The Bond franchise wouldn't have made it to 50 years without its high-tech gadgets and exotic locales, but that's not what sells tickets. No, the real selling point: 007's lineup of beautiful, scantily clad women. Bonds may come and go, but a woman in a bikini is a thing of beauty forever, right, James?
To rank our favorite Bond Girls, we concocted a formula (top secret, of course) based on looks, brains, resourcefulness, relevance to the plot and iconic stature. We also factored in ones James (all six of him) loved the most. Check out all 25 in the gallery below. (FYI, femme fatales, such as Xenia Onatopp, are on our Best and Worst Bond Villains List.)
25. Tanya Roberts, Stacey Sutton (‘A View To A Kill’)
Stacey, who's supposed to be a geologist who helps James prevent a man-made earthquake, takes the cake as the most useless girl to ever pop up in a Bond film. (And we're not just saying that because we think of her as Donna's airheaded mom on "That '70s Show.")
24. Denise Richards, Dr. Christmas Jones (‘The World Is Not Enough’)
It's a race to the bottom for Bond's bimbo-scientists (and Stacey Sutton wins by an '80s feathered hair) but Richards makes the least believable nuclear scientist ever. And frankly, we don't care how many times a year Christmas comes. Once is enough.
23. Mie Hama, Kissy Suzuki (‘You Only Live Twice’)
Okay, so Bond did marry her, but it was part of his cover, so it doesn't count. Kissy is sadly one of the most forgettable women to ever share the screen with Bond. Her predecessor, Ako, who died saving Bond's life, made a much more lasting impression.
22. Lois Chiles, Dr Holly Goodhead (‘Moonraker’)
Bond tries to suck up to this feminist doctor by telling her, "Of course you're more than just a beautiful woman," but that doesn't fly. At least, not at first. But soon this CIA agent-slash-astronaut is murmuring, "Oh, James," with the rest of them, except she's the only one to do it in space.
21. Maud Adams, Octopussy (‘Octopussy’)
Maud, you have amazing hair, your cheekbones are to die for and you were great in those two other Bond films (she was also in "The Man With the Golden Gun" and had an uncredited scene in "A View to a Kill") but there's no getting over how cringeworthy your character's name -- and this whole movie -- are.
20. Britt Ekland, Miss Mary Goodnight (‘The Man With The Golden Gun’)
Her punny name isn't as double entendre-iffic as, say, Plenty O'Toole. And although she makes for pretty eyecandy, she doesn't have much to do besides look good in a bikini, bed James and bonk the bad guy on the head when needed.
19. Carole Bouquet, Melina Havelock (‘For Your Eyes Only’)
Another smart Bond Girl who's not just along for the ride: She's after the man who killed her parents. She's also handy with a crossbow and makes scuba gear look good, which is lucky since so much of the film takes place underwater. We never get the sense that she and James are hot for each other -- at least not until the obligatory pre-credits clinch.
18. Lana Wood, Plenty O'Toole (‘Diamonds Are Forever’)
"I'm Plenty," this buxom beauty tells Bond and he can only reply, "But of course you are." It's a brief but memorable role, thanks to the eye-rolling name and Wood's ample cleavage. She has two unforgettable pool scenes that couldn't be farther from the usual Bond fare. (And she never even gets to sleep with Bond, poor girl.)
17. Barbara Bach, Major Anya Amasova (‘The Spy Who Loved Me’)
Anya is supposed to be Bond's enemy (the Cold War was still going on in 1977), but of course they're forced to team up against formidable foes like Jaws. She's also got her sights on Bond since he killed her lover but that's a mere road bump to 007. Her Russian accent is awful but James doesn't seem to mind.
16. Talisa Soto, Lupe Lamora (‘Licence To Kill’)
In the role of a supervillain's girlfriend whom James must seduce and win over to his side, Lupe gets a lot more mileage than most Bond Girls. She's also much smarter than the other villain's mistresses, since she manages to stay alive and land a less dangerous sugar daddy by film's end.
15. Halle Berry, Giacinta 'Jinx' Johnson (‘Die Another Day’)
Berry in a bikini! Her heart-stopping beach entrance may have actually eclipsed that of original Bond Girl Ursula Andress, and she's as tough as James and perfectly capable of taking care of herself. Granted, that Jinx spinoff never happened and some of her jokey lines fell flat.
14. Michelle Yeoh, Wai Lin (‘Tomorrow Never Dies’)
She's not your traditional Bond Girl, but an agent who's as well-trained as Bond, as capable (or more) of kicking ass and able to spot a life-saving exit in a split second. In another movie, their being handcuffed together might get kinky, but in this action-oriented pairing, it's just one more complication in a motorcycle chase.
13. Maryam d’ Abo, Kara Milovy (‘The Living Daylights’)
Kara at first appears to be a sniper, but she's really the most innocent of all Bond Girls, one who has no idea what's happening for most of the film. When she gets dressed up for a night on the town, it's the most covered-up of any Bond date in history, but there's still room for an "Oh, James" or two.
12. Daniela Bianchi, Tatiana Romanova (‘From Russia With Love’)
Another beauty that needs saving (don't they all?) but Tatiana, who's been trained to kill, also has a sweetness and vulnerability that endears her to Bond. That and her way of saying hello is to show up naked in his bed.
11. Camille Montes, Olga Kurylenko (‘Quantum of Solace’)
Camille is nearly as driven as James in his thirst for revenge. As the villain tells them, "You two do make a good couple. You're both damaged goods." It might not be a love match but it is a connection we haven't seen Bond make with many other women.
10. Teri Hatcher, Paris Carver (‘Tomorrow Never Dies’)
Hatcher was never lovelier than as one of Bond's old flames, who is now married to a power-mad broadcasting magnate. Although she's in the movie only briefly, Hatcher's scenes with James have more depth and heat than most of the other Bond girls combined.
9. Jill St. John, Tiffany Case (‘Diamonds Are Forever’)
Scheming Tiffany does come around to the right side, even if her mind is always on those diamonds. She's smart enough to take his fingerprints, but not smart enough to realize they're fake. (Thanks, Q.) As one of the most under-dressed Bond Girls, we applaud her choices in lingerie, bikinis and hot pants.
8. Izabella Scorupco, Natalya Fyodorovna Simonova (‘Goldeneye’)
One of the most independent and savviest of Bond Girls, Natalya manages to survive several attempts on her life, save James, outwit the villains and sass an interrogator. And she does it while dressed in a fairly sensible wardrobe. Nazdrovia!
7. Claudine Auger, Dominique Derval (‘Thunderball’)
As "Domino," Auger brings some European glamour to the Bond franchise. It's not just the '60s fashions that put us in mind of Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren, is it? She sports one sexy swimsuit after another, but her scene where she learns of her brother's death helps us (and Bond) fall for her.
6. Jane Seymour, Solitaire (‘Live And Let Die’)
She's gorgeous and completely off-limits, so of course James can't resist seducing her, even though a) she's a virgin, and b) it will rob her of her psychic powers. There's something very romantic and even a little old-fashioned about Solitaire. We get it, James.
5. Carey Lowell, Pam Bouvier (‘Licence To Kill’)
Who doesn't love a woman who has your back in a bar fight, who'll get a makeover to maintain your cover and who can fly a helicopter? She pulls out every tool in her arsenal, including an impromptu seduction of slick faux-evangelist Wayne Newton, which lets her swoop in and save James at the last minute.
4. Honor Blackman, Pussy Galore (‘Goldfinger’)
If we were ranking on character's names alone, of course Miss Galore would be first. After she huskily introduces herself, a groggy Bond marvels, "I must be dreaming." She can fly a plane and she knows judo, so we have a strong feeling she's equally adept in many other areas.
3. Ursula Andress, Honey Ryder (‘Dr. No’)
It's hard to top the original Bond Girl: Her iconic introduction in a white bikini with a knife strapped to her belt set a new standard for sexy. If only Bond weren't such a globe-trotter (and not so fickle), we imagine he'd have been quite happy spending his days -- and nights -- with Miss Ryder.
2. Diana Rigg, Teresa "Tracy" Di Vicenzo (‘On Her Majesty's Secret Service’)
The one and only Mrs. Bond was ready to kill herself until James came into her life. James picked a surprisingly sophisticated soulmate: She's independent, handy with a broken bottle in a fight and fiercely loyal. Too bad she's also doomed, since there can be no permanently happy endings for James.
1. Eva Green, Vesper Lynd (‘Casino Royale’)
One of the most complex and haunted of Bond's women and one of the most beautiful. Bond creates a drink in her honor, uses her name as an important code and then, when she's tragically killed, spends all of the next movie hunting down the men responsible. We'd say that makes her his favorite.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story said that there had been five James Bonds, when there have, in fact, been six (not including Peter Sellers' version). We apologize for the mistake
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