Tylyn Mignonne

Bond girl

A Bond girl is a character or actress portraying a love interest or sex object of James Bond in a film, novel or video game. They occasionally have names that are double entendres, such as "Pussy Galore", "Plenty O'Toole", "May Day", "Xenia Onatopp", and "Holly Goodhead".

Bond Girls are often victims rescued by Bond, fellow agents or allies, villainesses or members of an enemy organization. Some are mere eye candy and have no direct involvement in Bond's mission; other Bond Girls play a pivotal role in the success of the mission. Other female characters such as Judi Dench's M and Miss Moneypenny are not typically thought of as Bond Girls.

In novels

Nearly all of Ian Fleming's Bond novels and short stories include one, or sometimes more than one, female characters who qualify as Bond Girls, most of whom have been adapted for the screen. While having some individual traits, the Fleming Bond Girls, at least in their literary forms, also have a great many characteristics in common. One of these is age: The typical Bond Girl is in her early to mid-twenties, roughly ten years younger than Bond, who seems to be perennially in his mid-thirties. Examples include Solitaire (25), Tatiana Romanova (24), Vivienne "Viv" Michel (23), and Kissy Suzuki (23). The youngest may be Gala Brand; she is named for the cruiser in which her father is serving at the time of her birth. If this were the Arethusa-class Galatea launched in 1934, than Gala is possibly as young as 18 at the time she meets Bond and certainly no older than 20, though since she and Bond do not sleep together, going no further than a few kisses, the thirty-something Bond here narrowly avoids bedding a teenager. If on the other hand the Galatea in question is the cruiser sold for scrap in 1921, Gala is possibly the oldest of the Bond Girls, being in her mid- to late-30s and possibly as old as 40. The indications are, however, that she is young, so a 40-year-old Bond Girl is unlikely in this case.

All Bond girls are, almost by definition, beautiful, and they follow a fairly well-developed pattern of beauty as well. They possess splendid figures and tend to dress in a slighly masculine, assertive fashion, with few pieces of jewelry and that in a masculine cut, wide leather belts, and square-toed leather shoes. (There is some variation in dress, though, and Bond Girls have made their first appearances in evening wear, in bra and panties and, on occasion, naked.) They often sport light though noticeable sun-tans (although a few, such as Solitaire, Tatiana Romanova, and Pussy Galore, are not only tanless but remarkably pale), and they generally use little or no makeup and no fingernail or toenail polish, also wearing their nails short. (Early Bond commentator O. F. Snelling maintained that the fact that Goldfinger's Jill Masterton is painting her fingernails when Bond first encounters her is a tip-off that she will not be the novel's main Bond Girl, and, indeed, Goldfinger has her killed after her brief liaison with Bond.) Their hair may be any color ranging from red (Natalya Simonova ), to blond (Mary Goodnight) to auburn (Gala Brand) to brown (Tatiana Romanova) to blue-black (Solitaire) to black (Vesper Lynd),, though they typically wear it in a natural or casual cut that falls heavily to their shoulders. Their features, especially their eyes and mouths, are often widely spaced (e.g. Vesper Lynd, Gala Brand, Tiffany Case, Tatiana Romanova, Honeychile Rider, Viv Michel, Mary Goodnight). Their eyes are usually blue (e.g. Vesper Lynd, Solitaire, Gala Brand, Tatiana Romanova, Honeychile Rider, Viv Michel, Tracy Bond, Mary Goodnight), and sometimes this is true to an unusual and striking degree: Tiffany Case's eyes are chatoyant, varying with the light from gray to gray-blue, while Pussy Galore has deep violet eyes, the only truly violet eyes that Bond had ever seen. The first description of a Bond Girl, Casino Royale's Vesper Lynd, is almost a template for the typical dress as well as the general appearance of later Bond Girls; she sports nearly all of the features discussed above. In contrast, Dominetta "Domino" Vitali arguably departs to the greatest degree from the template, being relatively old (29), dressing in white leather doeskin sandals, having brown eyes and a tan arguably heavier than other Bond Girls, sporting a soft Brigitte Bardot haircut, and giving no indication of widely-spaced features. (The departure may be due to the unusual circumstances behind the writing of the novel Thunderball, in which Domino appears.) Even Domino, however, wears rather masculine jewelry.

The best-known characteristic of Bond Girls except for their uniform beauty is their pattern of suggestive names (the most risqué and famous being Pussy Galore). Some of these, but not all, have explanations in the novels. While Solitaire's real name is Simone Latrelle, she is known as Solitaire because she excludes men from her life; Gala Brand, as noted above, is named for her father's cruiser, HMS Galatea; and Tiffany Case received her name from her father, who was so angry that she was not a boy that he gave her mother a thousand dollars and a compact from Tiffany's and then walked out on her. Conjecture is widespread that the naming convention began with the first Bond novel Casino Royale, in which the name "Vesper Lynd" is a pun on West Berlin, signifying Vesper's divided loyalties (she is a double agent under Soviet control). Several Bond Girls, however, have normal names (e.g. Tatiana Romanova, Mary Ann Russell, Judy Havelock, Viv Michel, Tracy Bond [née Teresa Draco, aka Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo]).

Most Bond Girls are apparently (and sometimes expressly) sexually experienced by the time they meet Bond (although there is evidence that Solitaire is a virgin). Not all of their experiences, however, are positive, and many (though by no means all) Bond girls have a history of sexual violence that often alienates them from men (until Bond comes along). This darker theme is notably absent from the early films. Tiffany Case was gang-raped as a teenager; Honeychile Rider, too, was beaten and raped as a teenager by a drunken acquaintance. Pussy Galore was subjected at age 12 to incest, perhaps rape, by her uncle. While there is no such clear-cut trauma in Solitaire's early life, there are suggestions that she, too, avoids men because of their unwanted advances in her past. Kissy Suzuki reports to Bond that during her brief career in Hollywood when she was 17 "They thought that because I am Japanese I am some sort of an animal and that my body is for everyone." The inference is that these episodes often (though not always) turn the Bond Girls in question against men, though upon encountering Bond they overcome their earlier antipathy and sleep with him not only willingly but eagerly. The cliché reaches its most extreme (some would say absurd) level in Goldfinger. In this novel Pussy Galore is clearly a practicing lesbian when she first meets Bond, but at the end of the novel she sleeps with him. When, in bed, he says to her "They told me you only liked women," she replies "I never met a man before."

Many Bond Girls have some sort of independent job or even career, and often it is not a particularly respectable one for 1950s women. Vesper Lynd, Gala Brand, Tatiana Romanova, Mary Ann Russell, and Mary Goodnight are in intelligence or law enforcement work. By contrast, Tiffany Case and Pussy Galore are very independent-minded criminals, the latter even running her own syndicate. Most other Bond Girls, even when they have more conventional or glamorous jobs, show an investment in their independent outlook on life. While the Bond Girls are clearly intended as sex objects, they nevertheless have a degree of independence that the Bond films tended to dispense with until nearly 1980. It was the films, therefore, that turned the Bond Girl into purely a sex object.

Most of the novels focus on one particular romance, as some of them do not occur for a while into the novel ("Casino Royale" is a good example). However, three exeptions have been made: In Goldfinger, the Masterton sisters are considered Bond girls (although Tilly is a lesbian), and after their deaths, Pussy Galore (also a lesbian) becomes the primary Bond girl. In Thunderball, Bond romances Patricia Fearing, followed by Domino Vitali. In You Only Live Twice, Bond has relationships with Kissy Suzuki, mainly, but also romances Maricho Ichiban, and a girl so insignificant that she is unnamed.

On film

Ursula Andress as 'Honey Ryder' in Dr. No (1962) is often considered the first and quintessential Bond Girl, although Eunice Gayson, as 'Sylvia Trench', and Zena Marshall as 'Miss Taro' are seen in that film before her and therefore preceded her as Bond Girls.

There have been many attempts to break down the numerous Bond Girls into a top 10 list for the entire series; characters who often appear in these lists include Anya Amasova, Teresa di Vicenzo and Honey Rider, who is often at Number 1 on the list.

Roles and impact

Often Bond Girls who have trysts with James Bond are later discovered as villainesses, e.g. Fatima Blush (Barbara Carrera) in Never Say Never Again (1983), Elektra King (Sophie Marceau) in The World Is Not Enough (1999) and Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike) in Die Another Day (2002).

To date, only two Bond Girls have actually captured James Bond's heart. The first, Tracy di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg) was married by Bond in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), though she is shot dead by Ernst Stavro Blofeld at story's end. Initially, her death was to have begun Diamonds Are Forever (1971); but that idea was dropped during filming of On Her Majesty's Secret Service when George Lazenby renounced the James Bond role. The second was Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) in Casino Royale (2006). James Bond professes his love to her and resigns from MI6 so they can have a normal life together. Later, he learns that she was actually a double agent, working for his enemies. The unnamed enemy organization had kidnapped her former lover and was blackmailing her to secure her cooperation. Apparently, she did truly fall in love with Bond, but as the enemy organization closed in on her, she committed suicide by drowning herself in a canal in Venice.

Effect on career

The role of a Bond Girl, as it has evolved in the films, is typically a high-profile part that sometimes can give a major boost to the career of unestablished actresses, although there have been a number of Bond girls that were well-established prior to gaining their role. For instance, Diana Rigg and Honor Blackman were both Bond Girls after becoming major stars for their roles in the television series, The Avengers. Additionally, Halle Berry won an Academy Award in 2002 - the award was presented to her while she was filming Die Another Day.

Legend has it that appearing as a Bond Girl will damage an actress' subsequent career. Lois Chiles is often cited as an example, although her career did not suffer as a result of portraying Holly Goodhead. In fact, Chiles had lost her younger brother to Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and decided to take a three year break from acting, from which her career never recovered. Notable exceptions to the so-called "curse" (actresses who went on to experience fulfilling careers) include Carey Lowell, Famke Janssen, Honor Blackman, Halle Berry and Diana Rigg. Casting for the female lead in Casino Royale was hindered by the fears of potential actresses ; before Casino Royale the Bond series was thought by some to have become stagnant and therefore less desirable to young actresses. The role of Vesper Lynd nevertheless went to the up-and-coming actress Eva Green.

Multiple appearances

The character of Sylvia Trench is the only Bond Girl character who recurs in a film, (Dr. No and From Russia with Love (1963)) - she was meant to be Bond's regular girlfriend but was dropped after her appearance in the second film.

In the series of films, three actresses have made reappearances as different Bond girls: Martine Beswick and Nadja Regin both first appeared in From Russia with Love, and then appeared in Thunderball and Goldfinger respectively. Maud Adams played 'Andrea' in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) and the title character in Octopussy (1983); she also is an extra in A View to a Kill (1985).

Including the unofficial James Bond films, Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again, several actresses also have been a Bond Girl more than once; Ursula Andress in Casino Royale (1967); Angela Scoular, in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) and Casino Royale (1967); Valerie Leon in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Never Say Never Again (1983).

Lists of Bond Girls

Novels

Ian Fleming

Novel Bond girl
Casino Royale Vesper Lynd
Live and Let Die Solitaire
Moonraker Gala Brand
Diamonds Are Forever Tiffany Case
From Russia with Love Tatiana Romanova
Dr. No Honeychile Rider
Goldfinger Pussy Galore
Jill Masterton
Tilly Masterton
"From a View to a Kill" Mary Ann Russell
"For Your Eyes Only" Judy Havelock
"Quantum of Solace" No Bond girl
"Risico" Lisl Baum
"The Hildebrand Rarity" Liz Krest
Thunderball Dominetta "Domino" Vitali
Patricia Fearing
The Spy Who Loved Me Vivienne Michel
On Her Majesty's Secret Service Teresa di Vicenzo
You Only Live Twice Kissy Suzuki (main girl)
Marico Ichiban
unnamed girl
The Man with the Golden Gun Mary Goodnight
"The Living Daylights" No Bond girl
"The Property of a Lady" No Bond girl
"Octopussy" No Bond girl
"007 in New York" Solange

Mary Goodnight was a supporting character in several Bond novels before graduating to full Bond girl in The Man with the Golden Gun. The short stories "Quantum of Solace", "The Living Daylights" and "The Property of a Lady" feature female characters in prominent roles, but none of these women interact with Bond in a romantic way.

Kingsley Amis (also known as Robert Markham)

Novel Bond girl
Colonel Sun Ariadne Alexandrou

John Gardner

Novel Bond girl
Licence Renewed Lavender Peacock
Ann Reilly
For Special Services Cedar Leiter
Nena Bismaquer
Ann Reilly
Icebreaker Paula Vacker
Rivke Ingber
Role of Honour Percy Proud
Freddie Fortune
Cindy Chalmer
Nobody Lives For Ever Sukie Tempesta
Nannie Norrich
No Deals, Mr. Bond Ebbie Heritage
Heather Dare
Scorpius Harriet Horner
Win, Lose or Die Beatrice Maria da Ricci
Clover Pennington
Nikki Ratnikov
Brokenclaw Sue Chi-Ho
The Man from Barbarossa Nina Bibikova
Stephanie Adore
Death is Forever Elizabeth St. John
Praxi Simeon
Never Send Flowers Flicka von Grusse
SeaFire Flicka von Grusse
COLD Beatrice Maria da Ricci
Toni Nicolleti

Raymond Benson

Novel Bond girl
"Blast from the Past" Cheryl Haven
Zero Minus Ten Sunni Pei
The Facts of Death Niki Mirakos
"Midsummer Night's Doom" Lisa Dergan
High Time to Kill Helena Marksbury
Gina Hollander
Hope Kendall
"Live at Five" Janet Davies
Natalia Lustokov
Doubleshot Heidi Taunt
Hedy Taunt
Never Dream of Dying Tylyn Mignonne
The Man with the Red Tattoo Reiko Tamura
Mayumi McMahon

Playboy Playmate Lisa Dergan is, to date, the only real-life person to be featured as a Bond girl in any literary Bond story.

Charlie Higson

Novel Bond girl
SilverFin Wilder Lawless
Blood Fever Amy Goodenough
Double or Die Kelly Kelly
Hurricane Gold Precious Stone
By Royal Command Roan Power

Films

Film Bond girl Actress
Dr. No Honey Rider
Sylvia Trench
Miss Taro
Ursula Andress
Eunice Gayson
Zena Marshall
From Russia with Love Tatiana Romanova
Sylvia Trench
Vida
Zora
Daniela Bianchi
Eunice Gayson
Aliza Gur
Martine Beswick
Goldfinger Jill Masterson
Tilly Masterson
Pussy Galore
Bonita
Dink
Shirley Eaton
Tania Mallet
Honor Blackman
Nadja Regin
Margaret Nolan
Thunderball Domino Derval
Fiona Volpe
Patricia Fearing
Paula Caplan
Mlle. La Porte
Claudine Auger
Luciana Paluzzi
Molly Peters
Martine Beswick
Maryse Guy Mitsouko
You Only Live Twice Aki
Kissy Suzuki
Ling
Helga Brandt
Akiko Wakabayashi
Mie Hama
Tsai Chin
Karin Dor
On Her Majesty's Secret Service Teresa di Vicenzo
Nancy
Ruby Bartlett
Diana Rigg
Catherina von Schell
Angela Scoular
Diamonds Are Forever Tiffany Case
Plenty O'Toole
Marie
Bambi
Thumper
Jill St. John
Lana Wood
Denise Perrier
Lola Larson
Trina Parks
Live and Let Die Solitaire
Rosie Carver
Miss Caruso
Jane Seymour
Gloria Hendry
Madeline Smith
The Man with the Golden Gun Mary Goodnight
Andrea Anders
Saida
Britt Ekland
Maud Adams
Carmen Sautoy
The Spy Who Loved Me Anya Amasova (Agent XXX)
Naomi
Log Cabin Girl
Felicca
Barbara Bach
Caroline Munro
Sue Vanner
Olga Bisera
Moonraker Holly Goodhead
Corinne Dufour
Manuela
Hostess Private Jet
Lois Chiles
Corinne Clery
Emily Bolton
Leila Shenna
For Your Eyes Only Melina Havelock
Countess Lisl von Schlaf
Bibi Dahl
Carole Bouquet
Cassandra Harris
Lynn-Holly Johnson
Octopussy Octopussy
Magda
Penelope Smallbone
Bianca
Maud Adams
Kristina Wayborn
Michaela Clavell
Tina Hudson
A View to a Kill Stacey Sutton
May Day
Pola Ivanova
Kimberley Jones
Jenny Flex
Pan Ho
Tanya Roberts
Grace Jones
Fiona Fullerton
Mary Stavin
Alison Doody (youngest ever Bond Girl to appear)
Papillon Soo Soo
The Living Daylights Kara Milovy
Rubavitch
Rosika Miklos
Linda
Maryam d'Abo
Virginia Hey
Julie T. Wallace
Kell Tyler
Licence to Kill Lupe Lamora
Pam Bouvier
Della Churchill
Loti
Talisa Soto
Carey Lowell
Priscilla Barnes
Diana Lee-Hsu
GoldenEye Natalya Simonova
Xenia Onatopp
Caroline
Irina
Izabella Scorupco
Famke Janssen
Serena Gordon
Minnie Driver
Tomorrow Never Dies Paris Carver
Wai Lin
Prof. Inga Bergstrom
Teri Hatcher
Michelle Yeoh
Cecilie Thomsen
The World Is Not Enough Elektra King
Dr. Christmas Jones
Dr. Molly Warmflash
Giulietta da Vinci (Cigar Girl)
Sophie Marceau
Denise Richards
Serena Scott Thomas
Maria Grazia Cucinotta
Die Another Day Giacinta Johnson
Miranda Frost
"Peaceful Fountains of Desire"
Halle Berry
Rosamund Pike
Rachel Grant
Casino Royale Vesper Lynd
Solange
Valenka
Eva Green
Caterina Murino
Ivana Milicevic
Quantum of Solace Camille
MI6 Agent Fields
Olga Kurylenko
Gemma Arterton

In addition to those actresses mentioned above, the Bond films traditionally have groups of women in the background whose general purpose is nothing more than eye candy: they include the sunbathing Miami beauties in Goldfinger, the Thai girls at the kung fu school in The Man With the Golden Gun, Tiger Tananka's bathing beauties in You Only Live Twice, and Sheik Hossein's harem in The Spy Who Loved Me. However, in Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View to a Kill, and The Living Daylights these women were also referred to in the media as fully- fledged Bond girls to provide added publicity for the film through eye-catching magazine and newspaper appearances. In Moonraker this included members of Drax's "master race" and a group of women encountered by Bond in the jungles of Brazil In For Your Eyes Only, the women were seen frolicking around a villain's pool, while in Octopussy they served mainly as the title character's underlings. In A View to A Kill, they adorned Max Zorin's outdoor reception and in The Living Daylights, they served as decorations at the villain's swimming pool. One "Bond girl" in For Your Eyes Only was later revealed to be a post-operative transsexual (Tula). Although the Bond films have never stopped making use of feminine "eye candy", such large "Bond girl groups" were not featured after The Living Daylights.

Unofficial films

EON Productions call themselves the "official" producer of the James Bond film series, having produced 21 films between 1962 and 2006 as listed above. However, other James Bond productions have been made over the years by other producers and studios. These productions are described as "unofficial" by EON Productions and as such, so are the Bond girls featured therein.

Film Bond girl Actress
Casino Royale
(1954 television production)
Valerie Mathis Linda Christian
Casino Royale
1967 film
Vesper Lynd
Miss Goodthighs
Miss Moneypenny
Agent Mimi/Lady Fiona McTarry
The Detainer
Mata Bond
Buttercup
Ursula Andress
Jacqueline Bisset
Barbara Bouchet
Deborah Kerr
Daliah Lavi
Joanna Pettet
Angela Scoular
Never Say Never Again
1983 film
Domino Petachi
Fatima Blush
Patricia Fearing
Lady in Bahamas
Kim Basinger
Barbara Carrera
Prunella Gee
Valerie Leon

Video games

Game Bond girl Actress (if applicable)
Agent Under Fire Zoe Nightshade Caron Pascoe (voice)
Nightfire Dominique Paradis
Zoe Nightshade
Alura McCall
Makiko Hayashi
Lena Reno (voice)
Jeanne Mori (voice)
Kimberley Davies (voice)
Tamlyn Tomita (voice)
Everything or Nothing Serena St. Germaine
Dr. Katya Nadanova
Miss Nagai
Mya Starling
Shannon Elizabeth
Heidi Klum
Misaki Ito
Mya
GoldenEye: Rogue Agent Pussy Galore
Xenia Onatopp
Jeannie Elias (voice)
Jenya Lano (voice)
From Russia with Love Tatiana Romanova
Eva
Elizabeth Stark
Daniela Bianchi (likeness) Kari Wahlgren (voice)
Maria Menounos
Natasha Bedingfield

Documentary

In 2002, former Bond girl Maryam d'Abo co-wrote the book Bond Girls Are Forever: The Women of James Bond. This book later became a DVD exclusive documentary featuring d'Abo and other Bond girls, including Ursula Andress. In some locations, the documentary was released as a gift with the purchase of Die Another Day on DVD. The featurette was included on the DVD release of Casino Royale (2006) with an updated segment referencing the newest film.

References

External links

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