History tells us that playing 007’s love interest is more often than not a licence to kill…your career!
As we count down to the Australian release of the latest instalment, we revisit seven infamous Bond Girls who wish they’d never laid eyes on the world’s smoothest spy.
1. Barbara Bach
Her stunning looks won her the role of Russian agent Anya Amasova in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) opposite Roger Moore, the same year she first appeared in Playboy. She managed to leverage the ‘exposure’ into further roles, such as Force 10 From Navarone and Caveman, but there were all resounding flops. She made a last-ditch effort to resurrect her career in the TV series Charlie’s Angels but lost the part to Shelley Hack. By 1986 she’d quit acting for good, and settled down with Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, who also helped her beat her battle with alcoholism. As for Bond: “He’s a chauvinistic pig who uses girls to shield him against bullets,” she fired back.
2. Izabella Scorupco
The former Polish-born model garnered much praise for her role in Goldeneye (1995) as the assertive programmer Natalya Simonova. But she left afflicted with one of the deadliest doses of the Bond curse yet, turning down the female leads in the subsequent box office hits LA Confidential and The Mask Of Zorro. Instead she opted for a string of turkeys, Vertical Limit, Reign Of Fire and Exorcist: The Beginning, Cougar Club, among many others, and was never heard from in Hollywood again. Instead, in 2011 she reprised her singing career and in 2012 hosted Sweden’s Next Top Model.
3. Shirley Eaton
The English actress was an international sex symbol as a popular singer and star of the early Carry On films before her famous turn as Jill Masterson in Goldfinger (1964). She even upstaged Honor Blackman, who played famed Bond girl Pussy Galore in the same film, appearing on the cover of Life Magazine the same year. But soon afterward, her career went so cold, the rumour flying around at the time was that she’d suffered the same fate as her character who died after being painted in gold. She quit acting for good soon after to focus on starting a family.
4. Halle Berry
Before she emerged from the sea as the fittingly-named Jinx in Die Another Day (2002), Halle was one of the hottest actresses on the planet. She’d won a Best Actress Oscar for Monster’s Ball the previous year and had Hollywood at her feet. But after that forgettable Bond flick opposite Pierce Brosnan, she was frequently shaken and stirred. She broke her arm filming Gothika, endured her second divorce and picked up a Razzie for the awful Catwoman. Since then, anything she’s made without ‘X’ in the title has been largely ignored.
5. Denise Richards
Her career was on the rise before The World Is Not Enough (1999). She impressed in Starship Troopers and had the pick of some of Hollywood’s best scripts after her steamy turn in Wild Things opposite Neve Campbell and Matt Dillon. But falling for Pierce Brosnan as busty nuclear physicist Dr Christmas Jones was the beginning of the end. Almost overnight she became tabloid fodder due to destructive relationship with Charlie Sheen, a Playboy shoot and a tacky reality show.
6. Tanya Roberts
Although she enjoyed a twilight career resurgence as the mum in popular TV series That ‘70s Show, the star of A View To A Kill (1985) says Bond was the kiss of death to her movie career. The former model didn’t land a leading role in the 30 years since starring opposite Roger Moore. The former Charlie’s Angel said she had a sixth sense it was a bad move but felt pressured to take the part. “I remember I said to my agent, ‘No one ever works after they get a Bond movie’ and they said to me, ‘Are you kidding? Glen Close would do it if she could’. I think it’s better to come into the limelight really slowly and do a broader range of roles, but I took these glamorous roles and I think that stereotyped me.”
7. Maryam D’Abo
The diminutive English actress made her mark by plunging down a mountain with Timothy Dalton on a cello in The Living Daylights (1987). Although busy with a series of minor TV roles since then, the now 54-year-old hasn’t come close to recapturing that kind of glory on the big screen. On more than one occasion she’s even resorted to trading off the Bond factor, co-writing a tribute book Bond Girls Are Forever, and producing a documentary along the same lines.
Sadly, she suffered a brain haemorrhage in 2007 but has since made a full recovery.
To find out why Monica Belluci has Bond fans shaken and stirred before Spectre’s November 12 release in Australia, read more here.