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What every Bond villain looks like today

Ever since the sinister Dr. Julius No menaced James Bond in 1962's Dr. No, suave and clever villains have been a necessary element of the Bond mythos. Some, like Ernst Stavro Blofeld, are chillingly remote, while others, like Auric Goldfinger, are shamelessly driven by greed. They're all united by one thing, however: Giving the legendary spy a serious run for his money. To celebrate their awesomely fearsome legacy, let's reflect on the many actors who have played Bond villains over the decades, and see what they're up to today. Though we'll be looking primarily at the main villains of each film, we'll be including a few memorable henchmen as well. A bad guy is only as good as his underlings, naturally — just as James Bond is only as impressive as the ne'er-do-wells he takes down.

Christoph Waltz as Ernst Stavro Blofeld in Spectre

Christoph Waltz's breakout role arrived in 2009, when he blew audiences away as SS officer Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. Waltz went on to secure major roles in movies like Django Unchained and eventually, 2015's Spectre. Waltz is the latest actor to play Ernst Stavro Blofeld, a recurring Bond villain played by five different actors over six decades. In this continuity, Blofeld is actually Bond's adoptive brother, who believes Bond supplanted his position as favored son. Blofeld is the head of the global criminal organization SPECTRE, which is secretly responsible for the events of the previous three films.

Waltz has continued to act since Spectre, having appeared in a wide variety of films including Alita: Battle AngelThe Legend of Tarzan and Downsizing. Waltz will reprise his role as Ernst Stavro Blofeld in 2020's Bond installment, No Time to Die.

Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva in Skyfall

Javier Bardem's first work as an actor happened early: He appeared on the Spanish television series El Picaro in 1974, as a young child. He went on to appear in many movies throughout the 1990s and 2000s, culminating in his star-making turn as psychopathic killer Anton Chigurh in 2007's No Country for Old Men. This led to bigger roles, including Raoul Silva in the 2012 Bond film, Skyfall

Silva is a former MI6 agent who was brutally tortured after M traded him to the Chinese government in return for six captured agents. Skyfall sees him become a cyberterrorist, out for bloody revenge on M. Following Skyfall, Bardem has continued acting, most prominently playing the mysterious male lead in Darren Aronofsky's mother! and Armando Salazar in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. He is next set to appear as Stilgar in 2020's Dune and as the titular conquistador in the Amazon Prime series Cortes.

Mathieu Amalric as Dominic Greene in Quantum of Solace

Mathieu Amalric started acting in 1984's Favorites of the Moon, and began his career as a filmmaker one year later with 1985's Marre de cafe. His most notable performances pre-Bond are his roles in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Munich. In 2008, Amalric made his Bond debut as the villainous Dominic Greene in Quantum of Solace. Greene is an environmentalist entrepreneur who secretly works for the mysterious organization known as Quantum. This evil collective is buying up Bolivia's supply of fresh water, creating a monopoly that will make Greene exponentially richer at the expense of the Bolivian people.

Amalric has remained very active as an actor, appearing in movies like The Grand Budapest Hotel as well as French movies like La Loi de la jungle.

Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre in Casino Royale

Mads Mikkelsen enjoyed worldwide recognition for his role as Le Chiffre in Casino Royale. A mathematical genius, Le Chiffre finances various terrorist groups, but ultimately loses their money in risky investments. This forces him to set up a high-stakes poker game in an effort to compensate for his losses. Bond enters the game, hoping to prevent Le Chiffre from paying back his debtors and force him into seeking protection from MI6.

Mikkelsen's acting career exploded in the wake of Casino Royale. The years since have seen him take on high-profiles roles such as Kaecilius in Doctor Strange and Dr. Hannibal Lecter in the celebrated television series Hannibal. He's also branched out into other mediums: Mikkelsen plays Clifford Unger in the video game Death Stranding and The Accountant in the music video for Rihanna's "B***h Better Have My Money."

Toby Stephens as Gustav Graves in Die Another Day

Stephens has enjoyed a robust career in acting since 1992. Pre-Bond, he gained acclaimed for his performances as Othello in 1992's Orlando and Jay Gatsby in the 2000 TV movie adaptation of The Great Gatsby. He assumed the role of Bond antagonist in Die Another Day, though his character, a North Korean colonel who illegally trades weapons for conflict diamonds, is initially played by Will Yun Lee. Bond seemingly kills the colonel, but the film later reveals that he survived, altered his appearance, and assumed the identity of Gustav Graves, a British billionaire. From there on out, Stephens takes the reigns of the character.

Stephens has remained very active since Die Another Day. Most notably, he's starred as Captain Flint in Black Sails and as John Robinson in the 2018 reimagining of Lost in Space. He has also continued performing on stage, and has even expanded into the worlds of radio dramas and audiobooks. Ironically, Stephens has actually voiced James Bond in a number of radio dramatizations of Ian Fleming's original novels. You can find them on the BBC Radio 4 website.

Robert Carlyle as Renard in The World Is Not Enough

Scottish actor Robert Carlyle started acting in the 1990s, taking on roles in films like Trainspotting and The Full Monty. 1999 saw Carlyle go up against James Bond as the villainous Viktor "Renard" Zokas in The World Is Not Enough. Renard previously survived an assassination attempt by MI6, but it left a bullet in his brain. Though this will eventually kill him, it has made him impervious to pain in the meantime. Now, Renard seeks revenge against MI6 by any means necessary.

Since his turn in The World Is Not Enough, Carlyle has taken on a variety of notable roles in film and television. He appeared as Doctor Nicholas Rush in Stargate Universe, portrayed Rumpelstiltskin in Once Upon a Time, and played the sinister Durza in Eragon. Currently, he stars as Prime Minister Robert Sutherland on the television series Cobra.

Jonathan Pryce as Elliot Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies

Welsh actor Jonathan Pryce started his career on the British stage of the 1970s. Prior to becoming a Bond villain, Pryce won two Tony Awards, one for his 1977 Broadway performance in Comedians, the other for his 1991 role in the musical Miss Saigon. In 1997, Pryce played the Bond villain Elliot Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies. Carver is a sociopathic media baron who plans to expand his empire into China. How will he do this? By inciting a war between China and the UK, eliminating the Chinese government and allowing a general to step in who will grant Carver exclusive rights to broadcast in China.

Pryce has enjoyed a number of stellar roles since Tomorrow Never Dies. He's earned particular acclaim for his performances as Pope Francis in The Two Popes, Weatherby Swann in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and the High Sparrow in Game of Thrones.

Sean Bean as Alec Trevelyan in GoldenEye

Before playing a Bond villain, Bean enjoyed a career on the stage and screen. A member of the Royal Shakespeare Company from 1986 through 1988, he dazzled audiences with roles in Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and other classics from the bard. Cinematic fame came after, from roles in films like Patriot Games and Black Beauty. In 1995, he took on the role of Alex Trevelyan, a fellow MI6 agent and close friend to James Bond in GoldenEye. The two conduct a mission together in which Trevelyan is seemingly killed — but nine years later, it's revealed that he staged his death and betrayed MI6. During that time, Trevelyan ran a crime syndicate under the code name Janus and has been working to destroy MI6.

Bean has continued to have a very successful career, landing roles in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, National Treasure, and Game of Thrones. Most recently he has starred  as Mr. Wilford, who appears in the second season of Snowpiercer.

Robert Davi as Franz Sanchez in Licence to Kill

Robert Davi has enjoyed a rich acting career since the 1970s, appearing in such classics as The Goonies and Die Hard. 1989 saw Davi take on the role of Franz Sanchez in Licence to Kill. Sanchez is a powerful international drug lord who murders and bribes to get what he wants. He is also famed for his use of elaborate and terrifying forms of torture, which strike fear into the hearts of anyone who might betray him. Sanchez's master plan is quite simple, really: He wants to continue to sell drugs on a massive scale and corrupt or kill anyone who gets in the way. 

After playing a Bond villain, Davi has continued acting in a wide variety of projects including Predator 2, Stargate: Atlantis, Criminal Minds, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and The Expendables 3. Davi also enjoys a robust recording career, his album Davi Sings Sinatra: On The Road To Romance having received particular praise.

Jeroen Krabbé as General Georgi Koskov in The Living Daylights

Dutch actor Jeroen Krabbé began acting in the 1960s, enjoying particular distinction from his work in Soldier of Orange and The Fourth Man. The late '80s saw him play a string of villainous roles which brought him widespread acclaim, most prominently General Georgi Koskov in the 1987 Bond film, The Living Daylights. Koskov is a brilliant Soviet general who feigns neutrality in the Cold War. In reality, he plans to misuse Soviet funds to buy a large supply of opium, which he schemes to sell to Brad Whitaker in exchange for arms. 

Krabbé went on to play many more famous villains, including Gianni Franco in The Punisher, Charles Nichols in The Fugitive, and even Satan himself in the 1999 TV movie Jesus. He remains active today, appearing in roles like Vera's father in the 2020 horror mystery film, The Host. In addition to his acting career, he is also a celebrated painter.

Christopher Walken as Max Zorin in A View to a Kill

Prior to taking on Bond, Christopher Walken earned acclaim for his roles in classics like Annie Hall, The Deer Hunter, and The Dead Zone. 1985 saw Walken play Max Zorin, the result of Nazi attempts to create a super soldier, in A View to a Kill. Having established a successful microchip business, Zorin plans to destroy his competitors in Silicon Valley by detonating bombs along the San Andreas fault line.

After playing Max Zorin, Walken has maintained a very active career. He's appeared in Batman Returns, Pulp Fiction, Antz, Sleepy Hollow, Catch Me If You Can, and many other notable films. Walken is also a frequent host of Saturday Night Live you likely know him best in that capacity as Bruce Dickinson in the unforgettable sketch, "More Cowbell."

Julian Glover as Aristotle Kristatos in For Your Eyes Only

Julian Glover has been acting since the 1950s, taking on a wide variety of roles in productions including The Empire Strikes Back, Spy Trap, and The Avengers. In 1981, Glover found himself face-to-face with James Bond as the villain Aristotle Kristatos in For Your Eyes Only. Kristatos appears to be a respectable war hero and businessman, but is later revealed to be a heroin smuggler and double agent.

After playing a Bond villain, Glover has continued to have a very successful acting career. Most prominently, Glover played Walter Donovan in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, voiced Aragog in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and portrayed the supercilious Grand Maester Pycelle in Game of Thrones. More recently, he played Cecil Boyd-Rochfort in The Crown.

Michael Lonsdale as Sir Hugo Drax in Moonraker

Michael Lonsdale has appeared in over 180 different films and television shows. However, his most famous role is likely still Bond villain Hugo Drax, from the 1979 film Moonraker. Drax is an extremely wealthy businessman who owns a company that builds space shuttles.Being rich and powerful has clearly gone to Drax's head, as he wants to wipe out humanity and restart society with a few selected humans. Using his spacecraft, he and his master race plan to orbit the planet until toxins kill everyone below.

Lonsdale continued to enjoy a rich acting career post-Drax. Notably, he won a Cesar Award for his performance as Luc in the 2010 film Of Gods and Men, and appeared in the 2016 Belgian-French drama film The First, the Last. His final film credit, also from that year, came opposite Willem Dafoe in Sculpt.

Lonsdale passed away in September 2020 at the age of 87. The cause of his death was not immediately made public, but his time as Drax was memorialized by peers and fans alike.

Yaphet Kotto as Dr. Kananga/Mr Big in Live and Let Die

Yaphet Kotto is the sinister Dr. Kananga in 1973's Live and Let Die. Dr. Kananga is the dictator of San Monique, a small Caribbean nation — but secretly, he's also Mr. Big, a gangster who owns restaurants throughout the United States. Kananga's plan is to freely distribute heroin at his restaurants, bankrupt his competitors, then raise his prices.

Kotto went on to enjoy major success as an actor. Most prominently, Kotto starred as Lieutenant Al Giardello in the NBC television series Homicide: Life on the Street. He's also widely known as Parker in Alien and Alonzo Moseley in Midnight Run. Recently, he returned to the role of Parker in the 2014 video game Alien: Isolation.

Rami Malek as Safin in No Time to Die

In the upcoming Bond film No Time to Die, the villainous Safin will be played by Rami Malek. Of this bad guy, producer Barbara Broccoli has said, "He is really the supervillain. He's the one that really gets under Bond's skin. He's a nasty piece of work." Malek is best known for playing protagonist Elliot Alderson in the television series Mr. Robot and Freddie Mercury in the film Bohemian Rhapsody. He's been active since the early 2000s, playing small roles in shows like 24, Gilmore Girls, The Legend of Korra, and films like Night at the Museum. Mr. Robot was the launchpad he needed, and it appears Malek will only continue to climb higher in Hollywood. This isn't a surprise to anyone who's had the pleasure of enjoying his work already  — he's knocking it out of the park, and we're looking forward to seeing him in this upcoming Bond film.

Joe Don Baker as Brad Whitaker in The Living Daylights

Joe Don Baker started his acting career with parts in westerns like Wild Rovers, going on to earn major attention for his roles in Charley Varrick and Walking Tall. In 1987, Baker played Brad Whitaker in The Living Daylights. Whitaker is obsessed with warfare, but has no actual experience on the battlefield: He just plays war games with figurines and surrounds himself with sculptures of Adolf Hitler and Genghis Khan. Whitaker's obsession with war has led to one major accomplishment, however — he's an arms dealer, allied with General Koskov.

Baker has continued to act in the years following The Living Daylights, though the last decade did see him grow considerably less active. Before this slowdown, Baker appeared in movies like Mars Attacks! and the 2005 remake of The Dukes of Hazzard. Interestingly, Baker returned to the Bond franchise: He played the very different role of Bond's ally Jack Wade in GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies.

Louis Jourdan as Kamal Khan in Octopussy

French actor Louis Jourdan gained major acclaim for playing suave roles in French and American films, working closely with big names like Alfred Hitchcock and Frank Sinatra. In 1983, Jourdan played the villainous Kamal Khan in Octopussy. Khan, an exiled Afghan prince, is in league with General Orlov, who is planning to expand Soviet control in Europe. Orlov steals priceless Russian treasures and gives them to Khan, who then smuggles them into the West to sell at auction. Matters become considerably more serious when Orlov and Khan smuggle an atomic bomb into West Germany.

After playing a Bond villain, Jourdan continued acting in film and television until his retirement in 1992. His final role in film was as Philippe in 1992's Year of the Comet. In 2015, Jourdan passed away at the age of 93.

Richard Kiel as Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker

Richard Kiel played henchman Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. Jaws is extremely strong and tall, forcing Bond into creative approaches when fighting him. His most striking feature, however, are his metal teeth, which can bite through even the hardest materials. In an interesting plot twist, Jaws ends up undergoing a major change of heart, turning on his boss and helping Bond defeat Drax. Jaws even gets a girlfriend in the end. 

Kiel continued acting after playing Jaws, appearing in roles like Mr. Larson in Happy Gilmore and Vladimir (you know — the one who collects ceramic unicorns) in Tangled. He passed away in 2014, at the age of 74.

Curd Jürgens as Karl Stromberg in The Spy Who Loved Me

Curd Jürgens' filmography is extensive. Before his Bond days, he played Von Stolberg in The Enemy Below and General Gunther Blumentritt in The Longest Day. Then, in 1977, Jürgens took up the Bond villain mantle in The Spy Who Loved Me, playing the villain Karl Stromberg. Stromberg is obsessed with the ocean, owning a shipping firm and even living in a submersible city called Atlantis. Stomberg's evil plan is to start a nuclear war, thus allowing him to restart human civilization underwater.

Jürgens continued acting after his role in The Spy Who Loved Me, having roles in the sci-fi sports drama Goldengirl and the war film Breakthrough. His last role was General Vladimir in the BBC miniseries Smiley's People. He passed away in 1982, at the age of 66.

Christopher Lee as Francisco Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun

It's no surprise that the late Christopher Lee played a Bond villain: His impressive acting career contains many villainous roles, from Saruman in The Lord of the Rings series to Count Dracula in the Hammer Horror films. In 1974, Lee took on the role of Francisco Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun. Scaramanaga is an infamous assassin of which little is known, save his signature weapon. If that isn't cool enough for you, Scaramanaga also has a flying car and a secret island. Though he has multiple chances to kill Bond, but decides to arrange a duel with him instead. To Scaramanaga, it's not about eliminating Bond — it's about besting him.

Lee remained very active as an actor leading up to his death in 2015 at the age of 93. In addition to his work in major franchises like The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, in which he played Count Dooku, he also enjoyed a career as a heavy metal musician. Oh, and did we mention that he took the secrets of his work as a British intelligence officer during World War II to the grave?

Geoffrey Holder as Baron Samedi in Live and Let Die

Baron Samedi, played by Geoffrey Holder, is one of the most creative bad guys in the Bond franchise. Appearing in 1973's Live and Let Die, he's a witch doctor of the fictional Caribbean island of San Monique who works for the main villain, Dr. Kananga. Samedi terrifies the locals with human sacrifices and regularly reports on all of the island's activity to Dr. Kananga. He is also, apparently, immortal — he appears at the end of the film, despite Bond having killed him previously.

Holder enjoyed a stellar career as an actor, dancer, musician, and artist, having already been a principal dancer for the Metropolitan Ballet before his film career began in 1957. He directed several Broadway productions, including The Wiz, for which he won two Tony Awards. He also appeared in 7 Up commercials as a spokesman in the 1970s and 1980s and narrated 2005's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Holder passed away in 2014 at the age of 84.

Charles Gray as Ernst Stavro Blofeld in Diamonds Are Forever

English actor Charles Gray actually appeared in a previous Bond film as a different character: Dikko Henderson in You Only Live Twice. But in 1971, he returned to the Bond franchise as the main villain, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, in Diamonds are Forever. This time, Blofeld has physically altered his henchmen to look like him. Bond must identify and stop the real Blofeld, who plans on using a satellite built out of diamonds to destroy the world's nuclear weapons. Then, he plans to auction off the remaining nuclear weapons to whatever nations bid highest.

Gray continued acting post-Blofeld, playing roles like the criminologist in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Mycroft Holmes in the 1984 TV series Sherlock Holmes. His final role was Arundell in The Tichborne Claimant. Gray passed away in 2000, at the age of 71.

Telly Savalas as Ernst Stavro Blofeld in On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Born Aristotelis Savalas, Telly Savalas gained fame for roles in films like The Greatest Story Ever Told, The Dirty Dozen, and Birdman of Alcatraz. Then, in 1969, Savalas portrayed Ernst Stavro Blofeld in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Blofeld is threatening the world yet again in this movie, this time through biological warfare. He brainwashes women, putting them into a hypnotic state in which they distribute bacterial agents capable of devastating the world's agriculture. After Bond foils his plans, Blofeld kills Bond's wife, Tracy, which furthers the feud between the two epic rivals.

Savalas continued to play big roles post-Blofeld, including starring in the popular television series Kojak. Savalas remained active as an actor right up until his death in 1994, at the age of 72.

Donald Pleasence as Ernst Stavro Blofeld You Only Live Twice

In You Only Live Twice, Ernst Stavro Blofeld is portrayed by British actor Donald Pleasence, who ended up creating one of the most recognizable villains in the entire Bond series. His Blofeld has a secret base hidden inside a volcano, from where he dispatches orders with his white cat in his lap. In a classic scene, Blofeld seemingly shows mercy to a henchwoman who has failed him ... but as she leaves, Blofeld activates a trap door, and she falls to her death in a pool of flesh-eating piranhas.

After bringing Blofeld to life, Pleasence remained very active as an actor, playing notable roles such as Dr. Samuel Loomis in the horror series Halloween. Pleasence also appeared in Escape from New York and THX 1138, George Lucas' debut film. In 1995, Pleasence passed away at the age of 75.

Adolfo Celi as Emilio Largo in Thunderball

Adolfo Celi specialized in playing villains with a cosmopolitan edge. It's no surprise, then, that he played Emilio Largo in Thunderball with such panacheLargo's evil plan is to steal warheads and blackmail NATO into paying him a large sum of money, lest he start destroying major cities.

Celi went on to act in numerous roles post-Largo, mostly in Italian cinema. He gave particularly impressive performances as Cardinal Giovanni de' Medici in The Agony and the Ecstasy and as Le Colonel MacBibenbrook in King of Hearts. He passed away in 1986 at the age of 63, hours before the premiere of I Misteri di Pietroburgo, which he starred in and directed.

Gert Fröbe as Auric Goldfinger in Goldfinger

Gert Fröbe played the audacious Auric Goldfinger in — what else? – Goldfinger. Goldfinger, a bullion dealer, buys gold at lower prices in one part of the world, then smuggles it into places where he can sell it at a higher price. The stakes become much steeper when Goldfinger plans to rob Fort Knox with a small militia. Goldfinger's most famous line needs no introduction: "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die."  He might be a jerk, but you can't deny his style.

After his turn as one of the most iconic Bond villains ever, Fröbe continued to have a rich acting career on stage and screen. His roles as Baron Bomburst in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Colonel Manfred von Holstein in Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines saw him gain particular acclaim in very different genres — musical fantasy and comedy, respectively. He passed away in 1988 at the age of 75.

Harold Sakata as Odd Job in Goldfinger

Even though he isn't the main villain of the movie, Oddjob is one of the most memorable parts of Goldfinger. Played by Harold Sakata, his weapon of choice is his hat, which has a razor-sharp steel rim. Oddjob is terrifyingly good at assassinating victims by hurling his hat at high speed.

Sakata had a successful weightlifting career outside of acting, even winning a silver medal for the United States in the 1948 Summer Olympics. He had also worked as a professional wrestler under the name Tosh Togo, a career he continued into the 1970s. Though Oddjob was Sakata's first role as an actor, it definitely wasn't his last. He went on to perform in productions like Hawaii Five-0Impulse and Dimension 5. Sakata occasionally spoofed his role as Oddjob in later years, most prominently by appearing in a series of Vicks cough syrup commercials. He passed away in 1982 at the age of 62.

Lotte Lenya as Rosa Klebb in From Russia with Love

Lotte Lenya played Rosa Klebb, a high-ranking member of the mysterious SPECTRE organization. In From Russia, with Love, SPECTRE sends Klebb to retrieve a decoder device from MI6. Klebb is remembered best for her signature weapon: Poison-tipped blades, concealed in the tips of her shoes.

Lenya was already a respected actor pre-Bond: She won a Tony Award in 1956 for her role as Jenny in The Threepenny Opera, was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for her performance as Contessa Magda Terribili-Gonzales in 1961's The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, and received a shout-out in Louis Armstrong's "Mack the Knife." She reached further heights of acclaim in 1966 for originating the role of  Fräulein Schneider in the seminal Broadway musical, Cabaret. For this and many other performances, Lenya was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1979. Two years later in 1981, she passed away at the age of 83.

Joseph Wiseman as Julius No in Dr. No

Joseph Wiseman had the honor of playing the first Bond villain, Julius No, in 1962's Dr. No. Julius No has a killer outfit, a complex backstory, and an epic underground lair, from where he plans to disrupt American space launches in the hopes of starting a war between the Russians and Americans. Like so many Bond villains who would follow him, No also has a unique physical trait — prosthetic metal hands.

Wiseman continued to act after his turn as Dr. No, appearing in The Twilight Zone, Magnum, P.I., and MacGyver. He enjoyed a particularly distinguished theater career, appearing in a wide variety of productions including Antony and Cleopatra, The Lark, and Judgment at Nuremberg. His final appearance was on Law & Order. Wiseman passed away in 2009, at the age of 91.