Every actor who's played James Bond, ranked from worst to best

Daniel Craig, Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan star as James Bond. MGM
On October 8, the new James Bond movie, "No Time To Die," will be in American theaters.

This is Daniel Craig's final outing as Bond.

Insider ranks all six actors who played Bond in films.

For more stories, visit Insider's homepage.

Worst: George Lazenby (1969-1969)

James Bond: George Lazenby MGM

As a matter of courtesy, George Lazenby, an Australian actor is included on this list. He played Bond in "On Her Majesty's secret Service" 1969. After Connery's death, Eon Productions drafted him in. Roger Moore replaced him immediately when the series returned to television in 1973 with "Live and Let Die".

Pierce Brosnan (1995 - 2002)

Pierce Brosnan films "007" 1997. Markus Beck/picture Alliance via Getty Images

It is easy to forget about the damage Pierce Brosnan caused to James Bond's franchise after 15 years of Daniel Craig, who is later eulogized in this slider. But it is important that we revisit our lowest moments to learn from them. Do we all remember the orange spray Brosnan used to get tanned throughout his time as 007?" Or the awkwardly hyper-pop theme tunes like Madonna's "Die Another Day"

Brosnan films even feature bad guns.

It is important that "GoldenEye," Brosnan's Bond film, was also the first Bond film not produced by Albert R. Broccoli. Broccoli was the original film series creator. He had been succeeded by Barbara Broccoli and his stepson, Michael G. Wilson. However, it is believed that Brosnan was preferred by Albert R. Broccoli so perhaps it was time to step down.

Brosnan did, however, push Bond away from its cool, steely origins, to something more Hollywood-oriented and less entertaining throughout his four-film run.

Roger Moore (1973-1985)

Roger Moore, British actor, plays the role of James Bond's secret agent 007 in this 1972 photo. AP Photo

Roger Moore was James Bond seven times. The majority of his films were directed and produced by John Glen, a British film director who had a remarkable ability to capture chaos on the screen. This is what Moore's Bond was most famous for.

Continue the story

Moore fought off a crocodile pack and defused the nuclear bomb during his seven-film series. Moore's Bond was entertaining and charismatic, but there was very little substance to his statements and even less plot to support all of the big-budget stunts. Moore's seven films are not worth rewatching.

Timothy Dalton (1987 - 1989)

Timothy Dalton plays James Bond MGM

Timothy Dalton's only reason for not being at the top is that he only played Bond twice. However, this was not due to poor ratings or box office results. His films "The Living Daylights", (1987), and "Licence To Kill," (1989) are among the most loved Bond films. Dalton's dark, often serious interpretation of 007 is widely regarded as the best.

Dalton stated that he wanted to make Bond human during an interview in 2008. "He's not superman. You can't identify as a superman. The James Bond of the books can be identified with. He is a really tarnished man. I wanted to capture an occasional feeling of vulnerability, and I wanted the spirit of Ian Fleming."

Many people have said that Bond's grounding by Dalton was the catalyst for Daniel Craig's 007. However, Dalton's tenure was cut short by complicated legal wrangles between MGM and Eon Productions. This halted production until 1994, when his contract expired.

Sean Connery (1962-1967)

Sean Connery in the original James Bond movie. United Artists

Sean Connery's legendary acting career spanned more than 50 movies and featured appearances in some Hollywood's most iconic films such as "Marnie" (1964), "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) and "The Untouchables ( 1987), for which he was awarded an Academy Award for best-supporting actor. He was remembered best as the first 007.

Connery claims that his interpretation of 007 was able to charm Fleming, but not Fleming.

"I didn't get Fleming introduced until I was fully into the movie, but I know that he wasn't happy with me being the choice," he stated on the 2008 "South Bank Show".

Connery was the secret agent in seven films, spanning 1962-1983. His version of Fleming is still a controversial one.

Connery's charisma was the key to his powers as 007 Barbara Walters described Connery as a Scotsman in a 1987 interview. He didn't try and be sexy but he oozed class. Connery is also the only Bond actor to have managed to make the catchphrase "Martini, shaken not stirred" sound cool.

Best: Daniel Craig (2006 - 2021)

Daniel Craig plays James Bond in "No Time to Die" MGM

Daniel Craig's Bond films, which are dark, physical and entertaining, are a great example of the Bond spirit. Craig's commercial success is what has made him the top of this list. The numbers don't lie: "Skyfall", Craig's third Bond movie and his first collaboration with Sam Mendes (American Beauty), brought in $1.1 billion worldwide, making it the most successful Bond film ever.

Craig's portrayal of the top-secret British spy was a great way to revive the franchise that, at the time of Brosnan’s films, had struggled to find a new identity for 007 after Brosnan's thematically erratic series.

Craig's final Bond film, "No Time To Die", hits US cinemas October 8. Early projections indicate that the film could earn $90 million at the international box-office. Craig may not only be the actor who saved Bond, but also the actor who saved cinema.

Insider has the original article.