Bond girls are the most glamorous and iconic part of the James Bond film series. For many, they are the best part of a 007 film. And their legacy is a long one. From the iconic first shot of Ursula Andress emerging from the water in a white bikini in “Dr. No,” through to Léa Seydoux and Monica Bellucci, these ladies are members of one of the most exclusive groups in film history.
With the 24th James Bond film, “Spectre,” now only weeks away from release, I’m going to attempt something I’ve never done before: rank my top 10 favorite Bond girls. Some of my choices may surprise you, so feel free to disagree. Just keep in mind that these are MY favorites, .and I”m not saying they are necessarily the best ones. Anyways, here is my top 10 Bond Girls. Enjoy!
The first of Pierce Brosnan’s leading ladies, Natalya Simonova was played by Polish-Swedish beauty Izabella Scorupco. For me,
Natalya Simonova was one of the highlights of “Goldeneye” and one of the best Bond Girls of the 90’s. She was an intelligent, beautiful computer programmer who could keep Bond in place, even ordering him around. And she was a key player throughout the movie.
9. Wai Lin
For the first time in the Bond film series, 007 joins forces with a Chinese super agent. But not just any agent. This lady could be better than Bond.
Although she wasn’t the first woman to match wits with 007, in 1997 Michelle Yeoh became the first one you could take seriously. With this in mind, its easy to see why Michelle Yeoh is the best of Pierce Brosnan’s leading ladies.
Played by Claudine Auger in 1965’s “Thunderball,” Domino is the lonely, kept mistress of Emilio Largo, the villainous SPECTRE Number Two.
Domino first met Bond during a diving trip at Nassau in the Bahamas, when her flipper was caught on some coral and Bond extricated her. After they had a poolside lunch together, Bond unexpectedly knew her nickname and she inquired: “How do you know my friends call me Domino?” Bond: “It’s on the bracelet on your ankle.” Domino: “So! What sharp little eyes you’ve got.” Bond: “Wait till you get to my teeth.”
Later in the film, Domino began to trust him after he told her about her dead brother, killed by Largo. In my opinion, she was one of the first Bond girls with a well-developed back story.
I think many Bond fans will agree that Roger Moore played a more casual, James Bond. His first appearance was in “Live and Let Die” in 1973, and by the end of the 70s, things got out of hand. 1979’s “Moonraker” was set in outer space, which probably pissed off a ton of fans. “Moonraker” was a big hit, but I wonder how many old school 007 fans skipped out of the MI:6 agent’s next adventure?
Those who passed on “For Your Eyes Only” made a mistake, as that movie is the best one of the 80’s and it features one of the most underrated Bond girls ever, Melina Haveloc. played by Carole Bouquet.
Bouquet was the perfect actress for the part. In the film, she witnesses the murder of her parents by hitman Hector Gonzalez, who she later tracks down and kills with a crossbow. Unsatisfied by his death alone, she seeks out the man who paid Gonzales for the hit. Melina was a very strong character, and played a more integral part in the story than most Bond girls ever do
Over fifrty years after its publication, “Casino Royale” was finally given a proper film treatment in 2006. “Casino Royale” was also the first Bond film in decades to make extensive use of an Ian Fleming story, much to the delight of fans.
In the movie, Eva Green brought to life the only woman to ever truly break James Bond’s heart. Vesper Lynd is one of the few Bond girls to have any character development. And the only reason she isn’t higher on my list is because Vesper doesn’t show up until about an hour into “Casino Royale.”
Jane Seymour plays the clairvoyant Solitaire to Roger Moore’s 007 in the 1973 James Bond film “Live and Let Die.” Solitaire was a naive, sensual, virginal Tarot card-reader who worked for San Monique’s Caribbean island evil foreign minister-statesman Dr. Kananga (Yaphet Kotto).
Solitaire had to remain chaste in order to retain her mystical, psychic powers and keep herself from danger, although she was beginning to have feelings for Bond, when she continually drew The Lovers tarot card. Later in the film Bond tricked her to pick a card from a fixed Tarot deck (composed completely of The Lovers cards), and she slept with Bond.
A cruel trick, to which Bond later says: “Darling, I have a small confession to make…The deck was slightly stacked in my favor.” But I’m thinking Jane Seymore still has some mystical powers because she looks as beautiful today as she did in 1973.
4. Anya Amasova
Played by Barbara Bac in 1977’s “The Spy Who Loved Me,” Amasova is one of the few early matches for Bond. To put it simply: She is the Russian 007.
When Anya discovers that Bond killed her lover, (another Soviet agent) she vows to kill him once their mission is over. Instead, she starts to fall Bond. And of course 007 falls for her too, and with those eyes, who can blame him?
Shirley Eaton played golden girl Jill Masterson in 1964’s “Goldfinger,” and I think she was the first Bond girl to die. Of course she wouldn’t be the last, but that’s another story for another day.
Anywho, despite only being on-screen for a few minutes, the image of the Shirley Eaton painted in god,\ is one of the most memorable and iconic of the 007 series, and maybe in all of film. So iconic, that Shirley Eaton was even featured on the cover of Life magazine.
2. Tatiana Romanova
Played by Daniela Bianchi, Tatiana Romanova appeared in 1963’s “From Russia with Love.” Her mission was to to lure James Bond into Instanbul so that he could steal a Lektor decoding machine. Romanova’s boss, Rosa Klebb would then send Red Grant to kill 007 and steal the machine for Spectre.
Tatiana isn’t told the whole story of course, and believes she is working for mother Russia. what she didn’t plan for however, was falling for Bond. Yeah the plot was a bit confusing for 1963, but no one really cared once Tatiana Romanova appeared on the big screen.
To me Daniela Bianchi is one of the loveliest women to ever appear in a James Bond film. Her character is tougher than we think, but she was still able to portray a kind of innocence. Fun fact: The scene where Tatiana first meets Bond, by climbing into his bed, is still used as a screen test for all potential James Bond actors.
1. Teresa Di Vicenzo
Played by Diana Rigg, Tracy Di Vicenzo is the gold standard when it comes to Bond leading ladies. The fact that she’s the only Bond girl to become Jame Bond’s wife would be enough to put her on my list. But I’m putting here at the top of the list for other reasons:
*She saved “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” from being a complete disaster.
*Tracy was the only 60’s Bond girl who didn’t need 007 to rescue her. Tracy can hold her own in any situation, her fight with the Spectre goon is proof of that.
*Tracy was the last girl James Bond fell in love with.
*Her price is far above rubies