Timeline of James Bond Films by Actor
Explore a slice of British film history with our timeline of James Bond films, colour coded by the actor who played the world’s most famous spy in each film.
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The World’s Most Famous Spy
A quick history of the 6 actors who have played the iconic character of James Bond, along with some interesting facts we noticed when exploring the timeline.
The world’s most famous MI6 agent was first imagined in Ian Fleming’s 1952 novel…
Recommended Timeline: Novels by Ian Fleming
The world’s most famous MI6 agent was first imagined in Ian Fleming’s 1952 novel, Casino Royale. Fleming would go on to write a total of twelve James Bond novels and two collections of short stories.
Fleming used his WWII service in the Navel Intelligence Division, and his career as a journalist, to provide many of the details for the novels. The character of James Bond himself was a composite of a number of commandos whom Fleming knew from his wartime service.Fleming got the name for his character from an American ornithologist named James Bond, and based his looks on American actor and musician Hoagy Carmicheal.
The James Bond novels were hugely successful and the big screen adaptations have made the fictional MI6 agent, codenamed 007, one of the most iconic characters in film history.
Our newly colour coded timeline, embedded above, gives each actor who has portrayed the famous British spy a different colour, letting you easily follow the transition between actors over the years. We’ve used the timeline to create this brief overview of the actors and films.
The first actor who played James Bond was Sean Connery in Dr. No (1962).
Recommended Timeline: Sean Connery filmography
The first actor who played James Bond on the big screen was Sean Connery in Dr. No (1962). Connery would go on to play Bond for another 4 movies, before passing the baton to George Lazenby Bond in the 1969 On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Lazenby only lasted for 1 film and was replaced by the returning Sean Connery in the next film, Live and Let Die (1971).
Connery would only return for one film, with Roger Moore stepping into the role for the 1973 Live and Let Die. Moore would continue to play the world’s most famous spy for another 12 years’ featuring in a total of 7 films.
Roger Moore would play the world’s most famous spy for a total of 7 films.
Related Timeline: Roger Moore filmography
Between Roger Moore’s penultimate and final films as Bond we got another film with Sean Connery as James Bond when he starred in the 1983 Never Say Never Again, the only Bond film not released by EON Productions and the first film not to use the title of an Ian Fleming story.
Roger Moore’s final film A View to a Kill was released in 1985, and he was followed by Timothy Dalton who played Bond in the 1987 The Living Daylights. Dalton would only be given two films as the world’s most famous spy with his run coming to an end with the 1989 License to Kill.
Brosnan’s first film as James Bond was GoldenEye, released in 1995.
Related Timeline: Pierce Brosnan filmography
The next actor to take on the role would be Pierce Brosnan, but we would have to wait 6 years for another Bond film due to legal issues over the the rights to the character. Brosnan’s first film as James Bond was GoldenEye, released in 1995, and is the first film not to be based on one of Fleming’s novels. Brosnan would go on to make a total of 4 films, with his time as the famous MI6 spy coming to an end in 2002, with Die Another Day.
The next and current James Bond, Daniel Craig, would come with a gritty re-boot to bring Bond into the modern era of spy films. Craig’s first film was Casino Royale in 2006 and he would go on to make a total of 4 films as the iconic character, with the latest Bond film Spectre released in 2015.
Craig’s first film was Casino Royale in 2006, he would go on to make a total of 4 films
Related Timeline: Daniel Craig filmography
The rumours are that Spectre was Daniel Craig’s last film playing the famous 007 character, leading to constant speculation on who the next James Bond will be.
Who would you like to see play 007 next?
Who is your favourite Bond of all time?
Let me know in the comments or on social media!