There is quite the debate on who is the best Bond to grace the 007 franchise; enough so that plenty of movies have made reference to the debate as well. Of the 24 Bond films produced by EON Productions, we have seen five different Bonds. From 1962's Dr.No to 2015's Spectre, we not only have one of the longest running film series ever, but we also have seen legendary performances and total head-scratchers.
We start with our first and most famous Bond, Sean Connery. Connery played James Bond from 1961-1967 and again in 1971 after George Lazenby's disastrous portrayal in Her Majesty's Secret Service. We also got to see him once more in 1983 in what is considered his worst Bond performance, Never Say Never Again. Connery was the perfect actor to kick off the official James Bond series. He was handsome, had roguish charm, and great physical presence. He had the best villains to go up against and was in arguably, one of the best, if not the best, movie of the series, Goldfinger.
Our next budding spy came in the form of George Lazenby, the highest paid model in the world in 1969. What on earth the producers were thinking is a mystery that shall never be figured out. Thank goodness he only signed to a one-movie deal. He just did not work at all. He was too feminine and completely unbelievable. By the end of Her Majesty's Secret Service I was praying Bond would get killed not his wife. Worst Bond film ever.
After Sean Connery reprised the role in Diamonds Are Forever, we got our new Bond, Roger Moore, who played 007 from 1973 to 1985. When starting his Bond run, Moore was already immensely popular for portraying the debonair modern day Robin Hood, Simon Templar in The Saint. He brought a comical edge to the serious 007 role.
Once Moore handed in his spy card, the role of James Bond was taken over by Timothy Dalton; making two Bond films between 1987 and 1989. Of all the actors to portray Bond, Dalton was most like the ruthless character portrayed in Ian Fleming's novels.
The next actor to take on the role was Pierce Brosnan. Brosnan was well known for his role in Remington Steele and was slated to play bond in 1986 after the show ended. Unfortunately, the publicity surrounding Brosnan playing James Bond caused Remington Steele to surge in popularity and get renewed. Because of this, we didn't get Brosnan until 1995. He brought a sexy feel to it, though sometimes he came of as a little stiff. Overall, he made some of the better films in the series.
Lastly we have Daniel Craig, who like Brosnan has done four Bond Films. There was quite the outrage at having a blonde Bond (myself included). Though Craig has proven he has the acting chops to play James Bond, and the numbers don't lie about the popularity of his films, he just doesn't embody the Bond character like other actors have. I can't quite put my finger on it, but he just doesn't do it for me.
After this brief Bond history, we are really left with two choices for the best James Bond in EON Productions history: Sean Connery and Roger Moore. Both actors did great jobs, but Connery's portrayal had just the right amount of sexual appeal, whit, and ruthlessness. He was a more believable character than Moore. Moore's portrayal had too many sexual one liners quips, and to quote my mother, "it looked like kissing him was like kissing a dead fish."
With that being said, our clear winner is Sean Connery!