James Bond's Women
One of the qualities that defines the James Bond character is the ideal of his being a lone wolf, free from the distractions of everyday relationships while he travels the world on his given missions. Yet throughout the half-century span of the Bond films, there are a few women in his life that have truly stood out. Some have tried to murder him, some have been lovers that he quickly discarded, and others have helped shape numerous films in the series. Here, then, are some of the most memorable women in Bond’s life.
By Jason Gorber
DR. NO: Ursula Andress
It all starts with one of the most iconic shots in film, as Ursula Andress walks bikini-clad out of the Caribbean Sea. It’s one of the most impressive emergences from water caught on film, perhaps only trumped by a murderous Martin Sheen rising from the river in Apocalypse Now, or the “We're going to need a bigger boat” scene in Jaws. Here, the character Honey Rider comes across as no less deadly in shaking up a sleeping Bond. Her song is siren-like, and for the rest of the film he's smitten by the vision — the first of many beauties that waylay him from strategic simplicity. Halle Berry in Die Another Day, and even Daniel Craig himself in Casino Royale, mirrored the shot, but the first will always be the best, and Honey, forever the sweetest.
CASINO ROYALE: Eva Green
The Craig years have resulted in a continuity of sorts that was missing in earlier iterations. It means, for example, that the effect of Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd coming into his life would shape his life through Quantum of Solace and even in part up to Skyfall and Spectre. Yet as a complex, standalone character, there are few as well-drawn as Lynd. Capably played by a tenaciously smart and preposterously attractive Green, she’s a new classic in the mould of the greats.
FOR YOUR EYES ONLY: Carole Bouquet
Another Moore-era companion, this famed French actress was one of the few of Bond’s women to be in the driver’s seat – literally! Weaving her way through in a yellow Citroën 2CV like a demonic wheeled fruit, the star of classics such as Buñuel’s surreal That Obscure Object of Desire adds her own exotic beauty and feisty spirit to the canon of famous femmes in this spy franchise.
LIVE AND LET DIE: Jane Seymour
On the opposite end of the age spectrum, we have a 20-ish Jane Seymour as Solitaire, as on-the-nose as any name, titillating a then-46-year-old Roger Moore. The film is mostly remembered for its Macca theme song and Yaphet Kotto’s suave Dr. Kananga (aka Mr. Big), but before she was made an Order of the British Empire, Seymour had her international start here, pulling at James Bond's heartstrings.
GOLDFINGER: Honor Blackman
Of all the euphemistic nomenclature used by Ian Fleming, “Pussy Galore” may be tops, yet Honor Blackman’s portrayal is no gentle kitten. One of the few age-appropriate foils for Bond, she’d already cut her (sharp) teeth as Mrs. Gale on The Avengers before standing toe-to-paw with Sean Connery. Goldfinger is arguably the best of classic Bond, due in large part to the delightful repartee between Bond and Pussy, a theme that would be repeated many more times to come, but rarely replicated with such vigour.