James Bond has been a cultural icon since the release of Dr. No in 1962. Since its first release, there have been a total of 26 films. The series has become one of the highest-grossing series ever. Despite changing time periods, Bond’s character has remained an integral part of film and TV culture.
As famed as James Bond is, what tends to grab even more headlines with the release of a new Bond film is who will play the newest Bond girls. Throughout the 26 films, we have seen so many different women, many of whom were unknown to the world before their introduction as Bond’s ladies. For many of these ladies, their role as a Bond girl was their breakthrough role and led them to stardom and long and successful careers.
Nowadays, people know her more for her tempestuous relationship with ex-husband actor Charlie Sheen. But, for a while, Denise was one of Hollywood’s hottest actresses.
She starred in several big films, like Starship Troopers, and Wild Things, and on TV shows like Seinfeld and Melrose Place. Her most notable role until today was as a Bond girl in The World Is Not Enough, in which she played Christmas Jones.
French-born Sophie Marceau has had major success in Europe for over three decades. She landed the role of Elektra King in the James Bond film, The World Is Not Enough. Following the role, she continued to land major roles.
Her most notable role was in the Oscar-winning Mel Gibson film, Braveheart, and opposite Robin Williams, in a Midsummer Night’s Dream. Despite her success in American films, she prefers to act in French films.
The European Actress, model, and singer is of Polish and Swedish descent. She began her career in the 1980s, as a fashion model. She eventually landed the cover of Vogue. She then pursued a singing career and formed a pop group that recorded a gold-certified album.
Thanks to her popularity, she landed a role in Goldeneye, where she played Natalya Simonova, alongside Pierce Brosnan and Famke Janssen.
Andress helped preserved the image of a Bond girl as a sex goddess character, in her infamous ocean scene, that Halle Berry would reclaim years later, in Die Another Day. Andress made cinematic and fashion history in the first film, Dr. No, when she rose out of the Caribbean Sea in a white bikini, sporting a large diving knife on her hip.
Her role as Bond girl Honey Ryder brought her international fame. She later said that the bikini was the secret to her success. The bikini she wore in the film later sold at an auction in 2001, for nearly $60,000. Her character is often considered to be the first Bond girl, although she wasn’t the first woman to be with Bond. Andress acted until the ’90s.
Bronx-born Tanya Roberts moved to Toronto, Canada with her mother for several years, and then back to NYC where she began to model and act. She received roles in several small-budget films. Her breakthrough role came in 1980, in the famous TV series, Charlie’s Angels.
She eventually landed the part of a Bond girl, in the 1985 A View To Kill, as Stacey Sutton, a geologist. Following the film, she continued to act through the ’90s, and for a few years, she played Midge Pinciotti on That 70’s Show.
Jane Seymour is one of the most popular faces from the early days of the James Bond film series. Boys from all over the world fell for this sultry Solitaire, Bond’s love interest of the moment in Live and Let Die. Seymour had already appeared in a variety of television shows and movies prior to the Bond film and continued to act through the early 2000s, mostly on television.
She competed in the fifth season of Dancing with the Stars and finished in sixth place. Throughout her career, Seymour has garnered an Emmy Award, two Golden Globe Awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
French-born Eva Green first achieved international recognition for her performance in the Kingdom of Heaven, in 2005. The following year, she played Bond girl Vesper Lynd, in Casino Royale. She was awarded the BAFTA Rising Star Award for her performance.
Since the film, she has acted in several independent films, including Cracks, Womb, and 300: Rise of an Empire. She also starred as Vanessa Ives in the drama series, Penny Dreadful, for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination.
While she isn’t related to the famous musician, she did make a reputation and name for herself. Barbara grew up in Queens, New York. At the age of 16, she dropped out of school to pursue a modeling career. Her modeling eventually led her to land roles in several European films.
She caught the eye of a Bond producer and was cast to play Anya Amasova in the 1977 classic, The Spy Who Loved Me. And thanks to that role, she caught the eye of Beatles member, Ringo Starr, and the two married in 1981. They have been surprisingly (by Hollywood standards) married since.
Blackman was already a star long before she landed her iconic role in the Bond film. She made her movie debut in 1947, in the film, Fame is the Spur. Following the role, she continued to act in both television and movies. She is most notable for her roles in Jason and the Argonauts and the British TV series, The Avengers. Thanks to her role in The Avengers, as Cathy Gale, she landed a role in Goldfinger, the third Bond film.
She played the part of Pussy Galore. Yes, this was actually the name of the character. Albert R. Broccoli, the film’s producer, said that she was cast in the film based on her success in The Avengers. He said, “The Brits would love her because they knew her as Mrs. Gale, the Yanks would like her because she was so good, it was a perfect combination.” At her then-age of 38, she was also one of the oldest actresses to play a Bond girl. To this day, her character is one of the most popular roles in the whole film series.
Now, you probably recognize this next Bond girl. But back in 2002, when Die Another Day was released, not many knew of this actress. Born in London, Rosamund Pike began her career as a theater actor. In 2002, she received international recognition for her role as Miranda Frost and became a huge star who has continued to receive rave reviews for her performances.
Following the film, she had film appearances in Doom, Fugitive Pieces, and The World’s End. In 2014, she starred in Gone Girl and was met with critical acclaim. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and a Golden Globe Award. Her upcoming films include The Informer and Radioactive.
The French-born actress had a very successful acting career in Europe, appearing in more than 50 films and TV shows. But her biggest role was in the 1979 James Bond film, Moonraker.
She played the role of Corinne Dufour, who was the assistant of the movie antagonist, Hugo Drax.
Irish-born Alison Doody grew up in Dublin, studying at a convent. She was approached by a photographer and took up modeling, which eventually led to an acting career.
When she was 18 years old, she landed a small role in A View to a Kill, as Jenny Flex. She is the youngest Bond girl to date. She continues acting to this day.
It seems like there isn’t much that Teri Hatcher didn’t get her hands on. Hatcher studied acting at the American Conservatory Theater. While studying, she was an NFL cheerleader with the San Francisco 49ers. She landed several roles in TV series. She began to land roles in major TV shows, like Seinfeld and Lois & Clark. In 1997, she landed the role of Paris Carver in the James Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies.
She starred in Tomorrow Never Dies alongside Pierce Brosnan. She played the part of Paris Carver. Following the role, her career took a major turning point, and she landed a lead role on Desperate Housewives. As of April 2006, she was one of the highest-paid actresses in the United States.
Eunice Gayson holds the title of the original Bond girl. She starred in the first two films; 1962’s Dr. No and 1963’s From Russia With Love. She was meant to play the role of Miss Moneypenny but ultimately starred as Sylvia Trench, Bond’s first film crush.
She was possibly going to play a recurring role in the series, but in the end that fell through. Prior to the films, she played the main role in The Revenge of Frankenstein and was on the TV series, The Saint (along with a future James Bond) and The Avengers. In June 2018 Eunice passed away at the age of 90. Her reputation as the first Bond girl will always live on.
Lana Wood is the younger sister of the famous film actress, Natalie Wood. Natalie died under suspicious circumstances at the height of her career. Lana followed the path of her older sister into Hollywood and starred in several film and TV shows. Her breakthrough role came in the 1971 Bond film, Diamonds are Forever, where she played Plenty O’Toole.
She has appeared in more than 20 films and 300 television series, including The Fugitive, Bonanza, Mission: Impossible, Starsky & Hutch, and Capitol. She retired from acting in 1982 to focus on a career as a producer but decided to return to acting in 2008. She has appeared in several low-budget films since.
Before landing a role in 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies, Malaysian-born Michelle Yeoh was having major success as an actress in Asia, in the 90s. She starred in some of China’s biggest hit movies at the time. Owing to her kick-ass style in many martial arts action films, she landed a role as a Bond girl.
Following the part, she landed the lead role in 2000s Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, an Academy Award-winning film. She was also nominated for a BAFTA best actress award. She has continued acting, making another notable appearance in the romantic comedy-drama film, Crazy Rich Asians.
Producers of Bond films are apt to shift the profile of a Bond girl every so often. They originally used European models and actresses, then switched things up to American-born leading Bond ladies. Maud Adams, a Swedish-born Actress, brought the Bond girl back to her European roots. She held two roles in the Bond series, once in 1974’s The Man with the Golden Gun, when she played Andrea Anders.
Her role as the doomed mistress of the villain propelled Adams to international fame. The second role came in 1983, when she played the title role, Octopussy. Adams has said that although being a Bond girl may not indicate continued success, the fact that you are a Bond girl is, in itself, special.
Bianchi was born in Rome, Italy. Prior to playing one of the Bond girls, she was a model and the first runner-up in the 1960 Miss Universe pageant. This led her to land several film roles in Italy and France. She finally had her career breakthrough when she starred alongside Eunice Grayson, in From Russia With Love, playing the role of Tatiana Romanova.
Her voice was dubbed due to her heavy accent. She retired from acting long ago, in 1970, but will forever be remembered for her role in the Bond film.
Akiko Wakabayashi was a known actress in Japan in the 50s and 60s. Her breakthrough came when she was cast to play a minor role in the 1962 film, You Only Live Twice, but after her acting was much better than producers had expected, they gave her a larger role.
She played Aki and became the first non-European Bond girl in the series. After the film, Akiko retired from acting.
Grace Jones is, without a doubt, one of the most successful Bond girls in the entire series. She has had a career that has spanned years. She moved to the United States from Jamaica when she was just 13 years old. She started her career as a model at a young age, worked for fashion houses like Yves St. Lauren and Kenzo, and landed covers for Elle and Vogue, among other brands.
She then transitioned into a music and acting career. In the ’70s and ’80s, she appeared in some low-budget films in the U.S. In 1984, she landed her first mainstream performance when she starred alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, in Conan the Destroyer. Her fame as a Bond girl came in 1985, in A View to Kill. The iconic Jones broke the mold of the typical Bond girl, who is usually small, blonde, and white. For this reason, Jones is one of the more memorable women to fill this role.
Talisa grew up in Brooklyn, NY in a Puerto Rican family. After landing the role of Lupe Lamora in 1989, opposite James Bond, in Licence to Kill, she was catapulted into a life of fame.
She is most recognized for playing Princess Kitana in the 1995 fantasy action film, Mortal Kombat, and the 1997 sequel, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. These days she’s married to actor Benjamin Bratt.
Many of the Bond girls grew up as aspiring models. Lynn grew up as an aspiring figure skater. At the 1974 US figure skating championship, she took home the silver medal. She eventually switched to an acting career. She was a nominee for a Golden Globe for the film Ice Castles.
Three years later, she starred as Bond girl Bibi Dahl, in For Your Eyes Only. Following her role in the Bond series, she wasn’t cast in anything much greater than that.
Gloria Hendry became the first African-American woman to play a Bond girl in the movie series. She acted alongside Jane Seymour in Live and Let Die. She played a bold and confident take-no-prisoners CIA agent, named Rosie Carver.
Unfortunately, her role didn’t lead her to major success in the film industry, and she wasn’t able to land other roles following the film.
From a young age, Netherlands-born Thomsen pursued acting. Her breakthrough role came as the sexy Professor Inga Bergstrom, in Tomorrow Never Dies. The movie opened many acting doors for her.
While it would be easy to get overshadowed by Teri Hatcher and Michelle Yeah, this blonde beauty definitely made a name for herself in the film and deserves credit for her performance.
English-born Caroline Munro was already a skilled actor before joining the esteemed list of Bond Girls. Like many other Bond girls before her, her career began with modeling. She modeled for Vogue magazine at the age of 17. She then had small roles in films like Casino Royale.
After this, she became an actress in horror and science fiction films. Her role as the deadly Naomi in The Spy Who Loved Me stands out as one of the best Bond girls ever. The star retired from acting in the ’80s.
Carey was famous well before her Bond days. She spent her childhood living in several countries and states until her family eventually settled down in Colorado. She started to study literature at the University of Colorado, Boulder but left after a year to pursue modeling in New York City. She then decided to pursue acting.
Her big break came when she landed the role of Pam Bouvier, a CIA agent who partners with Bond in 1989’s Licence to Kill. Following the role, she played Jamie Ross on Law and Order. She returned to acting in 2018, following a six-year hiatus, for a guest role on Blue Bloods.
Many of Bond’s women started their careers as models, Claudine Auger being one of them. She was born in Paris, France, where she worked as a model. She won the Miss France Monde title and was the first runner-up in the 1958 Miss World competition. Following these wins, she acted in minor film roles. When she was on holiday in Nassau, she was spotted by Kevin McClory, who suggested that she audition for the 1965 film, Thunderball, the fourth in the James Bond film series. She landed the role of Dominique “Domino” Derval.
While her role was initially intended to be for an Italian woman, producers were so impressed by Auger that they rewrote the part to fit a French woman. Due to her English, her voice was dubbed. Auger later revealed that she related to her character because they were both involved with older men. Following her role in the Bond film, she continued to act in several films through the 90s, although she acted mostly in European films and wasn’t so successful in the U.S film scene.
Diana Rigg landed the role as Bond’s wife, Countess Teresa di Vicenzo, in 1969, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. But prior to this role, she already had an extremely successful career in both television and film. She starred in the British TV version of The Avengers, in which she starred as Emma Peel, from 1965 to 1968.
Rigg’s career spanned several decades before her 2020 passing. Among her most memorable later roles was Olenna Tyrell in the hit HBO series, Games of Thrones, from 2013 to 2017.
Lois Chiles was pursuing the academic route at university when she was noticed by some modeling agents. She started a successful modeling career in the early ’70s. This career led her to some small acting roles, and eventually, she landed big roles in the Great Gatsby, along with Robert Redford, and Death on the Nile.
These films eventually helped her get cast in the 1979 bond film Moonraker, where she played the role of Dr. Holly Goodhead (which sounds like a name more suitable for Austin Powers).
Acting alongside Maud Adams, was another Swedish-born actress, Britt Ekland. Ekland already had an impressive acting career prior to landing the role of Mary Goodnight, James Bond’s assistant, in Man with the Golden Gun. She acted in two critically acclaimed roles in The Night They Raided Minsky’s and Get Carter, the latter of which helped establish her as a movie sex symbol.
During the ’70s, Ekland was one of the most photographed celebrities in the world, thanks to her high-profile social life and marriage to actor Peter Sellers. She continued to act until the ’90s.
Jill St. John
Jill acted alongside Lana Wood in 1971’s Diamonds are Forever. She played the Bond girl Tiffany Cas. Originally from Los Angeles, she began acting at the age of 6 and continued to work through her 50s. She had several roles on both television and film, but her biggest role until today was in Diamonds are Forever.
In 2014, she appeared on the big screen in the TV movie Northpole, in which she played the part of Mrs. Claus. This marked her first acting role after a 12-year hiatus.
Before she landed a role in the Bond series, Shirley Eaton was already an accomplished actress. Considered a sex symbol, she has often been dubbed the cockney blonde bombshell thanks to her London accent, blonde hair, and sex appeal. Her role in the Bond film was brief but memorable. She appeared as the woman painted in gold in the film that many consider one of the best Bond films, 1964’s Goldfinger.
The scene brought Eaton worldwide fame and more recognition than Honor Blackman. She was featured on the cover of LIFE magazine in the November 1964 issue. She retired from acting in 1969, preferring instead to raise her family.
Luciana Paluzzi was born in Rome, Italy. Before she landed the role of assassin Fiona Volpe, in 1965’s Thunderball, she already had quite an impressive resume in Italy. When she didn’t get cast as the lead Bond girl, she was very disappointed, but she later rejoiced when she was cast as Volpe, which she said was more fun to play anyways. She continued to act into the ’80s, although she never starred in another hit as big as James Bond.
She shared in the documentary Bond Girls Are Forever, that starring in a James Bond film was a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it brought her international fame. On the other, she felt like she wasn’t taken seriously when she returned to the Italian film industry.
We know you’ve been waiting for this next actress for the entire list. Halle Berry’s coming out of the ocean scene is perhaps the most memorable scene from all 24 Bond films. Before she started acting, she was the 1st runner-up in the Miss USA Pageant in 1986 and came in 6th place in the Miss World Pageant. It seems like 2002 was Halle Berry’s year. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Monster’s Ball. She remains the only African-American woman to have won the award.
During the 2000s, Berry was one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood. She transitioned into acting and appeared in several high-profile roles in the 2000s, including X-Men, Swordfish, and of course, Die Another Day, where she played Bond girl, Jinx. She recreated Ursula Andress’ ocean scene from Dr. No, in which she emerges from the ocean to be greeted by James Bond.
The English-born actress grew up with dreams to be on the big screen. She studied acting at the Drama Centre, London while modeling on the side. She appeared in several low-budget films until landing a role as a Bond girl, in the 1987 thriller, The Living Daylights. She played the part of Kara Milovy, a sweet and vulnerable Czechoslovakian cellist and sniper who falls in love with James Bond.
Following the film, she appeared in a Bond-themed Playboy cover and multi-page pictorial in the September 1987 issue. She also helped co-write the book, 'Bond Girls Are Forever', published in 2002. The book is a tribute to the women who have played the role of a Bond Girl.
Serena Scott Thomas
English-born Serena Scott Thomas held several minor roles in England prior to landing the 1999 role in The World is Not Enough. She played Dr. Molly Warmflash, opposite Pierce Brosnan.
She is still acting, having appeared in TV shows and movies here and there, most recently appearing in the movie Rolling Thunder. She lives in LA with Vinnie Tortorich, a fitness instructor and podcaster.
Must we introduce her? The Netherlands-born actress moved to the US at the age of 20 to begin a career as a fashion model. She transitioned to an acting career in the 90s. Her breakthrough role came in 1995’s Golden Eye, alongside Pierce Brosnan, in what was his first Bond film. She played Xenia Onatopp.
Since then, the Dutch model has had quite a successful acting and modeling career. She’s been featured on more than 100 magazine covers and played a superhero, Dr. Jean Gray, in the X-men film series, and Lenore Mills in the Taken film trilogy. And seriously, does this woman age?
This French-born brunette beauty unsurprisingly acted and modeled from a young age. Her career has spanned years, and she’s starred in more than 50 films since 1977.
She made her Bond girl debut when she starred alongside Lynn-Holly Johnson and Roger Moore, in For Your Eyes Only. She played the deadly Melina Havelock.
Maria Grazia Cucinotta
Of course, “Cigar Girl” from The World Is Not Enough made it onto our list. Italian-born Cucinotta has been acting since the early 90s, and it’s quite clear from her looks why people flock to the theaters to see her.
She is well known in Italy as an actress and has received a star on the Italian Walk of Fame in Toronto.
The Japanese actress, Mie Hama played a ninja and head of the Japanese secret service in the film You Only Live Twice. Hama, or Kissy Suzuki as she was known in the film shot to fame shortly after the movie but soon found herself weary of the business. In a 2017 New York Times article. Hama wrote about her need to quit acting and pursue other passions.
Those passions included writing 14 books, hosting popular television shows, and becoming involved in the preservation of ancient farming techniques. That's a lot of interests!
In Quantum of Solace, one of Daniel Craig's most successful Bond films, Kurylenko plays Camilla Montes, a Bolivian national who seeks to avenge her murdered family. Olga Kurylenko, who is actually French-Ukrainian, found success through acting in this very role. Prior to that, since age 13, she was modeling in Moscow.
Since her 2008 Bond film debut, the actress has starred in a series of top-notch action blockbusters, such as The Water Diviner, and Oblivion (alongside Tom Crusie). She currently has several projects lined up to look out for.
French psychologist, Madeleine Swann, and Bond find themselves in some sticky situations in SPECTRE and later in No Time to Die. This Bond Girl was played by none other than Léa Seydoux. The French actress has racked up an impressive list of films, both in French art films and major Hollywood blockbusters like Inglourious Basterds (2009), Robin Hood (2010), and Midnight in Paris (2011). Let's not forget her very controversial role in Blue is the Warmest Color for which she won the prestigious Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Talk about versatility!
There is no doubt that Bond fans would love to see her reprise her role as Madeleine Swann. But that might be down the line. The French actress now lives with her longtime boyfriend, André Meyer. They had their first child on 18 January 2017.
Moneypenny has been around since the very beginning of the Bond franchise as 007's sassy secretary. While there have been many great actresses to take on this role, Naomi Harris is one of our top contenders. The English actress is originally of Jamaican and Nigerian descent. After dreaming of acting, Harris got her to start on the British sci-fi series, The Tomorrow People.
Harris also portrayed Nelson Mandela's wife, Winnie Mandela in the film biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. The English actress was also nominated for an Academy Award for the critically acclaimed film Moonlight. Harris stars in No Time to Die, which was released in 2021.
Miss Taro was the villainous secretary of Dr. No. In the 1962 film, aptly Dr. No, she treacherously tries to assassinate poor James Bond but he quickly wises up to her plan. The woman that brought named this character to life was English-Kenyan actress, Zena Marshall. Marshall was famous for her exotic looks and often portrayed ethnically ambiguous women.
The actress's final performance was in The Terrornauts in 1967. She was married four times until she eventually settled down with the British screenwriter, Ivan Foxwell. Marshall died in 2009 after a long battle with cancer.
After the success of the legendary Bond girl, Fiona Volpe, the writers tried to recreate her in the form of Helga Brandt. The German actress, Karin Dor played this unforgettable Bond girl in the 1967 James Bond classic, You Only Live Twice. In the role, she plays a SPECTRE henchwoman who, you guessed it, tries to kill the beloved spy.
Dor also appeared in a series of German films by the creator Edgar Wallace (Krimis from Kriminalfilm). It was there that she met her first husband- director, Harald Reinl, with whom she had her first and only child. In later years Dor grew increasingly wary of film sets and began opting for more and more stage productions. The actress passed away at 79 in a nursing home in Munich on November 6, 2017.
In the 2008 film Quantum of Solace, a beautiful MI6 office worker, Strawberry Fields, is tasked with ensuring that Bond gets on his plane back home. She inevitably fails and the drama ensues. Since this role, Arterton has earned herself parts in a string of hit films such as Clash of the Titans (2010), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010), and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013).
As far as romantic relationships are concerned, The English actress was married to Stefano Catelli but divorced him after two years. She has stated that she is not ready the "walk to down the aisle for the second time". In 2019, however, she began a relationship with actor Rory Keenan. She continues to do films, TV, and even voice acting.
The poker-playing Italian vixen, Solange Dimitrios is unforgettable in her red dress in the 2008 film, Casino Royale. This Bond girl is played by the Italian actress, Caterina Murino. The starlet made her film debut in the hit French film, The Corsican File in 2004. She has since starred in quite a few foreign films, many of which are predominantly French.
The actress won an award at the Cairo International Film Festival Prize for Best Actress as well as a European Golden Globe at the 2008 Italian Golden Globe Award for her role in Casino Royale.
Ana de Armas
Cuban-Spanish actress Ana de Armas appears in the 2020 James Bond film, No Time to Die. De Armas shot to fame after her role in the Spanish film Una rosa de Francia. After gaining a name for herself in European cinema, Armas starred in the 2017 remake of Blade Runner — Blade Runner 2049, a film that got her international recognition.
In 2011, the actress married famous Spanish actor Mark Clotlet but sadly, the two divorced two years later. While de Armas might be going through some bad luck romantically, career-wise she is on fire. She is set to portray Marylin Monroe in the Netflix-produced film titled "Blonde".