Since 1962 6 actors have worn the mantle of James Bond (not including the original Casino Royale’s David Niven and the TV adaptation starring Barry Nelson). Like a cinematic Dr Who, a new actor takes over periodically and adds a whole new perspective to the worlds most famous spy and everyone has a favourite actor who in their opinion played the part the best. Here is my Top 5 Bond’s.
Honourable Mention: George Lazenby.
Following the shock news of Sean Connery’s resignation from the role after You Only Live Twice, the role was passed on to Australian actor George Lazenby for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, it was to be the Aussie’ only turn as Bond. Though lacking the magnetism and presence of Connery in my opinion, Lazenby did however lend the character a little more humanity during the film’s devastating climax.
5: Pierce Brosnan.
Taking the mantle from Timothy Dalton, Brosnan’s first film in the role Goldeneye marked the characters return after a 6 year hiatus, the longest absence from cinema screens since its inception. Brosnan brought with him a broader take on the character after Dalton’s more thoughtful & deep interpretation. His was an era that fell flat for me, too many misses, not enough hits and subsequently sours my appreciation of him as Bond.
4: Roger Moore.
Following on from Sean Connery’s 2nd but not final exit as Bond, Roger Moore, more commonly know from his TV role in The Saint became the next actor to take the 00 as his own. Moore was Bond through the majority of my childhood so does hold a very special place in my heart, his daring-do and turn of phrase comprising many a happy childhood memory. He should be much higher on this list if not for the caliber of performances that follow.
3: Timothy Dalton.
Dalton represented a bold new approach to Bond, an attempt to contemporise and add new muscle and depth to a character that had become in danger of becoming cartoonish. Dalton only held the role for 2 films but in that time he made one hell of an impression, possibly one of the most faithful representations of the character and a tenure that should have lasted much, much longer.
2: Daniel Craig.
Daniel Craig pulled Bond back from the brink. After diminishing returns at the end of Brosnan’s run, a change was needed and what a change. Craig, as with Dalton, added a much needed layer of depth and realism to the part taking it to unprecedented new heights. The choice between 3rd & 2nd was like Sophie’s Choice, it was so impossibly close and difficult to make as I like them equally but with more turns in the role, Craig pips it.
1: Sean Connery.
The first man to take the part on the big screen is to many, myself included, the best Bond. Effortlessly cool, imposing, magnetic and setting the standard against which all following actors would be measured by when taking on the role. A pretty much faultless run as Bond (we’ll forget Never Say Never Again shall we?) and too many classic moments to list, Connery was the frickin Don.