For over fifty years, Ian Fleming’s characters have frightened us, had us on the edge of our seat, and even delighted us by the women who are referred to as the “Bond Girls,” in each film that has been made. With characters such as Pussy Galore, Holly Goodhead and Chew Mee, the girls who play these women have to not only be sexy, but should have a good sense of humor to appreciate the true irony of the names.
There have been numerous women who have played these roles, but the majority of these actresses have stood out and have gone on to much larger roles. Sometimes, we don’t even realize that they started out as a Bond Girl in a James Bond movie before “hitting it big.”
10 Carey Lowell as Pam Bouvier in Licence to Kill
Timothy Dalton played James Bond in the large Ian Fleming franchise only two times, and the second (and final) movie that he played in was, Licence to Kill. Licence to Kill was released in the United Kingdom in 1989; although released on video in America with the British spelling, it was shown in theaters with the American spelling: License to Kill.
Pam Bouvier was the “Bond girl” from Licence to Kill, and the story says that she was a former pilot for the Army and now is an aviator for the Central Intelligence Agency. Additionally, she is a spy against the drug lord, Franz Sanchez, who she is trying to take down in the movie. During the film, she gets shot but is unharmed because of a bullet-proof vest. Pam pretends to be Bond’s secretary while he was trying to break into the drug lord’s facilities and is successful in her adventures. At the end of the movie, James Bond falls in love with her, after trying to fix her up with someone else. Her surname (Bouvier) was a tribute to the late Jacqueline Kennedy, whose maiden name was the same.
Pam’s character was played by the actress, Carey Lowell, who has been seen all over Hollywood throughout the years. Carey portrayed Jamie Ross, in the television series, Law & Order and has had many parts in the film industry. She played Maggie Baldwin in Sleepless in Seattle, the deceased wife of Tom Hanks’ character, Sam Baldwin; where she was shown in a few flashbacks. Carey also played a fashion model in Club Paradise, a bank teller in Leaving Las Vegas and Martha in the 1994 remake of the movie, Love Affair with Warren Beatty.
Carey Lowell has since left acting, but did lend her voice to the video game 007 Legends, a first-person shooter based off of the James Bond franchise; available on many gaming platforms, back in 2012.
9 Jane Seymour as Solitaire in Live And Let Die
If you have ever seen a commercial for certain jewelry stores, they have an “Open Hearts Collection,” that was originally designed by Jane Seymour. She has appeared in several commercials, danced on Dancing With the Stars, acted in numerous movies; including Wedding Crashers and Somewhere in Time, and was a big hit on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, back in the early 1990s. But before the Emmy Award-winning actress was designing her own jewelry, receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and becoming an officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2000 (which is similar to being knighted by the queen, except for a woman), Jane Seymour was best known for her role as a “Bond Girl.”
Jane played Solitaire, the psychic tarot card reader in Live and Let Die, in 1973. Solitaire was used by a drug dealer to predict the whereabouts of James Bond, and he pretty much kept her hostage because she would lose her psychic abilities, if she were to be “with” a man. When she met James Bond, she performed a Tarot reading on him. After drawing the 'Lovers Tarot' card and a brief encounter with Bond, Solitaire’s powers were lost for good.
8 Gemma Arterton as Strawberry Fields in Quantum of Solace
In 2008, the eye-catching Daniel Craig starred in his second role as James Bond, in Quantum of Solace. He ultimately falls for a lady named Strawberry Fields, who later is found covered in oil by Dominic Greene; a man who wanted revenge upon Bond. Strawberry Fields is played by actress Gemma Arterton, an actress who performed alongside Jake Gyllenhaal in Prince of Persia, and with Sam Worthington in Clash of the Titans.
7 Tanya Roberts as Stacey Sutton in A View To A Kill
When watching reruns of That 70's Show, you might be looking at Midge Pinciotti (Donna’s mom), and asking yourself, “Where do I know her from?” Well, she was a Bond girl, back in 1985. Tanya Roberts played a geologist, Stacey Sutton, in A View to a Kill, the heir to an oil company that Max Zorin wanted for himself. He offered her a large sum of money for her company, but she refused. James Bond had to gain the trust of Stacey because she had thought that he worked for Zorin, which he eventually did so, by killing him and his minions.
Tanya Roberts was also on the original Charlie’s Angels, the movie Beastmaster from 1982, and has appeared in a few television shows in the late 2000s. Tanya was born in 1955, and does not look anywhere close to being fifty-eight years of age.
6 Izabella Scorupco as Natalya Simonova in Goldeneye
Izabella Scorupco played Natalya Simonva, the Russian programmer in Goldeneye. She was stuck inside a rocket, alongside James Bond, and the two were nearly blown to bits but managed to escape. Goldeneye was made in 1995, and was the first Bond film to feature Pierce Brosnan as the hunky MI6 agent. The two made a great pair together, to fight after flying Cuba.
Izabella Scorupco was predominately a Swedish model and pop star in the 1980s, before becoming a Bond Girl. After being in a James Bond movie, Izabella went back to singing and did not do much acting other than a few short parts in television series.
5 Denise Richards as Dr. Christmas Jones in The World Is Not Enough
In 1999, actress Denise Richards played the character, Dr. Christmas Jones in The World is Not Enough. This was Pierce Brosnan’s third film as James Bond, and he offers a softer side to the character. In the movie, Dr. Jones helps Bond by trying to dismantle bombs by using her knowledge of the subject.
Denise Richards is mainly known as being the ex-wife of Hollywood “bad-boy” Charlie Sheen, but has made her mark in the world by appearing in countless movies, starting back in the 80s. Denise has been seen in numerous reality television shows, and has also made several guest appearances in later works.
4 Teri Hatcher as Paris Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies
3 Halle Berry as Jinx in Die Another Day
In 2002, Halle Berry was a huge Hollywood sensation, and the producers of Die Another Day paid her big bucks to shoot her first topless scene. In the decade of the 2000s, Halle was the most sought-out actress, raking in millions from almost every movie she starred in. It was a huge step, coming from being homeless for a brief time back in 1989, when she moved to New York from Ohio to pursue her acting career. It was a big risk, but was paid off after appearing in hit after hit. Halle Berry has played in over thirty films, most of which were blockbusters; including the role of Storm in the X-Men series. She has also won various awards and was named FHM’s #1 Sexiest Woman in the World, in 2003.
2 Famke Janssen as Xenia Onatopp in Goldeneye
Bond Girls weren’t always the ones who James Bond fell in love with. Sometimes they were the ones who James fought with, or were the “bad guy” of the film. Hence the character, Xenia Onatopp from Goldeneye comes in to play. Sure, Natalya Simonova was his true “good girl” love interest of the film, but Xenia captured his attention from the moment she tried to break his neck. In 1995, Famke Jannssen was little-known, but has since played in multiple roles, including Jane Grey (also known as Phoenix) in the X-Men franchise. It seems like James Bond films are skillful at turning actresses into mutants; or at least in the movie theater.
1 Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder in Dr. No
Most people don’t remember the first James Bond movie, Dr. No in 1962. In this film, Honey Ryder (played by Ursula Andress) appears out of the water, wearing a white bikini with a large knife hanging down at her side. Ursula captured the attention of men and women all over the world, and ended up setting the scene for Bond girls for future generations. The bikini shot of Halle Berry in Die Another Day, is one example of playing tribute to the epic scene of the original Bond film.
Ursula may not be as well-known today, but in the 60s, she was a pretty big star. She was in Fun in Acapulco with Elvis Presley, 4 for Texas with Frank Sinatra and a few others; including Casino Royale in 1967; which was a satire of the James Bond movies. In 1981, she worked on Clash of the Titans with Laurence Olivier.