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It’s 55 years since Dr No, but who


is the greatest 007? By Damien Smith, Press Association


Connery or Craig? Damon Smith joins the debate to discover the greatest Martini-drinking master.


As we celebrate more than half a century of James Bond films and wait with anticipation for Daniel Craig’s next instalment of stunts, style and stupendous womanising, film expert Damon Smith reveals how each of the six 007 actors fared in the role...


Sean Connery - Successful missions: 6 (Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever). Years of active service: 1962-67, 71, 83


He may not have perfectly embodied the “cold and ruthless” James Bond depicted in Ian Fleming’s books, but Sean Connery is, for me, the defining 007: suave, devilishly charming and - at a strapping 6ft 2 - physically


imposing. That incredible, bruising hand-to-hand fight sequence in a carriage of the Orient Express in From Russia With Love confirms this Bond knows how to handle himself. He’s equally adept at manhandling SPECTRE’s femme fatales, including Honor Blackman’s purrfectly suggestive Pussy Galore in Goldfinger. Their on-screen chemistry melts celluloid. In 1983, Connery came out of retirement as Bond after a 12-year hiatus for the unofficial Bond adventure Never Say Never Again. I felt it was a mission too far - Connery was in his early 50s by then, and his wit and weathered machismo couldn’t paper over cracks in the plot.


George Lazenby - Successful missions: 1 (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service).Years of active service: 1969.


Anyone who followed Sean Connery was doomed to drink from a poisoned chalice, and Australian actor George Lazenby took a polite sip in his one and only appearance as 007. There’s a palpable absence of


17


charisma to his incarnation of the secret agent and his introduction as Bond, which saw him running into the sea to save a suicidal woman from drowning, followed by a fight on the beach with two gun-toting assailants, hardly sets pulses racing. In a memorable dinner party sequence, dressed in a kilt and surrounded by a bevy of lovelies, he famously quips that he feels “a slight stiffness coming on”. Lazenby could be referring to his Performance.


Roger Moore - Successful missions: 7 (Live And Let Die, The Man With The Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View To A Kill). Years of active service: 1973-85.


With a perpetually arched eyebrow and a flirtatious twinkle in his blue eyes, Roger Moore restored the roguish charm to Bond during his prolonged stint with MI6. However, even Moore couldn’t kindle a single spark of sexual tension with Grace Jones, his robotic co-star in his Lacklustre swansong, A View To A


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