Best James Bond Villains
James Bond villains are a major force behind the franchise’s continued success. Though the James Bond films are formulaic to their core, the highly varied villains of the series help to give each entry a different personality. Here’s a look at the best James Bond villains.
Not to be confused with the shark from a certain Steven Spielberg movie, Jaws is one of the most memorable James Bond villains. His look alone makes him one for the history books. Played by bodybuilder Richard Kiel, Jaws is enormously tall and has metal teeth. The bump on his head is vaguely reminiscent of a shark’s fin, hence his nickname.
In the first film in which he appears, The Spy Who Loved Me, Jaws struck a perfect balance between camp and menace. One of the few James Bond villains to appear in multiple films, Jaws was also an antagonist in another 1970s Roger Moore movie, Moonraker. Moonraker is essentially a campier version of The Spy Who Loved Me; fittingly, Jaws is a lot more camp in his second appearance.
In Moonraker, he finds himself a girlfriend and becomes good. Some feel that this version of Jaws is comedy gold, while others find this portrayal of the character intolerably goofy. Regardless of his portrayal in Moonraker, nothing can take away from the perfection of The Spy Who Loved Me.
Rosa Klebb stands out among James Bond villains for being no-nonsense. Other James Bond villains seem to enjoy what they’re doing. Meanwhile, Colonel Klebb sees her job as just a job. This kind of cold ruthlessness makes her particularly terrifying. Although she is not the most physically imposing villain in From Russia with Love, her personality makes her the most intimidating.
James Bond villains usually outsource their dirty work to their underlings, but Rosa is more than willing to take matters into her own hands. Near the end of the film, she disguises herself as a maid and works her way into Bond’s hotel room to get rid of him once and for all.
In the novel From Russia with Love, she actually manages to poison Bond, meaning that she has gotten closer to killing him than just about anyone else. That alone makes her one of the best James Bond villains.
Ernst Stavro Blofeld
Ernst Stavro Blofeld deserves to be on this list simply because he just keeps getting back up and trying again. He has faced off against James Bond more times than any other villain in the franchise. If he wasn’t evil, his persistence would be downright inspiring.
Blofeld has had numerous personalities over the course of his various appearances. Sometimes he’s down to earth, sometimes he’s campy, at other times he’s somewhere in between. Although the films where Blofeld fights Bond vary greatly in quality, Blofeld himself is always an electrifying presence.
Blofeld’s impact on popular culture attests to the fact that he’s one of the best James Bond villains. He has inspired numerous other characters from Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers franchise to Bill from the Kill Bill films, truly earning his place in cinematic history.