Daniel Wroughton Craig has achieved superstar status as the most recent lead in the James Bond franchise. Beloved by fans around the world, Craig was little-known before being chosen for the role, but since then has carved out his own unique niche as the super-sleuth. Beginning with "Casino Royale" in 2006, Daniel Craig has shown that James Bond can be a man of action and intelligence, similar in style to the way that Sean Connery first played the character beginning in 1962 with "Dr. No."
|Young Daniel Craig|
Daniel Craig was born on March 2, 1968 in Chester, England, an old Roman fortress town in the northwest. His mother, Carol Olivia Craig, and father, Timothy John Wroughton Craig, ran the local pubs. An indifferent student, Craig played rugby and acted in school plays. He graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1991.
|Daniel Craig in "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider"|
Daniel Craig first appeared on television in 1993, in an episode of "Heartbeat." He took small roles, getting a break by appearing as Angelina Jolie's love interest in "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" (2001). Prominent roles followed in "Perdition" (2002) with Tom Hanks, and "Munich" (2005), directed by Steven Spielberg.
|Daniel Craig in "Skyfall"|
James BondEon Productions was looking for another James Bond in the mid-2000s, with Pierce Brosnan having held the part of James Bond capably for the better part of a decade. Approached about playing the most prominent British hero of them all, Craig at first was hesitant. However, ultimately he agreed, saying that he wanted to bring "emotional depth" to the character. It turned out that he was a big fan of Sean Connery, and that his favorite James Bond film is "From Russia with Love," the second film in the series. According to Craig:
"I'd never copy somebody else. I would never do an impression of anybody else or try and improve on what they did. That would be a pointless exercise for me."
Fans quickly were captivated by Craig's brawny style and strong, manly handle on the role. Early criticisms of him focused on the notion that he was a "bland" choice, but those quickly died down. All of the previous actors who played James Bond for Eon Productions - Sean Connery, Roger Moore, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan - since have voiced their approval of his portrayal.
|Daniel Craig with Eva Green, co-star of "Casino Royale"|
A large factor in winning public support as Bond was the fact Daniel Craig's films were profitable from the start. "Casino Royale," co-starring Eva Green, grossed $594 million, and "Quantum of Solace" (2008) drew in a hefty profit as well, despite some critical reviews. Production of "Quantum" was plagued by numerous problems, including an accident that almost killed a stuntman, and Craig himself lost part of a finger during filming.
|Daniel Craig striking a pose in "Casino Royale"|
"Skyfall" (2012) brought the series to the next level, after several years of uncertainty about whether it even would be made or not. Grossing over a Billion Dollars worldwide after its 23 October 2012 release, "Skyfall" was a fan favorite that received rare rave reviews from the critics. Showing a more vulnerable side of the character, James Bond outwits his enemies rather than out-fighting them, somewhat in the style of Roger Moore. The film was such a success that he producers immediately signed Daniel Craig on to star in two more James Bond films, which would bring his total to five, only two short of the record held by Sir Roger Moore.
|Daniel Craig in "Skyfall"|
Life Outside of James Bond
Daniel Craig has been married twice, to Fiona Loudon from 1992 to 1994, and more recently to Rachel Weisz from 22 June 2011. He has one daughter, Ella, from his first marriage. While filming the Bond films, Daniel Craig has found the time to appear in other projects as well. While they have not had quite the worldwide impact of the James Bond films, they generally have been well received and popular. Recent roles have included "The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo" (2011) and "Cowboys and Aliens" with screen legend Harrison Ford.
|Daniel Craig in "The Girl with the Dragon Tatool"|
Many think that Daniel Craig will retire from the James Bond role after he completes his current contract. If so, the world of James Bond will have been enhanced by his ability to capture the imagination of James Bond fans everywhere with his rugged portrayal of the ultimate British screen hero.