Ah, the iconic girls of the James Bond film series. No 007 spy thriller is complete without a stunning, deadly female costar romancing and entrancing the inimitable James Bond. Forget the recurring character Ms. Moneypenny. Forget 007’s boss, “M.” We’re talking about the she-spy with a naughty name, endless cleavage and a knife hidden in her knee boots. Here are the five best:
5. Honey Ryder (Dr. No) – The original Bond Girl, Honey Ryder, is played by Ursula Andress in the 1962 series premier Dr. No. Honey is perhaps best-remembered for the scene in which she rises from the sea, Venus-like, in a scalloped bikini with a conch shell in hand and a knife in her belt. 2002’s Die Another Day Bond Girl, Halle Berry, paid homage to this scene in a near-perfect replication when playing opposite Pierce Brosnan. Like most bond girls, Honey gets rescued by Sean Connery’s James Bond after she’s chained spread-eagled on her back in a spillway.
4. Melina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only) – Just “Judy” in the original novel For Your Eyes Only, Carole Bouquet’s Melina Havelock underwent a name augmentation for the 1981 film adaptation. The best Bond Girls want to ravage and murder 007 in equal measure; Melina was no different. Her bloodlust comes from a personal vendetta – revenge for the assassination of her parents. In addition to looking great in the film’s more intimate scenes, Melina was deadly with the crossbow. Although the chemistry with Roger Moore isn’t always at full temperature, Melina is hot enough on her own to make our list.
3. Pussy Galore (Goldfinger) – Expertly portrayed by Honor Blackman, Pussy provided a perfect foil to Sean Connery’s tough-guy Bond, resulting in one of the series’ most memorable quotes (Bond: “Who are you?” Pussy: “Pussy Galore.” Bond: “I must be dreaming.”) As a top pilot and martial arts expert, Pussy offered the perfect mix of beauty and brawn as she worked tirelessly for one of the series’ best villains, Goldfinger. Goldfinger remains one of the best films in the series, and Pussy Galore became a template for subsequent Bond girls, such as Xenia Onnatop in 1995’s GoldenEye.
2. Tracy Bond, a.k.a. Contessa Teresa di Vincenzo (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) – The only Bond Girl to ever marry James Bond is played by Diana Rigg. Rigg is picture-perfect in her 1969 Mercury Cougar XR-7, and has one of the series’ best Bond Girl introductions: “Teresa is a saint: I’m known as Tracey.” Tragically, Tracey finds out too late that Bond Girls aren’t the marrying kind when she is killed near the film’s end. Tracey’s widower, George Lazenby, appeared in his first and last Bond role.
1. Vesper Lynd (Casino Royale, 2006) – Played by Eva Green, this British government employee accompanied Bond through his first mission in the series reboot featuring David Craig. As in Ian Fleming’s original story of the same name, Lynd is a foreign liason agent from the HM Treasury’s Financial Action Task Force, assigned to ensure that Bond manages his funds properly and stays out of trouble. Green’s Lynd is an atypical Bond Girl, as she is 007’s match: shrewd, quick-witted, beautiful and dangerous. It all unravels in the end, however, as she engages in a Venice hotel romp with Bond and is revealed as a Quantum double agent.
Honorable Mention: Xenia Onnatop (GoldenEye), Octopussy (Octopussy), Solitaire (Live and Let Die),