MI6 takes a look at the voice artists behind some
of the iconic characters from James Bond films of
Iconic Voices of Bond (1)
10th March 2007
While many voice artists do not enjoy
that ‘screen-time shimmer’,
it takes a great deal of skill to perform a convincing
dub. MI6 takes a look at the careers of the voice
that fooled many cinemagoers in the 1960s.
Nikki van der Zyl
Her name might not be well known, but her voice is. Nikki van der Zyl is the
woman behind several ‘60s beauties - including dubbing work for 007’s
very first Bond girl Honey Ryder, commonly
recognised as the stunning Swiss actress Ursula Andress. But when it came
to singing on Crab Key, Honey's voice was provided by Diana Coupland, an actress
best known for role in the 70s British sitcom "Bless This House".
At the time she was married to composer Monty Norman.
The public did not spot
this overdubbing until years after "Dr.
No" was played in theatres,
thanks in part to Van der Zyl not being cited in
the closing credits. Although she may not have
received much credit in the Bond films, she enjoyed
a long running association with the series. Van der
Zyl also voiced all the female characters in "Dr
No" (except Moneypenny and the Chinese women), including Eunice
character Sylvia Trench who also appeared in the
subsequent film. Van der
Zyl then went on to revoice the receptionist at Bond's
Istanbul hotel in "From
Russia With Love", Shirley
Jill Masterson in "Goldfinger", Claudine
Derval in "Thunderball" and Mia
Hama's character Kissy in "You
Only Live Twice".
Van der Zyl's talents are not constrained
to only voice dubbing. On the set of the third
Bond film "Goldfinger",
utilising her bilingual skills, she acted as voice
for the villainous Gert
Frobe, who played the title villain.
Above: Nikki van der Zyl
Born in Devon, England in 1930, Jefford is the voice behind the
seductive Tatiana Romanova in
Russia With Love".
Her film carreer has spanned over 40 years, most recently appearing
onscreen in the British murder mystery “Midsummer Murders”.
Above: Barbara Jefford
Her career as a voice artist was short lived
however, after receiving higher paying parts in front of the
"From Russia With Love" is only the second dubbing
job Jefford worked on – the first being a Japanese rendition
of Shakespeare’s "A Midsummer Night’s Dream".
Interestingly, in 1968 Barbara Jefford appeared opposite Diana
Rigg (who would later play the ill-fated Mrs Bond in "On
Her Majesty's Secret Service") and Academy Award Winner Helen
Mirren in yet another screen production of "A
Dream". Jefford portrayed Hippolyta in this Peter Hall
Jefford maintained a mixed
career, most regularly appearing in several BBC murder
series including "Campion", starring Peter
Davidson, or "Inspector Alleyn", starring
Patrick Malahide as the title character.
Also uncredited for his voice artist work on the Bond films,
Michael Collins dubbed for German actor Gert Frobe in
Bond picture "Goldfinger". Collins lent
his gruff voice to the domineering presence of Frobe, who
the start of production could speak little English.
Aside from "Goldfinger",
Collins had no dubbing experience but an on-screen career
30 years. Best known for a series of guest roles in popular
British television including: "The Saint" or
"The Avengers" – both coincidentally
starring actors who would have run-ins with 007, Diana
Rigg and Roger
Left: Michael Collins
voiced the domineering Goldfinger played by Gert Frobe
The "Iconic Voices of Bond" will continue with
a look at more of the villains from the 1960s.