The great Sean Connery turns 87 today — but where does he rank in the list of the six 007s?
6. George Lazenby
The only non-British Bond, the Australian model filled Connery’s tux in 1969 . . . before falling out with the director so badly they didn’t talk on set, and Lazenby never played the role again. After six films with the Scotsman in the spotlight, Lazenby adopted Connery’s Savile Row suits and signature Rolex Submariner but felt a little like a cover band parroting the original.
5. Timothy Dalton
After Roger Moore’s light-hearted rendition, Dalton’s super serious spin on 007 made us believe that Bond was a hard-nosed killing machine again — just a shame it came at the cost of a total personality bypass. Dalton’s two wooden appearances in the late ‘80s means he’s at the low end of the list.
4. Pierce Brosnan
You’ve got to forgive him for the travesty that was Die Another Day because Brosnan’s three other films revived the Bond franchise, catapulting 007 into the realm of the 21st Century blockbuster and laying the foundation for Daniel Craig after him. And that’s not to mention one of the all-time great video games, GoldenEye.
3. Roger Moore
If ever a Bond was in it for the lulz, it was Moore, with his signature eyebrow raise and smutty pun showing off a lighter side of the M15 agent. Moore’s campy Bond straddled the best and the worst ends of the spectrum — from the classic Live and Let Die to the clownish Octopussy — but his service over seven films deserves a place on the podium.
2. Daniel Craig
Since taking over the tuxedo in 2006, Craig has added a new depth to the role, striking a perfect balance between grit and glamour with a portrayal that’s as much Jason Bourne as what we’d come to expect of James Bond. Loses none of 007’s wit and charm or ability to fill out a beautifully cut suit, but adds a more realistic edge to the action scenes. Plus, wasn’t it about time for a blond Bond?
The original and the best — the five following in Connery’s footsteps have all being living in the Scot’s strapping 6’2’’ shadow. He tackled the best Cold War villains, he had the wittiest banter, he made the ‘Bond, James Bond’ line, the martini, and the cigarette dangling from the bottom lip famous. He was the first to appear as 007 in Dr No (1962) and his resume of seven films cements his spot as the superior secret agent.