With Daniel Craig as the new James Bond in Casino Royale, it’s time to look back and rate the five previous Bonds.
Sean Connery: Arguably, the best Bond ever. Although Connery set the celluloid template for Agent 007, Bond creator, Ian Fleming, wasn’t too happy with the Scotsman being chosen for the first film in line, Dr No. Fleming felt Connery had too much swagger for the polished Brit spy with a stiff upper lip. Fleming was wrong and Connery went on to such consecutive films as From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice and Diamonds Are Forever. Connery reprised the role of Bond for the last time in Never Say Never Again. He was 53 when the 1983 film released. While the film retained all the Bond basics, it is strictly not considered a part of the franchise.
George Lazenby: George who? The one-film wonder with On Her Majesty’s Secret Service never made the cut. The former television model was dismissed universally as a failure in his 007 avatar. The problem: Most fans felt he lacked a USP as Bond.
Roger Moore: The longest-serving Bond, Moore brought a sense of humour that marked a departure from Connery’s attitude-loaded 007 in Live And Let Die, The Man With The Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, For Your Eyes Only, Moonraker and Octopussy. He was 57 when he finally bowed out of the series, with A View To A Kill.
Timothy Dalton: A respected Shakespearean hero on the British stage, Dalton tried to make a believable Bond. But the audience obviously preferred its favourite spy as all shaken and stirred in charisma. Dalton quit after only two missions, The Living Daylights and Licence To Kill.
Pierce Brosnan: Widely acknowledged as the second best, after Connery, Brosnan is credited with reviving the flagging Bond franchise in 1995 with GoldenEye. He followed it up with Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough and Die Another Day — all blockbusters.