In Depth

Bond girl or Bond lady? Monica Bellucci joins a glamorous line-up

As Monica Bellucci becomes James Bond's oldest love interest, we look back at Bond girls past

Italian actress Monica Bellucci is set to become the oldest Bond girl in history in the latest 007 film, Spectre. The 50-year-old actress told The Sunday Times this weekend that when director Sam Mendes first approached her, she assumed he wanted her to replace Dame Judi Dench in the role of M.  

Dench, 80, had played M, the head of MI6, in the previous seven Bond films until her character was killed off in the 2012 movie Skyfall. Bellucci, who is four years older than Daniel Craig and describes herself as a "Bond Woman" or "Bond Lady", will appear in Spectre with another Bond girl played by Léa Seydoux. 

Here are some of the best, and most intriguing Bond girls from the past:

Daniela Bianchi as Tatiana Romanova in From Russia with Love? Tatiana Romanova is a Soviet spy, unwittingly assigned to act as a honey trap to lure Bond to his death. But her attraction to Bond prompts her to rebel against her sinister boss Rosa Klebb, who she shoots to save Bond's life.

Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder in Dr No? Honey Ryder, often regarded as the quintessential Bond girl, makes her famous entrance in the film, emerging from the ocean in a white bikini and holding a knife, in what is considered a classic Bond moment. True to Bond's cheeky style, her name is said to be a double entendre for a sexual position where the woman is on top. 

Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore in Goldfinger? Honor Blackman's character Pussy acts as Goldfinger's personal pilot, and the leader of Pussy Galore's Flying Circus, an acrobatic girl gang working as part of Goldfinger's Operation Grand Slam. Blanche Blackwell, said to be Bond author Ian Fleming's lover in later life, is thought to be the model for Pussy Galore.

Diana Rigg as Tracy Bond in On Her Majesty's Secret Service? Bond meets and falls in love with Contessa Teresa "Tracy" di Vicenzo during his pursuit of nemesis Blofeld. In a rare act of fidelity, Bond marries Tracy, but Blofeld kills Bond's wife hours after the ceremony.

Jane Seymour as Solitaire in Live and Let Die? Seymour plays Solitaire, a psychic and tarot card reader in the employ of baddie Dr Kananga whose powers are linked to her virginity. After Bond seduces her, she loses the ability to foretell the future, and is forced into cooperating with Bond to bring down Kananga.

Maud Adams as Octopussy in Octopussy? An agent's death and a fake Fabergé egg lead Bond to uncover an international jewel-smuggling operation, led by the resourceful and mysterious woman known as Octopussy, the ringleader of a female circus troupe with ulterior motives.

Halle Berry as 'Jinx' Johnson in Die Another Day? Berry plays 'Jinx', a NSA operative who teams up with Bond to spy on rogue North Korean agent Zao and investigate his ties with a sinister diamond magnate. In the film Berry recreates a famous Ursula Andress scene from Dr No, emerging from the surf in a bikini to greet Bond.

Eva Green as Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale? Bond's clever but treacherous love interest, Vesper Lynd, is credited in the Fleming novel as the inspiration for a cocktail called the Vesper martini, and gives rise to the catchphrase "shaken, not stirred" made famous by the Bond films. 

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