Many actors have played the role of James Bond on screen, but who has been liked the most by the viewers and fans of the franchise? Given all the hype around Daniel Craig and the recently released No Time To Die being his last outing as the elite spy with “the license to kill,” the instant answer would be him, right? Surprisingly, a recently conducted study has revealed an unexpected answer- the fan-favorite James Bond isn’t Daniel Craig or even Sean Connery, but rather Timothy Dalton.
Unlike Daniel Craig, who played James Bond across five films starting from Casino Royale, Timothy Dalton portrayed 007 only twice- 1987’s The Living Daylights and 1989’s License To Kill. He took over from actor Roger Moore who played Bond across seven films from 1973 to 1985 and retired after appearing in A View To Kill. Though Dalton was supposed to appear in a third film, the mixed reviews earned by License to Kill as well as its less than satisfactory box office returns not only ended his stint as the MI6 agent but also seemed to mark the conclusion of the franchise.
But thankfully, by 1995, we had another Bond in the form of Pierce Brosnan in GoldenEye. He played the role across three more films before being succeeded by Daniel Craig with the studio wanting to reboot the series with a younger James Bond at the beginning of his career.
To date, six actors have played the role of James Bond starting with Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig. The most plausible choices amongst the actors being fan-favorite Bonds would be Sean Connery, Daniel Craig, or Roger Moore. But a new study from Casumo (via ScreenRant) has revealed that the most popular Bond performer with audiences is actually Timothy Dalton.
The study is based on data from the movie database site IMDb, wherein Dalton ranks at the top of the list of all actors who have played Bond with an average rating of 7.3 out of 10. Daniel Craig and Sean Connery rank after him with 7.2 and 6.9 ratings respectively, followed by Brosnan and Moore with an average rating of 6.6, while the one-time Bond actor, George Lazenby, is in last place with a 6.1 rating.
Over the years, the reviews for Licence To Kill have consistently worsened, with many listing it as one of the worst James Bond films in the franchise. But majorly, all the negative reviews have been aimed at the script and the direction while Dalton has been pegged as the unfortunate actor who had all the flair to be the best Bond had he gotten a better-written character to play. Thus, it’s not that surprising that Dalton is the ultimate fan-favorite Bond actor of the six stars who have played the role across 25 films.
But who knows, maybe the next James Bond will be the one to dethrone Timothy Dalton? With Daniel Craig retiring from his starring role as the elite spy, the hunt is on to find the next 007 and the rumored list of actors being considered for the role is already full of names that are all up for the challenge.