Every 2 to 3 years, when EON productions leaks out classified information about the next Bond movie (Skyfall is the latest rumored title), fans around the world wait eagerly to watch their all time favorite spy to show up with his license to kill and thrill. For those who have been around since the beginning of the franchise growing up watching almost 50 years of non stop action, Sir Sean Connery may seem to be the best Bond by many.
Having been a die hard fan of the franchise and repeatedly watching the movies throughout the years, it's still difficult to pinpoint a single name for the title of the best James Bond actor. The truth is its hard to like just one. But I did enjoy some of the elements in particular injected by the actors into the character once in a while. Every actor who played Bond has had a great screen presence that makes the series always watchable, but it wouldn't be fair to make an accurate comparison owing to differences in the era, story, age of the actors etc. Here's my personal opinion about each actor who played Ian Fleming's Mi6 agent James Bond 007.
James Bond wouldn't be the movie icon he is today hadn't it been for Sean Connery. He was suave, sexy and simply awesome. When looking back at classics like 'From Russia with Love' or 'Gold finger', you often wonder whether he was way ahead of his time. His charisma was undeniable and so was his talent. The Scottishman has never ceased to thrill even in his post Bond adventures and is an academy award winner(The Untouchables).
The only Australian actor to play Bond, the 29 yr old Lazenby, a car salesman may not have been Sean Connery, but he definitely had what it needed to play James Bond and was a perfect replacement despite having no prior acting experience. He had style and panache, but unfortunately the timings didn't seem to be right and its a pity that he wasn't able to play 007 for one more time. 'On Her Majesty's secret service' could possibly be one of the best Bond movies of all time.
This man could be serious in one moment and in another bring some humor with ease whenever it was needed. The oldest actor to play the role with the maximum no. of movies to his credit, Moore had a distinctive personality that helped to steer the series forward after Connery retired but often seemed to take the role light heartedly. One of Fleming's original choices for Bond, it would have been great to see a younger version of him(The Saint, Avengers) on screen.
Dalton, an accomplished theater actor may have been a bit different than his predecessors, but he was one of the few actors who dared to add a new flavor to the role. The Welsh actor brought a much needed seriousness to the character and with a deep sense of professionalism gave the series a boost of realism. He was the youngest actor to be offered the role which he turned down years before his first outing as Bond. And yes, he could give you the feeling that he was an assassin without holding a Walther PPK.
After a gap of 6 years post 'License to Kill', when people wondered if there was any more relevance for the once famous fictional spy, Pierce Brosnan a.k.a Remington Steele arrived as the new generation Bond. He had the looks, he was sophisticated, suave, sexy and stylish. A fine actor, all of his movies went on to be blockbusters. Apart from thrilling the older generation of 007 viewers, Brosnan made younger audiences take a keen interest in the series and more than revived it.
No one wanted Pierce Brosnan to ever leave. He was too good to retire. But the time came when EON productions decided to revamp the franchise in 2006 with Casino Royale taking Bond back to his roots. Thus entered the blond English actor Daniel Craig as the new 007 who had to earn his Double O status unlike the others and made sure he was going to keep it secure. Like Timothy Dalton, his predecessor, Craig was not afraid to experiment, he seemed ruthless, perfectly fit to be a spy(or rather a blunt instrument) and proved to be the perfect choice in the post Brosnan era.
Make sure to vote for your favorite Bond in the poll on the right column of the page=>Who is your favorite James Bond actor?
(The poll will be open till Bond 23 hits the screen next year)
Bond 23: Agent 007 negotiates with Indian Railways