Come October 5, 2022, the James Bond film franchise will celebrate /their diamond jubilee aka it turns 60. While the franchise – centred on a fictional character aka a British secret agent working for MI6 under the codename 007, the role has been portrayed on-screen by several actors including Sean Connery, David Niven, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and lastly Daniel Craig.
The franchise consists of a total of twenty-seven productions – 25 by Eon Productions (the studio that now holds the adaptation rights to all of Fleming’s Bond novels) and two non-Eon Productions. But who has played the character the longest? That is 21 years!
Today, we take a look at the different actors who played James Bond from its first film Dr No (1962) to its latest release No Time to Die (2021). While we tell you from when till when they played the character, can you guess who among Sean Connery, Daniel Craig and Roger Moore served as the longest British spy the longest?
Sean Connery (1962-1967, 1971 and 1983) – roughly 21 years
Sean Connery the first guy to ever play Agent 007 in the James Bond film franchise is also the actor who played the character for the longest time. Stepping into the shoes of the exceptional marksman – who is also in unarmed combat, skiing, swimming and golf, Sean played the part from 1962-1967, 1971 and then in 1983 (Never Say Never Again) – a total of 21 years.
The actor’s first outing as Bond was the 1962 release Dr. No. He followed this up with From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Never Say Never Again (1983).
Daniel Craig (2006-2021) – 15 years
Daniel Craig stepped down as the British spy with the release of the 2021 James Bond film No Time to Die. While this Cary Joji Fukunaga directorial was Craig’s fifth outing as the agent, it marked the end of his decade and a half long association with the franchise.
Making him the 2nd longest agent to serve Her Royal Highness, Daniel Craig starred in Bond movie titles like Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012), Spectre (2015) and No Time To Die.
Roger Moore (1973–1985) – 12 years
After Sean Connery, the actor who played James Bond for several films before Daniel Craig could take the title was Roger Moore. First playing the British spy working for the safety of the crown in 1973’s Live and Let Die, the actor continued to wow millions across the globe till 1985.
During this period of 12 years, Moore played the intelligence officer in several titles including, 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).
Pierce Brosnan (1994–2004) – 10 years
Pierce Brosnan played James Bond for a decade. He succeeded Timothy Dalton and stepped into the shoes of Agent 007 with the 1995 release GoldenEye. In his not-so-long stint as the spy, Brosnan featured in four films – GoldenEye (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999) and Die Another Day (2002).
Timothy Dalton (1986–1994) – 8 years
Timothy Dalton is the actor who played James Bond in just two films – The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989). While the films were released in quick succession, he however held on to the title till Pierce Brosnan was signed on as Agent 007 in 1994.
While we have actors who have reprised the role of Agent 007 in several films, there have also been actors who played James Bond in just one flick. Like David Niven and George Lazenby
David Niven: 1967
David Niven played the Brit spy in just one film – the 1967 non-Eon production Casino Royale. The film was directed by several people like Ken Hughes, John Huston, Joseph McGrath, Robert Parrish, Val Guest and Richard Talmadge
George Lazenby: 1969
Just like David, George Lazenby also played James Bond in only one film – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, released in 1969. The film was directed by Lewis Gilbert.
Did you know these details about how long which actor played James Bond? If not, be sure to stick to Koimoi for more interesting trivia about your favourite film franchises and stars.