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James Bond actors through the years: The place are the 007s now?


The first James Bond film premiered 60 years ago and has continued to keep fans captivated with every new addition to the franchise. There have been seven actors who have portrayed the iconic spy and 27 movies in the franchise. 

The films are based on a 1953 novel by Ian Flemming about a British spy who works for the M16 and goes by the codename 007. Producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman bought the film rights to the novel in 1961 and created EON Productions, the production company which produced all but two of the Bond movies.

Two Bond films were produced by different production companies and, due to this, have been debated by Bond fans. The 1967 “Casino Royale” and “Never Say Never Again” were produced by Columbia Pictures and Jack Schwartzman’s Taliafilm.

Here is a look at the many actors who played James Bond and what they’re up to today.

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Sean Connery

Sean Connery originated the role of James Bond in the first installment of the franchise, “Dr. No.”
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Sean Connery originated the role of James Bond, playing the iconic spy in the first James Bond movie, “Dr. No,” which came out in 1962. He continued to play the role for six more films, his last one being “Never Say Never Again” in 1983. The 1983 film was one of two Bond films that were not produced by EON Productions.

After playing Bond for so long, Connery grew tired of the role that made him famous, even saying in an interview he was “fed up to here with the whole Bond bit” and  that he “always hated that damned James Bond” and would “like to kill him.” During his time as Bond, Connery starred in some other films, including Alfred Hitchcock’s “Marnie” and “Murder on the Orient Express.”

Post-Bond, Connery starred in Steven Spielberg’s “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” and “The Untouchables,” the latter of which he won the Academy Award for best supporting actor. He turned down a number of famous roles, such as Gandalf in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Albus Dumbledore in the “Harry Potter” series and The Architect in “The Matrix,” before retiring in 2006.

Connery was married to Diane Cilento from 1962 to 1973 and had a son, actor Jason Joseph. In 2006, Cilento accused Connery of mental and physical abuse during their marriage. Shortly after his divorce, Connery married French-Moroccan painter Micheline Roquebrune in 1975, and they were married until his death. 

Connery was knighted by the late Queen Elizabeth II in July 2000 after being nominated for knighthood a couple of times over the years. On Oct. 31, 2020, Connery’s family and EON Productions announced the actor died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 90. A month later it was revealed the actor died from pneumonia and cardiopulmonary failure. He was cremated, and his ashes were scattered throughout Scotland. 

David Niven

David Niven was diagnosed with ALS in 1981 and passed away a few years later in 1983 at 73 years old.

David Niven was diagnosed with ALS in 1981 and passed away a few years later in 1983 at 73 years old.
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David Niven starred in the first Bond movie not produced by EON Productions, called “Casino Royale,” in 1967. Prior to taking on that iconic role, Niven had already won an Academy Award for best actor for his work in the 1958 film “Separate Tables.” He became an actor after leaving his position as a second lieutenant in the British Army. 

He got his start as an extra, but after getting the attention of Samuel Goldwyn, he began to star in more and more films throughout the late 1930s. Niven left his film career behind and rejoined the army when World War II began, ending the war as a lieutenant-colonel. He struggled in his Hollywood return, but after starring in “Around the World in 80 Days,” and his Oscar-winning role, his career was back on track.

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After “Casino Royale,” Niven starred in a few films, including “Before Winter Comes,” “Paper Tiger” and “Death on the Nile.” His final film role came in 1983’s “Better Late Than Never.” While starring in all these films, Niven also managed to write four books, an autobiography, which sold five million copies, a collection of short stories and two novels.  He was working on a third novel when he passed away.

Niven married his first wife Primula “Primmie” Susan Rollo in 1940 and had two sons with her before she passed away at the age of 28 after falling down a flight of stairs. In 1948, Niven met and married his second wife Hjördis Paulina Tersmeden and had two children with her. They were together until his death in 1983.

After experiencing fatigue and muscle weakness in 1980, Niven was diagnosed with ALS in 1981. A few years later, in February 1983, after being hospitalized for 10 days, Niven returned to his home in Switzerland, where he continued to decline in health. He passed away in his home in July 1983 at 73 years old. 

George Lazenby

George Lazenby starred in one Bond movie, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," in 1969.

George Lazenby starred in one Bond movie, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” in 1969.
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George Lazenby took over the Bond role from Connery for one Bond movie, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” in 1969. After making his Bond debut, Lazenby was offered a seven film contract but decided to turn it down following the advice of his agent. He went on to star in a few Bond parody films, including “The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.”

After spending 15 months sailing around the world in 1972, Lazenby returned to acting when he had his first child. He went to Hong Kong to film “Game of Death” with Bruce Lee, however Lee died before the project could begin. Instead, he filmed “Stoner,” “The Man from Hong Kong” and “A Queen’s Ransom.”

He moved to Australia after finishing his work in Hong Kong where he worked on a number of TV movies and shows before returning to Hollywood in the late 1970s. In 1979, he starred in “Saint Jack,” and later got roles in “Hawaii 5-0” and “Evening in Byzantium.” In 1993, he starred in a number of “Emmanuelle” movies on cable.

In 2021, he appeared in “In the Blink of an Eye” and has two movies “Z Dead End” and “The Order” which are currently in pre-production.

Lazenby married his first wife, Chrissie Townson, in 1973 and had two children with her, a son Zachary and a daughter Melanie. Their son Zachary was diagnosed with a brain tumor when he was 11 and passed away when he was 19.  He married his second wife, Pam Shriver, in 2002, with Pam filing for divorce in 2008. The couple had three kids together, Kaitlin, George and Samuel.

Roger Moore

Roger Moore starred in seven Bond films from 1973 to 1985. He passed away in 2017 from lung and liver cancer.

Roger Moore starred in seven Bond films from 1973 to 1985. He passed away in 2017 from lung and liver cancer.
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Roger Moore had an illustrious career before landing the role of James Bond. He went on to star in seven Bond films, starting with “Live and Let Die” in 1973 and ending with “A View to Kill” in 1985. 

After completing his last Bond movie, Moore took five years off before returning to acting in the TV series “My Riviera” and later starring in 1996’s “The Quest” and 1997’s “Spice World.” Throughout the early 2000s, he starred in movies like “Boat Trip,” “The Fly Who Loved Me,” “Agent Crush” and “The Wild Swans” as a voice actor. His last on-screen appearance was in 2017’s “The Saint.”

Moore was married four times, the first time to Doorn Van Steyn when he was 18. They divorced in 1953 due to disagreements over their finances. In 1953, he married Dorothy Squires, but tension quickly formed between them. In 1961, Moore left Squires for Italian actress Luisa Mattioli, but could not marry because Squire refused to grant him a divorce. She finally did so in 1969, and Moore and Mattioli finally got married. 

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Moore had three children with Mattioli; Deborah, Geoffrey and Christian. After being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1993, Moore began to rethink his relationships, and he fell in love with Swedish-born Danish socialite, Kristina “Kiki” Tholstrup. He got divorced from Mattioli in 2000 and married Tholstrup in 2002. They were married until his death in 2017. 

The actor suffered from a number of illnesses in his final years, having been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1993 and type 2 diabetes in 2013. He beat prostate cancer, but he was then diagnosed with lung cancer. Moore passed away in Switzerland in 2017 from lung and liver cancer.

Timothy Dalton

Timothy Dalton was offered the role of James Bond three times before he finally accepted. He portrayed Bond twice from 1987 to 1989.

Timothy Dalton was offered the role of James Bond three times before he finally accepted. He portrayed Bond twice from 1987 to 1989.
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Timothy Dalton starred in two Bond films after Roger Moore retired from the role, starting with “The Living Daylights” in 1987 and ending with “License to Kill” in 1989. He had initially been offered the role for “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” but he declined because he thought he was too young. He was approached a few more times, finally accepting in 1987.

Dalton continued to work consistently after leaving Bond behind him, playing a Nazi spy in “The Rocketeer,” Rhett Butler in a miniseries sequel to “Gone With the Wind” called “Scarlett” and even returned to theater in the 2004 stage adaptation of “His Dark Materials.” He also lent his voice to “Toy Story 3” as Mr. Pricklepants, reprising his role in the 2019 sequel “Toy Story 4.”

Most recently, Dalton starred in the Showtime series “Penny Dreadful” for three seasons, and has played the Chief in the HBO Max show “Doom Patrol” since 2019.

Throughout the 1970s and 80s, Dalton was in a number of high profile relationships with actresses Vanessa Redgrave, who he was with for 15 years, Whoopi Goldberg and Stefanie Powers, before meeting musician Oksana Grigorieva in 1995 and starting a long term relationship with her. Together they had a son named Alexander, before breaking up in 2003. 

Pierce Brosnan 

Pierce Brosnan was the sixth man to play Bond and started in the franchise with "GoldenEye" in 1995.

Pierce Brosnan was the sixth man to play Bond and started in the franchise with “GoldenEye” in 1995.
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Pierce Brosnan was first approached to play the role of James Bond in 1986, however he was under contract with NBC to continue filming the show “Remington Steele,so the role was offered to Thomas Dalton. When Brosnan was released from his NBC contract, he became the fifth actor cast to play James Bond in 1995’s “GoldenEye.” He played the character in four movies, his last being 2002’s “Die Another Day.”

In his post-Bond career, Brosnan found continued success, as he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 2005 for his role in “The Matador.” His next big role came in the 2008 film “Mamma Mia,” in which he starred alongside Meryl Streep. The movie was a huge success, but Brosnan’s singing in the film was largely disparaged. He reprised his role for the film’s 2018 sequel, “Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again.” 

Brosnan then reunited with his “GoldenEye” director Martin Campbell in the 2017 film, “The Foreigner.” Most recently, Brosnan landed a role in the upcoming DC superhero film “Black Adam,” Netflix’s “The Out-Laws” and the adventure film “The King’s Daughter.”

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In 1980, Brosnan married his first wife Cassandra Harris, and together they had a son named Sean. Brosnan later adopted Harris’ two children, Charlotte and Chris, from her previous relationship, after their father died. Harris was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1987 and died at the age of 43 in 1991. At the time of her death, they had been together for 17 years. The loss hit Brosnan hard. Her desire for him to play James Bond contributed to Brosnan accepting the role.

Brosnan met his second wife Keely Shaye Smith in 1994 and married her a few years later in 2001. The couple have two sons together named Dylan and Paris. Brosnan has been an Ambassador for UNICEF Ireland since 2001 and has been known to raise money for numerous charitable causes by selling his paintings.

Daniel Craig

Daniel Craig is married to actress Rachel Weisz and has one daughter with her, in addition to his daughter Ella from his previous marriage.

Daniel Craig is married to actress Rachel Weisz and has one daughter with her, in addition to his daughter Ella from his previous marriage.
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Daniel Craig took over the role of James Bond in 2006 in “Casino Royale.” Prior to taking on the role of the infamous spy, Craig got his start in television, with his breakthrough role coming in 1996 with the BBC drama “Our Friends in the North.”

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Craig starred in three films including “Love and Rage,” “Elizabeth” and “Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon.” He continued to act steadily throughout the early 2000s in films such as “Hotel Splendide,” “Road to Perdition,” “Munich” and “The Jacket.”

While continuing to make James Bond films, Craig also starred in other movies, including “The Golden Compass,” “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “Dream House” and “The Adventures of Tintin.” Most recently, he starred as Benoit Blanc, a detective investigating the murder of a family’s patriarch in “Knives Out.”

Craig has been married twice, the first time to actress Fiona Loudon. The pair got married in 1992 and were divorced two years later in 1994, but not before welcoming their daughter Ella. He then dated German actress Heike Makatsch for seven years before breaking up in 2004 and getting together with producer Satsuki Mitchell from 2005 until 2010.

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In December 2010, Craig began dating actress Rachel Weisz 16 years after they first met while on set of “Les Grandes Horizontales” in 1994. They married a year later in June 2011 with only Craig’s daughter and Weisz’s son in attendance along with two other witnesses. The two share a daughter, who was born in 2018, whose name they have not yet made public.



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