The Evolution of the Bond Girl: From Coy Coquette to Ball-Busting Badass

They may have the obligatory good looks, but there's always more than meets the eye.

Bond girls—they may have the obligatory good looks, but there's always more than meets the eye. Whether fighting the good fight or being unapologetically evil, these high-stakes enigmas have evolved right before our very eyes. (As, of course, have their costumes.) Here, a look back at 25 of the most memorable Bond girls to date—plus the three new Bond girls of Spectre.

1 of 25
Ursula Andress in Dr. No, 1962

The Swiss-born beauty played Honey Ryder and donned the most famous bikini of all time: a white cotton number with bottoms outfitted with a British Army belt, brass knuckles, and a knife holder. The swimsuit was such a sensation it caused sales of bikinis to skyrocket.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
2 of 25
Daniela Bianchi in From Russia with Love, 1963

The first runner up in 1960's Miss Universe pageant, she studied ballet for right years and was a professional model. In the film (Sean Connery's favorite of the series), she played a Bolshevik corporal sent to entrap James Bond.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
3 of 25
Everett
Shirley Eaton in Goldfinger, 1964

English actress Shirley Eaton played Jill Masterson, who was killed by Auric Goldfinger himself after painting her body gold caused her to die of skin suffocation (which isn't a real thing). Unfortunately, it's considered one of the most sexist scenes in cinema history.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
4 of 25
Honor Blackman in Goldfinger, 1964

Blackman, who also starred in The Avengers, played Pussy Galore, who was a total badass and was said to be inspired by the love of James Bond writer Ian Fleming's life. "Pussy Galore was a career woman–a pilot who had her own air force, which was very impressive. She was never a bimbo," Blackman told the TV Times at 80-years-old.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
5 of 25
Everett
Luciana Paluzzi in Thunderball, 1965

Italian actress Paluzzi was famous for her portrayal of villainess Fiona Volpe, but originally went out for the lead Bond girl role Dominetta "Domino" Petacchi. However, she was pleased with the outcome as an evil assassin was just "more fun to play."

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
6 of 25
Everett
Karin Dor in You Only Live Twice, 1967

German beauty Dor was the redheaded, SPECTRE operative bombshell Helga Brandt and had one of the most horrifying deaths of the Bond series: getting eaten alive inside a piranha pool in under 30 seconds.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
7 of 25
Everett
Diana Rigg in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, 1969

English actress and Avengers star Rigg isn't just the woman who got Mr. Bond to change his trifling ways—she play his wife, Countess Teresa di Vicenzo—but she also currently stars as the sharp-witted Olenna Tyrell, AKA Queen of Thorns, on Game of Thrones.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
8 of 25
Everett
Jill St. John in Diamonds Are Forever, 1971

California-born St. John was the first American to play a Bond girl with her role as Tiffany Case—a wise-cracking diamond smuggler who was unknowingly working for Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Bond's arch nemesis and head of SPECTRE.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
9 of 25
Everett
Jane Seymour in Live and Let Die, 1973

Seymour's role as tarot card-reading Solitaire (at the age of 20) brought her international fame—and it's all thanks to her long brown hair during an audition. "I was wearing a coat with a fur collar and a fur hat," Seymour says. "The idea being to keep my hair off my face and then when I took the hat off, my hair—which was very long and I sat on in those days — came tumbling down," she revealed in an interview with the My Big Break series.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
10 of 25
Everett
Britt Ekland in The Man with the Golden Gun, 1974

Swedish blonde bombshell Ekland played Mary Goodnight, a 00-Section secretary who has a crush on James, but isn't afraid to call him out on his two-timing ways. On the topic of infidelity, Bond poses "Now, Goodnight, would I do that to you?" to which she responds, "Yes, James, you bloody well would!"

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
11 of 25
Everett
Barbara Bach in The Spy Who Loved Me, 1983

Queens-born Bach/Mrs. Ringo Starr played Anya Amasova, nicknamed Agent XXX, and became an international sex symbol with the release of the film. However, she doesn't mince words when it comes to her thoughts on Bond as a character calling him "a chauvinist pig who uses girls to shield him against bullets."

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
12 of 25
Everett
Maud Adams in Octopussy>, 1945

Before becoming a Bond girl, Adams was one of the highest paid supermodels of her time, and had previously worked as an interpreter, seeing as she's fluent in five languages. After starring alongside Ekland in The Man with the Golden Gun, she was asked back by the series to play jewel smuggler named Octopussy—because her dad studied "octopi." Sigh.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
13 of 25
Everett
Grace Jones in A View to Kill, 1985

Jones is unforgettable as May Day, the girlfriend of Bond's nemesis (played by Christopher Walken) who is also a henchwoman with superhuman strength. She leaves Bond shaking in his boots and we absolutely love it.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
14 of 25
Everett
Maryam d'Abo in The Living Daylights, 1987

Both a cellist and a sniper, d'Abo's Czechoslovakian character Kara Milovy marked another different kind of Bond girl in that she didn't play the stereotypical Sex Kitten, plus she somehow manages to keep Bond monogamous throughout the entire film—which, unfortunately, is no easy feat.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
15 of 25
Everett
Carey Lowell in Licence to Kill, 1989

Lowell's Pam Bouvier is another departure from the Bond girls of the past, from her more traditional name to her job description: a former army pilot, she still works for the CIA posing as a courier for a drug lord.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
16 of 25
Everett
Izabella Scorupco in GoldenEye, 1995

Polish-Swedish actress and model Scorupco totally passed as Russian playing Natalya Fyodorovna Simonova, a programmer at a GoldenEye space weapon facility. She, too, isn't afraid to give it to Bond straight. When asks him why he's so cold, he replies, "It's what keeps me alive," to which she responds, "No. It's what keeps you alone." Annnnd scene.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
17 of 25
Everett
Michelle Yeoh in Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997

A spy for the Chinese People's External Security Force, Yeoh's Colonel Wai Lin is a master of martial arts. It comes as no surprise that in 2008, Fandomania ranked her as the second best Bond girl, stating that she was "the right type of Bond Girl at the right point in action cinema's evolution."

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
18 of 25
Everett
Sophie Marceau in The World Is Not Enough, 1999

French actress Marceau's Elektra King is the daughter of oil tycoon Robert King and is the ultimate siren villainess. She flips the script on Bond, who falls in love with her while she completely manipulates him on her path to vengenace.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
19 of 25
Everett
Halle Berry in Die Another Day, 2002

Berry stars as Giacinta 'Jinx' Johnson, an NSA operative who will make you seriously nostalgic for Honey Ryder. Costume designer Lindy Hemming insisted that Berry wear a bikini with a slot for a knife and emerge ever-so-sexily from the water as an homage to the original Bond girl.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
20 of 25
Everett
Eva Green in Casino Royale, 2006

Green is dangerously intriguing as Vesper Lynd (a pun for West Berlin), a foreign liaison agent assigned to ensure that Bond watches over funds when partaking in an all-or-nothing poker game. As the story wears on, he finds himself so in love with Green that he actually resigns as an agent. Naturally, they never get their happy ending...

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
21 of 25
Everett
Olga Kurylenko in Quantam of Solace, 2008

Kurylenko's character Camille Rivera Montes is a Bolivian agent seeking vengeance for the murder of her family. Deemed the "hottest Bond girl ever," by Maxim, there's no denying that the Ukrainian actress is a stunner.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
22 of 25
Everett
Bérénice Marlohe in Skyfall, 2012

Marlohe's Sévérine is the ultimate femme fatale as a confidante to the film's villain Raoul Silva. The actress says she drew inspiration for the role from GoldenEye anti-heroine Xenia Onatopp describing her as "glamorous and enigmatic."

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
23 of 25
Léa Seydoux in Spectre, 2015

In the forthcoming Spectre film, Seydoux plays Dr. Madeleine Swann, a psychologist working at a medical clinic in the Australian Alps. " I don't consider myself a Bond girl. I think I'm not really the stereotyped Bond girl. I feel quite different. You can't be like, 'Oh, James.' You have to find something else. She's not a fighter, she's a doctor. She fights in another way," she said in an interview.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
24 of 25
Monica Bellucci in Spectre, 2015

In the film, 51-year-old Bellucci plays mob widow Lucia Sciarra and says the film is "in some way revolutionary" in its treatment of women. Considering that the average age of Bond's love interest was around 29, we whole-heartedly agree.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
25 of 25
Stephanie Sigman in Spectre, 2015

Sigman, who plays the elusive Estrella is the first Mexican actress to play a Bond girl. "I'm a very proud Latina and a very proud Mexican, so it feels great," she told us when we chatted with her last month. "That's who I am. The fact that I get to show them my country, and that the whole world is going to see it and it looks absolutely beautiful feels amazing. There's no other way I could have done it.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below