Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fifty Years of James Bond: The Actors

Five decades of handsome, suave, tough portrayals of Agent 007, James Bond has left audiences to choose their favorite Bond actors. Surrounded by beautiful women, lavish locations, fancy cars and gadgets and coupled with plenty of rugged action, the actors were programmed to be successful. Each brought his own style and tone to the fictional character and developed an individual fan base. The devil is in the details some say, so let's look at the quartet of the highest money makers for the franchise.

Sean Connery, longest running actor of the Bond series, earned a total of $4.3 billion. He starred in five of the highest grossing films, Thunderball, Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, and From Russia With Love. The Scottish actor and producer who has won an Academy Award, two BAFTA Awards (one of them being a BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award) and three Golden Globes (including the Cecil B. DeMille Award and a Henrietta Award). 1989, he was proclaimed "Sexiest Man Alive" by People magazine and in 1999, at age 69, he was voted "Sexiest Man of the Century". He was knighted in July 2000.

Roger Moore follows Connery, earning $3.8 billion starring in three of the top ten grossing Bond films, Live and Let Die, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker. English actor Moore played the British secret agent from 1973 to 1985, claiming the title of the longest serving Bond actor. prior to his role as Bond, he starred as Simon Templar in The Saint, between 1962 and 1969. Knighthood came to Moore in June 2003, for his charity work throughout his career and not for his acting. On 11 October 2007, three days before he turned 80, Moore was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work on television and in film.

In 1995, Pierce Brosnan became the fifth actor to portray secret agent James Bond in the film series, starring in four films between 1995 and 2002. He earned $2 billion for the franchise. Following a stage acting career, he rose to popularity in the television series Remington Steele (1982–87). Since playing Bond, he has starred in such successes as The Matador (nominated for a Golden Globe, 2005), Mamma Mia! (National Movie Award, 2008), and The Ghost Writer (2010). In later years, the Irish actor has become known for his charitable work and environmental activism. Brosnan became an American citizen in 2004.

Daniel Craig is breaking all Bond records in the latest Bond film, Skyfall. it well may be the first time a Bond film has been given serious consideration for the Best Picture Oscar. Currently, Craig has grossed $1.8 billion for the franchise in his three Bond films. Craig achieved international fame when chosen as the sixth actor to play the role of James Bond, replacing Pierce Brosnan. Though initially greeted with scepticism, his debut in Casino Royale was highly acclaimed and earned him a BAFTA award nomination, with the film becoming the highest grossing in the series to date. Quantum of Solace followed two years later, with the third film Skyfall, premiered on 23 October 2012.