There are many James Bond characters that have brought excitement to the 007 movie series.
Some of these characters work within the British Secret Service at MI6 whilst others have supported Bond on location.
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Now let’s take a look at the main recurring James Bond characters:
The head of the British Secret Service, M, is a tough, authoritative figure. From his plush office in London he briefs his top agent, James Bond, on the latest assignment, before sending him out on duty. M is one of the key James Bond characters and despises 007’s loutish behaviour, but values his efforts on the job.
Robert Brown then took on the role of M for four Bond movies from Octopussy (1983) to Licence to Kill (1989). Since GoldenEye (1995), M has been played by Judi Dench, thus appearing in six Bond films to date.
The ever reliable secretary to M, Miss Moneypenny, is known for her easy going nature and admiration of James Bond. Before and after meetings with M, 007 rather enjoyed flirting with Miss Moneypenny prior to his next mission for MI6. Over the years she has often dreamed of a relationship with Bond.
Lois Maxwell portrayed Miss Moneypenny for the first fourteen James Bond movies by EON Productions, from Dr No (1962) to A View to a Kill (1985). Caroline Bliss then took over the role for two 007 films: The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989).
Q, also known as Major Boothroyd, is head of Q Branch at MI6 which provides handy equipment for James Bond to use on assignment.
Some of the gadgets created for Agent 007 are simply ingenious. Q runs a laboratory with new prototypes constantly in development.
Q Branch is renowned for setting up facilities abroad in locales including India and Egypt. Q commonly follows Bond on his missions to give crucial support.
The most recent appearance of Q, in Die Another Day (2002), was portrayed by John Cleese. Q is one of the most popular James Bond characters and a key component of the 007 film series - he became known for saying “Grow up 007”, when Bond made crude remarks about his work.
Working for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the United States, Felix Leiter is a close ally and friend to James Bond. He featured in nine official Bond films and has been portrayed by various actors over the years.
Head of the KGB, General Gogol, was one of the James Bond characters to appear in six 007 films from 1977 (The Spy Who Loved Me) to 1987 (The Living Daylights). He was portrayed by Walter Gotell and liaises with British Intelligence and James Bond on various occasions. One of his notable appearances was in Octopussy (1983), when he opposed the fanatical General Orlov.
Sir Frederick Gray is the Minister of Defence for the British government in six Bond movies and was portrayed by actor Geoffrey Keen. He provided Agent 007 with important information and often briefed Bond together with M. He first appeared in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and in consecutive 007 films until The Living Daylights (1987).
Chief of Staff for the British Secret Service, Bill Tanner, has made four appearances in the James Bond movie series. Tanner is one of the many James Bond characters who have provided support to Agent 007 in his duties.
In For Your Eyes Only (1981) he fills in for M who is on leave, giving 007 the assignment Operation Undertow. Michael Kitchen is the only actor to portray Bill Tanner on multiple occasions (GoldenEye and The World Is Not Enough) when he assisted Bond and MI6 on two dangerous missions.
Working for M as Chief of Staff, Charles Robinson gave vital support to 007 on three missions: Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999), and Die Another Day (2002). He was portrayed by Colin Salmon and works closely with M in ensuring Bond’s safety and providing information during mission briefings.
The flamboyant Sheriff J W Pepper made noticeable appearances in two James Bond films. He is a charismatic Louisiana police officer played by Clifton James and one of the great James Bond characters in the 007 series.
In Live and Let Die (1973) he became mixed up in an outrageous boat chase on the bayous of Louisiana. By chance, Sheriff Pepper met Bond again whilst holidaying with his wife in Thailand in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). He took a thrilling car ride with 007 chasing the key villain, Francisco Scaramanga.
CIA agent Jack Wade is played by Joe Don Baker and assisted James Bond in GoldenEye (1995) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). Initially showing disdain for Agent 007 and the British, Jack Wade warms to Bond and his methods. He is a Vietnam War veteran who despises authorities and opposes the rigid rules of the job.
James Bond crosses paths with ex-KGB agent Valentin Zukovsky on two missions. He is portrayed by Robbie Coltrane. In GoldenEye (1995) Zukovsky is based in St Petersburg, Russia, and is involved in various illegal dealings - he provides 007 with valuable information on the Janus crime organisation.
In The World Is Not Enough (1999), Bond meets Valentin Zukovsky at his casino in Baku, Azerbaijan. He has a deal with the main villain Elektra King. In Istanbul, Turkey he eventually saves Bond’s life who is facing certain death in an ancient torture chair.
One of the more recent James Bond characters is René Mathis. He is a loyal ally to James Bond and features in two 007 films. Mathis is portrayed by Giancarlo Giannini and was Agent 007’s Montenegro contact in Casino Royale (2006). He gave vital support to Bond in a high stakes poker tournament against Le Chiffre.
In Quantum of Solace (2008), Bond seeks assistance from Mathis to enter Bolivia. Using his contacts, Mathis allows 007 to track down the evil Dominic Greene, but later suffers a cruel death after being betrayed by the Bolivian police.
There are so many characters that make up the 007 series - which of them stand out to you? why do they appeal to you?
Maybe you like one of the popular recurring characters such as M, Q or Miss Moneypenny?
Or is it one of the supporting characters such as Kerim Bey (From Russia With Love), Marc Ange Draco (On Her Majesty's Secret Service), or Rubavitch (The Living Daylights) that you admire?
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Sir Sean Connery Not rated yet
He exemplifies a gentleman, suave, dapper, chivalric and very good communicator. Besides he looks great in a black tie. For movies of the 60's era.
Q! Not rated yet
Q is always my favorite missed Desmond greatly, but also think John Cleese has done a fantastic job with the role.
Vijay Amritraj: 007’s Loyal Indian Ally Not rated yet
I thought Vijay Amritraj in Octopussy was a great James Bond character! I love the moment when 007 arrives in India and meets Vijay playing the James …
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