Today, the Shattered Lens wishes a happy 84th birthday to Ursula Andress!
Ursula Andress was one of the very first Bond girls, appearing opposite Sean Connery in Dr. No. Andress played the role of Honeychile Ryder, who was good with a knife and totally willing to trespass on Dr. No.’s beach. Andress set the standard by which almost all future Bond girls would be judged and the scene where Bond and Ryder first meet remains one of the most famous in the Bond franchise. It was such a culturally-defining moment in 1962 that it apparently led to rocketing sales of bikinis. Up until this film came out, bikinis were apparently considered to be too risque to be worn anywhere other than France.
(Personally, I’m thankful that Andress and Dr. No made bikinis popular. I look good in a bikini and, even if I don’t swim, I do like lying out by the pool and pretending like I’m capable of tanning as opposed to just burning.)
Of course, in the original novel, Honey Ryder is naked (except for a belt and a knife) when Bond first sees her. Personally, I think that’s a bit much. I prefer the scene as it plays out in the movie, where everyone is flirtatious and fashionable.
Though Dr. No is best known for turning Sean Connery into a star, it also did wonders for Ursula Andress’s career. Whereas she had previously been best-known for briefly dating Jams Dean and being married to John Derek, Andress was now an actress who was able to pick her roles and to become financially independent, a development she would later tell the Daily Independent that she owed to “that white bikini.” Andress also appeared in Playboy several times, even after becoming a star. When she was asked why, she replied, “Because I’m beautiful,” and I have to say that I absolutely love that answer.
Anyway, from 1962, here’s a scene that we love:
Happy birthday, Ursula Andress!