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Portrayers of James Bond

Portrayers of James Bond, or actors who played the fictional character of the famous agent 007 of the British Secret Service MI6. The Bond films are among the longest-running series in the history of cinema. Six actors have portrayed James Bond. Who were they, when, and in which films?

Sean Connery (6×)

Charismatic Scottish actor Sean Connery (* 25.08.1930, † 31.10.2020) became the first actor to portray agent 007, setting a high standard for his successors. He starred in a total of six Bond films, listed below with their premiere dates. He was the only actor to return to the role of James Bond. After the first five films, he announced his departure from the role of James Bond to focus on other roles.

Sean Connery – the first James Bond

Figure 1: Sean Connery – the first James Bond (source: Craiyon)

However, after the – not well-received by audiences and critics – sixth Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), in which the lead role was played by Australian actor George Lazenby, Connery returned one last time in the film Diamonds Are Forever (1971). Or, it was his last official Bond film, as in 1983, he appeared alongside Kim Basinger in the unofficial Bond film Never Say Never Again. After that, he was definitively succeeded by Roger Moore. Although Sean Connery was already quite famous during the filming of the Bond films, the Bond series definitively elevated him among the ranks of great actors.

George Lazenby (1×)

Australian actor and model George Lazenby (* 05.09.1939) jumped into the fray left by the previous James Bond actor Sean Connery. It was clear that expectations were very high. Many actors suspected that matching Connery would be very difficult and refused the role. This includes future Bond actor Timothy Dalton, who felt too young for the role. This foresight later proved to be correct.

George Lazenby – the second James Bond

Figure 2: George Lazenby – the second James Bond (source: Craiyon)

The new James Bond played by George Lazenby was not well received by audiences and critics, resulting in him only playing in one Bond film. For the filming of another Bond film, Diamonds Are Forever, Sean Connery was called in for one last time and later he was definitively replaced with Roger Moore.

It is questionable whether George Lazenby deserved such a fate, as the film was financially successful – apparently many viewers had to personally see if the film was really as bad as it was said to be.

We believe that this was somewhat unfair. Although the very first line in one of the first scenes, when James Bond rescues a girl from the sea: "Hello, I'm Bond, James Bond" feels a bit strange (other questions/sentences would come to mind) and some fights are quite rushed, the whole story is very well crafted and the end of the film is touching: "We have all the time in the world…".

Roger Moore (7×)

British actor Roger Moore (* 14.10.1927, † 23.05.2017), who was bestowed with the title Sir, currently holds the record for the most Bond films shot. Over twelve years, he appeared in a total of seven films. The Bond series surely changed his life and he achieved success in it that he never managed to surpass.

Roger Moore – the third James Bond

Figure 3: Roger Moore – the third James Bond (source: Craiyon)

He surely does not regret it. Many fans who grew up on his films consider him the best Bond of all time. When asked if he is the best Bond, he modestly replied: "Only in the eyes of my wife."

Timothy Dalton (2×)

British actor Timothy Dalton (* 21.03.1946) played in two Bond films, of which especially Licence to Kill was, compared to previous Bond films, rather dark.

Timothy Dalton – the fourth James Bond

Figure 4: Timothy Dalton – the fourth James Bond (source: Craiyon)

He was offered the role of James Bond as early as 1969, but he himself declined, saying he was too young and perhaps did not want to take over the role of Bond after the highly successful Sean Connery. However, he did well in the role of James Bond.

Pierce Brosnan (4×)

Pierce Brosnan (* 16.05.1953) starred in a total of four Bond films. The producers succeeded in a coup with his choice, as his appearance also attracted women to cinemas who are not typical fans of spy stories. This, of course, was also reflected in the box office. On the other hand, he may not have been well received by die-hard fans of Sean Connery and Roger Moore.

Pierce Brosnan – the fifth James Bond

Figure 5: Pierce Brosnan – the fifth James Bond (source: Craiyon)

He considers his first Bond film (GoldenEye) to be his best and the one he enjoyed the most. After the Bond series, he starred in films such as Mamma Mia, based on the hits of the famous Swedish group Abba, where he even had to sing. The whole film was a very pleasant experience for him. Pierce Brosnan himself commented on his role: "Sure, let's put Brosnan in there, he used to play Bond, it'll be fun. But I really enjoyed filming."

Daniel Craig (5×)

The sixth Bond in line, Daniel Craig (* 02.03.1968), is the opposite of his predecessor Pierce Brosnan. A tough guy with sharp features. In the beginning, he did not have an easy time with acceptance. When fans learned that he was to play James Bond, they protested and almost organized a boycott of the new Bond film. "A fair-haired Bond with Putin's face," were the usual objections. However, all former 007 agents supported Craig.

Daniel Craig – the sixth James Bond

Figure 6: Daniel Craig – the sixth James Bond (source: Craiyon)

As is often the case, the validity of the saying that one should not put out a fire until it is burning was demonstrated. Right in his first Bond film, Casino Royale from 2006, Daniel Craig delivered a very impressive performance and a piece of honest work. The whole film is one big gripping action with a fast pace and, in our opinion, ranks among the best Bond films.

On the other hand, Quantum of Solace brought disappointment and did not meet the high expectations set by his first Bond film. Not so much because of Craig, but rather because the villain was not as prominent as Le Chiffre, and the action scenes were not as authentic and diligently earned as in the first installment. Skyfall and Spectre turned out great. No Time to Die will likely stir emotions for a long time due to its controversial ending.

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Based on the original Czech article: Bondovky – filmy o agentu 007 Jamesi Bondovi.