With names like Pussy Galore, Holly Goodhead, Plenty O'Toole, and Octopussy, the women in a James Bond movie often seem like male fantasies with porn star names. The phrase 'Bond Girl' immediately conjures up images of gorgeous women, often foreign, and generally clad in little more than a bikini. Author Ian Fleming describes the sort of woman that attracts Bond: "She's got to have all the usual things… Gold hair. Grey eyes. A sinful mouth. Perfect figure. And of course she's got to be witty and poised and know how to dress and play cards and so forth. The usual things."
Honor Blackman tops the list as Pussy Galore in Goldfinger
. Not only is she the paradigm of the Bond girl – beautiful, smart, sexy, and able to kick ass – but also she appears in one of the best Bond films ever. Blackman is also a mature, no-nonsense actress without a trace of ditzy blonde. She's Bond babe perfection.
Diana Rigg, as with Blackman, came to Bond with spy training on TV's The Avengers
. As Tracy Di Vicenzo in On Her Majesty's Secret Service
, Rigg played against the worst Bond (model George Lazenby) but still managed to impress as the woman Bond married.
Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder in Dr. No
was breathtaking in a white bikini that she designed herself. Halle Berry's
Jinx paid homage to Andress in Die Another Day
but nothing compares to the original. Andress, who was Swiss, had her voice dubbed for the film.
© United Artists/MGM/Columbia Pictures/EON
as Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale
scores high for being a Bond babe with strong ties to her literary roots. This reboot of the Bond franchise allowed Green to deliver a character who was sexy but with emotional complexity and depth.
Michelle Yeoh as Wai Lin in Tomorrow Never Dies
is the only Bond girl with authentic credentials as an action superstar and stuntwoman. The Malaysian-born Yeoh choreographed some of her own stunts and fights, and brought in her Hong Kong crew to help execute them. She truly kicks ass.
Carole Bouquet's haunting beauty was well suited to the vengeful Melina Havelock in For Your Eyes Only
. She cut a memorable figure walking through the woods with a crossbow.
Barbara Bach as Anya Amasova in The Spy Who Loved Me
is often referred to as the first "liberated" Bond girl. As a Russian spy of comparable rank to Bond she's fully capable of taking care of herself.
Claudine Auger was a knockout as Domino in Thunderball
. After being tortured by the villainous Largo, she shoots him with a spear gun just as he's about to kill Bond. She coolly notes, "I'm glad I killed him." To which Bond replies, "You're glad?" A bit of trivia: Nikki Van der Zyl, who dubbed Andress' voice in Dr. No
, also dubbed Auger's lines in Thunderball
Shirley Eaton in Goldfinger
deserves a mention because of the iconic and indelible image she has left as the gold painted Jill Masterson.
Although technically not a Bond girl I have to give kudos to the ever-loyal Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny. She appeared in 14 Bond films and never once judged Bond or let him down. She just waited patiently for her love to be requited. When she got older she apparently suggested to the film's producers that she continue on in the franchise but take over the role of M. Can you imagine the look on Bond's face if she had?