Most of us have a Bond favorite be it Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan or the current Bond; Daniel Craig. Some even feel George Lazenby (who was Bond only once) was the best around. Here’s a look at our ranking of the six men who’ve been 007.
6. George Lazenby
Film: On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
Lazenby as Bond: When Sean Connery retired his 007, producers scrambled to find a replacement. In a surprise move, they decided to go with a virtual unknown, new to the acting scene. Suave, handsome and confident, Lazenby looked the part while toting a gun and stomping a few heads, but lacked in overall delivery. Most hardcore fans admire On Her Majesty's Secret Service for its departure from the usual Bond shtick, viewing it as the most thought-provoking Bond flick. Still, Lazenby’s legacy will always be playing the only Bond to ever get married.
Best Line: “I hope I can live up to your high standards.”
5. Timothy Dalton
Films: The Living Daylights (1987); Licence to Kill (1989)
Dalton as Bond: With Pierce Brosnan unavailable at the time, producers turned to Dalton as their second choice for 007. While he had the looks, personality and acting chops, Dalton ultimately took the job way to seriously. Although his two films were the most reality-based of the series (Licence to Kill had him going after run-of-the-mill drug lords in Columbia), audiences didn’t respond to the intense and intelligent Bond who would rather fight the old-fashioned way than use any of those nifty gadgets.
Best Line: From Licence to Kill: “I'll do anything for a woman with a knife.”
4. Roger Moore
Films: Live and Let Die (1973); The Man with the Golden Gun (1974); The Spy Who Loved Me (1977); Moonraker (1979); For Your Eyes Only (1981); Octopussy (1983); A View To A Kill (1985)
Moore as Bond: When producers decided to take Bond in a fresh direction they found what they were looking for in Roger Moore. Where Connery was full of sexual prowess and physicality, Moore was more an aging playboy who'd rather drink martinis than fight off henchmen and their evil masters. Moore enjoyed a long run and despite criticism, the franchise held onto him as long as they could.
Best Line: From The Man with the Golden Gun: “I am now aiming precisely at your groin. So speak or forever hold your piece.”
3. Pierce Brosnan
Films: GoldenEye (1995); Tomorrow Never Dies (1997); The World Is Not Enough (1999); Die Another Day (2002)
Brosnan as Bond: While his Remington Steele contract kept him from the role in the 1980s, Brosnan was more than ready to step up to the plate in 1995. His modern-day 007 brought back the big chase scenes, mega-explosions and gadgets galore—not to mention some serious action between the sheets. Brosnan offered up his undeniable charm and delivered those quick one-liners with just the right twinkle in his eye.
Best Line: From GoldenEye: “What, no small talk? No chitchat? You know, that's the problem these days. No one bothers to take the time to give a really sinister interrogation.”
2. Daniel Craig
Films: Casino Royale (2006); Quantum of Solace (2008)
Craig as Bond: Fans initially questioned the casting of Daniel Craig as the follow up to Pierce Brosnan’s Bond, but the British star put fears aside with his first film Casino Royale. While he lacked the typical Bond looks and charisma he more than made up for it in brooding sex appeal and real acting experience. Craig took Bond back to his 007 beginnings in Casino with an origin story surrounding his first mission and messy love affair with his partner Vesper (Eva Green). Now, he continues that saga in his new sequel Quantum of Solace.
Best Line: From Casino Royale: “Why is it that people who can't take advice always insist on giving it?”
1. Sean Connery
Films: Dr. No (1962); From Russia With Love (1963); Goldfinger (1964); Thunderball (1965); You Only Live Twice (1967); Diamonds Are Forever (1971); Never Say Never Again (1983)
Connery as Bond: Arguably the best James Bond to date, Sean Connery was the first to bring Ian Fleming’s British secret agent to the big screen. The Scottish actor personified the ideal 007--always cool, charismatic, handsome and deadly. A dangerous predator underneath the suave exterior, Connery’s Bond could sit at a baccarat table one minute and be fighting off six guards the next. When it came to women he never exploited them (the sexist movies did that), but he always knew exactly how to make them smile.
Best Line: From Thunderball: [Placing the body of a woman in a chair after she is shot on the dance floor] “Do you mind if my friend sits this one out? She's just dead.”