Since the 1960s, the legendary fictional character of James Bond has taken secret agent movies to different levels with his quintessential marksmanship and skillful unarmed combat, in addition to other talents which might include womanizing. Though Daniel Craig is owning the part at the moment, the iconic handsome British secret agent has been portrayed by seven outstanding actors with their performances earning much acclaim. This makes it hard to chose the better James Bond actor among the lot.
From Sean Connery to David Niven, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig, James Bond has been brought to life by many talented actors of great repute and they all did a great job. However, we will be analyzing the efforts of Roger Moore and Sean Connery in the movie franchise and what the audiences think of their depiction of the suave but dangerous British agent.
Who Played a Better James Bond – Sean Connery or Roger Moore?
Sean Connery as James Bond (1962–67; 1971; 1983)
Sean Connery portrayed James Bond (007) in a total of seven films including Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Never Say Never Again (1983). Ironically, British journalist and novelist Ian Fleming, who created the James Bond character in his series of novels kicked against the selection of Connery to depict the role. Fleming believed that Connery did not have the finesse, as well as elegance the character exudes. Even though he had his reservations, Sean Connery was chosen to portray the first Bond in a film and pulled all the stops to make it count. Basically, his rugged yet appealing looks and sex appeal won him the role.
In the end, his portrayal of Mr. Bond resonated among critics and also made the character a globally recognized icon. He was tough and occasionally channeled his witty side to light up the scene and audiences loved the way he embodied James Bond. Under Connery’s watch, Bond was selected as the third-greatest hero in cinema history by the American Film Institute in 2003.
Roger Moore as James Bond (1973–85)
The longest-serving Bond so far, Roger Moore took the reins from Sean Connery after the Scottish actor’s depiction of Bond in his last movie with the franchise. Although he was persuaded to come back to the role, Connery resolved to move on to other projects instead.
Renowned for his signature ironically raised eyebrow and antics, Roger Moore brought a light-hearted feel to the character while also trying to imitate some traits from his predecessor Sean Connery. Moore was mostly a TV actor at the time he was chosen for the Bond film series but when he clinched the coveted Bond character, he owned it and went on to give life to it in seven films.
Moore’s Bond received much acclaim for being the most elegant and mannerly of the other Bonds before and after him. He has the voice and style of an English easygoing country gentleman who doesn’t seem to get hurt much. On the other hand, experts feel Moore didn’t seem to take the role seriously and it reflected in the way he made the violent air in the movies seem like a joke.
In 1985, after appearing in his seventh Bond film – A View to a Kill, Roger decided to take a bow, mainly because he was too old to play the character, at 57. A handsome, athletic, ladies man, Mr. Bond is supposed to be in his thirties or forties and the wrinkles on Moore’s face didn’t do him justice anymore.
Moore’s James Bond movies include Live and Let Die (1973), The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979) For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983) and A View to a Kill (1985).
Both Sean Connery and Roger Moore are great actors with remarkable credits to their names which makes it hard to conclude who played the better James Bond between them. Nevertheless, according to reviews on their performances as James Bond, Moore, just like Pierce Brosnan, lacked significant physical presence as Bond. This means that they radiate the kind of handsomeness fit for the romantic movies and their good looking appearance affected the menacing feature of the Bond character. Additionally, Roger Moore is said to have not really taken the role seriously, howbeit, audiences loved his thrilling performances.
As regards to Sean Connery’s portrayal of the Bond character, the legendary actor combined cool charisma, toughness, subtle wit and violence in an amazing way. He embodied the character and perfected it to the point that even Ian Fleming couldn’t agree more that they made the right choice in choosing him for the part.