Daniel Wroughton Craig was born 2 March 1968 and is an English actor.
Craig was born in Chester, the son of Carol Olivia (née Williams), an art teacher, and Timothy John Wroughton Craig (1943–2020), a midshipman in the Merchant Navy and steel erector. His father later became the landlord of two Cheshire pubs: the Ring o’ Bells in Frodsham and the Boot Inn in Tarporley. Craig has an older sister named Lea (born 1965). He is of French and Welsh descent, counting the French Huguenot minister Daniel Chamier and Sir William Burnaby, 1st Baronet among his ancestors. His middle name, Wroughton, comes from his great-great-grandmother, Grace Matilda Wroughton.
When Craig’s parents divorced in 1972, he and his sister moved to the Wirral Peninsula with their mother, where he attended primary school in Hoylake as well as school in Frodsham. He attended Hilbre High School in West Kirby. Upon leaving there at the age of 16, he attended 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, making his debut in the Frodsham Primary School production of Oliver! He became interested in serious acting by attending Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre with his mother. At the age of 14, he played roles in Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella at Hilbre High School. At the age of 16, he was accepted into the National Youth Theatre and moved to London, where he worked part-time in restaurants to finance his education. His parents watched his stage debut as Agamemnon in Troilus And Cressida. He performed with the National Youth Theatre on tours to Valencia and Moscow under the leadership of director Edward Wilson. He entered the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1988, and graduated in 1991 after a three-year course under the tutelage of Colin McCormack, an actor from the Royal Shakespeare Company.
He made his film debut in the drama The Power of One (1992) and attracted attention with appearances in the historical television war drama Sharpe’s Eagle (1993), and the family film A Kid in King Arthur’s Court (1995). After appearing in Our Friends in the North, he gained roles in the biographical film Elizabeth (1998), the action film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), before appearing in the crime thrillers Road to Perdition (2002) and Layer Cake (2004). Craig next starred as a man who becomes dangerously close with a stranger after witnessing a deadly accident together in Enduring Love (2004).
Craig appeared in three theatrical films in 2005, all of which were supporting roles. His first release of the year, was the thriller The Jacket. He then made a brief appearance in the Hungarian film Fateless as a United States Army Sergeant who takes a liking to a teenage boy who survives life in concentration camps. Craig’s third and final role of the year was in Munich, directed by Steven Spielberg, as a South African driver who is a part of a covert Israeli government assassination mission against eleven Palestinians allegedly involved in the Munich massacre at the 1972 Summer Olympics. Also in 2005, Craig starred in the BBC television film Archangel–based on Robert Harris’ eponymous novel – as an English academic who stumbles upon a notebook believed to have belonged to Joseph Stalin.
In 2005, Craig was contacted by Eon Productions to portray James Bond. Initially, he was unsure about the role when first offered it and was resistant to the producers’ overtures. During this period, he sought advice from colleagues and friends.
The first film, Casino Royale, premiered on 14 November 2006. In addition, Craig also appeared in two more films in 2006: the drama Infamous as mass murderer Perry Edward Smith and as the voice of the lead character in the English-language version of the French animated film Renaissance. In 2006, Craig was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Craig starred opposite Nicole Kidman in the science fiction horror film The Invasion in 2007, the fourth film adaptation of the novel The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney. He portrayed Lord Asriel in The Golden Compass, the 2007 film adaptation of Philip Pullman’s novel. In 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, in addition to Quantum of Solace and its accompanying video game, Craig starred in the drama Flashbacks of a Fool alongside Emilia Fox, as a washed-up Hollywood actor who reflects on his life. In his final release of 2008, the war film Defiance, Craig starred as Tuvia Bielski, the leader of the Bielski partisans, fighting in the forests of Belarus during World War II, saving 1,200 people.
He co-starred with Hugh Jackman in a limited engagement of the drama A Steady Rain, on Broadway, which played in autumn 2009 at the Schoenfeld Theatre. In August 2010, Craig starred as crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist in David Fincher’s 2011 adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The next year, he took up a leading role in Dream House, a psychological thriller directed by Jim Sheridan. Craig then 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. The same year, Craig provided his voice to Steven Spielberg’s animated film The Adventures of Tintin in 2011, playing the villainous pirate Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine and his ancestor Red Rackham in a dual role.
The planned 19 April 2010 release of Craig’s third Bond film was delayed, because of financial troubles; the film, titled Skyfall, was eventually released on 23 October 2012. The same year, he appeared as James Bond in the short film Happy and Glorious, in which he escorted Queen Elizabeth II to the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony. He and his wife Weisz starred in a Broadway play titled Betrayal, which ran from October 2013 to January 2014. Craig’s fourth Bond film, Spectre, began filming in December 2014 and was released on 26 October 2015.
Prior to the inaugural Invictus Games held in London in September 2014, Craig along with other entertainers and athletes read the poem “Invictus” in a promotional video. He made an uncredited cameo appearance as a stormtrooper in the 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Craig appeared in a modern production of William Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello at the Off-Broadway New York Theatre Workshop throughout late 2016 and early 2017. The production starred David Oyelowo as the titular character and Craig as the main antagonist, Iago. In 2017, Craig co-starred in Steven Soderbergh’s comedy Logan Lucky, about two brothers who pull off a heist during a NASCAR race. Craig starred alongside Halle Berry in the drama Kings set during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. The film premiered in September 2017 and was distributed by The Orchard the following year.
In 2019, Craig starred in Rian Johnson’s black comedy murder-mystery Knives Out, as a detective investigating the sudden death of a family patriarch. His fifth Bond film No Time to Die was to be directed by Danny Boyle and released in November 2019, but its release date was delayed after Boyle left the project. It was ultimately directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga and is scheduled for release in October 2021, having been delayed several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Graham Norton Show, Craig confirmed that No Time to Die would be his last James Bond film.
In 2007, Craig and British Prime Minister Tony Blair took part in the United Kingdom’s Comic Relief charity fundraiser, ultimately raising more than USD $90 million. Craig participated in the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS fundraising 8 December 2009, raising $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. Craig starred in 2011 in a short film narrated by Judi Dench, which was produced for International Woman’s Day. The next year, Craig worked with Orbis International in Mongolia to raise support and awareness of the Orbis medical team and their Flying Eye Hospital.
He is involved with multiple charities including S.A.F.E. Kenya, which uses street theatre to address social issues. He is also 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 of ethnic minorities. In 2015, Craig appeared in the film Comic Relief: Behind the Bond for the BBC Red Nose Day 2015 fundraising programme.
In April 2015, the United Nations appointed Craig the first global advocate for the elimination of mines and explosive hazards. The role involves raising awareness for the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), and political and financial support for the cause. In 2019, Craig appeared in a video with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, and launched the UNMAS Safe Ground campaign to turn minefields into playing fields.
In 2021, Craig was appointed to the honorary rank of Commander in the Royal Navy.