A James Bond film holds a rather special place in hearts of almost every film buff. Pick up any film starring the suave British superspy and you're likely to get healthy doses of action, drama, romance, stunts and thrills - pretty much everything you could possibly look for in a film. There have been 22 such films made to date... the 23rd - "Skyfall" is in the making. The films themselves are screen adaptations of novels written by Ian Fleming and the first James Bond film - "Dr No" (1962) - starred legendary Scot Sean Connery in the lead role.
In honour of yet another adventure of the ageless 007, IBTimes UK presents the run-down of the actors who played James Bond... through the ages...
1. Sean Connery - Connery was the first of the Bonds and probably still the most popular, at least according to the critics. Yahoo Entertainment described him as handsome, charming, athletic, cool under pressure and having that boyish sense of fun with a devil-may-care attitude; the fact he had a wonderful sense of humour was a lovely bonus. During his last two films, however, age began to take its toll on him. Interestingly, for "From Russia With Love" Connery had eight specially tailored suits from Savile Row (each costing $2,000) according to AYNILISTS. His roll call of Bond films is - "Dr No", "From Russia With Love", "Goldfinger", "Thunderball", "You Only Live Twice", "Diamonds are Forever" and "Never Say Never Again".
2. Roger Moore - Moore was reportedly the most comic of all the Bonds because of his spontaneous sense of humour. He came to the role with prior experience of playing a spy - he was one in a television series called "The Saint". Moore and the cast of "Spy Who Loved Me" received three Academy Award nominations. Interestingly, according to Screen Insight, Moore was actually very profitable for the franchise - all his films - "Spy Who Loved Me", "Moonraker", "For Your Eyes Only", "Octopussy" and "A View to Kill - were box office hits.
3. Timothy Dalton - The 6' 2", green-eyed Dalton was in stark contrast to Moore's portrayal of James Bond. Where the latter brought a sense of comedy to the role, Dalton was, according to IMDB, the last of the dying breed of swashbuckling, classically-trained Shakespearean actors who forged simultaneously successful careers in theater, television and films. Interestingly, quite a few people believed Dalton played Bond exactly the way Fleming saw the character - with a serious and darker tone. Dalton's films were "The Living Daylight" and "License to Kill".
4. Pierce Brosnan - The Irish actor, like Moore, also had television experience of his role. He played the title role in "Remington Steele", a television drama about a private detective. He was universally acclaimed for having the perfect combination of charm and attitude and was described as having boyish good looks and add to the mix his bright blue eyes and he certainly made a very charming Bond; one that women could and did swoon over. Incidentally, Brosnan forced one alteration to Bond's character - he stopped smoking. Brosnan felt that as a role model to younger people, Bond ought not to smoke. His films were "Golden Eye", "Tomorrow Never Dies", "The World is Not Enough" and "Die Another Day".
5. Daniel Craig: Craig is filming the 23rd title in the series - "Skyfall". The announcement of his taking over the role of James Bond surprised several people who believed the raw edginess he brought to the role was a step back after the likes of Moore and Brosnan. However, superb performances in "Quantum of Solace" and "Casino Royale", his two Bond films to date, have suggested otherwise. Some critics feel Craig brings the essence of Sean Connery's Bond back to life. "Skyfall" is set to release on 23 November.
Check out this slideshow of the Bonds through the ages...