HomeJames Bond Actors who Portrayed the Iconic Character

James Bond Actors who Portrayed the Iconic Character

Almost everyone irrespective of his/her age is familiar with the iconic James Bond character.

“Bond, James Bond” is one of the quintessential movie catchphrases ever in the history of cinema. The phrase might not appear in every single James Bond film but whenever it is heard fans get excited by cheering and applauding the dialogue delivery.

British novelist Ian Fleming created this world-famous James Bond which is a fictional character in 1953. James Bond is a British secret agent under the codename 007 working for the Secret Intelligence Service of the UK, MI6.

The literary character appeared in a series of dozen novels and two short story collections written by Fleming. It also featured in many continuation novels and spin-off works after  Fleming’s demise in 1964.

Know all the James Bond Actors

Bond character has been portrayed on the large screen in twenty-seven films by seven actors viz. Sean Connery, David Niven, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig. All the films were released between 1962 to 2021.

Eon Productions founded by producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman purchased the filming rights in 1961 to Fleming’s novels. Fleming portrayed the Bond character as a tall, athletic, handsome secret agent who is in his late thirties or early forties.

He has many wicked behavioral characteristics like drinking, smoking, gambling, automobiles, and womanizing. American actor Barry Nelson was the first person to play the role of Bond on screen, in a 1954 television adaptation, “Casino Royale”.

007 movies are indeed full of adventure. Without any further ado, let us explore each actor in detail in our article below.

1. Sean Connery (7 Films)

Sean Connery was the first Hollywood actor to play James Bond in the film Dr. No in 1962. ”Sean Connery” is the original James Bond. His films are really outstanding and you just can’t take your eyes off the screen.

His movies are really great and fans admire him for his superb performance in the 1960s. He is a Scottish amateur bodybuilder who shot into the limelight when he caught the attention of the Bond film producers after he appeared in many British films during the late 1950s.

Below is the list of films featuring Sean Connery as James Bond:

Year Film Title
1962 Dr. No
1963 From Russia with Love
1964 Goldfinger
1965 Thunderball
1967 You Only Live Twice
1971 Diamonds Are Forever
1983 Never Say Never Again (Non-Eon)

 

2. David Niven (1 Film)

David Niven was Fleming’s choice for the James Bond role as he reflected the author’s image of the character. Producer Charles Feldman signed Niven in 1965 to act as Sir James Bond in Casino Royale.

This is one of the films which was made by Eon Productions as Connery and Peter Sellers refused to take the role.

Niven was 56 years old when he starred in Casino Royale and his characterization in the movie was that of an elderly man.

3. George Lazenby (1 Film)

To fill the void after Connery’s performance in “You Only Live Twice” in 1967, Broccoli and director Peter R. Hunt opted for little-known Australian actor George Lazenby to play the role of Bond. He first came on their radar in an advertisement for Fry’s Chocolate Cream.

Lazenby is the only Irish character to play Bond. Lazenby used to sport many Bond elements like a Rolex Submariner wristwatch and a Savile Row suit and getting his hairstyle done at the Dorchester Hotel in London.

His only Bond movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” was released in 1969 for which he was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for the New Star of the Year – Actor category in 1970.

4. Roger Moore (7 Films)

The producers tried their best to convince Sean Connery to return as Bond, but he refused. They finally turned to Roger Moore, with whom they held discussions earlier for “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” movie.

Moore was an established TV actor at that time who was popular for his role as Simon Templar in The Saint and Lord Brett Sinclair in The Persuaders!.

Moore ensured not to imitate his earlier role or Connery when he played the iconic Bond character. Screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz added more comedy scenes and a light-hearted feel to Bond to suit his persona.

Below is the list of films featuring Roger Moore as James Bond:

Year Film Title
1973 Live and Let Die
1974 The Man with the Golden Gun
1977 The Spy Who Loved Me
1979 Moonraker
1981 For Your Eyes Only
1983 Octopussy
1985 A View to a Kill

 

5. Timothy Dalton (2 Films)

Dalton was earlier considered for the role of James Bond many times but he could not take up the role due to his ongoing contract for Remington Steele. The producers first reached out to Dalton in 1968 for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service when he was in his mid 20’s.

Dalton’s debut as James Bond in The Living Daylights in 1987 was a huge commercial hit that grossed more than the previous two Bond films. His second film, Licence to Kill was released after a gap of two years. The movie was almost as successful as its predecessor in many countries but did not do well at the U.S. box office.

Below is the list of films featuring Timothy Dalton as James Bond:

Year Film Title
1987 The Living Daylights
1989 Licence to Kill

6. Pierce Brosnan (4 Films)

Eon productions chose to go after Pierce Brosnan after Timothy Dalton’s retirement from the Bond role in 1994. After Moore, it was indeed difficult for the directors and producers to look for a replacement until they found Pierce Brosnan.

It took six years to finally get Pierce Brosnan. After he was out of his contract, he was ready to take up the role of James Bond.

Brosnan was offered three films and an optional fourth movie by Eon. His first film remuneration was $4 million which went up more than 4X to $16.5 million for his fourth and last film.

Brosnan portrayed the character of a criminal-turned-private investigator in Remington Steele during the 1980s. Brosnan’s carries the ‘Armani look’ with its refined understated Englishness, to perfection.

Below is the list of films featuring Pierce Brosnan as James Bond:

Year Film Title
1995 GoldenEye
1997 Tomorrow Never Dies
1999 The World Is Not Enough
2002 Die Another Day

 

7. Daniel Craig (5 Films)

The popular English actor Daniel Craig is the present James Bond. The series made a new beginning after he joined the James Bond franchise and he is considered to be one of the favorite James Bond actors ever.

His serious spy thrillers movies have kept the audience hooked throughout his franchise for which he received several prestigious awards.

Below is the list of films featuring Daniel Craig as James Bond:

Year Film Title
2006 Casino Royale
2008 Quantum of Solace
2012 Skyfall
2015 Spectre
2021 No Time to Die

 

Do watch these iconic bond movies over the weekend and share your feedback in the comments section below.

Archana Kabra
Archana Kabra is a Freelance Writer and has been extensively writing stuff related to Entertainment, Lifestyle, and Technology. She is also an ardent music lover. Twitter handle: @archana153sarda
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1 COMMENT

  1. All the Bonds were pretty exciting men. If you’re an espionage aficionado, an Ian Fleming follower, a 007 devotee and know who wrote the “Trout Memo” then by now you should have read Bill Fairclough’s epic spy novel Beyond Enkription in The Burlington Files series, written for espionage cognoscenti and real spies. Its protagonist, Edward Burlington aka Fairclough is just as “fast and furious” as any James Bond has been or even the Gray Man was meant to be but with one subtle difference: all his exploits in London, Nassau and Port au Prince are based on hard facts (some of which you can even check) and laced with ingenious spycraft tricks even espionage illuminati haven’t come across. By the way, Fairclough’s MI6 handler Mac knew Ian Fleming, Kim Philby and Oleg Gordievsky. No surprise then that John le Carré refused to write a series of collaborative spy novels with Fairclough given Philby ended John le Carré’s MI6 career. Little wonder then that in hindsight Ian Fleming was thankful that he didn’t work directly for MI6.

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