Worst To First: Ranking the James Bond Actors
With the arrival of a new James Bond movie, it’s time to reevaluate my rankings of the actors who have played 007. I haven’t seen Spectre as of this writing (it opens in theaters today), but if advanced reviews are to be believed the latest Bond movie counts as another win for current 007, Daniel Craig. Will that be enough of an edge for him to challenge Sean Connery for the top spot?
Let’s rank the James Bond actors from worst to first and find out
6. George Lazenby
Summary: George Lazenby was the second actor to play James Bond. He inherited the role from Sean Connery. Replacing Connery was no small task. The actor and the character were so firmly linked together that there were doubts that anyone else could play the part. After only one movie, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Lazenby was replaced by a returning Sean Connery which seemed to suggest that the Australian model was not up to the task.
What’s Good: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is a very good Bond flick. It’s sandwiched between a couple of weaker efforts from Connery who was basically cashing paychecks in his latter entries. Lazenby has the look to be Bond. And while he’s not a clone of Connery, his take on Bond had different strengths. The Lazenby Bond was more vulnerable than his unflappable predecessor. One wonders how Connery’s Bond would have handled the emotional requirements of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
What’s Bad: Unfortunately, audiences weren’t all that interested in a James Bond who could cry. They wanted the charismatic Connery tossing off quips. By comparison, Lazenby feels like a charisma black hole. As an actor, Lazenby was a rookie and his lack of experience showed through.
Stats: I’m going to use this category to compare the number of kills, romantic conquests and martinis consumed by each of the James Bond actors. Having made only one movie, Lazenby is on the low end of all three stats. On average, he ranks low on all three measures, but he is not the lowest in any of them.
Verdict: When Timothy Dalton assumed the role of 007, he consulted with the previous actors to play the part. According to Dalton, Lazenby’s advice was “Make more than one movie.” It’s sage advice which Dalton followed. At the end of the day, there is only one single-shot James Bond and that’s Lazenby. Whatever potential the actor may have had would never be fully realized. As a one-timer, Lazenby didn’t get the opportunity to put his stamp on 007. If he had come back for more, he may have grown into the part. But with just one movie, he will probably always be viewed as the guy who couldn’t replace Connery.
Next: Bond #5
Posted on November 6, 2015, in James Bond, Movies, Worst to First and tagged 007, Daniel Craig, George Lazenby, James Bond, Pierce Brosnan, Roger Moore, Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton. Bookmark the permalink. 43 Comments.