James Bond became an instant hit when the first film was released in 1962. Starring Sean Connery, he was the first James Bond to hit the big screen, and the movie Dr. No is considered a classic today. Sean starred alongside Joseph Wiseman (as Dr. Julius No) and Jack Lord who played Felix Leiter. Felix became the very first recurring character in the series, and Joseph played the first ever Bond villain.
The movie was such a hit, the sequel rolled out in 1963 with Sean Connery still starring as Bond. This time, John Bernard Lee, Pedro Armednariz, and Robert Shaw joined him playing M, Kerim Bey, and Donald Grant respectively. From Russia With Love was yet another hit, and it wasn’t long before Sean came back for the all-time fan-favorite of Goldfinger in 1964 which also featured Gert Frobe as Auric Goldfinger.
1965 continued with the Bond streak as Thunderball hit theaters. Featuring Aldof Cell as Emigo Largo and Rik an Nutter as Felix Leiter (the third version), the movie led to the bond franchise taking off even more. Thunderball ended Sean’s streak as James Bond, but the franchise continued two years later in 1967 with David Niven taking his place.
Casino Royale featured the second James Bond alongside Peter Sellers, Woody Allen, and Orson Welles. That seam year, Sean Connery returned to play Bond in You Only Live Twice where he battled against super villain Donald Pleasence who played Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
Two years later in 1969, George Lazenby took the chance to play James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. He starred alongside Telly Savalas, Bernard Lee, and Gabriele Ferzetti. Another two years later, Sean Connery returned to play Bond in Diamonds Are Forever in 1971 where he joined Charles Gray, Jimmy Dean, and Bruce Cabot.
In 1973, Roger Moore took over with the movie Live and Let Die where he starred with Yaphet Kotto. Roger returned again in 1974 with the Bond film The Man With The Golden Gun where he starred with Christopher Lee, and he came back again three years later with The Spy Who Loved Me in 1977.
Roger held the title of Bond throughout the 70s and the franchise was still strong and growing, with the 1979 film Moonraker, and the 1981 movie For Your Eyes Only, Moore continued the series into the 80s. In 1983, he starred as James Bond with Octopussy. That same year, Sean Connery returned to his role as Bond with the movie Never Say Never Again.
In 1985, Roger Moore was back with A View To Kill where he starred with Christopher Walken and Patrick Macnee. Two years later, Timothy Dalton took the role with 1987’s The Living Daylights where he starred with Joe Don Baker, Art Malik, and Jeroen Krabbè. In 1989, Timothy returned with License to Kill.
In the mid-90s, Bond made a comeback after a six year break, this time with Pierce Brosnan playing James. GoldenEye quickly revived the franchise with the help of Sean Bean and Joe Don Baker. Pierce made a return in 1997 with yet another hit, Tomorrow Never Dies. Pierce continued on with the franchise throughout the early 2000s with movies like The World is not Enough and Die Another Day.
In 2006, Daniel Craig starred as the new James Bond with Casino Royale, and he made a return throughout the 2000s with movies like Quantum of Solace, and the 2012 hit Skyfall. And this year, James Bond continues with Daniel Craig at the helm with the movie Spectra.
Since the first Bond movie was released in the 1960s, the franchise has been considered one of the most successful and entertaining of all time. Even with some long breaks in between certain films, all of the Bond actors have been highly praised for their performances, and with many returning time and time again, there’s no doubt that Bond fans love every one of them.
Even though the movie series bag in the middle of the last century, it’s still going strong. In fact, Skyfall was considered one of the most successful movies in 2012, and Spectra is expected to be a similar story. James Bond fans span many generations, and it’s clear that it will be continued for many more decades into the future.
James Bond and all of the actors who have played him have always been highly praised by critics and viewers alike. With profits grossing in the multi-millions, it’s obvious to everyone that James Bond will be sticking around for many more years to come.