Regardless of which actor plays him, James Bond is awesome. He lives the ultimate bachelor’s dream lifestyle complete with beautiful women, exotic travel, and just the right amount of danger. But which actor made the most iconic James Bond? Before we can even begin to answer this question, let's consider the nominees:
Sean Connery Popular culture would probably crown Connery as THE James Bond. He wasn't the first to play the role and he definitely isn’t the last, but he originated a lot of the James Bond characteristics that we obsess over today. The curt one liners, the brutal, sexy and mysterious demeanor, the intangible sense that 007 is miles cooler and more sophisticated than anyone else in the movie (or in the audience) can all be traced back to Connery. Any discussion of the Best Bond Actor that doesn't include Connery should be treated with contempt.
George Lazenby "This never happened to the other fellow." With those seven words, Lazenby placed his indelible stamp on our culture as we know it. We're joking, of course. Lazenby was just some Australian fashion model who took the role after Adam "Batman" West turned down an offer to play James Bond in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” Think about that for a second. He might just be one of the best Bonds simply due to his proximity to Batman…or not.
Roger Moore Roger Moore was almost 50 years-old when he became Bond. Some people might argue that this Bond actor was too old to be that awesome. These people might be right, but he makes a good Bond nonetheless. He's a more sophisticated, more romantic, less violent Bond compared to Connery or current Bond actor Daniel Craig. The Bond flicks he was cast in reflect this – they're goofier and more comical than most of the others. Like Moore himself, his work as 007 will age like wine in the years to come.
Timothy Dalton Dalton kicks ass like a good Bond should, but shows relatively little interest in the horizontal espionage that Bond made famous. He's monogamous for the most part and that's a little lame, at least in Bondland.
Pierce Brosnan You know those action figures where they couldn't get the rights to use the character's likeness in the action figure so instead they just make a generic Inspector Gadget or Ethan Hunt? Pierce Brosnan is like a generic James Bond action figure made from flesh and tux. He does all the things a James Bond actor is supposed to do superficially, but without that spark of personality that makes a truly great 007. More recently he can be seen in the ABBA-inspired musical film “Mamma Mia!” 'Nuff said.
Daniel Craig Bond since 2006, Craig reclaims the stoic cool that was Bond's trademark in the Connery days. But he edges out Connery in the sheer brutality department. This Bond actor is so cool, he even finds the classic Bond-esque things in life tiresome. Take for example the classic moment in his 007 debut “Casino Royale” when a bartender asks him if he wants his martini shaken or stirred and Craig as Bond responds with "Do I look like I give a damn?"
So, who is the best Bond? Clearly the numbers come up Connery, with Daniel Craig breathing down his doubtless impeccably-tanned neck. But as was mentioned earlier, it's James Bond. He'd still be the coolest guy alive if Mitt Romney played him.