Roger Moore, who played James Bond seven times on the big screen, died on Tuesday at age 89 following a short battle with cancer. He followed in the footsteps of Sean Connery and George Lazenby in the official Eon Productions films, with Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig following him. Choose your favorite Bond in the poll below.
Each actor brought something different to the role. Producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli actually considered Moore before they ended up casting Connery in Dr. No, but his other commitments at the time kept him from being offered the part. Moore finally debuted as Bond in Live And Let Die in 1973, ushering in a different kind of Bond who was less serious than Connery. The films with Moore often veered into camp, especially Moonraker, which took Ian Flemming’s famous 007 to the moon. But for anyone who didn’t grow up with the Connery films, Moore was James Bond.
In a 2015 interview for the book How To Be A Superhero, Moore said he had to correct people who tell him he’s James Bond.
“Oh, I don’t think they think I’m Bond. Well, ok, maybe,” Moore admitted. “I sometimes get comments like ‘Hello, Mr. Bond’ and such like. I smile and keep walking, but if someone comes up to me and says ‘Hey, you’re James Bond!’ I’ll say, ‘No, I am Roger Moore, I used to play James Bond.’ I don’t pretend I am the character. Therefore, I have no expectations to meet other than those of meeting Roger Moore. I am, of course, charming, polite, and courteous.”
Who did Moore himself thing was the best Bond? Daniel Craig.
“I thought Casino Royale was tremendous,” Moore told Time Magazine. “I thought his action was quite extraordinary—he did more action in the first 30 seconds of the film than I did in 14 years of playing Bond. To me, he looks like a killer. He looks as though he knows what he’s doing. I look as though I might cheat at backgammon.”
Moore continued playing the part for Eon until 1985’s A View to Kill. (In 1983, Connery played Bond in Never Say Never Again, which wasn’t an Eon Production.) Two years later, Dalton took over the role but only appeared in two films before Bond went on a long hiatus. In 1995, Bond returned with Brosnan in the role in GoldenEye.
In 2006, Bond returned to a more serious, dark tone with Craig’s first Bond movie, 2006’s acclaimed Casino Royale. It was followed with 2006’s Quantum of Solace, 2012’s Skyfall and 2015’s Spectre. Skyfall became a massive international hit, marking the franchise’s 50th anniversary in style.
Here’s the full list of Eon Bond films:
- Dr. No
- From Russia With Love
- You Only Live Twice
- Diamonds Are Forever
- On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
- Live and Let Die
- The Man With The Golden Gun
- The Spy Who Loved Me
- For Your Eyes Only
- A View to Kill
- The Living Daylights
- License to Kill
- Tomorrow Never Dies
- The World Is Not Enough
- Die Another Day
- Casino Royale
- Quantum of Solace
Who do you think is the best James Bond actor? Take our poll below.