Friday, April 17

Bond Girls of the 60s

I am not an expert on James Bond films although I have seen every one of them and as long as I can crawl to the box office, I will see those to come.  I can't name all the villains or locales or cars or artillery.  I can't even name all the Bond girls but the ones from the 1960s, when the franchise began, still stick in my mind.  It seems that Bond girls could generally be called those with whom he wound up in bed.  I think, too, they were usually the good girls, but not always.  We'll not comment on their looks individually.  Space is limited and c'mon, there wasn't a homely one in the bunch.

Ursula Andress was Honey Ryder in Dr. No (1962).  She was
the first Bond girl and surely is the most famous of these actresses.  The Bond series seems to be famous for its actors emerging breathtakingly from the sea (Daniel Craig, Halle Berry... a boy, a girl... everyone is pleased) but this Swiss miss did it first for the series.  She was as much woman as Sean Connery was man.  Grrrrr.  Only a handful of her other films have much merit.  The Blue Max (1966) is a favorite.  She kept in the news of the day with a marriage to John Derek and a relationship with Harry Hamlin.  She was 26 when she made Dr. No and is 79 today.

Daniela Bianchi was Tatiana Romanova in From Russia with Love (1963), my favorite Bond flick of the decade.  She plays a Soviet government clerk trying to defect with the help of Bond.  Born in Rome, she was Miss Rome in the Miss World contest of 1960.  Her voice in the film was dubbed.  She never made an American film and as a result, I've never seen her in anything other than this one.  She was 23 when she played Tatiana and she is 73 today.

Honor Blackman was Pussy Galore in Goldfinger (1964).  Her character was the first of the risqué names for Bond girls and clearly the best of them all. She played the title character's personal pilot.  Blackman doesn't like being called a Bond girl because she feels her character was stronger, more well-written than the others.  She is the most accomplished actress of the Bond girls and yet, if it were not for this role, she would be hardly known to U.S. audiences.  I also enjoyed her opposite Laurence Harvey in Life at the Top (1965) and in the western Shalako (1968), again with Connery.  I always found her to be classy.  She was 40 when she played Ms G and is 89 today.

Shirley Eaton was Jill Masterson in Goldfinger.  Her part is brief.  Bond observes her helping Goldfinger cheat at cards, so as any good onlooker would do, he beds her.  The bad guys are annoyed at her betrayal and they give her the look above, which brings about her death.  That gold brought her international fame and she'd be a part of any Bond trivia games.  Ten Little Indians (1965) is the only other movie I've seen her in.  She was 28 when she made Goldfinger and is 78 today.

Claudine Auger was Domino in Thunderball (1965).  She was the first non-blonde.  With her character's name, she was usually dressed in black and white.  She and Bond have some sizzling scenes.  She was the good girl.  The French Auger (pronounced aw-jay) did mainly European films but I caught her in 1963s Jean Seberg film, In the French Style  and she was the leading lady in Triple Cross (1966) with Christopher Plummer.  She was 24 when she did Thunderball and is 74 today.

Luciana Paluzzi was Fiona in Thunderball, the bad girl.  She works for Spectre (oddly, the name of the upcoming Bond film) and kills Auger's character's brother.  She kidnaps Bond and is later killed by her own bodyguard by mistake while dancing with 007.  She had a brief American career mainly because she married American actor Brett Halsey, with whom she appeared in 1961s The Return to Peyton Place.  I also remember her in some silly beach party movie.  She was 28 when she made Thunderball and is 77 today.  She lives in New York and Rome (her birthplace). 

Akiko Wakabayashi was Aki in You Only Live Twice (1967).  She plays Bond's right-hand woman when he arrives in Japan on a mission involving a hijacked spacecraft.  She is virtually unknown to western audiences but during her short career she was one of Japan's most popular actresses, particularly in sci-fi.  This Bond film featured my favorite title song of the franchise.  Wakabayashi was 24 when she made the film and 74 today.

Mie Hama was Kissy in You Only Live Twice.  She was another of Japan's top actresses and is little known outside of Asia.  Kissy is another woman who helps Bond navigate the treacherous waters of her country.  In trivia land, she is the only Bond girl (to my knowledge) to marry Bond, although the marriage was staged for the bad guys.  She and Wakabayashi (above) were signed for the opposite roles but Hama had a difficult time learning English so she took the smaller role of Kissy.  She was 21 when she made the film and is 71 today.

Next posting:
The Directors


  1. I always liked the way Bond said the name Pussy...kinda sounded like..."pu she".

  2. That made me laugh and I know you are right although I had forgotten it. Thanks, Keith C.

  3. Bond Girls. It's not an easy task. No doubt they all are beautiful even if in different ways. They only have one point in common: they all tried to become actresses. When some of them had a lines in the press it was not on thei talent. I saw all the Bond movies with Connery and a few ones with Moore. I also saw a "coming soon" fragment with Daniel Craig. Very Interesting. Don't you think that he looks like the Russian Premier Putin? I mean from neck up? ah, ah!

  4. There was only one James Bond and that was Sean Connery. I can't even watch the others. Connery blamed the studios and the producers for not making the indoor sets a little better and he was right. The films , although my favorites, have not aged well but I much prefer the to the high tech stuff seen these days. Daniela Bianchi and Honor Blackman were the best female leads in early Bonds. One was beautiful and had that innocence about her that was charming. Honor Blackman had to be conquered and she brough more character to the pars.