conventional roots into the big-budget blockbusters of recent Hollywood.
Variety of appearances: 4
Bond movies: GoldenEye (1995), Tomorrow By no means Dies (1997), The World Is Not Sufficient (1999), Die One other Day (2002),
Enjoyable reality: Brosnan was employed to play Bond earlier than Timothy Dalton was introduced in, however was pressured to return to his collection Remington Steele as an alternative. The present had been canceled, however when NBC determined to carry the present again, Brosnan was obligated to return and he had to surrender the position. Clearly all of it labored out in the long run.
Aston Martin automobiles used: Aston Martin V12 Vanquish, Aston Martin DB5
2. Daniel Craig
After starring in 5 movies, Craig has firmly established himself as among the finest Bonds ever—possibly even the perfect of the bunch. Craig’s portrayal introduced the character to up to date instances, making a extra lifelike, gritty model of the spy following Pierce Brosnan’s extra polished take. When he was first forged, followers signed petitions in opposition to him, complaining he was too blonde and never tall sufficient to play Bond, however as soon as On line casino Royale hit theaters, folks shortly modified their tune. The movie opened with Bond incomes his “00” designation, permitting Craig to indicate Bond work his approach as much as turning into the professional spy everyone knows and love. Craig’s Bond took punches, bought bruised, generally failed, and fought exhausting, crafting a few of the greatest motion scenes of any blockbuster film up to now. Craig has the excellence of giving Bond its first billion-dollar movie with Skyfall, the Sam Mendes-directed film that many critics noticed as a contemporary high-point for the collection. The 5 Academy Award nominations, together with the main class of Greatest Cinematography, and two wins solely bolsters that time. One factor that helps Craig’s Bond stand out among the many actors who got here earlier than him is the by way of line of his first relationship: his tragic love for Vesper Lynd (Eva Inexperienced) in On line casino Royale. Whereas Craig’s Bond had his fair proportion of gorgeous girls alongside the best way, it’s Lynd he stored coming again to, even into No Time to Die. Brooding over Vesper’s dying gave Craig an opportunity to present Bond some added depth and humanity, and is one purpose why followers have grow to be so invested in his model of the character.
Variety of appearances: 5
Bond movies: On line casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012), Spectre (2015), No Time to Die (2021)
Enjoyable reality: Craig beat out actors like Henry Cavill (sure, that Henry Cavill), Sam Worthington, Goran Visnjic and Dougray Scott for the position of Bond.
Aston Martin Automobiles used as Bond: Aston Martin DB5, Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante, Aston Martin DBS V12, Aston Martin DB10, Aston Martin DBS Superleggera, Aston Martin Valhalla
1. Sean Connery
When it comes all the way down to naming the perfect Bonds, it’s exhausting to beat the unique. Connery starred as Bond in six “official” films and as soon as within the non-Eon produced By no means Say By no means Once more. (Connery was lured again to play Bond for that seventh and last time within the 1983 adaptation with a large payday regardless that Roger Moore was additionally starring as the long-lasting spy on the time.) A lot of Connery’s movies are thought-about a few of the most memorable of the collection, together with Dr. No, Diamonds Are Eternally, From Russia With Love, and Goldfinger, which was the primary Bond film to make over $100 million on the field workplace. Connery’s Bond established principally all the weather that might pop up within the collection by way of the many years, together with the slick wardrobe, suave demeanor, his style for martinis, fancy automobiles, and high-tech devices. However greater than that, Connery introduced the right mixture of allure, toughness, and humor to the position, one thing all of the actors after him tried to emulate, for higher and worse. It was Connery who took Bond on his shoulders and lifted him to the worldwide stage, beginning a collection that’s grow to be one of many longest-running and profitable in film historical past.
Variety of appearances: 7
Bond movies: Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Thunderball (1965), You Solely Stay Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Eternally (1971), By no means Say By no means Once more (1983)
Enjoyable reality: Connery wore a hairpiece when he performed Bond, as he began to lose his hair across the time he bought the position.
Aston Martin automotive used: The Aston Martin DB5
There you will have it, the perfect Bonds of all time. Prepared for a martini?
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