Bond Girls: Then and Now

James Bond is arguably the most talked-about, most thrilling movie of all times. The franchise has die-hard aficionados, and the mind behind it have always been able to come up with spot-on duo of James Bond (from Daniel Craig to Pierce Brosnan) and the Bond Girls (Daniela Bianchi, for instance).

Bond Girls at their prime were probably the most charming and beautiful women in the industry. Now, that might not be the case. As Roman-level power leads to Roman-level decadence, so does the glamour. Diamonds Last Forever, but will the Bond Girls? We will tell you. This list is about the Bond Girls, their thens and nows.

Mie Hama (You Only Live Twice)

Mie Hama deserves more praise than any other Bond Girl, though according to the casting director, she was not the first choice but nevertheless she lived up to the expectations of the demanding role of Kissy Suzuki. Having a Japanese lineage, she had some trouble learning English. However, the Bond movie provided a kick to her career and she started to cast in big flicks in Japan. In 1989, she retired from the life.

We have to say that if there ever was a female Asian actress that “normalize” Asians on the silver screen, it was Mie Hama as Kissy Suzuki in You Only Live Twice in 1967 when Lucy Liu was a wee baby of 1 years old. Sorry Lucy, your role in Charlie’s Angels just isn’t that great.

Jane Seymour (Live and Let Die)

Jane Seymour starred in the James Bond movie Live and Let Die as Solitaire—quite a suitable name for the charming lady. Unlike the case with most of other Bond Girls, that starring with James Bond was not just the end for her stride; she went on to achieve more and more in entertainment industry. Among her other roles later on, the impeccable ones in Medicine Woman deserves all the praise in the world. And, that is the first one in the list, next up is an absolute slayer!

Lana Wood (Diamonds Are Forever)

Let us be a little, bluntly honest: the movie was not as it should have been considering the man of Sean Connery’s caliber pulling the strings behind the scenes. He could have done more. However, one thing that he managed to do just right was inclusion of Lana Wood in the movie.

Lana can be said to be the classiest and heartbreakingly beautiful actress to feature in the lineup. Though her career had already taken giant steps already—thanks to Hugh Hefner’s insistence on having her shot for . . . Playboy, the Bond movie compensated for all the negativities regarding her career. And then came her cameos in different action-thrillers e.g. Mission Impossible, Fantasy Island, etc. And another interesting thing is: regardless of her age, she is still well into acting. You might need to watch Wild Faith.

Jill St. John (Diamonds Are Forever)

Jill St. John born August 14, 1940 is one of the rare redhead Bond girls that not only exuded sex appeal but grace. Though she is is mainly remembered for her starring in Diamonds Are Forever, and that is quite right somewhat.

Diamonds are forever, my youth is not.

Jill St. John

While she has appeared in other movies—even in the 21st century, her success remained short of being extraordinary. Apparently, she seems to have other interests to keep her busy—culinary being one.

Next up is one real active Bond Girl!

Barbara Bach (The Spy Who Loved Me)

John le Carre, the British author known for his spy thrillers, was famous most importantly because of the way he investigatede into Russians and their spies. And to be honest, no matter the infamy, including a Russian spy adds up to the thrilling aspect of a movie. Gilbert knew it. And Barbara came into the scene sporting the role of a spy, Russian, viz. Anya Amasova.

During ‘70s and ‘80s, Barbara was indulged in Hollywood. As time moved on, she might have become a little dissatisfied with all the cameras and lights around, and withdrew from all of it. Now, the beautiful lady lives happily with Ringo Starr. First she married a Count and had two kids with him, but after a decade together she divorced him. After meeting Ringo Starr on the set of Caveman, they married in 1981 and have since been through the thick and thins of life.

Daniela Bianchi (From Russia with Love).

A beauty that catches the eyes: Daniela Bianchi. Her persona is impeccable, her beauty timeless, her lineage Italian. Born January 31, 1942 in Rome Italy Daniela Bianchi’s combination of beauty and charisma makes everyone drop their jaw in awe. Featuring with Sean Connery in the James Bond movies, 1963 From Russia with Love , she catapulted to super-stardom and got the fame and applaud which she deserved from the start. She wears the attire of a Russian spy who attempts to honey-trap Bond. As for her success or failure of doing that, we will not spoil the fun for you.  

Diana Rigg (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service)

Diana Rigg’s career is studded with success and glamor. Apart from being a Bond girl, she was the only Mrs. Tracy Bond in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” with George Lazenby in his one and only James Bond role. Since then she has starred in several blockbusters like The Avengers (1960s), Snow White, Painted Veil and—AND—Game of Thrones! Apparently, she has a knack for finding the blockbusters—or maybe she is the lucky charm. And she doesn’t know how to stop: she is currently working with E. Wright for the forthcoming film Last Night in Soho.

Sadly, this British beauty passed away on September 10, 2020 at the age of 82 in her home in London, England. Rachael Stirling, her daughter said that she had been diagnosed just 6 months earlier in March of the same year.

Honor Blackman (Goldfinger)

She might have grown old, but the fire of passion for acting doesn’t seem to extinguish. Honor Blackman, the classical Bond girl for you!

Blackman’s professional career started from the TV show The Avengers in ‘60s. She worked for the show for nearly 4 years, and then quit that to concentrate her energies elsewhere. With her surprising cameo in You, Me & Them, she conveniently crossed the 70-year mark of her career.

Britt Ekland (The Man with the Golden Gun)

We can easily say that this Bond girl ruled the industry in ‘70s. Her skills were formidable, her charisma unmatchable. With a spot-on performance as Bond girl in The Man with the Golden Gun with Roger Moore, this Swedish beauty put the last nail in the coffin and became a legend of the day. However, roman-level power led to roman-level decadence and her career started to go downhill. Her career died its natural death in ‘90s. Except for a handful of negligible cameos e.g. in Wicker Man, Endless Night, etc., she couldn’t pull off much in this century.

Next is a Cesar Award winner.

Ursula Andress (Dr. No)

Ursula Andress is the pioneer of the Bond Girls; she was the first one to play that role! Starring under the name of Honey Ryder, she did sweeten the taste of the movie of the viewers and critics alike. Not to mention, the dramatic entry in the movie when she emerges out of the calm water of the sea in a spotless white bikini and a knife resting on one of her thighs—a metaphorical way of introducing the pool of Bond Girls. After casting in several other projects, she finally withdrew from the Hollywood life of cameras and lights in 2005.

Maud Adams (The Man with the Golden Gun & Octopussy)

While the rest of the Bond Girls may be equally deserving of all the praise and credit, Maud is different: she has the honor to be featured in two Bond movies. She, at first, took on more of a side-role and then went on to have the spotlight in the second movie i.e. Octopussy. And, she is different: she set the record of being the highest-paid model from Sweden. Not to mention, her distinctiveness made her a first choice for one of the Mission: Impossible films in late ‘80s.

Lois Chiles (Moonraker)

Chiles, unlike her other “cousins”, is relatively more active a girl in 21st century in both acting and other. Her acting career is studded with countless blockbusters like Speed 2, The Great Gatsby, etc., and obviously the Moonraker. At the same time, she is real art aficionada, and passes her leisure hours in painting.

Carole Bouquet (For Your Eyes Only)

Since the start of her acting career (1977), Bouquet has starred in over 50 movies. The most notable of those films remain Bad Girl and Sex & the City, and obviously this James Bond movie.

Her appearance in the movie deserved all the credit: she delivered more than what she was asked for. Her acting was near to perfect, her persona matched that of her role, and she pulled off an absolutely unforgettable performance as Havelock. No wonder she has won numerous awards.

The next bond girl starred in not one, but TWO bond movies.

Tanya Roberts (A View to a Kill)

The career of this gracefully beautiful lady did not start from one of the James Bond movies. Rather, she had to adapt to differing roles to intrigue the creators of the franchise. Kickstarting her career from featuring in TV shows i.e. Charlie’s Angels, ‘70s Show, etc., she got the much-needed limelight catapulting her to super stardom when she pulled off an awe-inspiring performance as Stacey Sutton. Having done that, Tanya Roberts’s name became a brand as she starred in a ton of blockbuster movies throughout the eighties.

Sadly on January 4, 2021 Tanya Roberts died in Los Angeles from urinary tract infection that had entered her bloodstream and ultimately her organs. Because of her pre-existing condition of Hepatitis C, her blood became severely infected. She was 65 years old.

Next up is a real deal as the Bond girl sharing the screen with Pierce Brosnan!

Grace Jones (A View to Kill)

Talk about a determined look, talk about ruthlessness! Grace Jones is certainly the most fierce-looking Bond Girls to grace the franchise. Her affinity toward action-thrillers made her a priority candidate for the movie—and she conveniently did it as well.

Once she casted in the Bond movie, she took few steps backward and made appearances in TV shows. However, as a wine becomes finer with age, so does her skills: her album released in 2008 viz. Hurricane which got all the praise it deserved. Acting. Singing. Grace Jones.

Izabella Scorupco (GoldenEye)

Next up in the list of the most Beautiful Bond Girls, the Polish beauty who was born June 4, 1970, Izabella Scorupo. She, for the first time, introduced the most vital elements i.e. intelligence and subtle expressions smartness to the action-thriller film. Moreover, her role as an expert matched her nuanced persona. As for her career, becoming a Bond Girl was a that crucial moment in her career provided the push in her career as she went on to star in movies like Exorcist. She is without a doubt a combination of beauty and grace. Next on the list of Bond Girls is a Dutch!

Famke Janssen (GoldenEye)

Many of the millennials and later might look at her and say, “Hey, that’s Jean (Phoenix).” While that is absolutely correct, she has some other high-profile casts to her name—James Bond, for instance. This 6 foot Dutch beauty that was born November 5, 1964 has taken America the stature, beauty and grace that define the ultimate beauty Bond villian.

While Janssen had already been into charts for her skills and stature, she appeared in James Bond movie with Brosnan. At this juncture of time, her acting career took a decisive turn and she started getting attention. The Dutch actress, later on, featured in another action-thriller i.e. Taken 3, Nip/Tuck. And there are several other work-in-progress too.

Next up: A graceful lady whose high cheekbones talk of her stature!

Denise Richards (The World Is Not Enough)

While Lara Croft (from Tomb Raider) may be hailed for her unconventional audacity and a peculiar attire, Richards did it before it was cool. Acting as an intelligent nuclear physicist, she assists the relentless James Bond to help save the world from a nuclear disaster which one of the ex-KGB agents plans to carry out.

Maryam d’Abo (The Living Daylights)

Starring as Kara Milovy in the Bond movie, it worked as a springboard for d’Abo in her professional career. While she pulled off a decent performance, the movie and her acting got the praise and she went on to achieve more and more.  Nevertheless, as humble as one can be, she did not become any exorbitant in her demanding of the roles and made humble appearances in Space Precint, Madame Ida, and countless others.

Carey Lowell (License to Kill)

Starting her career like many of her counterparts as a mode, Lowell took some giant steps when she entered in the film industry. She caught the eyes of the directors, and hence her inclusion in License to Kill. She casted for other movies as well prior to withdrawing from this life in 2000s. But that seems to have changed as well considering her cameo in Blue Bloods.

Michelle Yeoh (Tomorrow Never Dies)

Michelle, the Malaysian beauty and Hong Kong’s most famous actress made stateside fans and international viewer go crazy as she appeared alongside Brosnan in this 1997 Bond flick, Tomorrow Never Dies wearing all the fiery persona she carries with her. In the movie, she assists Brosnan to stop their rival from inciting a war between UK and China. Nowadays, she seems to be casting in upcoming Avatar movies.

Rosamund Pike (Die Another Day)

When Peter Brosnan comes into the scene, the movie is certainly poised for high praise and applaud. And when Pike enters into the scene, the movie become formidable. That was the case for Die Another Day. A movie that featured Brosnan and Pike—what else could be demanded! Starring in the movie served as a springboard for her, and she transitioned from minor roles to having major ones. Later on, she worked for Pride & Prejudice and many more. But these starring could not make her reach the top of the hill—Gone Girl did it for her!

Halle Berry (Die Another Day)

And now comes probably the most skilled actress in the pool: Halle Berry. The ultimate Bond girl in 2002 Die Another Day with Pierce Brosnan. Not to disrespect other unforgiving beauties, but Halle Berry is something else. She is a pristine combination of beauty and skills with a proportionate addition of relentlessness. Another thing that distinguishes her from other girls is the fact that she already held a high ground in the industry before stepping her foot in the Bond franchise. In addition to filming in the Bond movie, she also appeared in X-Men and Monster’s Ball. And, not to mention she holds an Oscar to her name too!

Eva Green (Casino Royale)

Eva Green is no ordinary name in the industry. While many of us may remember her appearances in 300, SinCity, etc., her best-kept secret is Casino Royale. This James Bond movie distinguishes her from many other Bond girls—being the one to star in modern films remains the most important. Another thing that makes her more attractive is her less out-going nature and more authoritative persona.

Vera Farmiga, Angelina Jolie, Olivia Wilde (Casino Royale)

Vera is quite known for her appearances in horror movies like The Conjuring and Orphan. What is lesser known about her is that she was a Bond Girl, and more importantly that she appeared in one of the game-changers for the lineup i.e. Casino Royale.  

Producers approached Angelina Jolie for the role of Vesper but she wanted to play Bond herself… not his leading lady so she turned the role down. Given the history of her unconventionality and ruthlessness, it is quite understandable that she wanted to be . . . the James Bond in Casino Royale. Directors couldn’t agree, she couldn’t agree, and the deal was not clinched. T

 Vera Farmiga auditioned for the part as well but knew she wouldn’t get the part. She was particularly interested in Bond’s emotional connection to Vesper, “He never really got over her, and those emotions started to interest me.”  Olivia Wilde also audition for the role of Vesper and desperately wanted to work with Daniel Craig. She was not selected as she didn’t quite fit the part as well… and productions on Casino Royale started filming before the leading lady role of Vesper was cast. That being said, Eva Green was selected as Daniel Craig’s aide.

Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace)

While Casino Royale had an authoritative Bond Girl in Eva Green, its sequel had another powerful Bond Girl in Arterton. And the latter was equally skilled to be featured with Daniel Craig. Acting as Strawberry Fields in the 2008 movie, she became one the of the most applauded actresses in the lineup. Moreover, we can say that she has an affinity toward history by the way she has appeared in Byzantium, PoP, and Clash of the Titans.

Bérénice Marlohe (Skyfall)

The directors of the movie Skyfall made another bold decision when they included Marlohe, a relative newcomer in the industry, in their 23rd movie of the franchise—and that boldness paid off quite well. The movie became a success, the French beauty that is of Cambodian, Chinese (father) and French decent (mother) actress recognized for her acting skills. Since then she made appearances in other films as well (e.g. Kill Swtich). Apart from acting, she has a knack for modeling as well, not to mention her position of Brand Ambassador for OMEGA Watches.

Naomie Harris (Skyfall)

At one end, the directors brought in a newcomer. At the other, they brought in a well-established actress for the much-coveted role. Naomie Harris was nothing ordinary even before landing in the James Bond movie. That being said, Skyfall was just another name in the long list of blockbusters which she appeared in i.e. 28Days Later, Collateral Beauty, and Moonlight.

Lashana Lynch (No Time To Die)

And the last Bond Girl yet to featured with Daniel Craig (the movie is under production). Like Marlohe of Skyfall, she is a newcomer. How things unfold for this lady is yet to be seen, yet we are hopeful that she will deliver considering the fact that she has casted in some decent movies like Fast Girls, Captain Marvel and many more.