Bond might be the titular hero of the James Bond franchise, but if you're anything like me, you might think that the various villains of the long-running series are the true standout stars.
Sure, Bond might get to knock back martinis, seduce the local femme fatale and make the odd off-the-cuff quip, but it's the villains who get to make all the diabolical schemes, build ridiculously expensive volcano bases and create general chaos.
Since Dr. No in 1962, the Bond series has had villains of all different shapes and sizes - from bald, cat loving super-criminals to crazed newspaper magnates who somehow manage to steal and then crew an entire stealth ship. Let's take a look at some of the biggest villains and see what they've been doing since they last tangled with Bond.
Christopher Lee - Franciso Scaramanga (The Man With The Golden Gun)
Fun Fact: Christopher Lee is a true renaissance man, and with this in mind it's hard to pick a single interesting fact about him, so here's two. Firstly, he is actually a step-cousin to the original James Bond creator and author, Ian Flemming, and secondly, he knows a thing or two about clandestine operations in real life too.
Lee served extensively during the Second World War, and at various times was attached to the Special Operations Executive and Long Range Desert Patrol (the precursor to the legendary SAS). Regarding his service he hasn't said much, but he did once state:
I was attached to the SAS from time to time but we are forbidden – former, present, or future – to discuss any specific operations. Let's just say I was in Special Forces and leave it at that. People can read in to that what they like.
Indeed, when pressed on his service by one insistent interviewer, Lee reportedly asked, "Can you keep a secret?". When the interviewer excitedly said he could, Lee leaned in close and added "So can I."
What Has He Been In Since?: Even at the ripe old age of 92, Lee doesn't appear to showing any signs of slowing down. Overall, he's been in 280 movies and television shows, so listing his post Bond achievements would take an age. However, most recently he returned to his famous role as Saruman in The Hobbit franchise, while he also portrayed Count Dooku in the Star Wars: Episode II. Another recent hobby of his is releasing heavy metal albums based the life and times of Charlemagne. Because he's Christopher Lee and he can whatever the hell he likes.
Christopher Walken - Max Zorin (A View To A Kill)
Fun Fact: David Bowie was also reportedly up for the role of Max Zorin in A View To A Kill, however he turned it down stating, "I didn't want to spend five months watching my stunt double fall off cliffs." That actually sounds kind of fun to me... Anyway, Rutger Hauer was also offered the role before Walken signed on immediately.
What Has He Been In Since?: Come on, it's Christopher Walken! The world famous character has had an illustrious career since playing a Bond villain. He played another memorable bad guy in True Romance, while he also turned up in Tarantino classic, Pulp Fiction. He earned an Oscar nomination for his work on Catch Me If You Can (he won a Best Supporting Actor for Deer Hunter in 1979) and he has most recently appeared in films such as Jersey Boys and Seven Psychopaths.
Honor Blackman - Pussy Galore (Goldfinger)
Disclaimer: I know Pussy Galore is eventually persuaded (and seduced) to the good side by Bond, but she does initially start the film as a hench-woman for Goldfinger.
Fun Fact: Pussy's double-entendre name certainly concerned censors when the movie was in production. They even considered changing it to 'Kitty Galore' to avoid the ire of sensitive viewers. However, they ultimately decided to retain the name as the British press had already begun to refer to her as 'Pussy'. Furthermore, at 39 years old (at the time), Blackman was the oldest actress to ever play a Bond girl.
What Has She Been in Since? Even though Blackman is now 89 years old, she isn't ready to retire just yet, having recently appeared in British horror comedy, Cockneys vs Zombies. Following Goldfinger she became a staple of television, appearing in shows such as Doctor Who and The Avengers, while she also appeared in 2001's Bridget Jones's Diary.
Sean Bean - Alec Trevelyan (GoldenEye)
Fun Fact: Sean Bean in fact auditioned for the role of James Bond in The Living Daylights, along with Sam Neill, Mel Gibson and Pierce Brosnan (who had to drop out due to contractual obligations). Brosnan and Bean would of course later appear together in GoldenEye.
What Has He Been In Since?: Another prolific actor, Bean has since become well-known for his characters that rarely make it alive to the end credits. He famously played Boromor in The Lord of Rings, while he also appeared in Equilibrium, Silent Hill and the Percy Jackson franchise. Recently, he also made a triumphant return to fantasy with his role of Ned Stark in Game of Thrones.
Mads Mikkelsen - Le Chiffre (Casino Royale)
Fun Fact: The first villain of the rebooted Daniel Craig James Bond franchise, Le Chiffre is also unique for several other reasons. He is in fact also the first Bond villain in the EON Bond productions not to die at the hands of Bond (he is killed by his henchmen). Furthermore, he is also the first Bond villain to die before the third act of the movie (Le Chiffre dies at around the end of the movie's second act).
What Else Has He Been In Since?: A native of Denmark, Casino Royale marked Mikkelsen's first major entry into English speaking cinema. Since his turn as a Bond villain, he has appeared in WWII assassination movie Flame and Citron and as Draco in Clash of the Titans. More recently he appeared in the Oscar nominated The Hunt, and as Hannibal Lecter in three seasons of NBC's Hannibal. If you haven't seen it, you should also check him out in the dark Danish comedy, Adam's Apples. It's really good.
Richard Kiel - Jaws (The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker)
Fun Fact: Jaws' prominent metal teeth apparently caused quite a few problems for actor Richard Kiel. They were so uncomfortable he was only able to wear them for less than one minute without gagging. Furthermore, when he was required to bite through something - such as the metal cable - liquorice was used.
What Else Has He Been in Since?: Richard Kiel, who sadly died last year, was not the most prolific actor following his role of Jaws, since at 7' 2" tall, there were few roles for him to fill. However, he was working up to his death, including a role as Mr. Larson in Happy Gilmore and Famous Big Guy with Silver Teeth in Inspector Gadget. He also provided the voice of Vlad in Disney's Tangled.