Eon Productions via Imdb, Laura Cavanaugh via FilmMagic
Jane Seymour, Live and Let Die
Known as “Solitaire” in Live and Let Die, Seymour was definitely a catch on the spectrum of attractive “suitors” for James Bond. Her career, however, didn’t end there. She took on more roles, including Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, which was probably her biggest role after her lone James Bond appearance.
She has taken giant steps in her acting career, too, in terms of continuing on into the 21st century. Seymour has taken on roles in Smallville and Wedding Crashers (in 2005), just to name a few. But if you think she’s a bombshell, wait till you see the next one …
Tanya Roberts, A View to a Kill
Now here’s a Bond girl that truly took advantage of the right cultural trends to benefit her career. Besides playing Stacey Sutton in A View to a Kill, she was also in the Charlie’s Angels TV series, which came before landing her role in the James Bond film.
And to top it all off, she took this mindset into the later parts of her career, too, when she took on a role as Midge in That ’70s Show during the late 1990s/early 2000s. She was a semi-prominent actress throughout the 1990s.
The next Bond girl was in one of Pierce Brosnan’s more forgettable films.
Denise Richards, The World Is Not Enough
Denise Richards certainly adds a lot of talent to the Bond girl pool. The former wife of Charlie Sheen has been in a plethora of movies, including Valentine, Scary Movie 3, and many others. In The World is Not Enough, Richards acts as a nuclear physicist and teams up with Bond to stop the antagonist, former KGB agent Victor “Renard” Zokas.
According to the BBC, Richards said she particularly enjoyed the role because it portrayed the Bond girl that was “brainy” and “athletic,” with “depth of character, in contrast to Bond girls from previous decades.” Zokas was certainly one of the more resilient Bond villains, too, with an ability to not feel pain.
Lana Wood, Diamonds Are Forever
While it wasn’t Sean Connery’s finest film, Diamonds Are Forever has probably one of the classiest and most beautiful Bond girls in history. Wood’s first career breakthrough, however, came when Hugh Hefner asked her to pose for Playboy. From there, she quickly jumped into the acting scene.
Wood has appeared in Mission: Impossible, Starsky and Hutch, and Fantasy Island, just to name a few of her hits. Given her age, you would think she would be largely done with the acting business by now. But to assume that would be wrong. She’s shown up in multiple 21st-century films, including Wild Faith and Killing Poe.
Barbara Bach, The Spy Who Loved Me
Barbara Bach plays a Russian spy named Anya Amasova, who is constantly jostling to get Bond’s attention against another heroine, making her story arc quite a unique one within the franchise. She is also one of the most beautiful Bond girls on this list.
While she was quite active on the acting scene during the 1980s, she took her leave from Hollywood life and seems to have quit acting entirely. Her saving grace, however, seems to be her husband, Ringo Starr (the former Beatles band member), so she certainly won’t have to work for the rest of her life.
Izabella Scorupco, GoldenEye
Izabella Scorupco brought on what could be perceived as a more nuanced, complex role to the James Bond movie series. In the film GoldenEye, she works as a missile guidance expert and has a pivotal role in the movie, too. But her portrayal of Natalya Simonova certainly also may have served as a springboard for her career at large.
After exposure to the big time, she has kept herself quite busy on the acting scene, with moderate hits like Exorcist: The Beginning, Sleepwalker, and most recently, The Undreaming of Anna Bell Zeigler — in which she plays Harriet Zeigler.
This next Bond girl was the one who started it all …
Ursula Andress, Dr. No
A blast from the past, Ursula Andress is perhaps best known for her casting as Honey Ryder in what was the first James Bond film, Dr. No. The opening scene is one of the most iconic ones in Bond movie history, with her emerging from the sea wearing nothing but a white bikini and a hunting knife strapped to her thigh.
Even by today’s standards (adjusting for inflation), Dr. No was a smash hit and eventually led to numerous productions of other Bond films in the 20th century. While she had quite an impressive run — including costarring with Elvis in Fun in Acapulco — Andress largely stopped acting in 2005. Now she’s probably living somewhere enjoying the fruitful bliss of success.
Daniela Bianchi, From Russia with Love
Italian actress Daniela Bianchi is one of the markedly famous Bond girls, thanks in large part to her unmatched beauty. Playing the role of Tatiana Romanova, she portrayed a Soviet clerk who lured Bond into a trap. This kind of pernicious theme was certainly a pattern during the Cold War.
Her career would come to a halt after she married a wealthy and affluent shipping magnate, Alberto Cameli, which prompted her to retire from her acting career. However, she did make an appearance as recently as 2012 in an Italian documentary film entitled We’re Nothing Like James Bond.
Diana Rigg, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Like another one of her Bond girl counterparts, Diana Rigg was also in The Avengers TV show during the 1960s, playing a role as Emma Peel and Lola. She also knows how to find the successful hits. Rigg has been cast in Game of Thrones (Olenna Tyrell), The Painted Veil, and Snow White (1987).
Most recently, Rigg has still been quite active, including filming Last Night in Soho, a psychological horror film directed and written by Edgar Wright. But what makes her stand out from all of the others on this list is her marriage — in the film — to James Bond as Tracy di Vicenzo.
Next up: A Bond girl who was also in the X-Men series…
Famke Janssen, GoldenEye
That’s right, Famke Janssen was a Bond girl. She’s also known for playing the very beloved — and powerful — Jean Grey, or “Phoenix,” in the X-Men series. Listed at a towering 6 feet tall, Janssen took advantage of her stature by getting into the modeling business. She would take a swift departure from this in the ’90s, however, to take on an acting career.
She initially landed a role on Star Trek: The Next Generation and acted alongside future acting counterpart Patrick Stewart. Janssen then eventually made an appearance in what was Pierce Brosnan’s first Bond film, and her professional career would take off from there.
Eva Green, Casino Royale
Eva Green distinguishes herself from many of the others on this list in terms of contemporary relevance. In addition to being one of the more modern Bond girls in recent memory (starring as Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale), Green has appeared in many big flicks, such as 300: Rise of an Empire, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, The Golden Compass, and many more.
She’s not your typical actress, either, in terms of personality. Green tends to be somewhat of a “homebody” according to multiple interviews. Per evagreenweb.com, Green stated she doesn’t “like clubbing or wild parties and after a day of shooting (I) love to come home and relax by the fire with a glass of wine and a good book.”
Up next is the oldest Bond woman to play the role.
Honor Blackman, Goldfinger
Perhaps one of the more popular Bond girls out there — in Goldfinger, alongside Sean Connery — Honor Blackman was also somewhat of a matriarch of The Avengers. She stayed on the TV series in the early 1960s playing Catherine Gale until 1964. But her dedication to her craft would remain strong for quite some time.
In fact, her latest work came in the form of a guest appearance on the show You, Me & Them in 2015 as Rose Walker, thereby capping off a stellar 70-year career in the entertainment business. Blackman took up music, too, for a short time during her career.
Britt Ekland, The Man with the Golden Gun
Known for her unforgettable role as Mary Goodnight, Britt Ekland was certainly a force to be reckoned with, especially during the 1970s. After her appearance in the film, however, her acting career slowly waned, with her career reaching its ending in the 1990s.
To be fair, she has made a few cameo appearances in the 21st century; but her most popular roles came in The Wicker Man (which has seen a questionable remake featuring Nicolas Cage), Get Carter, and Endless Night. She’s had her fair share of famous partners, too, including Rod Stewart and Lou Adler, to name a few.
Lois Chiles, Moonraker
Lois Chiles, who starred as Holly Goodhead in Moonraker, is probably one of the more active Bond girls on this list — both in acting and in other interests. Perhaps one of the more talented actresses, Chiles has been in plenty of big films, like Death on the Nile, Speed 2: Cruise Control, and The Great Gatsby (in which she played a minor role).
But what really sets her apart is her love of art. In a 2016 interview with The Houston Chronicle, she said most of her paintings feature women which are created with “the illusion of form, volume and dimension on a one-dimensional surface.” Talk about a talented figure!
Carole Bouquet, For Your Eyes Only
Starring as Melina Havelock, Carole Bouquet might be one of the most talented actresses on this list. In the early ’90s, she won the César Award for Best Actress in the French comedy-drama Too Beautiful for You. Ironically, she plays a wife who is cheated on by her husband.
In total, she’s appeared in more than 50 films since she started in 1977, with notable roles in Sex and the City, Bad Girl, and multiple French films. In the 1980s and 1990s, she took up modeling for the French company Chanel. She’s also appeared on judge panels, including as a jury member of the Cannes Film Festival.
Maud Adams, The Man with the Golden Gun and Octopussy
Unlike many other Bond girls, Maud Adams is unique in the sense that she appeared in two different Bond films: The Man with the Golden Gun and Octopussy. While she took a more relegated role in the former movie, she was the star of the show in the latter.
In addition to starring in many different films, the Swedish actress — at one point in her career — became one of the highest-paid models in the world. After playing the victimized mistress in The Man with the Golden Gun, she would later guest-star in TV shows like Hawaii Five-0, and Mission: Impossible in 1989.
This next Bond girl was in one of the few Timothy Dalton films in Bond history.
Maryam d’Abo, The Living Daylights
Playing the role of Kara Milovy in The Living Daylights, Maryam d’Abo certainly worked her way into the spotlight. She took on multiple smaller roles in the 1980s before landing what is probably the highest achievement of her acting career in The Living Daylights.
That being said, her career arc is certainly a peculiar one. While she performed in many minor roles before her Bond appearance, she tended to do this afterward, too. Some of these include Madame Ida, Space Precinct, Mistress of Suspense,and many more.
Halle Berry, Die Another Day
Remember when we alluded to one of the Bond girls having the most talent on this list? Well, we take that back. Halle Berry definitely takes the cake, especially when it comes to acting talent. In fact, while most of the other actresses on this list were relatively unknown prior to taking on the role of Bond girl, Berry was already an actress of high acclaim.
In fact, she was coming fresh off of being awarded an Oscar for Best Actress in Monster’s Ball, along with her induction into the X-Men series. She acted in what would be Pierce Brosnan’s final Bond film as an NSA agent named “Jinx.”
Rosamund Pike, Die Another Day
In keeping with the Pierce Brosnan theme, Die Another Day (2002) is not only one of his better Bond films, but it was also the first big role for Rosamund Pike’s career, as the nefarious Miranda Frost. She would later have turns in Pride & Prejudice and other blockbuster hits, but her truly shattering film would come much later, in 2014.
That’s right, Gone Girl was Pike’s first real Hollywood success, for which she received nominations for an Oscar and a Golden Globe. If there’s any pattern we’re detecting here, it is that having a featured role in a Bond film certainly can’t hurt your career.
Gemma Arterton, Quantum of Solace
Having acted alongside Daniel Craig’s James Bond, Gemma Arterton is certainly no stranger to playing a powerful female role. In 2008, she landed the coveted role of Strawberry Fields in Quantum of Solace, a sequel to Casino Royale — one of the highest-grossing Bond films of all time.
Arterton has also seen her fair share of movie castings where she acts in a role steeped in historical antiquity — albeit mostly fiction. She’s been cast in Clash of the Titans, Byzantium, and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.
Bérénice Marlohe, Skyfall
Somewhat of a newcomer to the acting scene, Bérénice Marlohe really didn’t achieve any sort of relevant fame until she was cast in the 23rd Bond film, entitled Skyfall. From there, her career ascended to unprecedented new heights. The French actress would later go on to appear in Kill Switch, Valley of the Gods, and many others, too.
But her talents aren’t just limited to acting. Marlohe also models and is a brand ambassador for Swiss luxury watchmaker OMEGA Watches. She knows how to make connections, too, being cast alongside Ryan Gosling and Natalie Portman in Song to Song.
Carey Lowell, Licence to Kill
Lowell decided to take the romantic route when it comes to her roles after Licence to Kill debuted in 1989. To top everything else off, she was also a former model and eventually went on to have a successful film career, too.
Before appearing in the Bond film, Lowell had her own career breakthrough thanks in part to Robin Williams. The flick was called Club Paradise, and while she played a minor role, it’s hard to argue that being close to Williams would ever hurt your chances at fame. And while she largely went off the grid in the mid-2000s, she recently returned to TV, making an appearance on Blue Bloods.
Michelle Yeoh, Tomorrow Never Dies
One of the more prominent actresses from Malaysia, Michelle Yeoh lit up the screen as Wai Lin — a Chinese agent who teams up with James Bond to stop an operative bent on sparking a war between China and the United Kingdom. As for Yeoh’s career, she’s been quite active, too.
For starters, she’s still acting in major movies, with multiple Avatar films in development. Yeoh has also appeared in big films like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Memoirs of a Geisha, and Crazy Rich Asians, to name a few.
Jill St. John, Diamonds Are Forever
While she’s mainly known for her role as Tiffany Case in the Bond film Diamonds Are Forever, Jill St. John largely took to other interests after she departed from her acting career. She would eventually retreat from Hollywood to pursue a career in cooking and entertainment.
St. John’s last TV appearance was on Northpole (2014) as Mrs. Claus, but she’s seen moderate success with other films like The Oscar, The Liquidator, and Who’s Minding the Store? As for her culinary career, she has made guest appearances on Good Morning America on a monthly basis and even wrote her own cookbook.
Grace Jones, A View to a Kill
One of the more influential personalities on the big screen, Jamaican actress Grace Jones definitely brought a unique force to the Bond series. Unlike some of the actresses on this list, Jones stuck largely to the action genre, with high-grossing films like Conan the Destroyer and Raw Deal.
As of late, she has made appearances on numerous TV shows. But for all of her acting prowess, she didn’t seem to lose any of her skills in other areas. In 2008, she released an album, called Hurricane, to high praise and acclaim.
Naomie Harris, Skyfall
Naomie Harris has led both an intriguing and successful career leading up to her James Bond debut. She appeared in what was one of the most iconic zombie films of the 21st century in 28 Days Later… (2002), and later appeared in hit films like Moonlight and Collateral Beauty.
Born in London, Harris began acting at an early age. And since then, she sure has accomplished a lot. In addition to an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in Moonlight, she also received the honor of being appointed to Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2017.
These next two Bond girls were in the running for the role, but didn’t quite make the cut.
Vera Farmiga, Casino Royale
Known mostly for her horror flicks like Orphan and The Conjuring, Vera Farmiga was yet another actress slated to be a Bond girl for the coveted Casino Royale role. According to an interview with TheNew York Times, she flew from London to audition for the role because she was intrigued by the emotional dynamic between Bond and Vesper.
She recounted the audition was “fun,” but “also knew I wouldn’t get the part,” and jokingly referred to the audition having a role where she had to wear the “same kind of fake breasts that Angelina Jolie wore in the first ‘Tomb Raider’ film.” Thanks for the information, Vera!
Angelina Jolie, Casino Royale
That’s right, Angelina Jolie was originally slated to be Daniel Craig’s wingwoman in Casino Royale. But according to an interview with the Daily Mail, Jolie expressed her desire to be cast as James Bond, instead. This is somewhat understandable, given her previous role as Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider series.
Predictably, this idea wasn’t agreed upon with the powers that be, so they moved on to other prospective actresses and eventually hired Eva Green. Other than making headlines on a frequent basis, and featuring in contemporary movies like Eternals, Jolie often directs movies as well as managing her charity.
Mie Hama, You Only Live Twice
Appearing as the illustrious Kissy Suzuki, Mie Hama wasn’t originally slated to take on the role of James Bond’s woman. She was having trouble at the time learning the English script, though this served as a big reason for her casting, since her character didn’t have to talk much during the film.
Afterward, she would go on to be a successful actress in numerous Japanese films, and she established quite a name for herself during the mid-to-late 20th century. Hama stopped acting altogether in 1989, but her more notable films were King Kong Escapesand The Cleanup.
Lashana Lynch, No Time to Die
A relatively new face to the acting scene, Lashana Lynch has been cast as Nomi in No Time to Die, in what will likely be Daniel Craig’s final Bond film. The plot has him leaving MI6, only for his departure to be cut short when an old accomplice from the CIA asks for his help.
Another talented actress of Jamaican descent, Lynch first splashed onto the film scene in Fast Girls, with earlier guest appearances on The Bill and more. Her biggest breakthrough in her career, however, came as Maria Rambeau in Captain Marvel (2019).