Despite being over three months away from the release of Daniel Craig's final film as James Bond in No Time to Die, there was a poll released by the UK Radio Times asking fans who made the best Agent 007. Not surprisingly, the most beloved Bond is the original in Sean Connery. The poll was taken from over 14,000 fans in a tournament style set up by the RT. Based on the works of Ian Fleming, the world's most renowned British superspy was played by six actors in Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Craig.
The James Bond franchise grossed a combined $7.12 billion globally ranked only behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars. No Time To Die will be the franchise's 25th film. With box office projections in place, Craig's departure leaves him generating over half of Bond's overall revenue. Breaking down the rounds saw Connery defeating Craig 56-43 percent, Brosnan crushed Lazenby 76-24, and Dalton upsetting Moore 49-41 percent. The final three-way face-off saw Connery emerging the victor over Dalton and Brosnan in a 44-32-23 percent margin, respectively.
Connery appeared in seven Bond films, six produced by Eon Productions making his debut in Dr. No (1962) and his final appearance for Eon in Diamonds are Forever (1971). The actor's final live-action Bond appearance in 1983's Never Say Never Again is the awkward remake of 1965's Thunderball. He reprised the role as a voiceover in the 2005 video game adaptation of From Russia With Love (1963). Moore made his franchise debut in Live and Let Die (1973) and continued the role for six more films with his final time in A View to a Kill (1985). No Time to Die (2020) is Craig's fifth and final entry as the character with his debut in Casino Royale in 2006. His predecessor, Brosnan starred in four Bond films with his debut in Goldeneye (1996), making three more films until his final entry in Die Another Day (2002). The actor earns the distinction as the only Bond whose stories weren't adaptations of Fleming's original work.
Dalton's entry as 007 was brief with his debut in The Living Daylights (1987) and final in License to Kill (1989) succeeding Moore. Lazenby has a lone entry in 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service, which unfortunately proves not just anyone can play 007. As far as Dalton's popularity, BC founder Rich Johnson believes his appeal in Doctor Who and Edgar Wright's Hot Fuzz probably helped. "Hot Fuzz is on ITV 2 most weeks," Johnson sarcastically, adding probably six people in the UK are aware of Dalton's current television series Doom Patrol on DC Universe. Do you think Connery is the best Bond? Where do you rank Dalton among them?