James Bond may be regarded as the main character, but it is arguably the Bond girls who bring much of the glamour and allure to the 007 films. Here's a look at the women who have managed to leave Bond as shaken as his martinis.
Honor Blackman: Goldfinger
Just seeing the title of the third Bond film conjures up memories of Shirley Bassey crooning "Goldfingerrr." But another striking element of the blockbuster was surely that of Pussy Galore and Sean Connery uttering her name.
Pussy was played by Honor Blackman, who had risen to fame thanks to her role in The Avengers. Her turn as a Bond Girl led to parts opposite leading men like Laurence Harvey and Dean Martin, and her singing skills had her starring in several musicals on stage. Blackman lived until age 94, passing away of natural causes in April 2020.
Denise Richards: The World is Not Enough
Dr. Christmas Jones may be a somewhat ridiculous name, but Denise Richards portrayed the character brilliantly in The World is Not Enough. In the 1998 film, The Bold and the Beautiful actress teams up with Pierce Brosnan's James Bond to save the world from a plutonium bomb.
Along with being a Bond Girl, Richards was one of the "it girls" of the '90s, having appeared in Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place, and Friends. In addition to acting, the starlet is a New York Times bestselling author and mom to three. Following a rocky relationship with Charlie Sheen, the 50-year-old remarried in 2018.
Halle Berry: Die Another Day
Pierce Brosnan's final outing as 007 saw him matched against a secret agent from across the pond played by Halle Berry. It is difficult to imagine anyone other than the Monster's Ball actress in the role of sultry Jinx. Still, Salma Hayek, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, and Saffron Burrows were all considered before she was cast.
Berry's role in Bond was fresh off her Academy Award win, and she has not slowed down since. In 2020, the 55-year-old expanded her resumé as she stepped behind the camera for her directing debut, Bruised, which saw her also pulling punches on-screen as an MMA fighter.
Britt Ekland: The Man with the Golden Gun
Hailing from Sweden, Britt Ekland became famous practically overnight when she married the star of the Pink Panther films, Peter Sellers. Of course, she made sure to earn her own reputation as a blonde bombshell which led to her starring as Mary Goodnight opposite Roger Moore.
Although the Get Carter actress's marriage to Sellers didn't last, her career in Hollywood did. In Britt's later years, this has included appearances on reality shows like I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! and The Real Marigold Hotel, as well as pantomimes, not to mention her romances with musicians like Rod Stewart.
Jill St. John: Diamonds are Forever
Jill St. John began her acting career as a child, but she is perhaps best known for being the first American Bond Girl. Her character of Tiffany Case in Diamond are Forever saw her counterbalance Sean Connery's suave Scottish secret agent (as well as the demure Bond Girls before her) as a loud and brash American stereotype.
The Come Blow Your Horn actress made appearances on the top television shows of her time, including The Love Boat, Magnum P.I., and Seinfeld. Jill was just as famous off-screen thanks to her marriage to Austin Powers star Robert Wagner, whom she had met 30 years prior.
Eva Green: Casino Royale
Daniel Craig's debut as 007 was almost overshadowed by the sultry Eva Green, who played Vesper Lynd. The agent from Her Majesty's Treasury was tasked with supervising Bond and lending him money for the high-stakes poker game in which he must defeat the villain, but naturally, the pair fall in love.
Eva is no stranger to breaking hearts on screen as the French actress made her debut in the French film The Dreamers before taking Hollywood by storm. She has also been recognized critically for her work, having received an Emmy nomination, César Award, and a BAFTA.
Shirley Eaton: Goldfinger
Honor Blackman was not the only Bond Girl in Goldfinger… While Pussy Galore may be infamous courtesy of her rather scandalous name, Jill Masterson will be remembered for the unfortunate fate which her character incurred. The iconic scene involved Shirley Eaton's entire body being painted gold.
1964 was still a conservative time as far as films went, and Shirley agreed to perform nude only if done tastefully. The result found the Carry On star gracing the cover of Life magazine before she retired from acting in 1969 to raise her family. Her autobiography, released 30 years later, was entitled Golden Girl.
Carey Lowell: Licence to Kill
Licence to Kill employs a story trope that we have seen many times on screen: a female character who is more on the shabby side is given a makeover, and the glamorous results leave jaws on the floor. Although it is hard to believe that Carey Lowell could ever be dowdy, the beauty donned a wig for her role as Pam Bouvier.
Although she spent a year at college majoring in literature, stardom was always in Carey's future. The Law & Order actress dropped out of the University of Colorado at Boulder to pursue modeling in New York City. With her signature pixie cut, she worked with fashion legends like Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein.
Tanya Roberts: A View to Kill
While growing up in the New York City borough of The Bronx, Tanya Roberts probably never imagined that she'd one day be a Bond Girl. Yet, the opportunity arose in 1985 when she took on the role of Stacey Sutton, a geologist who teams up with Roger Moore (despite Priscilla Presley being the first choice).
Roberts did not follow the family business by becoming a famous oral surgeon like her father. Instead, she decided to study at the prestigious Lee Strasbourg acting school, where she changed her name from Victoria Leigh Blum. Married to Barry Roberts for 32 years, the That '70s Show passed away from sepsis in 2020.
Ursula Andress: Dr. No
The concept of a Bond Girl did not exist until Ursula Andress originated the role in the first James Bond film, Dr. No. One of the most iconic scenes of all time involved the Swiss actress rising out of the ocean in a bikini with a knife on her hip. She later claimed that she owed her career to that white bikini!
Bond remained a constant throughout the Clash of the Titans star's life, as she even portrayed the Bond Girl, Vesper Lynd, in the 1967 007 parody, Casino Royale. Andress charmed men off-screen, too, having had relationships with James Dean, Harry Hamlin, and Jean-Paul Belmondo.
Rosamund Pike: Die Another Day
Halle Berry may be remembered as the Bond Girl of Die Another Day, but Rosamund Pike was just as sultry and significant. In fact, you could almost say that the entire plot of the film is her fault… The Gone Girl actress starred as Miranda Frost, a member of MI6 who is, in fact, a double agent. Poor Bond.
Rosamund is no stranger to thrillers, having brought to life the titular character of Gillian Flynn's bestseller. The British starlet has also lent her voice to numerous Bond radio dramas. Pike portrayed Pussy Galore in a BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Goldfinger, as well as narrated the audiobook of The Spy Who Loved Me.
Claudine Auger: Thunderball
As her name suggests, the Bond Girl from the 1965 film was French. Although Claudine Auger's character of Dominique "Domino" Derval was originally called Dominetta Petacchi and meant to be played by an Italian, the Bond producers found her so impressive that they rewrote the part just for her.
Prior to making her 007 debut, the Triple Cross star had reached fame by winning the 1958 Miss France pageant and placing second in Miss World. Although Thunderball was her most successful film, she also worked with other Bond Girls like Ursula Andress and Barbara Bach.
Carole Bouquet: For Your Eyes Only
Unlike many other Bond Girls, the character played by Carole Bouquet in For Your Eyes Only had a mission of her own. Melina Havelock avenges the death of her parents, who were assassinated, and finds herself joining Roger Moore's secret agent for the ride.
Bouquet had wanted to be a Bond Girl even before she was cast in the 1981 flick, having auditioned for the role of Holly Goodhead in the film's predecessor, Moonraker. The second time proved the charm, and the French actress went on to become the face of Chanel No. 5 perfume.
Maryam d’Abo: The Living Daylights
When audiences first meet Maryam d'Abo in The Living Daylights, she is a sweet and somewhat naïve cellist from Czechoslovakia. But as the 1987 film progresses, we (and Timothy Dalton) discover the truth about Kara Milovy and just what a good shot she is.
The British actress decided to become an actress at the tender age of 13 and dropped out of drama school to make her film debut in a low-budget horror movie. Continuing her Bond legacy, d'Abo co-authored the book Bond Girls Are Forever — a tribute to all the women who have stolen 007's heart.
Maud Adams: The Man with the Golden Gun & Octopussy
As far as Bond Girls on this list, Maud Adams holds a prestigious honor. The Swedish actress starred alongside Roger Moore in The Man with the Golden Gun, where she played the mistress of Christopher Lee's villain. She had described the role of Andrea Andres as "a woman without a lot of choices."
The Rollerball star left quite an impression on Bond producers as they chose to cast her once again nine years later. This time, Adams embodied the titular role in Octopussy as a wealthy businesswoman who is, in fact, a jewelry smuggler. "Looking back on it, how can you not really enjoy the fact that you were a Bond Girl?" she said.
Eunice Gayson: Dr. No & From Russia With Love
There was no such thing as a Bond Girl before Eunice Gayson came along. The Sound of Music beauty was cast in the very first 007 film, Dr. No, as Sylvia Trench, a woman who meets Sean Connery's Bond during a game of Baccarat in London. It is to her that the spy initially introduces himself with the signature, "Bond. James Bond."
Miss Trench returned as the MI6 agent's love interest in the follow-up, From Russia With Love. After the second movie, Sylvia's character was dropped, but Eunice almost stuck around longer as she was initially cast as Miss Moneypenny before she and Lois Maxwell swapped roles.
Aliza Gur: From Russia With Love
While Eunice Gayson's character may have been considered 007's "girlfriend back home" in From Russia With Love, she was not the only beauty in the 1963 film. Aliza Gur starred as Vida, a Gypsy woman who found herself in an altercation with another over Gypsy over a man.
Although Aliza's part was minor, the Israeli actress had already made a name for herself when she appeared in the spy film. The starlet had won the 1960 Miss Israel pageant and went on to be a semi-finalist in the Miss Universe contest that same year. During her time at university, Gur made dresses to pay for tuition.
Barbara Bach: The Spy Who Loved Me
One of the first names that come to mind when one thinks of Bond Girls is that of Barbara Bach. The New York City native played the titular role in 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me — despite only being cast four days before principal photography began. Barbara initially expected a supporting role but made Anya Amasova her own.
Born Barbara Goldbach, the leading lady shortened her name after leaving high school and soon entered the world of modeling. In 1981, Bach tied the knot with Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, and the couple has been together ever since. The pair practice vegetarianism and are very involved in charitable causes.
Bérénice Marlohe: Skyfall
M may have been the focus of Skyfall, but it's pretty hard to tear your attention away from Bérénice Marlohe whenever she's on-screen. The French beauty apparently dreamt of acting alongside Javier Bardem six months before her Bond audition and only found out that the Dune star would play the villain after her second audition.
Marlohe's stunning looks are courtesy of her unique heritage, which includes French, Cambodian, and Chinese. Her middle name, Lim, is, in fact, her paternal grandmother's surname. Having studied at the Conservatoire de Paris for ten years, the Omega ambassador initially aspired to become a pianist, but acting won out.
Diana Rigg: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Did you know that James Bond was actually married? While trying to defeat the villain Blofeld in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, 007 just couldn't help but fall in love — and tie the knot! — with Contessa Teresa "Tracy" di Vicenzo played by Diana Rigg. Sadly, their marriage came to a tragic end.
Diana had hoped that starring in a Bond film would make her more famous in the US. She went on to have an illustrious career that featured many accolades, including a Damehood. Younger audiences had the chance to fall in love with Rigg all over again when he took on the feisty role of Lady Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones.
Gemma Arterton: Quantum of Solace
Gemma Arterton beat out 1,500 other actresses for the role of Strawberry Fields opposite Daniel Craig. The MI6 agent is named after the famous Beatles song, although it is never explicitly mentioned in the film. Gemma described her character as "the thinking man's crumpet" and wrote a short story titled Woke Woman about Fields.
The Made in Dagenham star won an Empire Award for Best Newcomer for her role in Quantum of Solace, but she has often returned to her first love — acting on stage. In 2018, the actress was one of 928 new members who were invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Izabella Scorupco: GoldenEye
When Pierce Brosnan made his debut as Bond in 1995, he did so alongside Izabella Scorupco. Amazingly, GoldenEye was only the first Bond film to include CGI. However, there was nothing digitalized about the Scorupco's character, Natalya Simonova, who was ranked the 7th best Bond Girl by IGN.
Natalya was not to be underestimated, and neither was Izabella. Though she may have an Italian-sounding name, the actress was born in Poland and raised in Sweden. Scorupco can also be considered a triple threat, as she also models and sings, scoring a major European hit in the '90s with "Shame, Shame, Shame."
Lois Chiles: Moonraker
Lois Chiles almost didn't become a Bond Girl… Producers of the spy franchise had wanted the Texas native to star in The Spy Who Loved Me in 1977, but she had decided to take a break from acting at the time and declined. Luckily, Lois said yes to the role of NASA scientist Dr. Holly Goodhead in Moonraker.
Holly Goodhead is not the only character named Holly that Chiles played on screen. The Death on the Nile actress starred as Holly Harwood in Dallas and had a successful modeling career. Of her role in the 007 flick, Lois said, "Being a Bond Girl is a fun way to be remembered."
Famke Janssen: GoldenEye
If you're looking for a Bond Girl who's tough, Famke Janssen is undoubtedly it. After all, her character, Xenia Zaragevna Onatopp, has a tendency to strangle her enemies using just her thighs! Said to embody the Bond Girls of earlier films, the assassin is definitely a femme fatale.
The Dutch actress tried hard to avoid being typed after her Bond role. She took on smaller supporting parts but ultimately landed the role of Jean Grey / Phoenix in the X-Men series. In 2008, the How to Get Away with Murder star was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for Integrity by the United Nations.
Jane Seymour: Live and Let Die
Live and Let Die marked Roger Moore's debut as 007, and it saw him share the screen with the sultry Jane Seymour. Her character, Solitaire, has the ability to foresee the future but is tricked by the MI6 agent into giving up her powers. One scene involved Seymour almost becoming prey to a snake while filming.
As a name, Jane Seymour seems as classic as they come, but that is not the name which the Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman actress was born. Instead, she was called Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg and chose her stage name after Henry VIII's third wife. Her career includes several awards and a star on the Walk of Fame.
Lashana Lynch: No Time to Die
The agent code 007 has always been associated with James Bond — but that was until Lashana Lynch came around. In No Time to Die, the British actress plays Nomi, an MI6 agent who enters the force following Bond's retirement and is assigned the number 007. There are even rumors that Lashana will take over from Daniel Craig…
Although she made her film debut in 2012, the Captain Marvel actress still feels like a fresh new star. In 2020 she was honored at the Black Women in Hollywood Awards and will soon show off her singing chops in the big-screen adaptation of Matilda the Musical as Miss Honey.
Tania Mallet: Goldfinger
Rumour has it that Tania Mallet earned the role in Goldfinger after the film's producer, Albert Broccoli, was sent a photo of her in a bikini from a Vogue photoshoot. The model had reportedly auditioned for the part of Tatiana Romanova in the previous Bond film, From Russia with Love, but was instead cast as Tilly Masterson.
In real life, Mallet was descended from Russian nobility, with her maternal grandfather a member of the Russian aristocracy. She declined further film roles after Bond and chose to return to modeling. The starlet was also the cousin of The Queen actress Helen Mirren, who described Tania as impossibly beautiful and kind.
Luciana Paluzzi: Thunderball
Luciana Paluzzi's Bond journey initially began with disappointment. She had auditioned for the role of Dominique "Domino" Derval (who was originally written as an Italian) but lost out to Claudine Auger. The sadness quickly dissipated when she learned she had been cast as SPECTRE villainess Fiona Volpe.
Acting was not Luciana's original plan. The Italian beauty spent two years at the Scientific Academy of Milan as the only woman in her class to study naval engineering. The Chuka actress preferred starring in Italian films and is married to Michael Jay Solomon, the former President of Warner Bros. Television.
Grace Jones: A View to Kill
Best known for her golden voice, Grace Jones proved that she could act too in A View to Kill. The "Slave to the Rhythm" singer was amusingly called May Day in the film and played the henchwoman to the main antagonist. The role earned Grace a nomination for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Jones has been regarded as one of the 100 Greatest Women of Rock' n Roll by VH1 and has also been noted for her sense of style. Having been born in Jamaica, the singer received the Order of Jamaica from the Jamaican government in 2018 and released her memoir, I'll Never Write My Memoir, in 2015.
Teri Hatcher: Tomorrow Never Dies
When Teri Hatcher assumed the role of Paris Carver, she was actually three months pregnant. In the film, Paris is one of Bond's ex-girlfriends who is now married to the villain, but Teri later regretted the role, saying, "It's such an artificial kind of character to be playing that you don't get any special satisfaction from it."
Hatcher had reached fame prior to Tomorrow Never Dies thanks to her role in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and later went on to earn her most recognizable part as Susan Mayer in Desperate Housewives. For this, she won a Golden Globe and a SAG Award, as well as being nominated for an Emmy.