The Top Ten Bond Girls

The women of the James Bond franchise have earned a place of esteem in pop culture all their own. Labelled “Bond Girls”, the actresses of the Bond Franchise are scrutinized, discussed, ranked and rated. At their best, they’ve created characters that earn their own spot in Pop Culture, such as Pussy Galore or Honey Rider. At their worst, they’ve become jokes, such as Christmas Jones.

Here’s my list of the best. Whether they were allies or adversaries, these are the women that illuminated the world of 007 the most brightly. Gorgeous, intelligent, capable, sometimes even deadly, these are the best that the franchise has to offer. The ten best Bond Girls ever!

As a special treat, later on today I’ll post the ten worst as well, seeing as everyone loves to rip into the bad Bond Girls. :D

Click through now though to check out my list of the ten best!

10) Octopussy – Maud Adams, “Octopussy”

Smuggler, entrepeneur, circus owner. Oh yes. With an unforgettable nickname, and a cadre of trained women as bodyguards, Octopussy keeps Bond busy. The real reason she’s here though is she was one of the best fits for Roger Moore.

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9) Natalya Simonova - Izabella Scorupco, “Goldeneye”

Beautiful and fiery, Simonova works in the wrong place at the wrong time. Once she crosses paths with Bond, admittedly she mainly needs protecting, but she is able to contribute at several key moments via her computer skills.

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8) Pam Bouvier – Carey Lowell, “Licence to Kill”

One of the best “Bond’s Equal” Bond Girls, Lowell holds her own while never outshining 007. She wields a shotgun, flies a plane, and helps Bond kill Dario, all while looking beautiful. Plus in the end she wins out over the lovely Lupe Lamora!

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7) Elektra King –  Sophie Marceau, “The World is Not Enough”

A fantastic role, where we get to see both sides of the coin. Sweet, helpless and in need of protecting, and then cold, cruel and vindictive. Marceau plays them both well. She’s a notable stand out in a lesser Bond chapter.

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6) Agent XXX/Anya Amasova- Barbara Bach, “The Spy Who Loved Me”

Bond’s “Opposite Number”. His cold war counterpart Agent XXX serves as someone who can help Bond in the field and keep the bed warm with him at night. Capable and cunning, she and Bond are also kept apart by a tragedy of their line of work.

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5) Tracy Draco – Diana Rigg, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”

OHMSS may have more than its share of issues, but they’re not Rigg’s fault. The first woman in the franchise that Bond loved, Tracy Draco was beautiful and capable. She saved Bond instead of the other way around!
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4) Xenia Onatopp - Famke Janssen, “Goldeneye”

Femme Fatales welcome on this list! Janssen went as close as possible to going over the top in creating a fantastic Bond villain. The chemistry between her and Brosnan is one of the strong points of “Goldeneye”

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3) Honey Rider – Ursula Andress, “Dr. No”

Honey Rider established the tone for all Bond Girls to follow. Gorgeous, capable, and occasionally in need of rescuing by Bond. The shot of her emerging from the ocean has become iconic, and synonymous with the Bond franchise.

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2) Pussy Galore – Honor Blackman, “Goldfinger”

One of the foremost henchmen women in the entire franchise, Pussy Galore set the bar for women who would challenge Bond and for names that would give the audience the giggles. “I must be dreaming,” indeed!

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1) Vesper Lynd – Eva Green, “Casino Royale”

As slick and quick-witted as Bond, watching she and Bond play cat and mouse was definitely one of the highlights of “Casino Royale”. The surprises revolving around her in the third act only add to her legacy. Completely unforgettable.

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Well, there you have it folks. The best Bond Girls ever!

What do you think? Did I omit any? Any glaring errors in the ordering in your opinion?

Be sure to let me know in the comments below, and come back later to check out the ten WORST! :D

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46 thoughts on “The Top Ten Bond Girls

  1. Excellent List! And I Can Already Name The Two Worst…
    Denise Richards As “Christmas Jones” In “The World Is Not Enough” and Tanya Roberts As “Stacey Sutton” In “A View To A Kill” hahaha
    Oh, Bond, How I Do Love Thee!
    I Believe This Deserves A Reblog, Don’t You?!?!
    Of Course You Do, Dude!!! hehehe ;)
    -B.

  2. Yay, nice to see Vesper as #1. Bravo! Can’t go wrong with any of your picks man, though technically Xenia Onatopp is not a Bond girl, more of a henchwoman, but it’s splitting hair really, I think Famke was awesome!

      • Naomie Harris is astounding in Skyfall. Well worth however much the tickets are costing these days. Dame Judi is a legend! She’s the ultimate Bond Girl! :D

  3. Well, obviously this is the MOST subjective list of them all, so without pulling out the big Lex Luthor “WRONG” graphic…

    A few serious omissions there pal. First, I know your utter loathing for Live and Let Die, but Jane Seymore has to be at the very least ON the list, if not in the top 5. Also you picked the wrong Bond Girl from Goldfinger, Jill Materson (Shirley Eaton) was far more attractive whether gilded or not.

    The Real Golden Girl

    And My list would certainly have to have a place for Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi From Russia With Love)

    Is her mouth too big? hmmm….

    Also my very first thought when I saw your banner headline was “Ursula Andress better be number 1″ DOH!

    And how about a little love for Kara Milovy (Maryam D’abo)?

    Ahhh… the most misogynistic of all film-geek pursuits. The Bond Girls debate. :D

    • “the most misogynistic of all film-geek pursuits. The Bond Girls debate” True, that. :D

      Jill Masterson became iconic for being killed. Cant bump anywhere from here for a corpse. Gilded or no.

      “My list would certainly have to have a place for Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi From Russia With Love)”

      Mine doesn’t. LOL. She was lovely, and I fully expect backlash on that one, but she was duped into her role and then… does nothing. So…

      Kara Milovy was almost included, but I just couldnt pull the trigger.

      Andress ranks about as high as I can put her, sorry, man. :( Maybe we’ll agree more on the worst list when the misogyny continues! LOL

      • I disagree that Jill Masterson became iconic for being killed, although that was certainly part of it. She became iconic for lying on the balcony in her underwear looking at Goldfingers cardgames through her telescope, and also for making the “wearing her man’s shirt and nothing else” look so very very enticing. I think their post-coital bed scene is one of Bond’s most memorable and sexy. the death scene was just gilding the lilly, as it were.

    • Thank you for the picture, it made looking at this post completely worth it. “No your mouth is just right for me, by the way, nice ribbon.”

  4. I’m sorry, but being a girl, I don’t like this list. It’s nothing against you Fogs, but nearly every Bond girl seems (in some way) helpless, and in need of assistance from you know who. It doesn’t seem realistic or even very respectful to these girls. Like, the whole point of a Bond girl is to look good!? There’s just this traditional role of a woman in a film like this where she gets saved by the hero and he’s amazing in bed and that totally rocks her world…etc….but then she either dies or he gets tired of her…

    Again, nothing against you or anyone who’s ever made a list like this. If I was a guy, I would totally get this! But being a girl, it just seems wrong. That’s just me, and I’m simply offering another side here…hope I don’t offend anybody!

    And I seriously love you Fogs and every review you do is awesome. It is absolutely not personal or even towards any one individual. Not at all. :)

    • Awww. There’s so much sweetness there, how could i be offended? :)

      Honestly? I’m with you to an extent. The next list (The 10 worst) is full of Bond girls that totally personify those attributes. Either all they do is need rescuing or they’re supposed to be equals and yet totally fail, or theyre just cast for their looks. No doubt. The series is full of them. And a lot of women get killed off in the series, too. As disposable side characters, they’re in perfect position to up the lethal stakes without jeopardizing an ongoing character.

      These particular characters – for the most part – transcend that, although admittedly a couple of them embody those virtues to such an extent that they establish that reputation.

      Bond Girls, for the most part, aren’t flag bearers for women’s lib, even though the series makes ham fisted attempts at empowerment. But they’re undeniably a big part of the franchise, and in pop culture. Say the term “Bond Girl” and everyone knows what you mean… no one thinks you’re talking about bail bonds. :) A lot of the characters on this list though rise above all that, and that’s why their chosen.

      Although, of course, BOnd still “rocks their world” LOL

      No offense taken, Livi, Love having you round, too, so I hope you always feel free to call me out on my shit. :D

    • Can’t say that I’m totally unsympathetic to this view, though it’s almost always by design in a Bond tale. James Bond is the hero, and it’s sort of his duty to save the girl, the world, MI-6, etc. So while having a female character who doesn’t need saving is a noble thing — a la Michelle Yeoh in “Tomorrow Never Dies” — it does sorta have the effect of the movie no longer being a Bond movie.

      Now, that said, I think it’s pretty telling that the most capable and talented ones — Anya Amasova, Vesper Lynd, Pam Bouvier — almost always make it to the the top of these lists, while the most helpless damsel-in-distress types — Holly Goodhead, Mary Goodnight — are usually not held in high regard.

      • LOL. Both of whom will be discussed here in about an hour or so. :D

        I’m sympathetic, too, but it is what it is. And I’m not above enjoying a sexist movie, either, I’ll admit it.

        My take on Michelle Yeoh is I’m all for a Bond girl who’s capable of holding her own. But she should never outshine Bond. Nor should any of his male compatriots, either. Its a BOND movie. So she needed to dial back the kung fu a little, she made Bond look like a white belt. LOL

  5. Vesper Lynd: If the only thing left of you was your smile and your little finger, you’d still be more of a man than anyone I’ve ever known.
    James Bond: That’s because you know what I can do with my little finger…
    Love Eva Green! #1 all the way!

    • Well I’m glad I’m not alone in my uneasiness here…and I’m also glad that didn’t start a shit storm (of any kind!) ! And I get what you’re saying, that the Bond girl can’t outdo Bond, since it is, after all, a Bond movie. I guess I’m just too much of a feminist for my own good lol!

      And since El Santo said that Bond needs a woman to save in his movies, could I put forth a suggestion?

      How about, instead of saving one little calendar pinup or admittedly kung fu-ee expert, he could just go right ahead and save THE WORLD? Oh wait, that’s happening already, sorry, Snyder will be stealing my thunder come 2013…

      …or he could just save England. You know, good old Great Britain, always in need…or a little old lady, or a school bus of children stuck at 75 mph – dang it, that one’s taken 2, er, too-

      I’ll shut up now. Thank you for being so tolerant of my womanly ways, y’all.

  6. Hi, Fogs and company:

    Once again we have a difference of opinion and a failure to communicate. But that’s your place is all about. Well intentioned and thought out differences of opinions.

    #1: Ursula Andress as Honey Rider in ‘Dr. No’.
    Most dramatic and enticing entrance of all the Bond Girls.

    #2: Diana Rigg as Tracy Draco in ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’.
    Style, class and elegance from the immortal Mrs. Emma Peel of ‘The Avengers’ from the 1960s.

    Yes, I’m showing my age. Ms. Rigg was my first trans continental television crush. And set the bar very high.

    #3: Tie between another, earlier ‘The Avengers’ alum. Honor Blackman’s Pussy Galore. And Famke Jannsen’s Xenia Onatopp. Who give new definition and meaning to the phrase, ‘Thunder Thighs’.

    • “But that’s what your place is all about. Well intentioned and thought out differences of opinions.”
      :D Yup. That and killing time reading about and talking about movies! :D Heh.

      LOL at Onatopp being called thunder thighs. Anaconda thighs is more like it. :D

      We’re not that far off… I mean, those are all in the top five, so, just jumble the order.

      No love for Vesper Lynd then I take it? She’s awesome, man, cmon!

  7. Can’t argue with Vesper, she’s pretty much the perfect Bond girl. He LOVES her; whoever can tame the untameable deserves a place at the top. Also, Xenia is probably the most frightening female in a Bond movie. Those thighs!

    • I can see her wild look now as she’s crushing someone. :D LOL LOVE Famke, there. So awesome.

      Vesper though was incredible. Eva Green is phenomenal in that role. And her character was so well written. A major home run for that film.

  8. Lois Maxwell and Samantha Bond as Miss Moneypenny!

    OK, so being one of the regular cast of characters almost always disqualifies someone from Bond Girl contention, but I always wondered why Bond would be chasing after these skirts when Miss Moneypenny was right there. During the Connery/Moore years, she might as well have been his common-law wife. And while Samantha Bond was only around for four movies, I couldn’t help but feel happy when she finally got the Bond make-out session. (Two movies, I think?)

    Don’t want to slight the lady who played Moneypenny in the Timothy Dalton movies, but she didn’t really get to do much. And those glasses were really unflattering.

    • “OK, so being one of the regular cast of characters almost always disqualifies someone from Bond Girl contention,”

      LOL, exactly. Although Samantha Bond was as gorgeous as any actress cast with a bigger part. She was great.

      Speaking of – did you know that Lois Maxwell was offered the Silvia Trench role? She could have BEEN the first Bond girl. Always thought that was interesting. Boy, did she choose the right part!

      • FYI, I am reading Roger Ebert’s review of Skyfall (four stars, btw), and he ends it with this line:

        “And am I completely misguided when I expect to see Miss Moneypenny become a Bond girl in the next film?”

        I SWEAR I hadn’t read the review before I wrote my post. :)

  9. One more comment! RE: Elektra King.

    SPOILERS! I have to say that she was probably involved in the best Pierce Brosnan moment in the series. The most memorable one for me, anyway. It’s revealed she’s the true villain mastermind, she’s tortured Bond and taunted him. Of course, it’s time for the final confrontation, and she doesn’t think Bond will shoot her. She flirtily tells him, “You’re going to miss me!”

    For a while there, you think she’s right. Usually in these situations, Bond does not kill a lady unless his own life is threatened. (The Thunderball scene, for example, where Fiona’s own trap is part of her undoing.) Elektra is unarmed.

    Bond shoots her dead, with a very cold, “I never miss.”

    It’s seriously one of my favorite moments. Judi Dench sells it, sorta giving Bond the look realizing that he’s a cold-blooded assassin, his typical suave, debonair style dropped for a moment and revealing the kind of person Bond really is. Daniel Craig, for all his hardness, never came close to being this soulless.

    The movie overall may have had problems, but that single moment was, for me, one of the most memorable Bond moments of all time.

    • I love the vast majority of the Elektra King stuff in TWINE, including the moment you mention above and of course, the chair torture scene, which I also think is great. The character… and specifically her plot, etc has issues and the movie on the whole has a lot of problems, but I’m a big fan of Marceau and that scene you mention is a big part of it. :D

  10. I sometimes forget that bit. That may be Brosnan’s one badass moment in the four films he made. It was deliberate, not combat related and there is a payoff line. Two points for El Santo.

  11. Great list, love the recognition of Vesper as #1. I’ve noticed that people have a tendancy to discount the most recent bond movies in their 007 related lists, but I personally Casino Royale to be my favorite Bond movie of them all.

    • Yeah, actually, mine too I think. Still kicking it around. I’ll make it official next week. :)

      Its the old “Classics need to age” connundrum. Its hard to put something recent atop the heap without seeing it pass the test of time at least awhile, you know?

      I dont have that issue when something is as Obviously Great as CR is. :D

  12. I have a soft spot for Ursula Andress, the whole nostalgia thing, but I also approve of the high ranking for Eva Green. Largely because she has done some particularly erotic stuff on screen (The Dreamers) and I therefore find her incredibly sexy.

    • Yeah, she’s certainly “on the record” LOL.

      She doesnt need any other films to be sexy though, she was great here. Super charming, whip smart, very hot, she was great. :D

      Andress meanwhile, needed to be recognized. She was the first, and resounded with everyone. She’s left a lasting legacy with just one movie. Hell, one scene, really. She definitely ranks highly because of it.

    • Niiiice. No one mentioned Scorupco yet, I dont believe, and I had expected something to be said one way or the other, there! I like her a lot, I dont think she had the lasting impact a lot of other girls did, but she was super solid, and definitely helped Goldeneye to become Brosnan’s best.

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