Bond Girls are an antiquated idea to some, especially in today’s gender-equality climate. Yet, they’re important. More than the gadgets, more than the exotic locations, more than the villains, the women are THE most essential element to the James Bond franchise.
This is a listing of every main Bond Girl from the movies. This isn’t a beauty competition. They’re positions stem from the effect they have on Bond, and the strength of their own character.
43) DR. CHRISTMAS JONES (The World Is Not Enough – 1999)
“I’ve heard all the jokes.”
With a name like this, you can tell she ain’t a rocket scientist. She’s actually a physicist played by Denise Richards. That’s right, a short-shorts-wearin’ American doc who teams up with Bond to stop a plot involving uranium core rods and something about oil. What? All of Pierce Brosnan’s outings can’t be GoldenEye.
42) PLENTY O’TOOLE (Diamonds Are Forever – 1971)
Lana Wood plays the titular (wink-wink) character who only sees maybe eight minutes of screen time. Plenty is a gold-digger on the prowl in the Whyte House’s casino when she meets James Bond (Sean Connery). He takes her back to his room where a gaggle of thugs toss her out a window.
41) AKI (You Only Live Twice – 1967)
Akiko Wakabayashi plays this Japenese secret agent who helps Bond (Connery). Their mission: sift out who stole an American space capsule (from space) before America and Russia commence World War III. Aki doesn’t really do much, so she’s basically here for her death scene: a bead of poison drips down a string, plinks on her lips, and closes her wind pipe.
40) LUPE LAMORA (Licence To Kill – 1989)
Talisa Soto isn’t given much to do. Other than pose with an iguana for the movie’s one sheet, she’s the villain’s moll who defects to help James Bond (Timothy Dalton). Ms. Soto went on to appear in the Mortal Kombat movies and marry Benjamin Bratt.
39) Strawberry Fields (Quantum of Solace – 2008)
Gemma Arterton plays this British spy, known only in the movie as Agent Fields. Yet her first name no doubt hails from the color of her hair. At least, I’m hoping. Otherwise it’s a terrible John Lennon reference. Fields appearance is short and largely unnecessary. She meets her demise by being covered in oil from head to toe. Give the writers some sympathy, the writer’s strike was on, so it Daniel Craig and director Marc Forster constructed the unfinished script while filming.
38) LUCIA SCIARRA (SPECTRE – 2015)
Another one without much to do. Lucia is memorable because of the actress who plays her; Monica Bellucci is the first woman over 50 to play a Bond Girl. Quite remarkable.
37) PARIS CARVER (Tomorrow Never Dies – 1997)
“How about the words: ‘I’ll be right back.'”
Lois Lane goes Bond. Teri Hatcher plays this small, yet memorable role as the villain’s wife. She also happens to be one of Bond’s past jilted lovers.
36) ANDREA ANDERS (The Man with the Golden Gun – 1974)
Maud Adams plays this sympathetic, hopeless victim of the movie’s villain, Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee). Anders is nothing more than Scaramanga’s mistress. He sleeps with her before each kill to improve his eyesight. A lot of men probably had their teeth rattled trying this one on their girlfriends when the movie was released. But her pain isn’t limited to just Scaramanga; James Bond (Roger Moore) smacks her around and almost breaks her arm to gain information from her.
35) MARY GOODNIGHT (The Man with the Golden Gun – 1974)
Goodnight appears in several of the 007 books as Bond’s secretary. In her one and only movie appearance, she’s another British spy played Swedish actress and model Britt Ekland. Goodnight is sent to aid Bond (Moore) in his mission to kill Scaramanga and recover some ridiculous alternative energy generator known as the Solex Agitator. She’s mainly comic relief eye-candy. MI6 must’ve been desperate for agents if Goodnight made the team.
34) DR. HOLLY GOODHEAD (Moonraker – 1979)
“Take me around the world one more time, James.”
One of the most ludicrous names for a Bond Girl EVER. What the hell?! Wasn’t the name from the book good enough? Gala Brand is more than serviceable. Lois Chiles plays the doctor who is really a CIA agent working undercover as a scientist in the employ of the movie’s villain, Sir Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale). A similarly bullshit name would stab eardrums in one of Brosnan’s movies – Dr. Molly Warmflash (Serena Scott Thomas).
33) COUNTESS LISL VON SCHLAF (For Your Eyes Only – 1981)
The countess’ appearance is short yet memorable. She supplies Bond (Moore) with information about the villain, only to be bulldozed by a Jeep the following morning. When Cassandra Harris took this part, she was the wife of future James Bond Pierce Brosnan.
32) MIRANDA FROST (Die Another Day – 2002)
Rosamund Pike plays this back-stabbing British spy sent to help Bond do something on a giant iceberg. If it was to stop him from hang-gliding on a poorly constructed CGI wave of water, she failed in spades. Usually there’s no coming back from a movie this bad, but Pike did. She received a Best Actress Academy Award nomination for her bitch-tastic role in Gone Girl.
31) SEVERINE (Skyfall – 2012)
French actress Berenice Marlohe steals the casino scene away from James Bond (Daniel Craig). In mere minutes, Marlohe conveys Severine’s hopelessness at being the villain’s mistress. Saddest of all is the barcode tattooed on Severine, marking her as property. Her demise after being used in a game of pistols is a tragic underuse of the character.
30) STACEY SUTTON (A View To A Kill – 1985)
The honey-voiced Tanya Roberts plays Sutton, a geologist who teams up with Bond (Moore) to investigate and stop Max Zorin (Christopher Walken) from flooding Silicon Valley. Whether it’s firing a shotgun full of rock salt at a home invader, or piloting a manic blimp, Sutton gets shit done. And in high heels. Roberts returned to the spotlight in the 1990s on the hit TV comedy That 70s Show.
29) KISSY SUZUKI (You Only Live Twice – 1967)
Mie Hama plays this Japanese agent who marries Bond (Connery) so they can go undercover to prevent the outbreak of World War III. Oddly enough, her character’s name is never spoken. Even more odd is the idea that we’re supposed to believe Sean Connery looks Japanese after his makeover.
28) GIACINTA “JINX” JOHNSON (Die Another Day – 2002)
Halle Berry keeps quite a slender figure here despite all the scenery she chews. But that isn’t Ms. Berry’s fault. A performance by Meryl Streep couldn’t salvage this script. Jinx is a secret agent (shocker!) who teams with Bond to shit on recreated scenes from classic Bond movies (Ursula Andress walking out of the surf; laser-dissection). Rumors swirled that Jinx would get a spin-off movie franchise. That idea failed worse than Q Branch’s invisible car.
27) TILLY MASTERSON (Goldfinger – 1964)
“I want to kill him [Goldfinger]! He killed my sister!”
Tania Mallet plays this piss-poor sharpshooter hellbent on revenge. Another short yet memorable appearance. Made so by nearly being decapitated by a razor-brimmed bowler hat.
26) WAI LIN (Tomorrow Never Dies – 1997)
She is Bond’s equal in every possible way. Michelle Yeoh brings her years of martial arts film experience to dish help Bond dish out pain to stop Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce) from starting World War III (again), this time between America and China. Yeoh’s stunts are insane.
25) TIFFANY CASE (Diamonds Are Forever – 1971)
“Keep leaning on that tooter… and you’re gonna get a shot in the mouth!”
Jill St. John plays the first American Bond Girl. Case is one link in an international diamond smuggling chain. When she first appears, she’s a brassy, opinionated, capable spitfire. Unfortunately, she’s reduced to a scantily-clad ditz who can’t operate a cassette player by the end of the movie.
24) SYLVIA TRENCH (Dr. No – 1962)
“I admire you’re luck, mister..?”
Eunice Gayson has the privilege to be the first woman whom Bond (Connery) interacts with on screen. Outside of M (Judi Dench) and Moneypenny, Trench is the only female character to appear in more than one Bond movie.
23) CAMILLE MONTES (Quantum of Solace – 2008)
“Touch me again and I’ll break your wrist!”
Olga Kurylenko plays Camille, a Bolivian secret agent on a mission to avenge the murder of her parents. Bond (Craig) never sleeps with her. Which is good because Camille isn’t that kind of Bond Girl. She is a mirror image of Bond at this stage in his life: doubtful, beaten, and full of rage. She helps Bond learn to trust again. And that is much more fulfilling to both characters than a roll in the sheets.
22) KARA MILOVY (The Living Daylights – 1987)
“You are… back-end of horse!”
After years of the female lead trying to be Bond’s equal, having one who is just an ordinary woman caught up in a game of international intrigue is a welcome change. Maryam d’Abo plays Milovy, a Soviet cellist who takes on the role of a sniper to help her boyfriend defect from Russia. Bond (Dalton) is supposed to kill her, but after seeing how beautiful she is, he deliberately misses. What transpires throughout this movie is the deepest relationship Bond takes on since On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
21) ELEKTRA KING (The World Is Not Enough – 1999)
“There’s no point in living if you can’t feel alive!”
Sophie Marceau plays the first-ever lead female villain. King is the brainwashed daughter of an oil tycoon, hellbent on killing M (Dench). While much of this movie is flat, the twist of King being the villain is definitely a high note. Her behind-the-scenes manipulation of everyone is devious.
20) SOLITAIRE (Live and Let Die – 1973)
“You have found yourself.”
Jane Seymour makes her acting debut as this psychic under the employ of drug kingpin Mr. Big/Dr. Kananga (Yaphet Kotto). Seymour’s poised, elegant demeanor and delivery are both sultry and spooky. If all tarot card readers were as beautiful.
19) OCTOPUSSY (Octopussy – 1983)
Maud Adams returns to the Bond franchise as the title character who smuggles jewels via her International Traveling Circus. The fact that Bond (Moore) killed her father years earlier puts them at odds. That changes when Octopussy’s partner in crime, Prince Kamal Khan (Louis Jordan), betrays her.
18) MAY DAY (A View To A Kill – 1985)
“Get Zorin for me!”
The franchise’s most memorable henchwoman prior to Xenia Onatopp in GoldenEye. New Wave performance artist Grace Jones brings an exotic mystery to the bodyguard/assistant of Max Zorin (Walken), exemplified by her hair-dos and electric fashion. Zorin should not have double-crossed her.
17) DOMINO DERVAL (Thunderball – 1965)
“I’m glad I killed him.”
Former Miss France Claudine Auger beat out several of Hollywood’s most bankable starlets for this role, one of whom was Raquel Welsh. Domino is the “kept woman”, or mistress, of villain Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi). She has the distinction of being the only female character in the series to kill the main villain. And her Bahamas-water-blue evening gown Domino wears during the casino scene is stunning.
16) PAM BOUVIER (Licence To Kill – 1989)
“Listen, pal! I just saved your life! If it wasn’t for me your ass would be plastered all over that bar!”
Carey Lowell plays this CIA agent who teams up with Bond (Dalton) to bring down Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi), a Mexican drug lord. You want a tough-as-nails equal to Bond? Look no further than Bouvier. Her introduction, and subsequent tangle, in a Florida bar is proves it.
15) TATIANA ROMANOVA (From Russia With Love – 1963)
Italian actress Daniela Bianchi plays this Soviet cypher clerk unknowingly used by SPECTRE to draw out Bond (Connery) so he can be assassinated for killing Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman). Bianchi holds her own with Connery. Her awkward encounter with Colonel Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya) will make your skin crawl. That scene pushes the limits for mainstream cinema in 1963.
14) DR. MADELEINE SWANN (SPECTRE – 2015)
Some may think Swann, portrayed by Lea Seydoux should be far lower on this list. On the contrary – her character is vastly important in shaping the Daniel Craig James Bond. She represents Bond’s second chance at the happiness denied him when he couldn’t rescue Vesper Lynd (Eva Green). He gives up everything for Swann. Whether or not that happiness lasts remains to be seen.
13) FIONA VOLPE (Thunderball – 1965)
“James Bond, who only has to make love to a woman and she starts to hear heavenly choir singing. She repents and immediately reverts to the side of right and virtue. But not this one.”
The original bad bitch Bond Girl. Every one after her is just playing for second place. Fiona is an agent tasked with killing a NATO commander so SPECTRE can steal two atomic weapons and use them to hold the world at ransom. It’s evident by her performance that Luciana Paluzzi relishes every one of her scenes. A true menace, more so than the film’s lead villain.
12) JILL MASTERSON (Goldfinger – 1964)
Shirley Eaton plays, perhaps, the most iconic Bond Girl ever. Certainly the image is most iconic. The gold-painted Eaton was plastered on the cover of hundreds of magazines to promote this movie. Bond (Connery) discovering the golden corpse never ceases to be shocking.
11) NATALYA SIMONOVA (GoldenEye – 1995)
“It makes you so cold. All the guns and the fighting, and for what? So you can be a hero? All the heroes I know are dead.”
Isabella Scorupco is one of the best modern day Bond Girls. Her Natalya isn’t a secret agent and doesn’t have a military background. She’s simply a computer programmer at the wrong place at the wrong time. As the only survivor of massacre at a Siberian space outpost, Natalya’s journey crosses paths with Bond (Brosnan). He needs her expertise to stop the stolen GoldenEye satellite before it destroys everything in the world that has an electric pulse. Natalya is one of the few Bond Girls who have a full character arc. She begins as a mousy computer worker and turns into a capable, independent woman.
10) MELINA HAVELOCK (For Your Eyes Only – 1981)
“I’m half-Greek. And Greek women, like Elektra, always avenge their loved ones.”
Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead could take a few crossbow pointers from Melina. As Melina, Carole Bouquet is hellbent on hunting down the bastard who murdered her parents. A mission she could accomplish even without Bond’s help.
9) COLONEL ROSA KLEBB (From Russia With Love – 1963)
“If you do you will be SHOT!”
Stage actress Lotte Lenya plays this Soviet/SPECTRE double agent with lesbian tendencies. Klebb is one of many cogs in a plot to kill Bond (Connery) for the death of Dr. No. Her task is to find the hitman and the unsuspecting broad who will lead Bond to his doom. She puts up a helluva fight with a pair of poison-tipped shoes.
8) XENIA ONATOPP (GoldenEye – 1995)
“I had to ventilate someone.”
Famke Janssen launched her career after playing this Russian psycho-hitwoman who’s method of killing involves crushing a man to death between her legs! What a way to go. Possibly the most iconic modern day Bond Girl. Actress Sela Ward auditioned to play Xenia, but her age (she was in her 40s at the time) was a hindrance. The most recent Bond movie featured a female love interest in her 50s. Times change.
7) HONEY RIDER (Dr. No – 1962)
“Stay where you are!”
The instant Ursula Andress walks out of the surf, she became the archetype of every future Bond Girl. Fierce, untrusting, and beautiful, Honey Rider (Honey-chile Rider in the novel) is the first in a long line of women in the wrong place at the wrong time who end up thrown into James Bond’s mission. Andress didn’t have much to do, but she made Honey iconic.
6) ANYA AMASOVA (The Spy Who Loved Me – 1977)
“Then, Commander, when this mission is over, I will kill you.”
Barbara Bach (Mrs. Ringo Starr) plays Anya, a major in the Soviet army who is ordered to team up with Bond (Moore) to find out who is stealing military submarines. Anya goes fist to titanium teeth with Jaws (Richard Kiel), treks through the desert in an evening gown, and infiltrates a monstrous frigate with the same confidence and ease as Bond. 007’s first true equal partner.
5) M (GoldenEye through Skyfall, 1995-2012)
“And how the hell could Bond be so stupid?! I give him Double-O status and he celebrates by shooting up an embassy. Is the man deranged?! And where the hell is he?! In the old days, if an agent did something so embarrassing they’d have the good sense to defect. Christ, I miss the Cold War.”
When Bond returned in 1995 after a six year hiatus, Judi Dench was cast as M. This introduced a prickly dynamic between Bond and M missing since the sparring matches of Sean Connery and Bernard Lee. The decision to make M a woman reflected the changing times. A woman was in charge of the real MI5, so taking M in that direction was an obvious decision. When the series was rebooted in 2006 with Casino Royale, M’s role was greatly expanded. She took on a sort of surrogate mother figure for Bond. This M helps to shape Bond into the iconic character known the world over.
4) MISS MONEYPENNY (Dr. No through SPECTRE, 1962-2015)
“You never take me to dinner dressed like that, James. You never take me to dinner period.”
Lois Maxwell was the first to play M’s long-time secretary who has lustful eyes for Bond. When Dalton was cast, the producers decided to recast Moneypenny. Maxwell wasn’t hurt. In fact, she thought the idea of her Moneypenny making googly-eyes at Dalton would be ridiculous. Caroline Bliss played the part opposite Dalton. Samantha Bond took over the role during the Brosnan era. When Moneypenny was reintroduced in the Daniel Craig series, Naomie Harris played her. Moneypenny was given a first name (Eve) and a backstory: a field agent who accidentally shoots Bond then takes a desk job, preferring to work behind the scenes.
3) TRACY BOND (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – 1969)
Teresa Di Vinchenzo is the only woman to marry James Bond (George Lazenby). Diana Rigg plays Tracy first as a petulant brat with a death wish. But as her relationship with Bond grows, her icy demeanor melts away. Their love is true and believable. Which makes it that much worse when Tracy is murdered minutes after marrying Bond. Rigg is still acting today. Most recently she was on HBO’s epic series Game of Thrones. Rigg’s performance as Tracy is often overlooked because of her pairing with one-and-done Lazenby. That’s a shame; Rigg and Lazenby have great chemistry. Give this one another watch.
2) PUSSY GALORE (Goldfinger – 1964)
“You can turn off the charm. I’m immune.”
The most risqué name for a Bond Girl, especially for the 1960s. Producers Albert “Cubby” Broccoli and Harry Saltzman fought to keep the name, which MGM executives wanted to change to “Kitty Galore”. Honor Blackman plays Pussy, who has the best defined character-arc out of the Connery Bond Girls. In the novel, Pussy is a lesbian. That is hinted at in the movie version, but takes a ridiculous turn when Bond sleeps with Pussy, thereby “converting” her to have attractions to men. Despite that bit of watering-down, Pussy Galore is one of the most iconic Bond Girls in the franchise.
1) VESPER LYND (Casino Royale – 2006)
“So there is a plan? Excellent. Somehow I got the impression we were risking ten million dollars and hundreds of people’s lives on a game of luck.”
The first Bond Girl in the novels. It’s only fitting that she be the first Bond Girl in the movies when the series was rebooted in 2006. Vesper is THE MOST important element in the shaping of Bond’s character. She’s why he treats women the way he does, why he doesn’t trust, and what drives him to do the kind of work he does.
Eva Green is brilliant as Vesper. Her cynicism, wit, snark, and intelligence dig under Bond’s skin and never let go. Everything is a game to her until she witnesses Bond kill the Ugandan warlord in the hotel stairwell. At that moment, she realizes the danger is real, that she’s caught in a devious plot that will only end in tragedy. Vesper will haunt Bond forever.
There you have it. Every main Bond Girl from worst to best. No doubt our opinions differ, but that’s what’s so great about film.
Up next, a list of the worst to best Bond villains.