Ian Fleming's British spy James Bond has had to take on a seemingly never-ending parade of villains since he first appeared on-screen in 1962. These villains were often fantastically wealthy and marred by physical deformity or megalomania. Here's a list of the best of these bad guys (and girls).
Odd Job (played by Harold Sakata), the mute Korean henchman in Goldfinger
is hands down the best and most original of all the cinematic Bond villains. Plus his weapon of choice was the unique razor sharp steel-brimmed derby. Always formally attired, Oddjob had a sly smile that revealed his delight in tormenting Bond.
Rivaling Oddjob for originality in screen villainy is Lotte Lenya as Rosa Klebb in From Russia With Love
. In her famous climatic battle with Bond she employs poisoned daggers in the tips of her shoes. She is one nasty piece of work.
Gert Frobe as the title character in Goldfinger
was a perfect nemesis for Bond. The clever, megalomaniac Goldfinger seemed to enjoy trading quips with Bond but hated being one-upped by the British spy. When Bond proved too much of a nuisance, Goldfinger had no hesitation about killing him.
Joseph Wiseman earns special mention since his Dr. No was the first Bond villain to ever appear on film, and he set the standard. Always immaculately attired, Dr. No had the distinction of having metal hands, which would prove to be his Achilles heel so to speak.
Robert Shaw, with his hair dyed blonde, cut a truly menacing figure as Russian agent Red Grant in From Russia With Love
. In his first appearance he takes a brass-knuckled punch to the gut from Rosa Klebb and doesn't even bat an eyelash.
Sexy women could also be villains in a Bond film and none is better that Italy's Luciana Paluzzi as Fiona Volpe in Thunderball
. Drop-dead gorgeous with a mane of fiery red hair, she was as dangerous as she was beautiful. She also proved immune to Bond's charms. Not even sex with the great James Bond could get her to reform. She was a bad girl and loved it.
was remade as Never Say Never Again
, Barbara Carrera inherited Paluzzi's villainy in the new character of Fatima Blush. Carrera cut a deliciously wicked figure. Before she's about to kill Bond she demands that he sign a confession stating, "The greatest rapture of my life was afforded me on a boat in Nassau by Fatima Blush."
The Man With the Golden Gun
has the distinction of having Hammer Films horror legend Christopher Lee play the three-nippled villain Scaramanga. Of playing villains like Scaramanga, Lee said, "You should always play them with sympathy, sadness, loneliness, amusement, wit, charm, elegance, style or glamour." He got just about all those qualities into Scaramanga. Trivia: Lee is the cousin of Bond creator Ian Fleming.
Ernst Stavro Blofield deserves a mention if only for appearing in so many Bond films and being portrayed by so many different actors. Among those to take on the role of the head of SPECTRE: Max Von Sydow, Telly Savalas, Donald Pleasance and Charles Gray. In his first two appearances – in From Russia With Love
– we never see his face, just his back and his hand petting a fluffy white cat.
And, finally, the seven-foot-two Richard Kiel as Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me
merits attention as Bond's biggest villain. Equipped with lethal steel teeth, Jaws crosses the line from realistic villains to a cartoony one. But in the end, love transforms him and he eventually fights with Bond rather than against him in Moonraker