Daniel Wroughton Craig (born 2 March 1968) is an English actor, who trained at the National Youth Theatre and graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1991, beginning his career on stage. His film debut was in the drama The Power of One (1992). Other early appearances were in the biographical film Elizabeth (1998) and the Disney family film A Kid in King Arthur's Court (1995), as well as in the historical war drama television series Sharpe's Eagle (1993) and the action-adventure drama series Zorro. Cast as the fictional British secret agent James Bond 007 in October 2005, his first film in the role, Casino Royale, was released in cinemas worldwide in November 2006.
Craig's appearances in the British television film Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (1998), the indie war film The Trench (1999), and the drama Some Voices (2000) attracted the film industry's attention. This led to roles in bigger productions such as the action film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), the crime thriller Road to Perdition (2002), the crime thriller Layer Cake (2004), and the Steven Spielberg historical drama Munich (2005). Craig achieved international fame when chosen as the sixth actor to play the role of Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 in the official film series, taking over from Pierce Brosnan in 2005. Although his casting was initially greeted with skepticism, his debut was highly acclaimed and earned him a BAFTA award nomination, with Casino Royale becoming the highest-grossing in the series at the time.
Quantum of Solace followed two years later. Craig's third Bond film, Skyfall, premiered in 2012 and is now the highest-grossing film in the series, as well as the highest-grossing film in the UK and the twelfth highest-grossing film of all time. Craig's fourth Bond film, Spectre, premiered in 2015. In 2006, he joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Since taking the role of Bond, he has continued to appear in other films. In 2011 he starred in the English language adaptation of the mystery thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. He made a guest appearance as Bond in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, alongside Queen Elizabeth II.
Craig was born in Chester, Cheshire. His mother, Carol Olivia (née Williams), was an art teacher, and his father, Timothy John Wroughton Craig, was the landlord of the pubs Ring o' Bells in Frodsham, Cheshire and the Boot Inn in Tarporley, Cheshire, having served as a midshipman in the Merchant Navy. Both of Craig's parents were of part Welsh descent. He also has distant French Huguenot ancestry. Huguenot minister Daniel Chamier is among his ancestors, as is Sir William Burnaby, 1st Baronet. Craig's middle name, Wroughton, comes from his great-great-grandmother Grace Matilda Wroughton.
Raised on the Wirral Peninsula, Craig attended primary school in Frodsham and Hoylake, Merseyside. Later, he attended Hilbre High School in West Kirby, Merseyside, along with his older sister Lea, after failing his Eleven plus. When his parents divorced, Craig and his sister lived with their mother, moving to Liverpool. Upon finishing his compulsory secondary school education at the age of 16, he briefly joined Calday Grange Grammar School as a sixth form student. He played rugby union for Hoylake RFC.
Craig began acting in school plays at the age of six, and was introduced to serious acting by attending the Everyman Theatre in nearby Liverpool city centre with his mother. At the age of 16, Craig was admitted to the National Youth Theatre, so he left school and moved to London, where he worked part-time in restaurants to finance his training there. Later on, after multiple attempts at auditioning for drama schools, he was accepted to attend the Guildhall School of Music and Drama at the Barbican, where he graduated in 1991 after three years of study under Colin McCormack.
Craig appeared as Joe in the Royal National Theatre's production of Tony Kushner's Angels in America in November 1993. Also in 1993, Craig appeared in an episode of Yorkshire Television's Heartbeat, which aired 31 October 1993. An early starring role was as 'Geordie' in the BBC's 1996 drama Our Friends in the North, with early film roles being as Angelina Jolie's rival and love interest in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), before appearing in Sam Mendes's movie Road to Perdition (2002), with Tom Hanks and Paul Newman. Other leading film roles include Sword of Honour (2001), The Mother (2003) with Anne Reid, Sylvia (2003) with Gwyneth Paltrow, Layer Cake (2004) with Sienna Miller, Enduring Love (2004) with Rhys Ifans, Steven Spielberg's Munich (2005) with Eric Bana, Infamous and Casino Royale (2006), The Golden Compass (2007), Quantum of Solace, Defiance (2008), Cowboys & Aliens (2011), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), Dream House (2011), and Skyfall (2012). The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences extended a membership invitation to Craig in 2006.
James Bond (2005–present)
Craig at the Quantum of Solace film premiere in New York in November 2008
In 2005, Craig was contracted by Eon Productions to portray James Bond. He stated he "was aware of the challenges" of the Bond franchise which he considered "a big machine that makes a lot of money". He aimed at bringing more "emotional depth" to the character. Born in 1968, Craig is the first actor to portray James Bond to have been born after the Bond series started, and after the death of Ian Fleming, the novels' writer. Significant controversy followed the decision, as it was doubted if the producers had made the right choice. Throughout the entire production period internet campaigns expressed their dissatisfaction and threatened to boycott the film in protest.
The 5-foot-10-inch (178 cm) blond Craig was not considered by some protesters to fit the tall, dark Bond portrayed by the previous Bond actors, and to which viewers had apparently become accustomed. The Daily Mirror ran a front page news story critical of Craig, with the headline, "The Name's Bland – James Bland". Although the choice of Craig was controversial, numerous actors publicly voiced their support, most notably, four of the five actors who had previously portrayed Bond – Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Dalton, Sean Connery and Roger Moore – called his casting a good decision. George Lazenby has since voiced his approval of Craig also. Clive Owen, who had been linked to the role, also spoke in defence of Craig.
The first film, Casino Royale, premiered 14 November 2006, and grossed a total of US$594,239,066 worldwide, which made it the highest-grossing Bond film until the release of Skyfall. After the film was released, Craig's performance was highly acclaimed. As production of Casino Royale reached its conclusion, producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli announced that pre-production work had already begun on the 22nd Bond film.
After several months of speculation as to the release date, Wilson and Broccoli officially announced on 20 July 2006, that the follow-up film, Quantum of Solace, was to be released on 7 November 2008, and that Craig would play Bond with an option for a third film. On 25 October 2007, MGM CEO Harry Sloan revealed at the Forbes Meet II Conference that Craig had signed on to make four more Bond films, through to Bond 25.
The planned 19 April 2010 release of Craig's third Bond film (the 23rd overall in the series) was delayed, because of financial troubles with MGM, but the film (Skyfall) was released on 23 October 2012, and was part of the year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. No. On 8 September 2012, Bond producers announced Craig had signed on for two future Bond films, meaning he will star as 007 in at least five films, making him the third longest-serving Bond after Roger Moore who starred in seven films, and Sean Connery who starred in six. Craig's fourth Bond film, Spectre, began filming in December 2014 and will be released in October 2015.
Craig describes his portrayal of Bond as an anti-hero: "The question I keep asking myself while playing the role is, 'Am I the good guy or just a bad guy who works for the good side?' Bond's role, after all, is that of an assassin when you come down to it. I have never played a role in which someone's dark side shouldn't be explored. I don't think it should be confusing by the end of the film, but during the film you should be questioning who he is." Craig has stated that his own favourite previous Bond actor is Sean Connery, but says, "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." His own favourite Bond film is From Russia with Love. On an episode of The South Bank Show with a James Bond theme, Connery divulged his thoughts on Craig's casting as Bond, whom he described as "fantastic, marvelous in the part". When told that Craig had taken particular note of his performances, Connery said that he was "flattered" and that Craig really gets the "danger element" to Bond's character. Craig has remarked that Bond is "...actually a misogynist... A lot of women are drawn to him chiefly because he embodies a certain kind of danger and never sticks around for too long."
Voice-overs in James Bond video games
Daniel Craig lent his voice and likeness as James Bond for both the Wii game GoldenEye 007, an enhanced remake of the 1997 game for the Nintendo 64, and James Bond 007: Blood Stone, an original game for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS, and Microsoft Windows.
In 1999, Craig starred as Richard in a TV drama called Shockers: The Visitor. He portrayed Lord Asriel in The Golden Compass, the 2007 film adaptation of Philip Pullman's novel. Eva Green, who played Bond girl Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale, also starred in the film, although she did not appear in any scenes with Craig. In a stage version of the book, Asriel had previously been played by Timothy Dalton, one of Craig's predecessors in the role of James Bond.
In early 2001, Craig expressed an interest in being a part of the Star Trek franchise, professing his love of the series to the World Entertainment News Network and a desire to have a "stint in the TV show or a film. It's been a secret ambition of mine for years." On 16 March 2007, Craig made a cameo appearance as himself in a sketch with Catherine Tate who appeared in the guise of her character Elaine Figgis from The Catherine Tate Show. The sketch was made for the BBC Red Nose Day 2007 fundraising programme.
In 2008's Defiance, he played Tuvia Bielski, a Jewish resistance fighter in the forests of Belarus during World War II who saved 1,200 people. The shot in Casino Royale of Craig sporting swimming trunks has often topped many sexiest male celebrity polls, and in 2009 Del Monte Foods launched an ice pop moulded to resemble Craig emerging from the sea. He co-starred with Hugh Jackman in a limited engagement of the drama A Steady Rain, on Broadway, which played from 10 September through 6 December 2009 at the Schoenfeld Theatre. His performance received praise from the New York Times, with the reviewer writing "Mr. Craig, a highly reputable stage actor in London (“Angels in America,” “A Number”) before he became the screen’s sixth James Bond, creates a more complete portrait as Joey."
In August 2010, Craig was cast as crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist in David Fincher's 2011 adaptation of Stieg Larsson's novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In 2011, he starred in Dream House, a psychological thriller directed by Jim Sheridan and co-starring Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts and Marton Csokas. It garnered mostly negative reviews and low box office results. Craig co-starred with Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde in Cowboys & Aliens, an American science fiction Western film, based on Scott Mitchell Rosenberg's 2006 graphic novel of the same name.
Craig hosted the American late-night live television sketch comedy Saturday Night Live on 6 October 2012. He and his wife starred in the Broadway play titled Betrayal. It began performances in October 2013, and continued until January 2014. Despite mixed reviews, it grossed $17.5 million, becoming the second highest broadway play of 2013.
Craig was set to star in the courtroom drama The Whole Truth directed by Courtney Hunt. In April 2014 just a few days before filming was set to commence he dropped out of the project for unknown reasons replaced a month later by Keanu Reeves.
Craig in Venice during a break while filming Casino Royale, June 2006
In 1992, Craig married actress Fiona Loudon, with whom he had a daughter, Ella. The marriage ended in divorce in 1994. He is a longtime friend of actor Mark Strong and is the godfather of Strong's eldest son.
After his divorce, he was in a seven-year relationship with German actress Heike Makatsch, ending in 2001. He subsequently dated film producer Satsuki Mitchell from 2005 until 2010.
Craig and actress Rachel Weisz had been friends for many years, and worked together on the movie Dream House. They began dating in December 2010 and married on 22 June 2011, in a private New York City ceremony, with four guests in attendance, including Craig's 18-year-old daughter and Weisz's 5-year-old son, Henry.
In October 2008, Craig paid £4 million for an apartment in a converted old house in Primrose Hill near Regent's Park, London. He also has a house in Sunninghill outside Ascot. He is an avid fan of Premier League football club Liverpool F.C., as well as a rugby fan and former player, having travelled to Australia in 2013 to watch the British & Irish Lions tour.
Daniel Craig made a unique place for himself in the history of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS fundraising 8 December 2009, when it was announced that they had raised $1,549,953 in the 21st annual Gypsy of the Year competition, from six weeks of curtain appeals at their hit Broadway drama, A Steady Rain.
He is involved with multiple charities including S.A.F.E Kenya, which uses street theatre to address social issues. As well, he is involved with the Opportunity Network, which provides access to education for low-income students in New York. In 2011, he collaborated with Dame Judi Dench to highlight gender inequality for International Women's Day. In August 2014, he added his name to a letter to British broadcasters calling for better representation for ethnic minorities.
In April 2015, the United Nations appointed Craig the first global advocate for the elimination of mines and explosive hazards. The role will involve raising awareness for the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), and political and financial support for the cause. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Craig: "You have been given a license to kill, I'm now giving you a licence to save."
Year Title Role Notes
1992 The Power of One Sgt. Jaapie Botha
1995 A Kid in King Arthur's Court Master Kane
1996 Kiss and Tell Matt Kearney Television film
1997 Obsession John McHale
1997 The Ice House DS Andy McLoughlin Television film
1998 Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon George Dyer Edinburgh International Film Festival Award for Best British Performance
1998 Love and Rage James Lynchehaun
1998 Elizabeth John Ballard
1999 Shockers: The Visitor Richard Television film
1999 The Trench Sgt. Telford Winter Nominated – British Independent Film Award for Best Actor
2000 Some Voices Ray British Independent Film Award for Best Actor
2000 Hotel Splendide Ronald Blanche
2000 I Dreamed of Africa Declan Fielding
2001 Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Alex West
2001 Sword of Honour Guy Crouchback
2002 Copenhagen Werner Heisenberg Television film
2002 Ten Minutes Older: The Cello Cecil
2002 Road to Perdition Connor Rooney
2003 Sylvia Ted Hughes
2003 The Mother Darren Nominated – British Independent Film Award for Best Actor
Nominated – European Film Audience Award for Best Actor
Nominated – London Film Critics Circle Award for British Actor of the Year
2004 Layer Cake XXXX Nominated – Empire Award for Best Actor
Nominated – European Film Awards Audience Award for Best Actor
2004 Enduring Love Joe London Film Critics Circle Award for British Actor of the Year
Nominated – British Independent Film Award for Best Actor
Nominated – European Film Awards Audience Award for Best Actor
2005 The Jacket Rudy Mackenzie
2005 Fateless American Soldier
2005 Archangel Christopher Kelso
2005 Munich Steve
2006 Casino Royale James Bond Empire Award for Best Actor
Evening Standard British Film Awards Award for Best Actor
Sant Jordi Award for Best Foreign Actor
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Actor
2006 Infamous Perry Smith Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
2006 Renaissance Barthélémy Karas Voice
2007 The Invasion Ben Driscoll
2007 The Golden Compass Lord Asriel
2008 Flashbacks of a Fool Joe Scot
2008 Quantum of Solace James Bond Nominated – Empire Award for Best Actor
2008 Defiance Tuvia Bielski
2011 Cowboys & Aliens Jake Lonergan Nominated – Scream Award for Best Science Fiction Actor
2011 Dream House Will Atenton / Peter Ward
2011 The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine
Red Rackham Voice and motion capture
2011 One Life Narrator Nominated – Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Narrator
2011 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Mikael Blomkvist Nominated – Empire Award for Best Actor
2012 Skyfall James Bond Critics' Choice Award for Best Actor in an Action Movie
Nominated – Empire Award for Best Actor
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Fight (shared with Ola Rapace)
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Shirtless Performance
Nominated – London Film Critics' Circle Award for British Actor of the Year
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Actor
2015 Spectre James Bond Also Co-producer
Year Title Role Notes
1993 Sharpe's Eagle Lt. Berry
1993 Zorro Lt. Hidalgo 2 episodes: "The Arrival", "Death and Taxes"
1993 Drop the Dead Donkey Fixx Episode: "George and His Daughter"
1993 The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles Schiller Episode: "Palestine, October 1917"
1993 Between the Lines Joe Rance Series 2
1993 Heartbeat Peter Begg Episode: "A Chilly Reception"
1993 Screen Two Lt. Guth Episode: "Genghis Cohn"
1996 Our Friends in the North Geordie Peacock Miniseries
1996 The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders James "Jemmy" Seagrave
1996 Kiss and Tell Matt Kearny TV film
1996 Tales from the Crypt Barry Episode: "Smoke Wrings"
1997 The Hunger Jerry Pritchard Episode: "Ménage à Trois"
2012 Saturday Night Live Host Episode: "Daniel Craig/Muse"
2014 Superheroes Unite for BBC Children in Need Narrator Voice
Year Title Role
2008 007: Quantum of Solace James Bond
2010 GoldenEye 007 James Bond
2010 James Bond 007: Blood Stone James Bond
2011 GoldenEye 007: Reloaded James Bond
2012 007 Legends James Bond
Selected theatre performances
Year Role Play Theatre
2002 Bernard A Number (with Michael Gambon) Royal Court
2009 Joey A Steady Rain (with Hugh Jackman) Broadway
2013 Robert Betrayal (with Rachel Weisz and Rafe Spall) Broadway
2016 Iago Othello (with David Oyelowo) New York Theatre