The first Bond girl, as the character is colloquially known, Eunice Gayson has died. She was 90.
The first time the Ian Fleming character, brought to the big screen, said, “Bond, James Bond,” it was to character Sylvia Trench, 007’s girlfriend, played by Gayson in “Dr. No” in 1962.
It’s the opening scene in a casino and 007 is winning at 21.
“I admire your courage Miss, uh…”
“Trench. Sylvia Trench. I admire your luck, Mr…”
“Bond. James Bond,” Sean Connery says. Iconic.
On the official James Bond Twitter account, producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli shared the news of Gayson’s passing Saturday afternoon. She died June 8. Her cause of death was not revealed.
“We are so sad to learn that Eunice Gayson, our very first ‘Bond girl’ who played Sylvia Trench in DR. NO and FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE has passed away. Our sincere thoughts are with her family.”
Her nephew said, “Eunice my Aunty, was a kind & amazing woman. Her stories of life on stage and screen always filled me with wonder at the richness of experience which was her life. I arrived in the UK straight from the colonies and she gave me a home and showed me her world. Sadly missed by all.”
The British actor played Trench, Bond’s girlfriend in the first two Bond films, “Dr. No” and “From Russia with Love” in 1963. Her IMdB page says she was originally supposed to be cast as Miss Moneypenny, but Lois Maxwell was cast instead. And she was supposed to be a recurring character but was dropped. Interestingly, Gayson’s voice, like “nearly all the actresses appearing in the first two Bond films,” was over-dubbed although in the original trailer, IMDB says, her voice can be heard.
The 007 website paid homage to Gayson Saturday. She had a 60-year career that included roles in Hammer horror flicks of the late 50s and early 1960’s, including The Revenge of Frankenstein in 1958. She appeared in popular TV shows including the original “The Avengers” and “The Saint.” Both British hits that made their way across the pond, with the first Bond girl on the small, but oft-watched, small screen.