Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Born in Colwyn Bay, Wales, UK, Timothy Dalton is of mixed English and Italian-Irish ancestry; soon after his birth, the family moved to Belper, Derbyshire, England, UK. In youth, he became interested in acting, and left school, in 1964, to enroll in the RADA and tour with the National Youth Theatre in the summers. He did not complete his RADA studies, leaving, in 1966, to work professionally in the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. He quickly moved to television, mainly with BBC, and, in 1968, appeared in The Lion in Winter, his first film, and the first of several period dramas.
After more films, he took a break, 1971–75, concentrating on theatre, performing with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and other troupes, throughout the world. After briefly returning to the cinema, he again concentrated in the theatre until 1978, when he made his first film in the United States and first appeared in US television. In the US, he most worked in television, but he did make some European films, and gave notable performances for the BBC.
After his Bond films, Dalton's career entered an uncertain period, successes on stage and television were balanced by indifferent films. He also endured the thankless assignment of playing Rhett Butler in a television movie sequel to Gone with the Wind.
In 1986, after Roger Moore's final, definitive retirement from the James Bond role, Dalton was approached to replace him after Pierce Brosnan was already approached for the role. Brosnan was forced to relinquish the role due to television commitments with the revival of Remington Steele. Previously, Dalton had been offered the role several times before—as early as 1968, to replace Sean Connery, but had turned down the role each time feeling he was too young for it. Work commitments made him again refuse the role in 1986, but when asked a second time, he agreed to three James Bond films. The first, The Living Daylights (1987) was successful and grossed more than the previous two Roger Moore Bond films as well as contemporary box office rivals such as Die Hard and Lethal Weapon. The second film, Licence to Kill (1989) didn't do as well at the box office in part due to a lackluster marketing campaign losing out in America in particular. Licence to Kill was still a success in comparison to other previous films such as 1985's A View to a Kill and was one of the most profitable of the series thanks to its relatively small budget, a mere $25 million, the same as Moonraker had cost ten years previously.
The third Bond film was slated for a 1991 release (rumoured title: The Property of a Lady), but its production was scuttled by internecine corporate litigation over the rights between EON Productions and Danjaq, L.L.C.. In 1994, Dalton officially dropped the James Bond role, re-opening the door for Pierce Brosnan.
Dalton's darker, realistic, and (viewed by some) more authentic literary portrayal of secret agent James Bond was a double edge sword. Critics generally liked the more serious James Bond after more than a decade of Roger Moore's lighthearted approach, but the reaction of afficionados was mixed, particularly from those unfamiliar with Ian Fleming's original James Bond novels and from those that liked the cinematic version of agent 007 better.
- Dunkirk, to be released in May 2005
- Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)
- American Outlaws (2001)
- Cleopatra (movie) (1999)
- Made Men (1999)
- Stories of My Childhood (1998)
- Beautician and the Beast (1997)
- Salt Water Moose (1996)
- Naked in New York (1994)
- Last Action Hero, cameo role (1993)
- Framed (1992)
- The Rocketeer (1991)
- The King's Whore (1990)
- Licence to Kill (1989)
- Hawks (1988)
- The Living Daylights (1987)
- The Doctor and the Devils (1985)
- Flash Gordon (1980)
- Cromwell (1970)
- The Lion in Winter (1968)
- Timothy Dalton's website and the Internet Movie Database claim Dalton's birthdate as March 21, 1946, however numerous other sources claim he was born on March 21, 1944.
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