A literary and cinematic icon, James Bond has been crushing evil plots for more than 50 years. Whether shaking down villains or shaking up martinis, the world's least secret agent has left a long and colorful trail of daring, dangerous and, in true hero fashion, always successful missions. Here, in conjunction with the release of Casino Royale, is a look at the life, loves and illustrious career of spydom's most famous fictional character.
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The following artists have recorded theme songs for the James Bond films:
Matt Munro (From Russia With Love)
Shirley Bassey (Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, Moonraker)
Tom Jones (Thunderball)
Louis Armstrong (We Have All the Time in the World, from On Her Majesty's Secret Service)
Paul McCartney and Wings (Live and Let Die)
Lulu (The Man With the Golden Gun)
Carly Simon (Nobody Does It Better, from The Spy Who Loved Me)
Sheena Easton (For Your Eyes Only)
Rita Coolidge (All Time High, from Octopussy)
Duran Duran (A View to a Kill)
A-ha (The Living Daylights)
Patti LaBelle (If You Asked Me To, from License to Kill)
Tina Turner (GoldenEye)
Sheryl Crow (Tomorrow Never Dies)
Garbage (The World Is Not Enough)
Madonna (Die Another Day)
Chris Cornell (You Know My Name, from Casino Royale)
CINEMATIC PRECURSORS TO JAMES BOND
Girl Spy (1909), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), Background to Danger (1943), Against the Wind (1948), There's Going to Be a Party (1960), The Avengers (1961)
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964), The Ipcress File (1965), Get Smart (1965), The Silencers (1966), Our Man Flint (1966), Modesty Blaise (1966), Mission: Impossible (1966)
The Prisoner (1967), Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp (1970), Three Days of the Condor (1975), True Lies (1994)
The first James Bond novel was published in 1953.
James Bond was named after the author of the reference work Birds of the West Indies. Author Ian Fleming felt the name was suitably flat and forgettable, perfect for a man who lives in the shadows.
Here's a list of some of the improbably named women who have been wooed by James Bond:
Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder (Dr. No)
Honor Blackman as [filtered word] Galore (Goldfinger)
Jill St. John as Tiffany Case (Diamonds Are Forever)
Jane Seymour as Solitare (Live and Let Die)
Britt Ekland as Mary Goodnight (The Man With the Golden Gun)
Lois Chiles as Holly Goodhead (Moonraker)
Maud Adams as Octopussy (Octopussy)
Maryam d'Abo as Kara Milovy (The Living Daylights)
Halle Berry as Giacinta "Jinx" Jordan (Die Another Day)
Though the megalomaniacal villains bent on world domination usually get top billing, it's the colorful henchmen of the Bond universe who usually are the most memorable. Here are a few fan favorites:
Lotte Lenya as Rosa Klebb (From Russia With Love) - Dispatched her victims with a poison blade hidden in her sensible Soviet shoes.
Harold Sakata as Oddjob (Goldfinger) - Takes care of business with a metal-rimmed hat and lethal aim.
Bruce Glover and Putter Smith as Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd (Diamonds are Forever) - Ruthless assassins rumored to be a couple.
Julius Harris as Tee Hee (Live and Let Die) - A run-in with an alligator left him with a metal pincer on one hand, making him perfectly suited for henchman duties.
Herve Villechaize as Nick Nack (The Man With the Golden Gun) - Played by Mr. Villechaize before he defected to Fantasy Island.
Richard Kiel as Jaws (The Spy Who Loved Me; Moonraker) - The grand master of all Bond henchmen, the seemingly indestructible Jaws not only sports a set of stainless-steel dentures but also manages to take apart a space station with his bare hands.
Bond's archnemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld has been played by Anthony Dawson (From Russia With Love and Thunderball), Donald Pleasence (You Only Live Twice), Telly Savalas (On Her Majesty's Secret Service), Charles Grey (Diamonds Are Forever), John Hollis (For Your Eyes Only) and Max Von Sydow (Never Say Never Again).
The only actor to play the role more than once never spoke a single line of dialogue. Mr. Dawson's Blofeld was dubbed by Eric Pohlmann.
A HISTORY OF BOND
SEAN CONNERY - (1962-67, 1971)
GEORGE LAZENBY - (1969)
ROGER MOORE - (1973-85)
TIMOTHY DALTON - (1987-89)
PIERCE BROSNAN - (1995-2002)
DANIEL CRAIG (Present)