Who is the best James Bond? The seven 007 actors ranked ahead of No Time to Die

Your pick for the best James Bond actor will depend on a few factors: when you were born, what you like in a Bond film, and how your version of 007 is supposed to behave. 

Is James Bond meant to be funny, romantic or violent? Does he make amusing remarks after killing a man, or is he wrestling with the loss of a loved one and never making jokes? Your mileage will vary, as the films have experienced some massive ups and downs over the past five decades when it comes to tone and style. 

Seven actors have played 007 in live action, and below we’ve ranked them based on points assigned by TechRadar’s editors. Consider this a fun way to pass the time until No Time To Die releases on September 30 in the UK, and October 8 in the US.

  • How to watch the James Bond movies in order
  • Who should play James Bond after Daniel Craig?
  • Why is No Time to Die so long?

7. David Niven

Doomed to sit at the bottom of these lists forever, David Niven was considered Ian Fleming’s ideal James Bond – and he certainly looks and sounds the part in the spoof-like 1967 Casino Royale, where several actors play the role. As an older take on the character, he had a ton of potential and feels like a good fit for the 007 Fleming put on the page, but this wasn’t the vehicle for it. 

6. George Lazenby

A one-hit wonder, it’s hard to argue that Lazenby is the best part of the single Bond movie he starred in – 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service features better turns from Telly Savalas as an intimidating Blofeld and Diana Rigg as Bond’s doomed partner, Tracy di Vicenzo. Lazenby is charming and looks like Bond, but he’s no Connery, even if the movie’s notoriously bleak ending brings greatness out of him. 

Still, the Australian actor’s association with that movie, which has grown in standing over time thanks to praise from the likes of Steven Soderbergh, means he’s far from overlooked these days. Like Dalton, he makes you think of the subsequent Bond films that never were, but his legacy remains surprisingly tight almost five decades later. 

5. Timothy Dalton

A sort of proto-Daniel Craig, Timothy Dalton’s turn as James Bond results in two somewhat serious but mostly solid outings in The Living Daylights and License to Kill. Following the borderline-Carry On vibe of Roger Moore’s films, Bond needed to get more dramatic again, and Dalton imbued the British spy with an intensity and romantic edge that made him memorable. 

The Living Daylights definitely looks and feels like a Bond movie, though License to Kill is more up for debate, instead having the violent flavor of an ’80s action flick. It’s just a shame he didn’t get more movies to grow into the character. 

4. Roger Moore

Roger Moore’s Bond films are mostly synonymous with innuendo, silly comedy and preposterous side characters like Jaws and Sheriff John W. Pepper. This is an important era of James Bond as a pop culture figure, though, and Moore’s films are raucously entertaining and full of great action when they’re at their best. Yes, the tonal shifts go too far in the likes of Moonraker, but For Your Eyes Only is still one of the best Bond movies of all time. Moore definitely put his comical stamp on the character.  

Moore played Bond for 12 years next to Daniel Craig’s 15, but was more prolific, starring in seven movies total. His age in the role became more obvious over time – he was 45 when he filmed Live and Let Die, and in his late 50s in A View to a Kill – but he was a great custodian of 007, and remains a decent choice for younger Bond fans getting into the series (the occasionally lewd jokes aside). 

3. Daniel Craig

Daniel Craig gave the film franchise the gritty reset it needed after Die Another Day – and over time, his version warmed up and got closer to the Bonds of old as the films brought in Q, gadgets and more humor. The Craig films are wildly inconsistent: you’ve got two duds in Quantum of Solace and Spectre, alongside two genuine classics in Casino Royale and Skyfall. We’ll need to let the dust settle on No Time to Die before making a call on that one. 

Craig brings to the role a sort of cold masculinity and brutal physicality, landing the part after starring in the excellent British crime thriller Layer Cake. The films around Craig have formed a vague serialized plot, if not a satisfying one – but he’s brought credible depth to 007, and will likely cast a long shadow on the role for decades to come. 

2. Sean Connery

Who is the best James Bond? Ask any dad, and they’ll probably say Sean Connery. That he ranks only second on our list shows how interest in 007 is generational, to a large extent, with fans opting for ‘their’ Bond rather than an objective choice based on the quality of the movies. 

Still, Connery makes a fine showing in our list, and why wouldn’t he? Everything the role is now lives in the actor’s shadow: the suaveness of it, the violence just below the surface, the wry humor. In some ways, Bond feels shackled by these elements, but it’s also what makes him such an appealing movie icon. Connery’s turns in Dr No, From Russia With Love and Goldfinger transformed Bond into an immortal silver screen hero, even if some parts of his movies inevitably don’t stand the test of time. 

1. Pierce Brosnan

A great Bond with only a single classic movie to his name, Pierce Brosnan’s passion for the role was obvious. He was a perfect ’90s Bond, bringing humor back to the character along with charm and a terrific head of hair. The actor waited so many years to get the part – he initially missed out back in 1987, when a TV show contract for NBC’s forgotten Remington Steele stopped him from becoming 007. 

His performance throughout his four movies is consistent, but the films are not. GoldenEye is a post-Cold War classic and a top five Bond movie, while Tomorrow Never Dies and The World is Not Enough are middling by comparison. Finally, Die Another Day means Brosnan is forced to bow out with a true dud, weighed down by product placement and silly imagery like an invisible car, which is a little unfair. You almost wonder what he’d have made of starring in Dalton’s more dramatic and violent films. Either way, he remains our favorite.

Side note: Brosnan’s popularity among TechRadar’s editors is surely, in part, driven by playing too much GoldenEye 007 on N64. We love that game.

  • Best James Bond gadgets
Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

10 must-have plus-size clothes to buy from Old Navy

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. I have no qualms admitting it: I love Old Navy. More ... Read more »

UK households offered £5,000 grants to replace boilers with heat pumps

The government recently announced that it will provide £450 million in funding to encourage households in England and Wales to install electric heat pumps. Over the next three years, it’s ... Read more »

New Microsoft 365 service identifies privacy risk before it's too late

Microsoft has announced new controls for Microsoft 365 that will help customers manage privacy of their users in accordance with the local laws. © Provided by TechRadar A representational image ... Read more »

Xbox series X stock - live: AO restock sells out – here's who could drop next

LIVE – Updated at 14:00 © iStock/The Independent Xbox liveblog hero Update: Argos has restocked the Xbox series X for collection in specific stores. Enter your postcode to check your ... Read more »

NASA's Deep Space Food Challenge awards $450,000 to first-round winners

© Provided by Space NASA and the Canadian Space Agency have teamed up for the Deep Space Food Challenge, which aims to spur new ideas about how to feed astronauts ... Read more »

China, space junk and more: Senators voice spaceflight concerns

© Provided by Space Cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky shared this photo of the International Space Station on Twitter on Sept. 29, 2021. He and two colleagues were relocating a Russian Soyuz ... Read more »

Challenge for astronomy: Megaconstellations becoming the new light pollution

© Provided by Space An astronomical image marred by trails caused by satellites of SpaceX’s Starlink megaconstellation. Satellite megaconstellations are quickly becoming a serious problem to 21st century astronomy akin ... Read more »

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope will face '29 days on the edge' after launch (video)

© Provided by Space Artist’s illustration of the James Webb Space Telescope with its massive sunshield fully deployed. NASA’s newest space telescope will face 29 “harrowing” days after launch as ... Read more »

10 incredibly stylish clogs to wear this fall

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Walk down the shoe aisle of a department store, open up ... Read more »

Sony's WH-1000XM4 headphones fall to $248, plus the rest of the week's best tech deals

This week brought our first official early Black Friday sale, courtesy of Best Buy. While we expect to see even more of these events before we hit Black Friday proper, ... Read more »

Best smart home devices 2021: automate your home with these gadgets

The best smart home device will ensure your property offers the perfect environment without you having to lift a finger. Whether you want the light dimmed to a certain level, ... Read more »

Trump's social network was defaced before it even launched

It took only a few hours for pranksters to find and deface a test version of former President Trump’s yet-to-launch social media platform called TRUTH Social. According to The Washington ... Read more »

The Verge Merch Store is back!

The Verge is celebrating its 10th birthday on November 1st, so we thought this would be the perfect occasion to relaunch our online merch store! Check out the store here. ... Read more »

Engadget Podcast: Apple's new MacBook Pros, the Pixel 6 and the Surface Duo 2

Techtober continues with a deep dive into Apple’s latest MacBook Pros, powered by the new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. Cherlynn and Devindra also chat about what’s new with ... Read more »

Micro Center leaks specs and pricing for Intel's new Alder Lake Core i9 CPU

© Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Even though someone managed to secure early purchases of a couple of Core i9-12900K CPUs, we still didn’t have detailed information about ... Read more »

Someone got their hands on the unannounced Intel Core i9-12900K CPU

The Intel Core i9-12900K hasn’t even been announced, but someone got their hands on a pair of them. © Provided by Windows Central What you need to know A Reddit ... Read more »

Everything you need to know about the new Surface Duo 2

© Windows Central Surface Duo 2 Hero Got questions? We’ve got answers! Microsoft’s Surface Duo 2 is now officially available. Just like last year, we’ve compiled a mega list of ... Read more »

Haunted Chocolatier looks like the perfect follow-up to Stardew Valley

The creator of Stardew Valley has announced the title of his next game: Haunted Chocolatier.  © Provided by TechRadar Haunted Chocolatier logo on a starry backbround In Haunted Chocolatier, you’ll ... Read more »

Fury over 'absurd' GP plans to 'STRIKE'

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Doctors in England were today slammed for threatening industrial action over being ‘asked to do the very basics’ of their jobs, amid a ... Read more »

This Google Workspace update might finally help you be productive working from home

Making the distinction between work and personal apps should be more straightforward thanks to a new update coming to Google Workspace. © Provided by TechRadar laptops The online collaboration suite ... Read more »

Zenfolio is now offering its website builder service to UK photographers

Popular website builder for photographers, Zenfolio has launched a new platform for its UK clientele, six months after the company unveiled its new solution in the US. © Provided by ... Read more »

REvil ransomware gang taken offline by multinational effort

In a welcome move, sources have confirmed that the recent troubles plaguing the notorious REvil ransomware operator are the result of a concerted effort by various cybersecurity agencies. © Provided ... Read more »

This futuristic electric motorcycle is built for the moon

NASA is looking for new rovers for its new Artemis space program, and German design company Hookie thinks it has the perfect solution: a lunar electric motorcycle. © Provided by ... Read more »

Google Pixel 6 Pro

After months of teasers and semi-reveals, the Google Pixel 6 Pro is now officially here, with the company confirming every detail about the new handset, as well as how much ... Read more »

LG CX and GX OLED TVs now support 4K@120Hz with Dolby Vision

LG has begun rolling out a Dolby Vision at 120Hz firmware update for its 2020 CX and GX OLED TVs, just as it promised it would. © Provided by What ... Read more »

How to migrate your Mojang account to a Microsoft account

© Provided by Windows Central It sounds complicated, but it’s not. Minecraft developer Mojang recently began encouraging players to migrate their Mojang accounts to Microsoft accounts. The primary reason for ... Read more »

Tech Tent: The world in 2031

© Getty Images Will robots take over most tasks from manual workers over the next decade? Will we find innovative new energy sources to help us battle climate change? And ... Read more »

After 60 years, a mysterious Australian dinosaur just got downsized

In the 1960s, Australian coal miners stumbled across huge, bird-life footprints protruding from the ceiling of their subterranean work site in south-eastern Queensland. The marks, more than a foot long, ... Read more »

The best Nectar mattress sales and discounts in October 2021: get 40% off

The Nectar mattress sale is offering discounts on the brand’s popular memory foam models for all sleeping positions. In the UK, a new flash sale for Halloween means you can ... Read more »

An update on the Roku-YouTube standoff: Talking Tech podcast

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current ... Read more »

Get a massive £800 off the LG C1 OLED TV right now and beat the Black Friday rush

The hunt for the best TV deals this Black Friday has begun way ahead of schedule as the independent retailer Sevenoaks takes an early lead with a terrific low price ... Read more »

DNS attacks are targeting more businesses than ever

Domain name system (DNS) attacks, a threat usually de-prioritized in comparison to ransomware, malware, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), and targeted hacking, are on the rise, and businesses are taking ... Read more »

Giant owl not seen in 150 YEARS is spotted in a rainforest in Ghana

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo A giant owl that hasn’t been seen in the wild in 150 years has finally been spotted in a rainforest in Ghana — ... Read more »

Six ways to improve data science in the cloud

The data science market is flourishing, with an increasing number of companies across sectors placing data at the forefront of their digital transformation strategies. The rise of data analytics has ... Read more »

Amazon's big Samsung sale includes laptops, watches, phones and storage

Amazon’s deal of the day is all about Samsung today, with products on sale ranging from laptops to Galaxy S smartphones to storage. That includes a 30 percent discount on ... Read more »

Best Lightroom alternatives of 2021: Free and paid, for Windows, Mac, Linux, and online

The best alternatives to Adobe Lightroom make it simple and easy to manage images, image processing, and image storage. © Provided by TechRadar Lightroom software running on a laptop. This ... Read more »

Optional update for Windows 11 fixes L3 caching issue affecting AMD CPUs

© Windows Central Ryzen 5 PCs with AMD Ryzen CPUs should now perform as expected when running Windows 11. What you need to know Windows 11 has an optional update ... Read more »

Intel's unreleased Core i9-12900K processor goes on sale early

Intel hasn’t even officially announced its new Core i9-12900K processor, but it’s already been sold by a retailer. The unreleased CPU is expected to be the flagship for Intel’s new ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic