Top 10 Best Bond Supporting Actors

The latest era in the hopefully endless chronicles of James Bond has seen a concerted effort to make the British spy hero specifically, and the world around him generally, more realistic and serious. One of the ways the three Daniel Craig-led films—Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, and Skyfall—have tried and ultimately succeeded in doing so had been by bringing on board (or retaining) genuinely talented actors in addition to Craig himself.

Academy Award winner Judi Dench is M, and Jeffrey Wright, a Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner (yet vastly underrated), made a pair of appearances as C.I.A Agent Felix Leiter. The newest film as well is bringing on board alongside Bond Ralph Fiennes, fantastic in his own right, and incredible in Coriolanus earlier this year.

We also have three very talented actors in the three villain, with Mads Mikkelsen, Mathieu Amalric, and now Javier Bardem (who won an Academy Award playing a bad guy) playing Bond’s antagonists.

All of this is to say that the new films are generally quite good and very well acted. That is not to say, however, that some fine actors haven’t made appearances in previous films. Some of them played silly characters, yes, and some of them played good characters in silly movies, but regardless, it’s all part of history now.

With that, here are 10 of the best actors to ever make an appearance in the lengthy James Bond franchise.

1. Sir Christopher Lee

Francisco Scaramanga
Francisco Scaramanga

Known for: bad guy in Lord of the Rings¸ bad guy in the new Star Wars, being British.

Character: Francisco Scaramanga, the world’s most deadly assassin who sports an auric weapon of choice.

Film: The Man With The Golden Gun

Great Line: Scaramanga – “A duel between titans. My golden gun against your Walther PPK.” Bond – “Six bullets to your one?” Scaramanga – “I only need one.”

Not So Great Line: “I like a girl in a bikini. No concealed weapons.”

2. Sean Bean

Known For: Lord of the Rings, Silent Hill, being British.

Character: Alec Trevelyan, former MI6 agent 006-turned-traitor.

Film: GoldenEye

Great Line: “Good luck with the floor James. I’ve set the timers for six minutes, the same six minutes you gave me. It was the least I could do for a friend.”

Not So Great Line: “Kill him. The man just won’t take a hint.”

3. Christopher Walken

Known for: Clem the janitor from Joe Dirt, being awesome

Character: Max Zorin, demented genius, psychotic steroid kid.

Film: A View to a Kill

Great Line: May Day: “What a view…” Zorin: “To a kill.”

Not So Great Line: Same one.

4. Alan Cumming

Known for:Playing Nightcrawler, starring on Broadway in Cabaret

Character: Boris Grishenko, Russian computer hacker, working with Alec Trevelyan

Film: GoldenEye

Great Line: “I am invincible!”

Great Riddle:  “They’re right in front of you, and can open very large doors.”

5. Jane Seymour

Known for: Michaela Quinn, both a doctor and a woman (yes, she has a first name)

Character: Solitaire, high priestess, card trickster

Film: Live and Let Die

Great Line: “When he finds out I’ve lost my powers, he’ll kill me.”

Made Up Line: “I’m a tarot reader, not a doctor!”

6. John Rhys-Davies

Known for: Being a dwarf in Lord of the Rings, not being able to count in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Character: General Leonid Pushkin, framed for plotting mass murder.

Film: The Living Daylights

Great Line: Leonid Pushkin – “Put him on the next plane to Moscow…”
General Georgi Koskov: “Oh, thank you General, thank you so much…”
Leonid Pushkin: “…in the diplomatic bag.”

Not So Great Line: They’re all great lines.

7. Teri Hatcher

Known for: Playing Penny Parker on MacGyver. And some show about suburban women.

Character: Paris Carver, wife of newspaper villain Elliot Carver

Film: Tomorrow Never Dies

Great Line: Tell me, James: do you still sleep with a gun under your pillow?

Made up line: Paris: “Oh James.” James: “I love being in Paris.”

8. Benicio del Toro

Known for: Playing Che, the Wolfman, being scary

Character: Dario, loyal, menacing, knife-wielding bad guy, working with drug lord Franz Sanchez

Film: License to Kill

Great Line: Felix Leiter – “Where’s my wife?” Dario – “Don’t worry, we gave her a nice honeymoon.”

What that means: He stabbed her to death, and will soon kill Leiter by feeding him to a shark.

9. Grace Jones

Known for: Being a singer and model, outrageous, and being able to beat you up

Character: May Day, partner of Max Zorin, lover of Bond, and wearer of unitards

Film: A View to a Kill

Great Line: Bond – “I see you’re a woman of very few words.” May Day – “What’s there to say?”

Next Great Line: Didn’t you hear her the first time?

10. Telly Savalas

Blofeld
Ernst Stavro Blofeld

Known for: Being bald, playing Kojak

Character: Ernst Stavro Blofeld, founder of terrorist organization SPECTRE, really, really bad and hard to kill. And he seems to shapeshift.

Film: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Best Line: “Merry Christmas, 007.”

Best Explanation of a plan: “Oh, I doubt that. In any case, no one is coming to your rescue, Mr. Bond. In a few short hours, the United Nations will receive a Yultide greeting. The information that I now possess the scientific means to control, or to destroy, the economy of the whole world. People will have more important things to deal with than you.”

Anthony Marcusa
A pop-culture consumer, Anthony seeks out what is important in entertainment and mocks what is not. Inspired by history, Anthony writes with the hope that someone, somewhere, might be affected.

Around The Web

  • Sean Kelyl

    Ummm…..you do realize that Donald Pleasence in the Blofeld image?

  • Sean Kelly

    ^ignore name typo

  • Bryan Murray

    I always liked the villains in Bond movies.