British actor Daniel Craig became known to audiences the world over when he was revealed as the new James Bond, slated to cement his role as the suave spy in 2006's Casino Royale. His status as an action star was quite sudden, and many were surprised at the announcement, thinking of him as an unknown. Ironically, the classically trained actor had put nearly 50 roles under his belt over the previous 15 years, from star-studded Hollywood features to highly respected independent ventures.
Before Craig was a working actor, much less a famous one, he didn't just want to be an actor, he wanted to be a good one. At the age of six he was appearing in school plays in Liverpool, at 14 he was acting on his high school stage in West Kirby, and by 16 he auditioned for and joined the National Youth Theater's troupe for their tours of Manchester, Spain, and Russia. He went on to toil through low-paying jobs as he repeatedly auditioned for the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama, determined to get in and undergo the classical training that would help him excel at his craft. Finally in 1988 at the age of 20, he was accepted and proceeded to study there for the next three years under the tutelage of Royal Shakespeare Company veteran Colin McCormack. After graduating in 1991, Craig had a whirlwind of activity to keep up with. In 1992 he began his career on screen, appearing in the film The Power of One. He also married Scottish actress Fiona Loudon, who gave birth to their daughter Ella that same year. He would appear in over ten films, TV movies, television shows, and failed pilots over the next two years, until his marriage to Louden came to an end in 1994. He got back in the game in 1995 with a role in the Disney film A Kid in King Arthur's Court, returning to England soon afterward to star in the acclaimed BBC2 miniseries Our Friends in the North and the four-part series Moll Flanders.