CBC Digital Archives

Bond girls: short skirts, shorter careers

More than 50 years after suave British spy James Bond first appeared in the novel Casino Royale, the deadly secret agent remains among the most popular characters in fiction. Bond books were bestsellers and the movie franchise has grossed over US $4 billion. 2008 marks the 100th anniversary of Bond creator Ian Fleming's birth and, in celebration of his inimitable creation, the CBC Digital Archives explores the Canadian connections to the British spy and looks back on the early days of Bond ... James Bond.

Pussy Galore. Plenty O'Toole. Holly Goodhead. Memorable names to be sure, but who remembers who played these sexy, sophisticated and absurdly named seductresses? Bond girl status is one of the ultimate show-biz measurements of sex appeal, but it also seems to be a career-killer. In this 1983 broadcast, CBC-TV's Coming Attractions looks at the career malaise that hits most Bond girls after their adventures with 007, and asks a few of them whether Bond's license to kill inadvertently helped kill their careers.
• Ursula Andress is universally acknowledged as one of the best, if not the best, Bond girls of all time according to fan polls, movie magazines and critics. She famously appeared in a white bikini in the 1962 movie Dr. No and quickly became a standard by which other Bond girls are judged (although maybe not in terms of acting - Andress's Swedish accent was so thick that it had to be overdubbed by another actress during post-production).
  • While the vast majority of Bond girls were relative unknowns before their onscreen adventures with 007, a number of established actresses began appearing as Bond girls starting in the 1990s. Stars such as Famke Janssen, Sophie Marceau, Michelle Yeoh and Academy Award-winner Halle Berry all cavorted with Bond in more recent films.

•The one former Bond girl who went on to the greatest success was Kim Basinger, who played Domino Petachi in the 1983 Bond movie Never Say Never Again. Basinger later starred in such hits as 9½ Weeks and Batman and also won an Academy Award in 1997 for her role in L.A. Confidential.

Medium: Television
Program: Coming Attractions
Broadcast Date: Dec. 16, 1983
Guest(s): Maud Adams, Barbara Carerra, Jill St. John
Host: Bob Karstens, Patricia White
Duration: 3:11

Last updated: February 6, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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