Brent Lang | October 5, 2012 @ 2:12 PM
Last Updated: April 19, 2015 @ 11:01 PM
Eva Green's enigmatic Vesper Lynd broke down Bond's defenses (and the audience's) as the woman whose death in "Casino Royale" (2006) sets him off on a revenge-soaked mission.
Diana Rigg was Bond's equal in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1968). Her fiery Countess Tracy di Vicenzo even did the impossible, convincing the skirt-chasing 007 to tie the knot ... only to die in his arms moments after he made an honest woman of her.
Ursula Andress set the gold standard for Bond women thanks to her eye-catching performance as Honey Rider in "Dr. No" (1962). Emerging from the ocean in a barely-there bikini, Andress and the spy series helped launch a greater era of sexual permissiveness in movies. She's the original Bond girl, and nothing beats the original.
Has there ever been a more ludicrous villain name than Xenia Onatopp? In "Goldeneye" (1995), the femme fatale crushes her victims while in flagrante delicto. As the deadly diva, Famke Janssen goes over the top with relish.
"Tomorrow Never Dies," with its plodding BMW product placements and goofy plot about a media baron hell-bent on world domination, is one of the worst Bond movies. Paradoxically, it boasts one of the best Bond girls in Michelle Yeoh. Her Chinese spy catches Pierce Brosnan's eye thanks to her mixture of brains and brawn.
Like Yeoh, Halle Berry is a Bond girl for the 21st century in "Die Another Day" (2002). Her NSA agent Jinx is every bit 007's match when it comes to taking down bad guys or tossing back mojitos. Her skin-tight bathing suit is a throwback to Andress and an early age of brain-dead sex bunnies, but Jinx is nobody's plaything.
With a creaky plot that relies on voodoo and Caribbean drug lords, "Live and Let Die" (1973) is a borderline racist curiosity. But as Solitaire, a card-reading psychic, a youthful Jane Seymour has never been more beautiful or beguiling. Is it any wonder it made her a star? To think, we have James Bond to thank for "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman."
Honor Blackman's literal roll in the hay with Sean Connery in "Goldfinger" (1964), is one of the most iconic moments in any Bond film. Her character's name, Pussy Galore, may cause any self-respecting feminist to break out in hives, but Blackman brought fire and danger to a role that could have just been eye candy, making her a Bond girl for the ages.
More villain than vixen, the towering Grace Jones was one of the most distinctive Bond women in franchise history. Watching her character May Day knock the starch out of 007's collar was the highlight of the otherwise dreary "A View to a Kill" (1985).