Daniel Craig is finally about to be seen on his last mission as James Bond. But is he the spy you love best? Here we measure up all the six 007s to see who’s best in a tux and who has us shaken AND stirred the most.
SEAN CONNERY (1962-1971)
Scottish silver screen legend Sean Connery found fame as Bond and had a career spanning five decades. No Time to Die is the first Bond movie he won’t be around to see as he died last year at the age of 90.
ON BOND: “I never disliked Bond, as some have thought.”
THE LOOK: He was like the George Clooney of his day, setting women of all ages a quiver. For many he remains synonymous with Bond for his smooth delivery and sexy rumpled air.
THE LADIES: Ursula Andress, Jill St John, Honor Blackman, Claudine Auger — Connery melted an international coterie of hearts.
RATING: Charming, well-mannered, and with that Highland burr, Connery’s Bond made ladies go weak at the knees. 9/10
GEORGE LAZENBY (1969)
Lazenby, 82, only had one outing as Bond but On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is regarded by many as the best Bond film ever made. An Australian former male model, he was similar to Connery in his humour and his style but the pressure proved too much for him.
ON BOND: “When I became famous I didn’t know how to handle it, in retrospect you can only blame yourself.”
THE LOOK: Lazenby pulled out all the stops when he went to audition. He went down to the same tailor used by Connery and had a suit made, then bought a Rolex and got a haircut to match Connery’s.
THE LADIES: Joanna Lumley and The Avengers star Diana Rigg, arguably one of the sexiest Bond girls of all time.
RATING: He was the youngest actor to portray 007 as he was just 30 when he donned the superspy’s suit. 8/10
ROGER MOORE (1973-1985)
Moore was 89 when he sadly passed away in 2017 but his legendary status as one of the best Bonds lives on. Sir Roger was the oldest actor to debut as 007: he was 43 when he appeared in Live and Let Die.
ON BOND: “To me, the Bond situations are so ridiculous, so outrageous. What kind of serious spy is recognised everywhere he goes? So you have to treat the humour outrageously as well.”
THE LOOK: By his own admission, Sir Roger’s acting skills lay in raising alternate eyebrows. He had to lose weight and cut his hair for the role.
THE LADIES: Jane Seymour, Maud Adams, Carole Bouquet, Barbara Bach, Britt Ekland… need we go on? Ever the gent, at the age of 57, Moore stepped down because he thought it didn’t look right for him to still be seducing young women.
RATING: Moore was credited with giving Bond soft humour than his previous incarnations, and he added his own stamp by never ordering a vodka martini shaken not stirred in seven Bond films. 8/10
TIMOTHY DALTON (1986-1990)
Welsh-born Dalton, 75, was asked to take over the role from Connery in 1968 by Albert Broccoli. He turned it down, saying he was “too young and Connery too good.” In 1986 he got The Living Daylights.
ON BOND: “You can’t relate to a superhero, to a superman, but you can identify with a real man who in times of crisis draws forth some extraordinary quality from within himself and triumphs after a struggle.”
THE LOOK: With his dimpled chin and twinkling blue eyes, Dalton gave the part a darker edge and played a more serious and deadly Bond.
THE LADIES: Stunning Talisa Soto provided the eye candy in Licence To Kill while Maryam D’Abo provided an air of European elegance in The Living Daylights.
RATING: Tim tried to base his interpretation of the character on the descriptions provided by Ian Fleming in the original novels. 7/10
PIERCE BROSNAN (1995-2002)
Irish-born Brosnan was originally chosen to play 007 in 1986, but his contract with the TV series Remington Steele prevented him from taking it but he was successful almost 10 years later.
ON BOND: “Bond is an enigma. He’s bigger than life, but he’s vague as a personality. I’m thankful, the role made me an international star.”
THE LOOK: Brosnan is modest about his sizzling good looks, insisting: “I don’t see myself as the ‘Hunk of the Month’.”
THE LADIES: Famke Janssen, Michelle Yeo, Teri Hatcher, Sophie Marceau, Denise Richards and Halle Berry.
RATING: His interpretation was defined as “pure cinema”, combining his impossible good looks with an utterly unflappable demeanour. 8/10
DANIEL CRAIG (2005-2021)
Craig beat Clive Owen, Hugh Jackman and Ewan MacGregor for the part but faced flak for his blond locks and not having the Bond look. However his harder, darker Bond won over even his harshest critics and made Casino Royale the most successful 007 movie ever.
ON BOND: “If I go and see a Bond movie there are certain things I think should be in it. And they’re there.”
THE LOOK: Craig certainly looks the part of a tough killer. “I wanted to get big, not too big, but as big as I could.”
THE LADIES: Eva Green played Vesper Lynd—the first woman Bond loves—in Casino Royale. Sadly she didn’t live long enough to make it to another movie. Gemma Arterton ,Brit beauty Naomie Harris, French star Berenice Marlohe, Lea Leydoux and Monica Bellucci who at 50 was the oldest ever Bond girl.
RATING: Not only has he created a more sizzling, brutal and primal Bond, Craig has taken Bond into the 21st century. Dan leaves us feeling shaken and stirred. 10/10
Asia Features (Text has been edited for length)