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Flashback To 1973 - Gloria Hendry Makes History As The First Black Bond Girl

Features
by Tambay A. Obenson
November 9, 2012 7:23 PM
10 Comments
  • |
"Live & Let Die" - Roger Moore, Gloria Hendry

Before I sign off for the day... I almost forgot! Skyfall opens in USA theaters today, and I'm betting it's #1 on your to-see list.

The critics LOVE it, scoring a 93% rating with over 200 reviews in this far, and I'm sure it'll sweep the competition at the box office this weekend.

Excited talk of a future black James Bond, with Idris Elba potentially being the chosen one, have been all over the web recently - including right here on S&A.

Some of you may remember that another Brit actor, Colin Salmon, was also once rumored to be considered for the role, although that obviously never happend; he did appear in at least 3 James Bond movies (not playing James Bond of course).

I thought I'd switch genders and take a look at Bond girls - whether ally or enemy, frequently eye candy, romantically involved with Bond, and often with a role that's pivotal to the mission; although I'm only considering black Bond girls; more specifically, the very first one, given that the current Bond film, Skyfall, co-stars a black Bond girl played by Naomie Harris - a role that she says is different from previous incarnations of Bond girls, generally speaking; stronger, tougher, more than just eye candy.

That's right, long before Naomie, and before Halle Berry literally made a splash as Jinx in Die Another Day, there was Gloria Hendry who made a few splashes of her own, when she assumed Bond girl duties, as Rosie Carver, opposite Roger Moore in 1973's Live and Let Die

In that film, she became the first African American woman to have a role integral to the plot of a Bond film, as well as be romantically involved with 007

She is NOT, however, the first African American woman to have a role in a Bond film; that honor goes to Trina Parks who had an uncredited role as a bodyguard in Diamonds Are Forever, 2 years prior.

Originally written as a white Bond girl, Hendry's Rosie Carver is deceitful, scheming, and, of course, beautiful; she also had a figure that prior (and even future) Bond girls just couldn't (and still can't) match. If you have any doubts, click HERE.

In her plot to kill Bond, Rosie’s alliance with Dr. Kananga (the film's main antagonist - a corrupt Prime Minister from the Caribbean who doubles as a drug lord, played by Yaphet Kotto), is discovered by Bond after they do the deed. He threatens to kill her if she doesn’t confess.

But you couldn’t. You wouldn’t. Not after what we’ve just done,” Rosie says to Bond.

And he replies, “I certainly wouldn’t have killed you before.

That James Bond dude... I tell ya...

And in a state of panic, Rosie, attempts to run away from Bond, only to be gunned down by one of Kananga’s booby-traps... unfortunately.

Worth noting, when Live And Let Die was first released in South Africa, Gloria Hendry's intimate moments with Roger Moore were cut out because interracial coupling on screen was prohibited by the then Apartheid government.

Hendry later starred in several 1970's Blaxploitation films.

Promotional image of the cast of "Live and Let Die." From left: Julius Harris, Jane Seymour, Geoffrey Holder, Roger Moore, Yaphet Kotto, Earl Jolly Brown
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10 Comments

  • Orville | November 11, 2012 4:15 PMReply

    This is interesting, and I thought the first black bond girl was Grace Jones in the 1980s nice to know a black woman was bond way back in the 1970s. So there's always been a long history of black women being bond girls that's cool! I notice the UK is always more progressive than America in relation to interracial romance between white men and black women.

    Very happy for Naomie Harris this new Bond Film is a hit and I hope it helps her career to become a leading lady in Hollywood!

  • ALM | November 10, 2012 5:16 PMReply

    Man the one with Halle was so bad, that I wanted a do-over. When she shouted "your momma" at someone, I was ready to turn the dvd off. "Your momma", a phrase that hasn't been relevant in 15 years, included in an iconic Bond movie? Really??!!! Halle should have ad libbed that line into something else.

  • Firebrand | November 10, 2012 5:45 PM

    Agreed. Die Another Day is easily the worst Bond film ever. It has no redeeming values. Shitty CGI, shitty acting, shitty writing, shitty action scenes, shitty villains, shitty score, shitty ending, and the list goes on and on. It makes even TWINE look like a masterpiece.

  • No | November 9, 2012 8:26 PMReply

    Certainly, a chocolate-looking bomb.

  • Firebrand | November 9, 2012 8:16 PMReply

    Her performance was just as terrible as Halle's. Naomie Harris did a very good job though and is a breath of fresh air for the series. Looking forward to seeing her in future installments.

  • Geneva Girl | November 9, 2012 7:34 PMReply

    I dunno, Grace Jones was a pretty strong and tough.

  • sergio | November 10, 2012 5:57 PM

    I like The World in Not Enough a lot EXCEPT for that ex-wife of Charlie Sheen (I can't remember her name) who supposed to be a nuclear physicist. Talk about serious miscasting. What were they thinking? Everybody has their own favorites and dislikes

  • Michele | November 10, 2012 4:40 PM

    I don't know Sergio, The World is Not Enough, is gonna be my pick for worst Bond film.

  • Donella | November 10, 2012 3:07 PM

    Yeah, Grace Jones belongs on the list.

  • sergio | November 10, 2012 12:15 AM

    But A View To A Kill is the worst Bond film ever with a 90 year old looking Roger Moore. Well that and The Man with the Golden Gun

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