Dr Julius No, Chinese-German, played by Joseph Wiseman in ‘Dr No’ (1962). Nuclear scientist Dr No was the very first on-screen Bond villain, and also the spy’s first encounter with the shadowy Spectre organisation. Tragically, Julius ends up boiled alive in his own nuclear reactor. Courtesy United Artists
Rosa Klebb, Soviet, played by Lotte Lenya in ‘From Russia with Love’ (1963). A former Russian agent who defected to become Spectre’s number three, Klebb meets her untimely end at the hands of Soviet agent Tatiana Romanova, who joins forces with Bond to fight the organisation. Courtesy United Artists
Auric Goldfinger, British, played by Gert Frobe in ‘Goldfinger’ (1964). It’s not all about worrying foreigners when it comes to Bond villains. The third Bond movie features the very British villain Auric Goldfinger (ironically portrayed by German actor Gert Frobe), who plans to use a Chinese atomic bomb to blow up Fort Knox, but instead ends up sucked out of the window of a plane. Courtesy United Artists
Emilio Largo (left), Italian, played by Adolfo Celi in ‘Thunderball’ (1965). Bond encounters Spectre’s number 2 in Thunderball. The British spy’s leading lady comes to the rescue again, as Largo’s mistress Domino (Claudine Auger) scuppers his plan to hold the world to ransom by shooting him with a harpoon gun. by Stephan C Archetti/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Ernst Stavro Blofeld, German-Polish-Austrian, played by Anthony Dawson, Donald Pleasence, Telly Savalas, Charles Gray, John Hollis, Christoph Waltz in ‘From Russia with Love’ (1963), ‘Thunderball’(1965), ‘You Only Live Twice’(1967), ‘For Your Eyes Only’(1981), ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’(1969), ‘Diamonds Are Forever’(1971), ‘Spectre’(2015). Bond’s most frequent nemesis, Blofeld, finally took a lead role in You Only Live Twice, having featured as a background villain in previous films. His origin is somewhat flexible, but the novels and the early films have him as born in German-occupied Poland, though by 2015’s Spectre he is Austrian, and ends that film in custody.
Dr Kananga/Mr Big (left), Caribbean, played by Yaphet Kotto in ‘Live and Let Die’ (1973). Drug smuggler, voodoo cult leader, and dictator of the fictional island of San Monique, Dr Kananga goes out in explosive fashion when Bond forces a compressed gas capsule down his throat, bringing a swift end to his nefarious activities. Courtesy United Artists
Francisco Scaramanga, Cuban-British, played by Christopher Lee in ‘The Man with The Golden Gun’ (1974). With his flying car, golden gun and laser cannon, Scaramanga is a match for Q on the novelty weapon front, but he’s no match for Bond, who dispenses with his foe in the iconic, Bruce Leeinspired, hall of mirrors finale. Courtesy United Artists
Karl Stromberg, Swedish, played by Curt Jurgens in ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ (1977). Diabolical, webbed-fingered shipping magnate Stromberg has plans to destroy the human race and start a new underwater civilisation from his Atlantian base. Fortunately, Bond is on hand to save the day.
Hugo Drax, American, played by Michael Lonsdale in ‘Moonraker’ (1979). Supervillain, spaceship builder, and keen pianist, Drax intends to wipe out humanity and repopulate the world with a perfect master race. His plan proves to be his downfall when his henchman, Jaws, realises that he and his girlfriend are unlikely to match up to Drax’s Aryan ideals.
Aristotle Kristatos, Greek, played by Julian Glover in ‘For Your Eyes Only’ (1981). Drug smuggler, Soviet double agent, and rogue Nazi, Kristatos ticks of all the Bond villain boxes apart from having a fluffy cat. Fortunately, he’s taken out by a rival smuggler before he can take control of the UK’s nuclear submarine fleet.
General Orlov, Soviet, played by Steven Berkoff in ‘Octopussy’ (1983). Berkoff plays a megalomaniac Soviet general who hankers after an allout war with the West, despite the diplomatic intentions of his superiors. He ends up shot by his own side when he is mistaken for a defector.
Kamal Khan, Afghan, played by Louis Jourdan in ‘Octopussy’ (1983). Khan is the closest we’ve come to a Bond baddie from the Middle East so far – the Afghan prince is Orlov’s partner in crime and, like his sidekick, doesn’t make it out of the film alive.
Max Zorin, East German, played by Christopher Walken in ‘A View to a Kill’ (1985). Zorin is the result of a Nazi experiment to create “super children,” and finds himself working for the KGB after East Germany becomes part of the post-war Soviet bloc. Walken is in top psycho form in Roger Moore’s last appearance as Bond.
General Georgi Koskov (left), Soviet, played by Jeroen Krabbe in ‘The Living Daylights’ (1987). Timothy Dalton’s 007 is up against another sociopathic Soviet General in his debut, and this time the baddie is faking his own defection as part of a huge drug smuggling scheme. Needless to say, Bond is on hand to save the day.
Franz Sanchez, Colombian, played by Robert Davi in ‘Licence to Kill’ (1989). Sanchez is a wealthy Colombian drug baron, though in keeping with the theme of Nazis and Soviets causing Bond problems, his first name is in homage to his German mother’s Nazi past. He meets a fiery doom when Bond takes revenge for the attack on old friend and CIA agent Felix Leiter and his new wife.
Alec Trevelyan, British, played by Sean Bean in ‘GoldenEye’ (1995). A rogue former “006” operative who, despite being British, is of Russian heritage and comes from a family who supported the Nazis during the Second World War. Trevelyan has a particular hatred of Bond thanks to his facial disfigurement, which took place while the pair were on a mission together in 1986.
Elliot Carver, British, played by Jonathan Pryce in ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ (1997). If you think media barons like Rupert Murdoch and Robert Maxwell have a bad reputation, you should check out Carver. Not only does he create disasters so his papers can be the first to report them, but he’s intent on engineering a war between Britain and China so he can expand his media empire in the East. He makes phone tapping look pedestrian.
Elektra King, Azerbaijani-British, played by Sophie Marceau in ‘The World is Not Enough’ (1999). Elektra King is a wealthy oil heiress and accomplished torturer. At one stage, she taunts a captive Bond that his affection for her has allowed her to overcome him. Sadly for King, that doesn’t prevent Bond from killing her with a single shot once he’s free.
Tan Sun-Moon/Gustav Graves (right), North Korean/British, played by Toby Stevens in ‘Die Another Day’ (2002). Stretching the bounds of believability to the limits has always been a forte of 007, and this North Korean colonel is no exception. Presumed dead after an encounter with Bond, Moon undergoes extensive surgery, re-emerging as British industrialist Gustav Graves, who is modeled on Bond himself.
Le Chiffre (right), Albanian, played by Mads Mikkelsen in ‘Casino Royale’ (2006). Spectre are back in the first of Daniel Craig’s movies, or at least its subdivision Quantum, and Mads Mikkelsen’s Le Chiffre is its wealthy banker who is busy funding terrorist atrocities around the globe. His failure to defeat 007 ultimately leads to his murder at the hands of fellow Quantum/Spectre member, Mr White.
Dominic Greene, French, played by Mathieu Amalric in ‘Quantum of Solace’ (2008). Quantum member Dominic Greene has hatched a devious plan to take over Bolivia’s water supply and sell it back to the government at vastly inflated rates. Fortunately, Bond is an advocate for free water for all, and he sets out to ensure that Bolivian farmers can continue to harvest their crops in peace.
Raoul Silva, Unknown, played by Javier Bardem in ‘Skyfall’ (2012). Skyfall villain Silva’s origins are unknown. He’s a former British agent, though his name suggests Hispanic heritage. Regardless, Bond dispatches him with a hunting knife, so he won’t be giving more details any time soon.