An iconic role such as James Bond requires iconic villains as well. Over the years, James Bond has tangled with his fair share of villains who are evil, maniacal, or both, men and women whose plans sometimes involve destroying the world or taking it over. Which ones stand out as the most unforgettable?
1. Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger)
The majority of Bond Villains are affiliated with SPECTRE, an organization bent on world domination, but Goldfinger is an exception. His motivation is pure, old-fashioned greed, and he’ll stop at nothing to raise the value of his own gold supply. With his ruthlessness and great lines, Goldfinger set the gold standard, so to speak, for Bond villains.
2. Oddjob (Goldfinger)
Many bond villains also have a henchman or henchwoman. Oddjob was the first great evil sidekick in the Bind pantheon. With his deadly steel-rimmed hat, he’s a menace from his first appearance until his demise.
3. Rosa Klebb (From Russia With Love)
Truly one of the coldest villains in the Bond franchise, Klebb is a cruel, calculating Russian puppet master set on seeing to the death of James Bond. She’s deadly in person as well with her poison-tipped boot blade.
4. Xenia Onatopp (Goldeneye)
Onatopp is the henchwoman to Alec Trevelyan (further down this list). The epitome of a femme fatale, she well earns her alias Venus Flytrap with her tendency to murder people by strangling them between her thighs.
5. Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Many Films)
Blofeld is the head of SPECTRE, and he appears in several films, and different actors portray him. For the first few films involving him, we only see him as a pair of hands holding and petting a cat. We finally see his face for the first time in You Only Live Twice. Donald Pleasance plays the role here and expertly comes off as a true madman.
6. Le Chiffre (Casino Royale)
Casino Royale was the first Daniel Craig Bond film and a franchise reset to a more basic Bond akin to the one in the Ian Fleming novels. Le Chiffre is the sinister first villain to go against Craig’s Bond, and his machinations end up hurting Bond more deeply than any other villain ever does.
7. Francisco Scaramanga (The Man With the Golden Gun)
Scaramanga himself may not be one of the most memorable Bond villains, with the possible exception of his cigarette lighter that actually is a gun. However, it’s the acting of Christopher Lee, who fashioned a villainous image playing Count Dracula, that sets the role apart.
8. Alec Trevelyan (Goldeneye)
Sean Bean plays former MI6 agent 006, who turned against his team as payback for betraying his parents when he was a child. In his role, we get to see what a darker, fallen James Bond would look like.
9. Jaws (The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker)
Who could ever forget the man with the metal teeth? Jaws seems indestructible and completely sociopathic, but we see his softer side when he meets a girl with teeth like his and falls in love.
10. Raoul Silva (Skyfall)
You might call Silva an Alec Trevelyan on steroids or the Bond version of the Joker since this former 00 is undeniably insane and intent on burning the world down. Some thought this role was a bit too much, but even so, he inflicts major damage by blowing up MI6 headquarters and murdering M.
11. Baron Samedi (Live and Let Die)
Here is the only Bond villain/henchman Bond can’t kill. Actually, Bond shoots him dead twice, but in this film, rich with voodoo themes, Samedi keeps coming back. Memorably, the film ends with him laughing atop a train with the unsuspecting Roger Moore and Jane Seymour inside.
12. Max Zoren (A View to a Kill)
This was the final Roger Moore Bond film, and for it, they found a villain for the ages who always seems one step ahead of Bond. Christopher Walken, who even in bad movies is always great, breathes life and menace into the role.
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This article was produced by Our Woven Journey.
Robert Sihler is an educator, freelance writer, and rock climbing guide and instructor living with his family in Driftwood, Texas. In his spare time, he enjoys reading fiction, streaming films, completing crossword puzzles, and rock climbing. When he goes on vacation, he likes to visit the mountains of the West and climb remote, obscure peaks that have seen few or no prior ascents.