According to the BBC, Linda Christian, the first actress to portray the female lead on a James Bond set, died last week at the age of 87.
“But wait,” you say, “Dr. No had Ursula Andress in that famous bikini, not Linda Christian.”
And indeed, you are correct. Christian starred alongside Barry Nelson and Peter Lorre in the first television adaptation of a Bond story, predating by almost ten years the Bond films that we are most familiar with.
How could we possibly have forgotten about a Bond adaptation where Peter Lorre was the villain? The world may never know.
Wait, was it because Bond had an American accent?
While the Bond movies have not usually been a haven for actresses playing rounded characters, the recent reboot of the Bond series did take lengths to have women play larger roles (larger than the cars and gadgets, at least), and they did it with the same basic Bond story that Christian starred in: Casino Royale.
(via the A.V. Club.)