Earlier today, I read the sad news that British actress Eunice Grayson passed away at the age of 90. Grayson may not have been a household name but true fans of James Bond (as opposed to those who think that the franchise started with Daniel Craig) know Grayson from her role as Sylvia Trench in both Dr. No and From Russia With Love.
Eunice Grayson was the first Bond girl. When we first meet Bond in Dr. No, he’s sitting down across from her at the Baccarat table. When Bond asks her name, she replies, “Trench. Sylvia Trench.” When she asks his name, he playfully replies, “Bond. James Bond.” and history is made.
Grayson originally auditioned for the role of Miss Moneypenny but, when the producers decided to give that role to Lois Maxwell, Grayson was instead cast as Sylvia Trench. At first, Sylvia was envisioned as being Bond’s permanent “off-duty” girlfriend. That’s certainly the role that she’s plays when she briefly reappears in From Russia With Love. The original plan was for Sylvia (and Grayson) to appear in at least six Bond films and to be the principal Bond girl in the sixth one. However, those plans were abandoned with Goldfinger.
Today’s scene that I love is in memory of both Eunice Grayson and the role she played in the history of one of my favorite film franchises. From 1962’s Dr. No, James Bond meets Sylvia Trench for the first time…