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Movies for Grownups

Bond. James Bond. The Spy Who Has Entertained Us for 50 Years

The stars, the girls, the action. The evolution of a spy with a license to kill

Sean Connery

En español | At 6 feet 2, Sean Connery filled out his tux quite nicely as the first Bond in Dr. No in 1962. But he began his career on a smaller scale, in the 1959 Disney leprechaun movie Darby O'Gill and the Little People. Connery played Bond in six more films.

Harry Myers/Rex USA/Courtesy Everett Collection

Ursula Andress in 'Dr. No,' 1962

Before Raquel, before Farrah, it was Ursula whose image graced the walls of teen boys. The Swiss miss loved her leading men, including James Dean and Marlon Brando. Her iconic white bikini from Dr. No sold in a 2001 auction for nearly $60,000.

Courtesy Everett Collection

George Lazenby, 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service,' 1969

Unknown Australian actor/model George Lazenby had a big kilt to fill after Connery retired from the Bond role. Lazenby's reviews from On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) were mixed, but he has since become a beloved guest at 007 events.

Courtesy Everett Collection

George Lazenby and Diana Rigg, 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service,' 1969

George Lazenby's 007 role in On Her Majesty's Secret Service was his first and last, as was a new twist for the notorious fictional bachelor: Bond Boy meets — and marries — Bond Girl, the Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg).

Courtesy Everett Collection

Roger Moore, 'Octopussy,' 1983

Roger Moore played Bond the longest, in seven consecutive films from 1973 to 1985. He was the oldest Bond as well (45-58). Moore became a UNICEF ambassador after witnessing India's poverty while shooting Octopussy.

United Artists/courtesy Everett Collection

Grace Jones, 'View to a Kill,' 1985

Grace Jones was no regular Bond Girl. The Jamaican-born model/singer played May Day, an assassin with incredible strength. She treats Bond better than this fellow, but still meets her own tragic end.

MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection

Timothy Dalton, 'Licence to Kill,' 1989

The fourth Bond (The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill), Timothy Dalton, would later play an American literary icon: Rhett Butler in 1994's Scarlett, a TV miniseries sequel to Gone With the Wind.

United Artists/courtesy Everett Collection

Pierce Brosnan, 'Goldeneye,' 1995

After a Scot, an Australian and two Brits, producers decided on an Irishman for the fifth Bond — Pierce Brosnan. He had been approached before, but was booked shooting Remington Steele.

United Artists/courtesy Everett Collection

Halle Berry, 'Die Another Day,' 2002

Though her stunning looks usually land Halle Berry good-girl roles, Jinx Johnson definitely showed the Oscar winner's tougher side. This bikini shot was a nod to Ursula Andress' beach scene 40 years before in Dr. No.

MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection

Daniel Craig, 'Casino Royale,' 2006

Another homage to Ursula Andress? Fans couldn't keep their eyes off his abs and embraced the brooding first blond Bond. In 007's most recent mission, he escorted Queen Elizabeth II to the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremonies.

Jay Maidment/Sony Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

Dame Judi Dench, 'Casino Royale,' 2006

The most fearsome Bond Girl of all? Dame Judi Dench as M, head of Her Majesty's Secret Service. At times cold, yet quietly caring, she serves both as demanding leader and maternal compass for Bond. Got a favorite Bond or Bond Girl? Take aim at our message boards.

Mary Evans/EON Productions/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection

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Visit our blogs for a personal memory of growing up with James Bond.

Then add your own memories of James Bond movies at our message board. Was there a time when you waited breathlessly for the new ones to arrive? Did you first read Ian Fleming's 007 series in paperback, or did the movies provide an introduction to the books? Was the slightly naughty nature of the sex appealing? Did you relish the crazy clash of cultures that allowed a spy with a "license to kill" to specify his favorite kind of martini ("shaken, not stirred"). Let's talk.

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