From ‘Bond girl’ to stardom: Michelle Yeoh and Ana de Armas at the Oscars and other successful actresses of the saga

When next March 12th the Oscars gala 2023, two women competing in the category of Best Leading Actress will have something in common in the past of their careers: Ana de Armasnominated for ‘Blonde’, and michelle yeohfor ‘Everything at once everywhere’, They were once Bond girls.. And although they are not the most remembered roles from his filmography because the British detective’s companions are usually mere troupes, femmes fatales or hunks with barely any lines of dialogue, the truth is that the franchise of the famous 007 has catapulted many actresses to stardom whose subsequent achievements have made us forget that they went through these action films. Therefore, today we review the names of some of the most successful Bond girls.

Ursula Andress

Ursula Andress, the first Bond girl in ‘Dr. No’ with Sean Connery | Cord Press

Before reaching Ana and Michelle, it is mandatory to stop at the primal bond girlUrsula Andress, who appeared in 1962 in ‘Dr. No’ next to Sean Connery, giving life to Honey Ryder. For this intervention they gave him the Golden Globe to New Star of the Year (award that disappeared in the eighties) and He opened all the doors of Hollywood. Photographed by Playboy and considered one of the sexiest actresses of all time by Empire magazine, she later worked in films such as ‘The idol of Acapulco’, alongside Elvis Presley, ‘What’s up, pussycat?’, ‘Four uncles from Texas’ and in television series, until he retired in the early 2000s. “After being the first Bond girl I got a lot of offers and got to choose parts. All I did was wear a bikini in ‘Dr. No’, not a very small one, and bam! Overnight I did it. Gave me financial independence changed my life completely“He said in a 2018 interview. Interestingly, he also participated in the 1967 ‘Casino Royale’, a parody of the Bond movies that had very bad reviews.

michelle yeoh

Michelle Yeoh in 'Tomorrow Never Dies' as a Bond girl with Pierce Brosnan

Michelle Yeoh in ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ as a Bond girl with Pierce Brosnan | Cord Press

It’s not just a joke when we say that Michelle Yeoh seems to be everywhere all the time lately. In recent years we have seen the Malaysian actress in the series ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ and ‘The Witcher: The Origin of Blood’, in the blockbuster ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and in two roles in the MCU, Aleta Ogord in ‘ Guardians of the Galaxy (vol. 2)’ and Ying Nan in ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’, plus, of course, ‘Everything at once everywhere‘ by which can get the oscar (He already got the Golden Globe). Perhaps for this reason many have forgotten that was the Chinese spy Wai Lin from ‘Tomorrow never dies’ and that this opened the doors to other of his most famous films, ‘Tiger and Dragon’ and ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’. On her stint in Bond, Yeoh has commented that she never felt sexualized because her involvement came at a point where the franchise was changing.

Teri Hatcher

Teri Hatcher and Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in 'Tomorrow Never Dies'

Teri Hatcher and Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ | Cord Press

Also in ‘The tomorrow Never Die‘, which was Pierce Brosnan’s second film as 007, we saw as a Bond girl Teri Hatcher, who had previously achieved significant fame thanks to the legendary series ‘Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman’. Later, Hatcher would have a very notable role in ‘Desperate women’, where the conflicts behind the cameras were as notorious as in the Bond movie. If during the course of the series it would be the media who talked about the tensions between the actresses protagonists, in the case of ‘Tomorrow never dies’ it would be Brosnan himself who would make it public: “I got very angry with her on set. She always made me wait for hours. I have to admit that some unkind words escaped me. Later, one morning it was found out that Teri was pregnant and that she had not been feeling well… Those things happen,” she told the Italian version of Vanity Fair.

jane seymour

Jane Seymour and Roger Moore as James Bond in 'Live and Let Die'

Jane Seymour and Roger Moore as James Bond in ‘Live and let die’ | Cord Press

Another successful television that went through the 007 movies was Jane Seymour. Before becoming world famous for the series ‘Dr. Quinn‘, a total hit of the nineties, the actress went through ‘Live and Let Die‘, the first film in which James Bond was played by Roger Moore. Her character was the well-remembered Solitaire, which Seymour acknowledges (3) was very sexist: “I was a virginal woman running three paces behind a man with a gun, dressed very… well, for a Bond girl, pretty dressed up.” However, she says that she would not mind reincarnating this character. More recently she has appeared in series like ‘The Kominsky method’ or ‘B Positive’.

Honor Blackman

Honor Blackman and Sean Connery as James Bond in 'Goldfinger'

Honor Blackman and Sean Connery as James Bond in ‘Goldfinger’ | Cord Press

when he passed away Honor Blackmanin the year 2020 at the age of 94, one of his most remembered roles was the one he did in ‘James Bond Goldfinger‘ in 1964. Even so, when she came to the franchise she was already famous for ‘The Avengers’, a British spy series (which has nothing to do with the MCU) and then she continued working for many years: we saw her in ‘The Diary of Bridget Jones’ or ‘Zombie Invasion’ and had theater roles in ‘My Fair Lady’, ‘The Sound of Music’ or ‘Cabaret’. In a 2015 interview, she commented that she had only seen her 007 film twice, at the premiere and on her 50th anniversary, and that she did not consider herself a sex symbol. “I’ve turned down roles in the past that required me to be a sexy woman, I didn’t think I was like that. I always wanted to play the secretary. I know, it’s weird, but it’s the truth.” (4)

Diana Rigg

Diana Rigg with George Lazenby as James Bond in 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service'

Diana Rigg with George Lazenby as James Bond in ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ | Cord Press

The same year that Honor Blackman passed away, so did another Bond girl, Diana Rigg, who, like her, rose to fame with ‘The Avengers’. Rigg would be well remembered for the 007 saga despite the fact that her participation was in a quite hated movie: ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service‘, sixth title of the franchise, was the only one starring George Lazenby, despite initially having a contract for seven deliveries. She gave life to Countess Teresa di Vicenzo, whom Bond married at the end of the film. After her, Rigg would have a long career in film and television and would win an Emmy for ‘Rebecca’, although perhaps many know her for two of her final roles in the series ‘Game of Thrones‘, where was Olenna Tyrelland ‘All creatures great and small’.

Ana de Armas

Ana de Armas and Daniel Craig in 'No time to die'

Ana de Armas and Daniel Craig in ‘No Time to Die’ | Universal Pictures

And what about Ana de Armas? The Cuban-Spanish actress we saw grow up in ‘The intership‘ is now a whole Hollywood star and thanks to her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in ‘Blonde’, she is nominated for an Oscar, after going through ‘Blade Runner 2049’ and ‘Puñales por la espalda’. in between, gave life to Paloma in ‘No time to die’ helping Daniel Craig to face the bad guys and, although he did not go out much, his charisma drew a lot of attention. Will he get the top honor in Hollywood this year?

Halle Berry and many more

Halle Berry in a bikini as a bond girl in 'Tomorrow Never Dies' with Pierce Brosnan

Halle Berry in a bikini as a bond girl in ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ with Pierce Brosnan | Cord Press

Who did win the Oscar was Halle Berryfor ‘Monster’s Ball’, although he did it a year before participating in ‘The tomorrow Never Die‘, where he starred in that iconic way out of the water with the orange bikini. While she hasn’t been so lucky in recent years, Berry was a star before Bond and after, as were other actresses in the franchise. Daniela Bianchi, Martine Beswick, Grace Jones, Famke Janssen, Sophie Marceau, Rosamund Pike or Eva Green are other stars who have a 007 movie in their filmographies.

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From ‘Bond girl’ to stardom: Michelle Yeoh and Ana de Armas at the Oscars and other successful actresses of the saga