It wasn’t until he landed the role of James Bond in “Casino Royale” that people began to take note of Daniel Craig’s career; but Craig had numerous roles, and personal relationships, before he became the famous agent 007.
The Early Years
Born March 2, 1968, Daniel Wroughton Craig’s interest in acting began at a young age. Craig’s parents, Tim and Olivia Craig, divorced in 1972. After the divorce, Craig, and his sister Lea, went to live with their mother in Hoylake, Wirral, UK. His mother encouraged his passion for acting by arranging frequent trips to visit the Liverpool Everyman Theater. When Roger Moore’s “Live and Let Die” was released in the cinema in 1973, Craig went to see it. That movie was special to him not only because he’d never seen a Bond movie before, but because he had gone with his father.
Craig’s first role on stage was in Frodsham Primary School’s production of “Oliver.” He was only 6-years old at the time, but went on to land roles in numerous school productions. When he was 14-years old, Craig attended Hilbre High School in West Kirby. There he had roles in “Romeo and Juliet,” “Oliver” and “Cinderella.” Craig left school at the age of 16 to pursue acting.
In 1984, while the National Youth Theater (NYT) was on tour in Manchester, Craig auditioned. When he was accepted, he quickly packed his bags and moved to London. It was in London that his parents watched Craig’s on-stage debut as Agamemnon in Shakespeare’s “Troilus and Cressida.” Under the directorial leadership of Edward Wilson, he performed in two tours with the NYT in Moscow, Russia and Valencia, Spain.
After numerous failed auditions, Craig was accepted to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama at the Barbican. While he attended school there from 1988 to1991, and studied with fellow classmates Damian Lewis, Ewan McGregor and Alister McGowen. The three-year acting class was taught by actor, Colin McCormack, who belonged to the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Craig’s film career began in 1992 when he the role of Sargent Botha, also known as The Judge, in John G. Avildsen’s “The Power of One.” He went on to appear in a variety of television shows including “The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders,” “Our Friends in the North” and “The Ice House.” He also appeared in a few independent films such as, “Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis,” in 1998, “The Trench,” in 1999 and “Some Voices,” in 2000.
In 2001, Craig landed a role in the feature film, “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” where he played Alex West. This role gave him international fame, and he went on to land a supporting role in, “The Road to Perdition,” where he performed alongside, Tom Hanks, Jude Law and Paul Newman.
It wasn’t until 2006, when he landed the role of James Bond in “Casino Royale,” that Craig became a household name. Not only was Craig the first actor to play the role of James Bond who had blonde hair, but he is the first actor that was born after the death of Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond books. Craig went on to portray James Bond in the 2008 movie, “Quantum of Solace.”
Awards and Nominations
Craig won his first award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival for Best British Performance for his portrayal of George Dyer in “Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon.” He also won the British Independent Film Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Ray, in “Some Voices.” The leading role in Casino Royale got him nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Actor and BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. He also won the Empire Award for Best Actor, the Evening Standard British Film Awards Award for Best Actor and the Sant Jordi Award for Best Foreign Actor all for his role as James Bond in Casino Royale.
Craig married Fiona Loudon, a Scottish actress, in 1992. The couple had a daughter, Ella, but divorce in 1994. After his marriage ended, he had a seven-year relationship with Heike Makatsch, a German actress. That relationship ended in 2001, and he dated Satsuki Mitchell, a film producer, from 2004 until 2010.
Craig met actress Rachel Weisz when they worked together filming Will Attention’s “Dream House.” The two began dating in December, 2010. The couple married in a private New York ceremony on June 22, 2011. Both Craig’s 18-year old daughter Ella and Weisz’s 4-year old son, Henry, were in attendance.
Craig owns a flat near Regent’s Park in London that he purchased for £4 million in 2008. He is also rumored to own property in Hertfordshire, in the community of Barkway.