Bond girls always know how to steal the show when they first make their appearance in ‘007 films. Just with the flick of their hair, the pout of their lips, or the swift movement of pulling the trigger to save our dear James Bond, the fans are always pretty quick to decide whether a Bond girl has played it right. There is a high standard that is required, in order for an actress to earn herself the name of Bond Girl. 

Here is our view of the best bond girls that have truly earned themselves the title.

  1. Honey Ryder played by Ursula Andress in “Dr No” (1962) 

With the first of its franchise, “Dr No” establishes everything iconic about a James Bond movie. The famous theme music, a title sequence presented with a high-end stylization, and lastly, the need for a Bond girl opposite the sexy agile spy, James Bond himself. Honey Ryder, short for Honeychile Rider, is a Jamaican shell diver who attracts Bond by coming out of the beach in a white two-piece bikini accessorized with a tool belt, to which Ursula Andress owes her success as an actress. Besides the fact that this very scene had been regarded as one of the classical moments in the history of cinema, it paved the way for her future roles in movie success. Being the first Bond girl, she had set the standards on how the rest would become cast. Her beauty and figure inspired women to slim down and consider breast lift and implants to achieve her look. Even though Ursula Andress had a heavy accent that Ryder’s voice had to be dubbed by Nikki van der Zyl, she is one of the two characters Ian Fleming acknowledged in his novels. Particularly, a later novel called “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” earned her a description, “a beautiful movie star”. 

2. Pussy Galore played by Honor Blackman in “Goldfinger” (1964)

While Honor Blackman hated being called the “Bond girl”, her character follows the tradition of all Bond girls whose name has a double meaning. Pussy Galore got hers by being Goldfinger’s pilot leading an all-female team of pilots, Pussy Galore’s Flying Circus. Blackman epitomised a bond girl, with possible breast enlargement and a naturally slim waist. She was heavily trained in judo and starred in “The Avengers”, so the script was rewritten to accommodate her skills in martial arts. She was the oldest Bond girl ever at 39 years old, but she didn’t need anybody else to do her stunts. Now you know it’s not the name that had put her in the list. A little trivia goes that American censors never interfered with the name to be used in the film, however they refused the name “Pussy Galore” to be used on promotional materials. In the US they came up with more socially acceptable names like “Miss Galore” or “Goldfinger’s personal pilot”.

3. Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo/Tracy Bond played by Diana Rigg in “Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969)

James Bond, being a womanizer and all, got married to Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo, a European Crime leader’s daughter whom Bond eventually had to expose. Tracy Bond’s father bribed James Bond with one million pounds just to marry her and keep her off from a troubling past that led her to commit suicide from which James saves her. He refuses to do so for money but had asked for SPECTRE’s head, Blofeld’s, whereabouts. In compliance, Tracy captures Bond’s heart in the process. On the day they get married, Irma Bunt, Blofeld’s henchwoman, guns their car down. An emotional scene where Bond survives and his wife gets shot on the head leads to the cold-hearted spy that Bond becomes in subsequent movies.

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4. Wai Lin played by Michelle Yeoh in “Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997)

Many criticized the film but Wai Lin, who’s the real star of the show, saved it from going down the drain. The first Bond girl of colour, Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh was impressive and labelled, “the female James Bond”. She earns being one of the most appreciated Bond girls because of her wit, martial arts advancement, and initial attempts at a professional relationship with Bond. After developing mutual trust, the movie’s romantic twist gives it a challenge and as both eventually give in to the lingering attraction. Wai Lin’s character having such integrity gave the series’ a sense of realism.   

5. Vesper Lynd played by Eva Green in “Casino Royale” (2006)

Eva Green fought to adjust the movie’s tradition of having a Bond girl as the object of attraction by turning the tables and making James Bond come out of the sea, shirtless and wet. Her character Vesper Lynd was empowered by this subtle, playful approach without being too predictable and giving in to Bond’s charm. Vesper Lynd was highly regarded as one of the best Bond girls there have ever been, proving that her efforts paid off in terms of giving the Bond girl role a different approach. 

These actresses will forever carry the “Bond Girl” label. Whether it’s the role, the character itself, or the actresses who are chosen to portray them, James Bond 007 movies would not be as successful without their leading ladies.