Best Bond Actors

Daniel Craig makes his final appearance as 007 James Bond in “No Time to Die” this Friday.

WTOP’s Dave Preston is ranking the Best of Bond in a different category every day this week.

Today, we’re ranking the Best Bond Actors.

Let the countdown begin!

6. George Lazenby

The Australian model/car salesperson won the role on test fight scenes and more than held his own in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” So why does he land here? George left the series after one film thinking that 007 was a fad that had passed with the ’60s. He would’ve been a good 007 if only he’d had a chance to grow in the role. Shame on both the actor and the producers for not letting this happen.

Lazenby’s Best: “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”

5. Timothy Dalton

The right man for the role … at the wrong time. After a dozen years of being force-fed Roger Moore cheesefests of light comedy and heavy gadgetry, audiences were not yet ready to go back into the dark world of a gritty spy. Dalton played 007 well in his two films, but suffered from a series that was running on fumes. He doesn’t look like he’s having any fun at all — and that translated to the audience reaction.

Dalton’s Best: “License to Kill” (1989)

4. Roger Moore  

He was the most prolific Bond by appearing in more films than any other (7), but Moore was just a little “too nice” to play the deadly spy.  His films suffered from too much surrounding noise, but Moore often gave a bland rendition that didn’t elevate the material. It didn’t help that he was over 50 for the majority of his movies and looked like he had shoved his head in a bag of Cheetos for “A View to a Kill.”

Moore’s Best: “For Your Eyes Only” (1981)

3. Pierce Brosnan  

He brought Bond back from the brink, jump-starting the series after a six-year hiatus. While his four films won’t go down with the series’ best, his mix of Moore’s charm and Connery’s toughness was the right combination that producers had hoped for when they cast Dalton. “GoldenEye” spawned one of the most successful video games of all time. It’s a shame “Die Another Day” is so unwatchable.

Brosnan’s Best: “Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997)

2. Daniel Craig  

Bond as a blond? Who’d a thunk it! Craig was the first 007 since Lazenby that you thought could kill an enemy agent without a weapon. His story arc from being newly minted in “Casino Royale” to retirement in “No Time to Die” has let us see Bond evolve in a manner unlike the others. Craig does seem to do a lot of running in his movies, though.

Craig’s Best: “Casino Royale” (2006)

1. Sean Connery

The perfect combination of grit and charm, Sean Connery’s serious approach to the role was far from humorless. His witty one-liners (“A martini, shaken not stirred”) and clever asides (“Shocking”) deflated the tension at just the right moments without going overboard. He provided the blueprint for all others to follow … and often miss. Even when he was mailing it in during “You Only Live Twice” or way too old for the role in “Never Say Never Again,” Connery brought us into the Bond universe for keeps. And for that, he tops the list.

Connery’s Best: “Goldfinger” (1964)

Click here to reach the table of contents for all of our Bond rankings.

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