Timothy Dalton

Last updated on the 12 June 2024 by Maeve

Timothy Dalton

Mini Biography

Born: 21 March 1946, Colwyn Bay, Denbighshire, Wales. 

Timothy Dalton established himself as a respected British actor with a career spanning theatre, film and television. Though best known for portraying the sophisticated yet steely James Bond, Dalton’s journey began far from the world of espionage.

His early life was shaped by a diverse background. His father, a decorated WWII veteran, instilled a sense of discipline, while his American mother with Italian and Irish roots exposed him to a broader cultural perspective. This upbringing fostered a love for the arts, and by his teenage years, Dalton was already drawn to the stage.

Timothy Dalton’s formal training began at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London. However, his thirst for experience led him to leave before graduation and join the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Here, he learned his craft under the guidance of director Peter Dews, tackling a variety of classical roles. This period solidified his foundation in theatre, a passion that would remain a constant throughout his career.

Timothy Dalton in Licence to Kill
Timothy Dalton in Licence to Kill

The 1970s saw Dalton’s screen debut in “Wuthering Heights,” where comparisons were inevitably drawn to the legendary Laurence Olivier who had previously embodied the role of Heathcliff. Unfazed by such comparisons, Dalton continued to build his filmography with diverse projects like “Cromwell” and “Flash Gordon.” He also garnered acclaim for his television appearances, notably his portrayal of Mr. Rochester in the BBC miniseries “Jane Eyre.”

In 1986, fate took a significant turn. Dalton, who had previously rejected the role of James Bond twice, finally stepped into the iconic tuxedo. His portrayal in “The Living Daylights” was a critical success. He brought a seriousness and emotional depth to Bond that resonated with audiences. He reprised the role in “Licence to Kill,” further establishing himself as a worthy successor to the legacy. However, legal disputes surrounding the franchise led to Dalton’s departure, leaving his Bond tenure at just two films.

Penny Dreadful - Timothy Dalton and Eva Green
Penny Dreadful – Timothy Dalton and Eva Green

Despite the Bond hiatus, Dalton’s career continued to flourish. He took on a range of characters, from Sir Malcolm Murray in the series “Penny Dreadful” to villainous roles in films like “The Tourist” and “Hot Fuzz.” He also returned to the stage, captivating audiences in prestigious productions like “King Lear” and “Antony and Cleopatra.”

Timothy Dalton has a son, Alexander and has been linked to several actresses over the years.

Today, at 78, Timothy Dalton remains an active force in the entertainment industry. He continues to act, both on stage and screen, reminding audiences of his enduring talent. His legacy extends beyond his time as James Bond, encompassing a rich and multifaceted career that continues to inspire.

Suggested viewing


Penny Dreadful (2014)

Timothy Dalton as Sir Malcolm in Penny Dreadful

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.2

A horror drama that takes place in Victorian London and features various characters from classic horror literature, such as Dracula, Frankenstein, and Dorian Gray. The show follows the story of Vanessa Ives, a medium who teams up with other characters to fight supernatural threats and uncover dark secrets. The series explores themes of morality, identity and the struggle between good and evil.

Top cast: Eva Green, Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Harry Treadaway, Reeve Carney, Rory Kinnear, Billie Piper, Helen McCrory, Danny Sapani.


The Living Daylights (1987)

The Living Daylights poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 6.7

James Bond is tasked with protecting a Soviet defector, encountering a sinister conspiracy involving arms dealers, betrayal and a deadly assassin. As Bond races against time, he must outwit his enemies and save the world from imminent danger.

Top cast: Timothy Dalton, Maryam d’Abo, Joe Don Baker, Art Malik, John Rhys-Davies, Jeroen Krabbé, Andreas Wisniewski, Thomas Wheatley, Desmond Llewelyn.


Flash Gordon (1980)

Flash Gordon

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 6.5

“Flash Gordon” is a thrilling sci-fi adventure film directed by Mike Hodges. It follows the story of Flash Gordon, a football player who is transported to the planet Mongo. Teaming up with allies, Flash must stop the evil Emperor Ming from destroying Earth. Packed with action, humour, and a soundtrack by Queen, this cult classic is an intergalactic delight.

Top cast: Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Max von Sydow, Timothy Dalton, Topol, Ornella Muti, Brian Blessed, Peter Wyngarde, Mariangela Melato.


Licence to Kill (1989)

Licence to Kill poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 6.7

James Bond abandons his agency and vows vengeance after a brutal drug lord cripples his friend and murders his friend’s wife. Disguised as a hired killer, he infiltrates the drug lord’s operation, traversing a dangerous web of deceit to bring about his own bloody justice.

Top cast: Timothy Dalton, Carey Lowell, Talisa Soto, Robert Davi, Anthony Zerbe, Frank McRae, Everett McGill, Wayne Newton, Benicio Del Toro, Desmond Llewelyn, Robert Brown, Caroline Bliss.


Timothy Dalton full filmography @ Wikipedia
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