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Stars That Died

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Who are the Bond girls?

Who are the Bond girl

Tracy di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg),

Jane Seymour ( Solitaire in Live and Let Die).

Did you know that a Bond girl is a character or actress portraying a love interest or sex object of James Bond in a film, novel, or video game?

They occasionally have names that are Double entendres,

such as "Pussy Galore", "

Did you know that Bond Girls are often victims rescued by Bond? Some are fellow agents or allies, villainies or members of an enemy organization, most typically the villain's accomplice, assistant or mistress. Some are mere eye candy and have no direct involvement in Bond's mission; other Bond Girls play a pivotal role in the success of the mission.

Other female characters such as Judi Dench's M, and

Miss Money Penny are not typically thought of as Bond Girls.

Nearly all of Ian Fleming's Bond novels and short stories include one, or sometimes more than one, female characters who qualify as Bond Girls, most of whom have been adapted for the screen. While having some individual traits, the Fleming Bond Girls, at least in their literary forms, also have a great many characteristics in common.[1] One of these is age: Did you know that the typical Bond Girl is in her early to mid-twenties, roughly ten years younger than Bond, who seems to be perennially in his mid-thirties?

[2] Examples include Solitaire (25),[3] Tatiana Romanova (24),[4] Vivienne "Viv" Michel (23),[5] and Kissy Suzuki (23).[6]

The youngest may be Gala Brand; she is named for the cruiser in which her father is serving at the time of her birth.[7] If this were the Arethusa-class Galatea launched in 1934, than Gala is possibly as young as 18 at the time she meets Bond and certainly no older than 20, though since she and Bond do not sleep together, going no further than a few kisses, the thirty-something Bond here narrowly avoids bedding a teenager. If on the other hand the Galatea in question is the cruiser sold for scrap in 1921, Gala is possibly the oldest of the Bond Girls, being in her mid- to late-30s and possibly as old as 40. The indications are, however, that she is young, so a 40-year-old Bond Girl is unlikely in this case.

All Bond girls are, almost by definition, beautiful, and they follow a fairly well-developed pattern of beauty as well. They possess splendid figures and tend to dress in a slightly masculine, assertive fashion, with few pieces of jewelry and that in a masculine cut, wide leather belts, and square-toed leather shoes. (There is some variation in dress, though, and Bond Girls have made their first appearances in evening wear, in bra and panties and, on occasion, naked.) They often sport light though noticeable sun-tans (although a few, such as Solitaire, Tatiana Romanova, and Pussy Galore, are not only tanless but remarkably pale[3][8][9]), and they generally use little or no makeup and no fingernail or toenail polish, also wearing their nails short.
(Early Bond commentator O. F. Snelling maintained that the fact that Goldfinger's Jill Masterton is painting her fingernails when Bond first encounters her is a tip-off that she will not be the novel's main Bond Girl,[10] and, indeed, Goldfinger has her killed after her brief liaison with Bond.) Their hair may be any color ranging from red (Natalya Simonova), to blond (Mary Goodnight)[11] to auburn (Gala Brand) to brown (Tatiana Romanova)[8] to blue-black (Solitaire)[12] to black (Vesper Lynd),[13], though they typically wear it in a natural or casual cut that falls heavily to their shoulders. Their features, especially their eyes and mouths, are often widely spaced (e.g. Vesper Lynd, Gala Brand, Tiffany Case, Tatiana Romanova, Honeychile Rider, Viv Michel, Mary Goodnight).[14] Their eyes are usually blue (e.g. Vesper Lynd, Solitaire, Gala Brand, Tatiana Romanova, Honeychile Rider, Viv Michel, Tracy Bond, Mary Goodnight),[15] and sometimes this is true to an unusual and striking degree: Tiffany Case's eyes are chatoyant, varying with the light from gray to gray-blue,[16] while Pussy Galore has deep violet eyes, the only truly violet eyes that Bond had ever seen.[9] The first description of a Bond Girl, Casino Royale's Vesper Lynd, is almost a template for the typical dress as well as the general appearance of later Bond Girls; she sports nearly all of the features discussed above.[13] In contrast, Dominetta "Domino" Vitali arguably departs to the greatest degree from the template, being relatively old (29), dressing in white leather doeskin sandals, having brown eyes and a tan arguably heavier than other Bond Girls, sporting a soft Brigitte Bardot haircut, and giving no indication of widely-spaced features.[17] (The departure may be due to the unusual circumstances behind the writing of the novel Thunderball, in which Domino appears.) Even Domino, however, wears rather masculine jewelry.

The best-known characteristic of Bond Girls except for their uniform beauty is their pattern of suggestive names (the most risqué and famous being Pussy Galore). Some of these, but not all, have explanations in the novels (Xenia Onatopp's name is never explained). While Solitaire's real name is Simone Latrelle, she is known as Solitaire because she excludes men from her life;[12] Gala Brand, as noted above, is named for her father's cruiser, HMS Galatea; and Tiffany Case received her name from her father, who was so angry that she was not a boy that he gave her mother a thousand dollars and a compact from Tiffany's and then walked out on her.[18] Conjecture is widespread that the naming convention began with the first Bond novel Casino Royale, in which the name "Vesper Lynd" is a pun on West Berlin, signifying Vesper's divided loyalties (she is a double agent under Soviet control). Several Bond Girls, however, have normal names (e.g. Tatiana Romanova, Mary Ann Russell, Judy Havelock, Viv Michel, Tracy Bond [née Teresa Draco, aka Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo]).

Most Bond Girls are apparently (and sometimes expressly) sexually experienced by the time they meet Bond (although there is evidence that Solitaire is a virgin). Not all of their experiences, however, are positive, and many (though by no means all) Bond girls have a history of sexual violence that often alienates them from men (until Bond comes along). This darker theme is notably absent from the early films. Tiffany Case was gang-raped as a teenager;[19] Honey Rider, too, was beaten and raped as a teenager by a drunken acquaintance.[20] Pussy Galore was subjected at age 12 to incest, and rape, by her uncle.[21] While there is no such clear-cut trauma in Solitaire's early life, there are suggestions that she, too, avoids men because of their unwanted advances in her past. Kissy Suzuki reports to Bond that during her brief career in Hollywood when she was 17 "They thought that because I am Japanese I am some sort of an animal and that my body is for everyone."[22] The inference is that these episodes often (though not always) turn the Bond Girls in question against men, though upon encountering Bond they overcome their earlier antipathy and sleep with him not only willingly but eagerly. The cliché reaches its most extreme (some would say absurd) level in Goldfinger. In this novel Pussy Galore is clearly a practicing lesbian when she first meets Bond, but at the end of the novel she sleeps with him. When, in bed, he says to her "They told me you only liked women," she replies "I never met a man before."[21]

Many Bond Girls have some sort of independent job or even career, and often it is not a particularly respectable one for 1950s women. Vesper Lynd, Gala Brand, Tatiana Romanova, Mary Ann Russell, and Mary Goodnight are in intelligence or law enforcement work. By contrast, Tiffany Case and Pussy Galore are very independent-minded criminals, the latter even running her own syndicate. Most other Bond Girls, even when they have more conventional or glamorous jobs, show an investment in their independent outlook on life. While the Bond Girls are clearly intended as sex objects, they nevertheless have a degree of independence that the Bond films tended to dispense with until nearly 1980. It was the films, therefore, that turned the Bond Girl into purely a sex object.
Most of the novels focus on one particular romance, as some of them do not occur for a while into the novel ("Casino Royale" is a good example). However, three exeptions have been made: In Goldfinger, the Masterton sisters are considered Bond girls (although Tilly is a lesbian), and after their deaths, Pussy Galore (also a lesbian) becomes the primary Bond girl. In Thunderball, Bond romances Patricia Fearing, followed by Domino Vitali. In You Only Live Twice, Bond has relationships with Kissy Suzuki, mainly, but also romances Maricho Ichiban, and a girl so insignificant that she is unnamed.
Several Bond girls have obvious signs of inner turmoil (Vesper Lynd or Vivienne Michel), and others have traumatic pasts. Most Bond girls that are allowed to develop are flawed, and several have unhappy sexual backgrounds (Honeychile Rider, Pussy Galore, Tiffany Case, Vivienne Michel, and Kissy Suzuki, among others). It is perhaps this vulnerability that draws them to Bond.

Ursula Andress as 'Honey Ryder' in Dr. No (1962) is often considered the first and quintessential Bond Girl, although Eunice Gayson, as 'Sylvia Trench', and Zena Marshall as 'Miss Taro' are seen in that film before her and therefore preceded her as Bond Girls.

There have been many attempts to break down the numerous Bond Girls into a top 10 list for the entire series; characters who often appear in these lists include Anya Amasova, Teresa di Vicenzo and Honey Rider, who is often are at Number 1 on the list.[1][2]

Often Bond Girls who have trysts with James Bond are later discovered as villainesses, e.g. Fatima Blush (Barbara Carrera) in Never Say Never Again (1983),

Elektra King (Sophie Marceau) in The and Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike) in Die Another Day.World Is Not Enough and Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike) in Die Another Day.(1999)

and Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike) in Die Another Day.

To date, only two Bond Girls have actually captured James Bond's heart. The first, Tracy di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg), married Bond in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), though she is shot dead by Irma Bunt and Ernst Stavro Blofeld at story's end. Initially, her death was to have begun Diamonds Are Forever (1971); but that idea was dropped during filming of On Her Majesty's Secret Service when George Lazenby renounced the James Bond role.

The second was Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) in Casino Royale (2006). James Bond professes his love to her and resigns from MI6 so they can have a normal life together. Later, he learns that she was actually a double agent, working for his enemies. The enemy organization Quantum had kidnapped her former lover and was blackmailing her to secure her cooperation. Apparently, she did truly fall in love with Bond, but as Quantum closed in on her, she committed suicide by drowning herself in a canal in Venice.
With the exception of "doomed" Bond girls, there is no explanation offered as to why the love interest in gone by the next film and is never mentioned or alluded to again.

The role of a Bond Girl, as it has evolved in the films, is typically a high-profile part that sometimes can give a major boost to the career of unestablished actresses, although there have been a number of Bond girls that were well-established prior to gaining their role. For instance, Diana Rigg and Honor Blackman were both Bond Girls after becoming major stars for their roles in the television series, The Avengers. Additionally, Halle Berry won an Academy Award in 2002 - the award was presented to her while she was filming Die Another Day.

Teri Hatcher was a star as well, having starred in the televison series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and her photographs were an internet sensation before being cast in Tomorrow Never Dies. A few years after playing a Bond girl, she became one of the highest paid actresses on television by starring in Desperate Housewives.

Kim Basinger has perhaps had the most successful post-Bond career. After her breakout role in Never Say Never Again, Basinger went on to star in numerous box-office hits such as 9 1/2 Weeks, Batman, and won an Academy Award for her performance in L.A. Confidential.

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