Special Report

The Most Evil James Bond Villains

Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images

Since the debut of the first James Bond film,  “Dr. No,” in 1962, the Bond franchise has captivated audiences with its iconic protagonist and equally unforgettable villains. From suave masterminds to menacing henchmen, the series has introduced a plethora of memorable adversaries that have tested the wit, skill, and resilience of Agent 007. (In addition to Bond, here are the other most valuable movie franchises of all time.)

To compile a list of the most evil James Bond villains, 24/7 Tempo consulted IMDb, an online movie and TV database owned by Amazon; Bond fan sites including 007 and MI6: The Home of James Bond 007; and various other entertainment sites. The list is not comprehensive, with some films and some of the less important (or less vile) villains omitted.

Bond villains come in various forms, from larger-than-life personalities like Ernst Stavro Blofeld (who has appeared in nine and possibly ten Bond movies) and Auric Goldfinger to psychologically complex characters such as Le Chiffre and Mr. White. These villains not only serve as formidable opponents for Bond but often reflect the fears, aspirations, and concerns of their respective eras, adding depth and relevance to the stories they inhabit. (Here are the 30 best spy films of all time.)

Click here to read more about the most evil James Bond villains

A number of celebrated actors have portrayed villains who’ve matched wits – and weapons – with Bond over the years. Among these are Lotte Lenya, Max Von Sydow, Christoph Waltz, Donald Pleasence, Christopher Lee, Christopher Walken, Sean Bean, Jonathan Pryce, Javier Bardem, and Rami Malek. Their memorable performances, accompanied by elaborate lairs, cutting-edge technology, and iconic catchphrases, have become an essential ingredient of the Bond legacy.

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

Dr. Julius No
> Film: Dr. No (1962)
> Portrayed by: Joseph Wiseman

Dr. No is the antagonist in the first James Bond film, “Dr. No.” He is a scientific genius and a member of SPECTRE (Special Executive for Counter-Intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion – Bond’s ultimate enemy in most of the movies). Dr. No plans to disrupt a space launch and provoke a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union to further SPECTRE’s agenda.

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Source: Courtesy of United Artists

Rosa Klebb
> Film: From Russia With Love (1963)
> Portrayed by: Lotte Lenya

Klebb is a former Soviet intelligence officer and now a high-ranking member of SPECTRE. In “From Russia With Love” she is part of the plot to steal a Soviet decoding device that is of interest to Britain’s MI6, and also wants to kill Bond. Klebb is known for her ruthlessness and employs a shoe equipped with poison-tipped blades as a weapon. She is played by the famed Austrian-American actress and singer Lotte Lenya, once married to composer Kurt Weill.

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

Ernst Stavro Blofeld
> Film: Films: From Russia with Love (1963), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Never Say Never Again (1983), Casino Royale (2006), Spectre (2015). No Time to Die (2021)
> Portrayed by: Anthony Dawson/Eric Pohlmann, Donald Pleasence, Telly Savalas, Charles Gray, Christoph Waltz, Max von Sydow

Blofeld is Bond’s recurring arch-nemesis, Blofeld – also known as “Number One” – is the head of the global criminal organization SPECTRE, known for his cold, calculating nature and his involvement in various nefarious schemes. In his first appearances, his face wasn’t seen; actor Anthony Dawson was filmed in close-up, petting a white cat, while Eric Pohlmann provided his voice. A Blofeld-like character appears, unnamed, in “For Your Eyes Only” (1981), but only in a pre-title sequence in which he is seen falling to his death. In “Spectre,” he is revealed to be Austrian-born Franz Oberhauser, Bond’s adoptive brother.

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

Auric Goldfinger
> Film: Goldfinger (1964)
> Portrayed by: Gert Fröbe

Goldfinger is a wealthy and ruthless businessman with an obsession for gold. He plans to irradiate the gold in Fort Knox, rendering it worthless and increasing the value of his own gold holdings, thereby destabilizing the global economy.

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Source: Courtesy of United Artists

Emilio Largo
> Film: Thunderball (1965)
> Portrayed by: Adolfo Celi

A wealthy and influential member of SPECTRE, Largo hijacks two nuclear warheads, threatening to destroy major cities unless he receives a massive ransom.

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

Dr. Kananga/Mr. Big
> Film: Live and Let Die (1973)
> Portrayed by: Yaphet Kotto

The main villain in “Live and Let Die,” Dr. Kanaga is a corrupt dictator and drug lord who masquerades as a community leader. Kananga plans to distribute heroin for free to increase addiction rates and subsequently profit from the increased demand.

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Source: Courtesy of United Artists

Francisco Scaramanga
> Film: The Man With the Golden Gun (1974)
> Portrayed by: Christopher Lee

Scaramanga is a highly skilled assassin with a golden gun who charges exorbitant fees for his services and is known for his love of killing and his sadistic tendencies. His mission is to murder Bond and steal a device capable of turning solar energy into a destructive weapon. English actor Christopher Lee, who played Scaramanga, was best known for his many cinematic portrayals of Count Dracula.

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

Karl Stromberg
> Film: The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
> Portrayed by: Curt Jürgens

One of several Bond villains who wants to destroy the world in order to remake it, Stromberg is a wealthy shipping magnate who plans to start a global nuclear war and create a new civilization, under his control, to be born in underwater bases.

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

Jaws
> Film: Films: The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979)
> Portrayed by: Richard Kiel

Known for his immense size (he’s over seven feet tall), deadly steel-capped teeth, and superhuman strength, Jaws – he is given no other name in the films – is one of Karl Stromberg’s henchmen. He is unique among Bond villains because in his second appearance, in “Moonraker,” he eventually becomes a good guy, turning on his new boss, Hugo Drax, and helping Bond defeat him – meanwhile falling in love with a woman he meets in a runaway cable car.

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Source: Courtesy of United Artists

Hugo Drax
> Film: Moonraker (1979)
> Portrayed by: Michael Lonsdale

Drax is an industrialist who plans to use a nerve gas containing a toxin found in a rare orchid to destroy human civilization and repopulate the planet with his handpicked group of humans from his space station.

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

Aristotle Kristatos
> Film: For Your Eyes Only (1981)
> Portrayed by: Julian Glover

A suave, charismatic figure, Kristatos pretends to be Bond’s ally and manipulates him into retrieving the ATAC (Automatic Targeting Attack Communicator), a device capable of controlling British missile submarines – which he plans to sell to the KGB.

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Source: Courtesy of MGM/UA Entertainment Company

General Orlov
> Film: Octopussy (1983)
> Portrayed by: Steven Berkoff

Orlov plans to smuggle a nuclear bomb onto a U.S. Air Force base in Germany and detonate it, triggering war between NATO and the Warsaw Pact countries and opening Western Europe to Soviet conquest.

Source: Courtesy of MGM/UA Entertainment Company

Prince Kamal Khan
> Film: Octopussy (1983)
> Portrayed by: Louis Jourdan

A wealthy Afghan prince and black market dealer, Khan is a charismatic and cunning character who enjoys gambling and other high-stakes activities. He works with General Orlov in their plot, hoping to be paid with jewels stolen from the Soviets.

Source: Courtesy of MGM/UA Entertainment Company

Max Zorin
> Film: A View to a Kill (1985)
> Portrayed by: Christopher Walken

Zorin is a wealthy industrialist who plans to cause a massive earthquake along California’s San Andreas Fault, flooding Silicon Valley and allowing him to gain a monopoly in the microchip industry.

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Source: Courtesy of United Artists

General Georgi Koskov
> Film: The Living Daylights (1987)
> Portrayed by: Jeroen Krabbé

A manipulative character, Koskov is a high-ranking KGB officer who pretends to defect to the West, while putting in motion a plot to deceive British intelligence into killing his Soviet rival, General Pushkin.

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

Brad Whitaker
> Film: The Living Daylights (1987)
> Portrayed by: Joe Don Baker

An eccentric, delusional arms dealer who is obsessed with military history and toy soldiers and seeks to profit from international conflicts, Whitaker is brokering a deal with General Koskov and the Afghan Mujahideen to exchange high-tech arms for opium.

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Source: Courtesy of United Artists

Franz Sanchez
> Film: Licence to Kill (1989)
> Portrayed by: Robert Davi

Known for his ruthlessness and sadistic nature, Sanchez is a powerful drug lord who seeks revenge on Bond after 007 and his CIA friend Felix Leiter capture him. He escapes, kills Leiter’s new bride, and submerges Leiter in a shark tank, where the agent loses a leg. Sanchez’s plot involves selling massive amounts of cocaine dissolved in gasoline.

Source: Courtesy of MGM/UA Distribution Company

Alec Trevelyan
> Film: GoldenEye (1995)
> Portrayed by: Sean Bean

Bond’s one-time friend and a fellow MI6 agent (he was code-named 006), Trevelyan was believed to have been killed on a mission to Russia. He survived, however, and linked up with a villainous Russian general with the objective of using a powerful satellite weapon called GoldenEye to cause financial chaos in London and exact revenge on the British government for betraying him.

Source: Courtesy of MGM/UA Distribution Company

Xenia Onatopp
> Film: GoldenEye (1995)
> Portrayed by: Famke Janssen

A murderous associate of Trevelyan’s, Onatopp is a former Soviet fighter pilot whose most distinctive trait is her sexualized violence, as she derives pleasure from killing and has a penchant for using her physical strength against her enemies – for instance, crushing and asphyxiating her victims with her legs.

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Source: Courtesy of United Artists / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Elliot Carver
> Film: Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
> Portrayed by: Jonathan Pryce

Carver is a media mogul who seeks to manipulate global events by firing a cruise missile on a sunken British ship towards Beijing, an act he hopes will precipitate a war between China and the U.K., boosting his media empire’s ratings.

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corporation (MGM)

Victor “Renard” Zokas
> Film: The World is Not Enough (1999)
> Portrayed by: Robert Carlyle

Renard is a former KGB agent turned freelance terrorist whose defining characteristic is that he is unable to feel physical pain due to a bullet lodged in his brain. Instead of experiencing pain, he gradually loses his senses and becomes more dangerous over time. His goal is to destroy a pipeline project overseen by Sir Robert King by setting off a nuclear weapon near Istanbul.

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Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corporation (MGM)

Elektra King
> Film: The World is Not Enough (1999)
> Portrayed by: Sophie Marceau

A wealthy oil heiress with a personal vendetta against the British, King is Sir Robert King’s daughter. Renard kidnaps her as part of his plan, but she is a manipulative and cunning character who uses her charm to deceive others, leading Bond – with whom she forms a romantic relationship – to believe that she is a victim and an ally, while in reality she ends up collaborating with Renard.

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Colonel Tan-Sun Moon
> Film: Die Another Day (2002)
> Portrayed by: Will Yun Lee

Bond infiltrates a North Korean base where Colonel Moon is doing a brisk business trading weaponry for African conflict diamonds. After Moon is apparently killed while chasing Bond, his father, General Moon, imprisons and tortures 007.

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corporation

Gustav Graves
> Film: Die Another Day (2002)
> Portrayed by: Toby Stephens

Graves has a secret: He is actually Colonel Tan-Sun Moon, transformed into a billionaire British diamond merchant by DNA restructuring. Graves plans to use a satellite weapon to cut a swatch through the Korean Demilitarized Zone with focused solar energy, launching a war between North and South Korea to reunite the country.

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Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Le Chiffre
> Film: Casino Royale (2006)
> Portrayed by: Mads Mikkelsen

An Albanian financier for international terrorists and a mathematical genius, Le Chiffre – French for “The Number” – organizes a high-stakes poker game in Montenegro to recoup money he lost for his clients after Bond thwarts his plot to attack an aerospace manufacturer.

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Dominic Greene
> Film: Quantum of Solace (2008)
> Portrayed by: Mathieu Amalric

Greene belongs to Quantum of Solace, a powerful clandestine network of influential individuals operating in various sectors, including politics, intelligence, and business. The organization’s main goal is to manipulate global events and gain control over valuable resources for their own benefit. Greene’s main project is to launch a coup d’etat in Bolivia which will leave him in charge of the country’s water supply.

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Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Mr. White
> Film: Films: Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Spectre (2015)
> Portrayed by: Jesper Christensen

Other than Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Mr. White – sometimes known as Craig Mitchell – is the most often-recurring antagonist in the Bond films. He is a high-ranking member of the Quantum organization and a shadowy figure involved in global criminal activities. His character evolves over time, and ends up becoming an almost sympathetic character.

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Raoul Silva
> Film: Skyfall (2012)
> Portrayed by: Javier Bardem

Highly intelligent and technologically skilled, Silva is a former MI6 agent who has a personal vendetta against Bond and the British intelligence establishment, and seeks revenge against M, the head of MI6, for betraying him.

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Max Denbigh/C
> Film: Spectre (2015)
> Portrayed by: Andrew Scott

An important figure in the British intelligence community, designated as “C,” Denbigh is a proponent of increased surveillance and the merging of intelligence agencies into a global network called “Nine Eyes.” He also advocates for the dissolution of the “00” program, which includes James Bond’s role as a secret agent. He is eventually revealed to be working for SPECTRE.

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Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Lyutsifer Safin
> Film: No Time to Die (2021)
> Portrayed by: Rami Malek

Safin sets out to destroy SPECTRE, which betrayed his family, but later focuses on repurposing a powerful bio-weapon called Heracles, which can target entire groups of people based on their DNA – and which Safin plans to use to kill millions.

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