Movie Reviews

James Bond: How Old Every 007 Actor Was In Each Movie

Daniel Craig has retired as 007 now that No Time To Die has released, but here’s how old each James Bond actor was when they played the famous super-spy, from who is the youngest James Bond actor to the oldest. Layer Cake star Daniel Craig wrapped up his tenure as James Bond with No Time To Die, and it’s possible that The Dark Knight Rises villain/Mad Max hero Tom Hardy will be his replacement. That’s at least if reports and betting odds are to be believed. All of the actors who have played James Bond have varied in age and overall aesthetic — but they’ve all kept the James Bond charm. Funnily enough, James Bond was supposed to be 42 in the books.

If an odds-on favorite like Tom Hardy were cast, he wouldn’t be the oldest actor to play Bond at 43. That title is held by Roger Moore, who played the character from 45 to 57. Another bookie’s favorite for the next Bond actor, Aaron Johnson, could become the third youngest at 32. That’s a little younger than Bond’s creator Ian Fleming would have liked, as the novels put Bond somewhere in his mid-to-late thirties, with Moonraker specifically placing his age at 37. Here’s how close each Bond actor was to Fleming’s canon James Bond age, including who is the youngest James Bond actor.

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Roger Moore’s status as the oldest 007 is well known, but some mistakenly think it’s Sean Connery who is the youngest James Bond actor. The first Bond was a relatively youthful 32 when Dr. No released in 1962 (31 during filming), and Connery played the character in 6 films over 9 years. He was 33 for 1963’s Blofeld debut From Russia With Love, 34 by 1964’s Goldfinger, 35 in 1965’s Thunderball, and 37 in 1967’s You Only Live Twice. Connery was 41 when he returned and replaced George Lazenby in 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever. While young in his debut, Sean Connery is still only the second-youngest James Bond.

As for who is the youngest James Bond actor, 007 took a youthful turn on his second incarnation that he’s yet to match. Lasting only one outing, George Lazenby’s shorty-lived Bond was also the youngest version of the character, with the actor being a mere 29 in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Roger Moore was 45 when he began playing James Bond in 1973’s Live and Let Die, 46 when he starred in the next year’s The Man With the Golden Gun, 49 by the time 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me rolled around, and 51 by the release of 1979’s James Bond movie, Moonraker. Despite his advancing age, the actor would reprise the role three more times at 53 in 1981’s For Your Eyes Only, 55 in 1983’s Octopussy, and finally 57 (the oldest Bond so far) in 1985’s A View To A Kill.

A comparatively fresh-faced newcomer after the Moore era, Dalton was actually as old as Connery’s final Bond outing by the time he began playing the character. The Hot Fuzz actor was 41 in 1987’s The Living Daylights and only lasted one more outing in the role, retiring his iteration of Bond at the age of 43 in 1989’s Licence to Kill.

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Irish actor Pierce Brosnan won critical acclaim for his suave interpretation of Bond, and the actor was 42 when he took on the role in 1995’s Goldeneye. Over the following decade he held onto the character through three more outings, with the actor being 44 by the release of 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies, 46 by the time 1999’s The World Is Not Enough came out, and a Roger Moore-worthy 49 when 2002’s Die Another Day brought his time as Bond to an end.

Finally, the most recent Bond. Craig’s embittered Bond is perpetually nearing retirement in the darker, post-9/11 spy installments, but the actor isn’t actually much older than his predecessors. Craig was only 38 when he took on the role in 2006’s Casino Royale, younger than Brosnan and Dalton’s respective first outings as James Bond. He was 40 in its much-hated sequel Quantum of Solace, 44 by the time 2012’s Skyfall was released, 47 in Spectre, and 50/51 while making No Time To Die, though 53 years old when the film finally released in theaters.

Of course, when discussing the age of 007 it’s important to remember that James Bond isn’t the only MI6 agent to hold the position. While actress Lashana Lynch plays Nomi and not Bond in Daniel Craig’s No Time To Die, she does hold the 007 number. As James Bond himself says to M. “I met your new 007. She’s a disarming young woman.” In the film, Nomi makes it clear to Bond that he better not stand in her way, and plays an integral role in No Time to Die. Actress Lashana Lynch was born on November 27th, 1987. This means that she was 33 when No Time to Die came released and she became 007, just a month or so shy of her 34th birthday.

With there having been 26 official James Bond movies — and several more unofficial movies not made by EON — many may wonder who holds the record as the longest-serving Bond onscreen. There’s actually multiple answers to that question, depending on how one looks at the question. When it comes to who’s starred in the most Bond movies, it’s technically a tie between Sean Connery and Roger Moore at seven each. However, since Connery’s last movie was the unofficial Never Say Never Again, Moore is the official longest-running James Bond actor.

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When it comes to which actor played James Bond for the longest continuous block of time, that honor goes to Daniel Craig. Over his tenure as James Bond, Daniel Craig passed the 15-year mark, edging out Moore’s 12-year span in the role. It remains to be seen who will ultimately take over for Craig as the new 007, but one thing’s for sure, it’ll probably be a long time before anyone breaks his longevity record for James Bond actors.

Daniel Craig’s final James Bond film, No Time To Die, features what seems to be a complete paradox at the end. After Craig’s Bond sacrifices himself to blow up Safin’s island base, staying behind to receive the full force of the missiles, the film nonetheless possesses the franchise’s classic closing title card: “James Bond Will Return.” At first glance, this seems contradictory to say the least. However, it’s important to remember that the character of James Bond has always relied on continuous reinvention. The fact that six actors have played 007 so far is clear proof of this.

Craig’s Bond may be dead, a fate that previous iterations never met with, but it was always expected that he would be succeeded by a new Bond played by a new actor somewhere down the line. Thus, while it would be inaccurate to say that Daniel Craig will return (not to mention impossible, as his character clearly died), James Bond can do so easily, and likely will. His age when he does in the disorganized and loose canon of the 007 franchise is, however, a mystery.

Next: Bond 26 Has A Unique Problem Because Of Daniel Craig’s Movies

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