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The Best James Bond: Who's No. 1 As 007?

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The role of James Bond has been played by six different actors in the Bond film franchise that started in 1962. Each actor brought his own strengths to the rakish British spy, from brooding physicality (Sean Connery, Daniel Craig) to smooth charm (Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan).

For every actor who has portrayed Bond, there are fans who think he defined the character, and that the others merely toiled in his shadow. Craig will try to solidify his place in the Bond pantheon next month when the franchise releases its 23rd film, Skyfall.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first film, Dr. No, on Oct. 5, we're exploring the culture of Bond on Morning Edition this week. You can join in by voting for your favorite 007 by midnight ET Thursday. We'll announce the winner on Friday's show. Until then, you can listen to 25 songs from the Bond films in a special Spotify playlist assembled by NPR Music.

All photos courtesy of MGM/Photofest.

Note: While we hold the work of David Niven in high esteem, this survey is restricted to actors who played in the widely seen Eon/Broccoli-produced Bond films.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


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