8 James Bond Actors, The Figures Who Become Legendary 007 Agents with Extraordinary Acting Make Fans Amazed
James Bond is a fictional character created by the British novelist and journalist, Ian Fleming, in 1952. This character appears in twelve novels and two collections of short stories.
From this literature, 27 film titles were born which were produced from 1962 to 2021. James Bond is described by Fleming as an athletic, tall and handsome secret agent in his 30-40s.
The world of gambling, cars and women is not spared from his figure. James Bond is described as a sniper who is skilled even without weapons, is good at swimming and playing golf.
The actors who play James Bond in this article have contributed to making this character continue to be legendary. Who are they? Let’s get acquainted one by one!
1. Barry Nelson
Barry Nelson was the first actor to play James Bond on screen. He was featured in the television anthology series Climax! Based on the adaptation of Ian Fleming’s novel Casino Royal in 1954.
Nelson played James Bond for eight years and was reportedly the “pilot” for the television series James Bond in the following years. Barry Nelson plays the character of James Bond as an American agent called Jimmy.
In the program he starred in, Peter Lorre as Lee Chiffre was the main villain. He is the enemy of James Bond as well as the main reason Barry Nelson accepted the role.
Unlike Barry Nelson, Sean Connery is the first actor to play the character of James Bond on the big screen. The James Bond film he played at that time was called Dr. No. (1962). Sean Connery’s figure was initially doubted by Fleming because his body was too big with a height of 188 cm.
To prepare him to become James Bond, director Terence Young began to introduce him to high life, casinos, restaurants and women in London. Apart from the physical mismatch, Connery and Fleming’s interpretation of the figure of James Bond was also different.
Connery interpreted Bond as a free and cold-blooded figure. Connery is considered to have formed a new style from the figure of James Bond which previously only existed in literature.
Sean Connery successfully played James Bond in seven films, namely Dr. No (1962), From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamond Are Forever (1971) and Never Say Never Again (1983).
3. David Nineven
This James Bond actor is quite unique because he was Fleming’s direct choice. David Niven was signed by Charles Feldman to play James Bond in the Casino Royale film that was not produced by Eon Productions.
When he played James Bond in 1965, Sean Connery also appeared as James Bond. The Casino Royale film played by David Niven was previously rejected by Sean Connery and Peter Sellers.
Interestingly, when playing the character of James Bond, Niven was already 56 years old. The James Bond he played was an elderly man who won the Victoria Cross in the Mafeking raid.
George Lazenby took over from Sean Connery for a year from 1968 to 1969. Lazenby was an Australian actor who, when cast as James Bond, was not very well known. He caught the attention of Broccoli and director Peter R. Hunt on one occasion.
Interestingly, in playing James Bond, Lazenby never signed a contract. He was influenced by his agent, Ronan O’Rahilly, who said that the image of a secret agent character in a film would not last long and would be old-fashioned in the 1970s.
As a result, Lazenby resigned after completing one film, namely On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).
5. Roger Moore
After Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Sean Connery failed to be convinced to continue playing the character of James Bond. Producer Broccoli and Saltzman then proposed to Roger Moore, whom they had previously targeted for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).
At that time Moore was a handsome and famous television actor. When lined up to be James Bond, Moore tried not to imitate Connery’s style.
In collaboration with screenwriter, Tom Mankiewicz, the character of James Bond is adapted to be lighter with lots of comedic elements in the story. Roger Moore is synonymous with the figure of James Bond who is a playboy, arrogant and intelligent with his jokes and satire.
Roger Moore became James Bond from 1972 to 1985. During that time he has starred in five films, namely Live and Let Die (1973), The Man With The Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979) ), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983), and A View to a Kill (1985).
6. Timothy Dalton
The choice of Timothy Dalton as the next James Bond actor after Roger Moore retired was quite tough. He had to compete with Sam Neil and Pierce Brosnan when he auditioned for the role in 1986.
Dalton was finally appointed after Eon Production in August 1986 when he was around 24-25 years old. And to play the character of James Bond aged 35 to 40 years, Dalton made several attempts.
His appearance as James Bond in the film The Living Daylights (1987) was finally successful and made a profit from the previous two James Bond films. Unfortunately, due to several factors the second film, License to Kill (1989), was not as successful.
7. Pierce Brosnan
The next James Bond actor list is Pierce Brosnan. His collaboration with Eon Production began after Timothy Dalton decided to retire in 1994. The production house immediately offered him three film contracts at once.
Brosnan is seen by many as successful in creating the classic Bond figure, both in looks and demeanor. With a handsome physical appearance, Price Brosnan fits the character of the flamboyant James Bond, an international playboy who attracts the attention of the whole room as soon as he enters it.
Brosnan’s first film as James Bond was GoldenEye (1995). The Bond character that he brings in the film is considered the closest to the description of Bond in Fleming’s novel.
GoldenEye (1995) which he played became the fourth highest-grossing film worldwide. With these results, GoldenEye (1995) is the second most successful James Bond film after Moonraker (1979).
You can see Brosnan’s career as Bond in four films, namely GoldenEye (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999) and Die Another Day (2002).
8. Daniel Craig
The next list of James Bond actors, namely Daniel Craig. He was the first actor to play James Bond after the death of Ian Fleming, the original author of the James Bond novels.
The selection of Craig caused controversy as some fans of the James Bond franchise judged his physique to be unfit for the image of the tall, dark-haired international playboy.
Despite receiving a lot of criticism and threats of boycott, Craig received support from previous James Bond actors, such as Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and Timothy Dalton.
This support bore fruit because his first film as James Bond, Casino Royale (2006), was a success in the market and was named the highest-grossing Bond Film before Skyfall (2012).