MI6 looks at the history of the Bond Girls and
how characters and perceptions have changed over the
Bond Girls - The Legacy
2nd July 2006 (Updated: 6th February
Defining A Bond Girl
The modern-era definition of a Bond Girl is a character
who provides a love interest for James Bond or is sex object
in a film, novel
or video game.
Bond girls are often victims rescued by Bond, fellow agents
or allies, villainesses or members of an enemy organisation;
sometimes, as with many 'pool' scenes, they are mere eye
candy and have no direct involvement in Bond's mission.
Other female characters such as Judi
Dench's M and Miss
Moneypenny are not considered Bond girls.
The role of a Bond girl is typically a high-profile part
that can give a major boost to the career of unestablished
actresses (for example Jane
Seymour, Rosamund Pike),
although there have been a number of Bond girls that were
well-established prior to gaining their role (for example
Honor Blackman, Diana
Rigg, Halle Berry).
Above: Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder
- considered the "first" Bond Girl.
However, the original term "Bond Girl" was associated
with the many bikini-clad girls who had no spoken lines and hung
around pools, hotels and lairs and served no real purpose, other
than to act as eye candy or to generate publicity at the film's
launch. The shift in this meaning occurred after The
Living Daylights, the last film to use a gaggle of bikini
babes and the James Bond actor of the day for publicity shots.
Above: Timothy Dalton posing with
the "Bond Girls" for a The Living Daylights photo
||Examples of these include sunbathing Miami beauties in Goldfinger,
Tiger Tananka's bathing
beauties in You Only Live Twice,
the Thai girls at the kung fu school in The
Man With the Golden Gun, and Sheik Hossein's harem in
The Spy Who Loved Me. However,
in Moonraker, For
Your Eyes Only, Octopussy,
A View to a Kill, and The
Living Daylights these women were also referred to in the
media as fully-fledged Bond girls to provide added publicity
for the film through eye-catching magazine and newspaper appearances.
In Moonraker this included members of Drax's
"master race" and a group of women encountered by
Bond in the jungles of Brazil. In For Your Eyes Only, the
women were seen frolicking around a villain's pool, while
in Octopussy they served mainly as the title character's underlings.
In A View to A Kill, they adorned Max
Zorin's outdoor reception and in The Living Daylights,
they served as decorations at the villain's swimming pool.
One "Bond girl" in For Your Eyes Only was later
revealed to be a post-operative
Past To Present
Ursula Andress is often considered
the first Bond girl, playing Honey Ryder in the film Dr.
No (1962). In fact she was preceded by Eunice
Gayson who played the character Sylvia Trench in the same
film. Trench is the only Bond girl to appear as the same character
in more than one film, appearing again in From
Russia with Love (1963). Initially, Trench was planned to
be a regular girlfriend of Bond's in the series, but she was dropped
due to a change of director for Goldfinger.
To date, only one Bond girl has really captured the heart
of James Bond. Tracy di Vicenzo played by Diana Rigg, marries
Bond in On Her Majesty's
Secret Service (1969). At the end of the film, Tracy
is gunned down by Bond's nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld. It
was initially planned that her death would actually occur
in Diamonds Are Forever
(1971), but this idea was dropped during filming of On Her
Majesty's Secret Service.
Within the official series, Maud
Adams is the only actress to play two different Bond
girls, first in The Man with the Golden Gun in 1974, and
then as the title character in Octopussy (1983). She additionally
appears as an extra in a third Bond film, A View to a Kill
in 1985, in the market scene.
Two other girls, Martine
and Nadja Regin (Goldfinger) also appear in a second adventure:
they first appeared in From Russia with Love.
Above: Mr & Mrs Bond in "On
Her Majesty's Secret Service"
In 1995, Famke Janssen portrayed
Xenia Onatopp in GoldenEye; she
is considered the only major female character (and villain) whom
Bond does not bed. More frequently, traditional Bond girls that
have romantic trysts with Bond are later discovered to be villainesses,
such as Sophie Marceau's Elektra
King in The World Is Not Enough
(1999) and Rosamund Pike's Miranda Frost in Die
Above: Denise Richards and Sophie
Marceau from "The World Is Not Enough"
Since the film series began, Bond girls have been criticized
by feminists, and others, who feel they generalize women
as bimbos, damsels in distress, or objectify women as a
result of Bond's actions.
Through the years, the role of the Bond girl has changed
from the stereotypical 'woman hanging on his gun-arm' to
Bond's equal, possessing special skills he needs to complete
his mission, or even at times women that rescue Bond. These
Bond girls are shown to be more headstrong, resourceful,
and, in recent films, capable of holding their own. For
example, in Moonraker the character of Holly
Goodhead is established as being a trained space shuttle
commander, a number of years before the first female shuttle
commander was appointed in the real world. Wai
Lin in Tomorrow Never Dies,
is a trained special agent working for People's Republic
of China; Jinx in Die
Another Day is presented as Bond's opposite number in the
There have been a few failed attempts to create a female
version of Bond though. Anya
Amasova in The Spy Who Loved Me was supposed to be Bond's
equal from the KGB, but her character lacked a sense of
threat or competency. Other character failures have occurred
when supposed intelligence has been over stressed: geologist
Stacey Sutton in A View
To A Kill is a damsel in distress, and nuclear physicist
Dr Christmas Jones
in The World Is Not Enough was criticised for her bimbo-esque
Above: Wai Lin (Michelle
Yeoh) and Jinx (Halle Berry) were considered Bond's female
was originally considered for the part of Sylvia Trench. Instead
she got the part of Moneypenny and a little bit of cinema history
Raquel Welch was originally cast as Domino
however 20th Century Fox Production Chief Richard D. Zanuck
asked producer Albert R. Broccoli to release her from contract
as a favour. Julie Christie and Faye Dunaway were both contenders
for the role of Domino.
Crucially, the murder of Tracy Bond was originally
supposed to open Diamonds Are Forever, but was added to the
end of On Her Majesty's Secret Service  late in the day.
Solitaire was originally a black character.
Gayle Hunnicutt was signed to play Solitaire, but had to pull
out when she became pregnant. Diana Ross was considered for
the role of Solitaire.
Lois Chiles had originally been offered the
role of Anya in Spy Who Loved Me, The (1977), but turned down
the part when she decided to take temporary retirement. She
got the role of Holly Goodhead by chance when she was given
the seat next to Lewis Gilbert on a flight.
After the release of Die Another Day, MGM and
EON Productions considered creating a spin off series featuring
Halle Berry's Jinx character. Plans for this were cancelled
Early drafts of Die Another Day included an
appearance by Wai Lin, but Michelle Yeoh was unavailable.
the Bond girl from Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel, is
believed to be based on Christine Granville, a real-life SOE
Playboy Playmate Lisa Dergen is, to date, the
only real-life person to be featured as a Bond girl in any literary
Bond story, in Raymond Benson's short story "Midsummer
Movie Bond Girls
Note: Bond Girl entries in italics
indicate that no proof is available that they were 007 'conquests'.
Video Game Bond Girls
Note: * denotes voice only.
As technology improved over the years, Bond Girls started to appear
in licence 007 video games. "GoldenEye 64" by Rare was
the first game to feature realistic women, with Natalya and Xenia
appearing from the titular movie. Professional actresses began
to supply the voices for characters with "Agent Under Fire".
Thanks largely to Electronic Arts, the female roles became increasingly
realistic, with Cyber Scanning technology and skilled 3D modellers
allowing the game designers to import the likeness of an actress
in to the digital domain. The showcase game for Bond Girls in
video games is "Everything Or Nothing", which featured
a Hollywood actress (Shannon Elizabeth), a super model (Heidi
Klum), a recording artist (Mya) and Japanese favourite Misaki
Ito all providing their voice and likeness to the digital adventure.
Above: Shannon Elizabeth
and Heidi Klum lent their voice and likenesses to "Everything
or Nothing" characters Serena St. Germaine and Katya
Literary Bond Girls
| Ian Fleming
|Live And Let Die
|Diamonds Are Forever
|From Russia With Love
|From A View to a Kill *
||Mary Ann Russell
|For Your Eyes Only *
|Quantum Of Solace *
||No Bond girl
|The Hildebrand Rarity *
||Dominetta "Domino" Vitali
|The Spy Who Loved Me
|On Her Majesty's Secret Service
||Teresa di Vicenzo
|You Only Live Twice
|The Man With The Golden Gun
|The Living Daylights *
||No Bond girl
|The Property Of A Lady *
||No Bond girl
||No Bond girl
|007 In New York *
Kingsley Amis (AKA Robert Markham)
Charlie Higson (Young Bond)
|Double Or Die
|By Royal Command
|Devil May Care
Scarlett Papava (Larissa Rossi)
Note: * denotes short story.
|For Special Services
|Role Of Honour
|Nobody Lives For Ever
|No Deals, Mr. Bond
|Win, Lose Or Die
||Beatrice Maria da Ricci
|The Man From Barbarossa
|Death Is Forever
||Elizabeth St. John
|Never Send Flowers
||Flicka von Grusse
||Flicka von Grusse
|COLD (AKA Cold Fall)
||Beatrice Maria da Ricci
|Blast From The Past *
|Zero Minus Ten
|The Facts Of Death
|Midsummer Night's Doom *
|High Time to Kill
|Live At Five *
|Never Dream of Dying
|The Man With The Red Tattoo
Bond Girls - Movie Section