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Honey: "What are you doing here? Looking for shells?"
Bond: "No. I'm just looking."
Honey: "Stay where you are."
Bond: "I promise you, I won't steal your shells."
Honey: "I promise you, you won't either."
―Honey meets Bond for the first time.[src]

Honey Ryder is a fictional shell diver and love interest of James Bond. Based on the character Honeychile Rider from the 1958 Ian Fleming novel, Dr. No, the Bond girl appeared in the 1962 James Bond film of the same name, portrayed by Swiss-American actress, Ursula Andress, but voiced by the late German actress, Nikki van der Zyl,[1][2] and her singing voice was dubbed by British actress and singer, Diana Coupland.[3]. Honey was subsequently re-imagined for the 2015 mobile game, James Bond: World of Espionage. The first main Bond girl in the EON Productions film series, she was also one of the most popular, mostly because of its emblematic introduction scene.


Bond and Honey take cover from gunfire.

Having drawn a link between the murder of fellow British intelligence operative, John Strangways, and radioactive samples he had taken from an island named Crab Key in Jamaica (owned by the reclusive criminal operative, Dr. Julius No) James Bond convinces his ally Quarrel to take him there by boat. There Bond meets the beautiful Honey Ryder, dressed only in a white bikini, who is collecting shells and singing "Under the Mango Tree". She emerges from the sea and Bond finds her to be beautiful right away, scaring her by joining in singing. At first, she is suspicious of Bond but soon decides to help him after Dr. No's guards destroy her boat. Honey shows Quarrel and Bond a way to evade the henchmen when caught. After they escape, she tells Bond how her father died when on Crab Key, after which she was raped by a local landlord. Honey relates how she got her revenge by putting a black widow spider in his mosquito net and causing his lingering death. This shows a very deadly side to her, though she maintains a look of innocence and naivety.

Bond and Honey in Dr. No's lair

After nightfall they are attacked by the legendary "dragon" of Crab Key, which turns out to be an armoured tractor equipped with a flamethrower. In the resulting gun battle, Quarrel is incinerated whilst Bond and Honey are taken prisoner. They are decontaminated, quartered in Dr. No's lair, and given drugged coffee to render them unconscious. The next day, they dress and meet Dr. No in his office, where he invites them to lunch. After dinner, Ryder is taken away and Bond is beaten by the guards. Later, after killing Dr. No and sabotaging the island's reactor, Bond rescues Honey from being slowly drowned. As the complex explodes, the pair escape by boat until they run out of gas in the middle of the sea, and start kissing, refusing assistance from Bond's American ally.


Honey: "How well do you know about animals? Did you ever see a mongoose dance? Or, a scorpion with sunstroke sting itself to death? Or, a praying mantis eat her husband after making love?"
Bond: "I hate to admit it, but, I haven't."
Honey: "Well, I have."
―Honey and Bond[src]

As in the novel, Honey is a very independent woman claiming to not need help from anyone. She is a beachcomber making a living selling seashells in Miami. Resourceful and courageous, she states that she can defend herself against any hostile when she first meets Bond. Although she is at first wary of Bond, he is allowed to get closer when he comments that his intentions are honourable. As in the novel, she said she was forced to accept her independence as a teenager when both her parents died. Bond is curious how she survived without a formal education, to which Honey claims that she inherited her parents' set of the Encyclopedia Britannica and manually transcribed them, starting with A as a little girl and is currently up to T, and was confident she could intellectually match anyone on said subjects.

Behind the scenes


British actress Julie Christie was considered for the role of Honey Ryder, but producer Albert R. Broccoli reportedly thought her breasts were too small.[4] Martine Beswick was also rejected for being too inexperienced as an actress while Gabriella Licudi was rejected as too young.[5] Just two weeks before filming began, Ursula Andress was chosen to play Honey after the producers saw a picture of her taken by the actress' then-husband John Derek.[6] Kirk Douglas convinced Andress to take the part at a party hosted by Derek.[5] To appear more convincing as a Jamaican, Andress had a tan painted on her and ultimately had her lines redubbed by voice actress Nikki van der Zyl due to Andress' heavy Swiss-German accent.[6]

As "The Original Bond Girl"

Honey Ryder emerges from the sea.

In the film series, Honey is widely regarded as the first Bond girl, although she is not the first woman in the film to be with Bond (that distinction belongs to Sylvia Trench, while Miss Taro was Bond's first mission-related "conquest"). Her entrance in the film, emerging from the ocean in a white bikini with hunting knife belt around her waist, striding barefoot over the wet beach sand, carrying large seashells whilst taking off her diving mask as while the sun shines on her wet blonde hair while she is singing "Underneath the Mango Tree", is considered a classic James Bond moment and is one of the most popular scenes in cinematic and fashion history,[7][8][9]. This scene was also only the second time an actress had worn a bikini on screen after and God created Woman, but this movie is given the credit for single-handedly making the bikini as popular as it is today. As a homage, costume designer Linda Hemming made a similar costume of a La Perla bikini and patterned Ghost sarong as an outfit for Izabella Scorupco's character Natalya Simonova in the 17th James Bond film GoldenEye and Halle Berry performed a similar scene to Ursula's in an orange bikini in the 20th James Bond film, Die Another Day.[10] Bond himself (played by Daniel Craig) did the same in the 2006 film Casino Royale, [11] wearing blue trunks.[12] Mariah Carey also references this scene in the music video for her song "Honey". The scene made Andress a "quintessential" Bond girl.[13][14] In 2003, in a UK Survey by Channel 4, her entrance in Dr. No was voted #1 in "the 100 Greatest Sexy Moments".[15] Andress won the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year in 1964 for her appearance in the film.[16]

The character of Honey was later mentioned by name in On Her Majesty's Secret Service as a "beautiful movie star." Andress is the first of only two entertainers that have actually starred in a Bond film to be mentioned by Ian Fleming in his James Bond novels. The other is David Niven who co-starred as James Bond in the 1967 film adaptation of Casino Royale along with Andress.

The film changed quite a few points in the novel, one of which being Honey's outfit, or rather lack thereof. In the original novel, Honey emerges from the water naked, wearing only the belt. When she notices that Bond is watching her, she covers her face to hide her identity. Understandably Honey was given a bikini in the film, and isn't ashamed when she sees Bond. Due to the films taking place during the present day of the films and not the books, the bikini had been around long enough to include.

Omitted scenes

Still photograph of the original crab torture scene in Dr. No.

In the 1958 James Bond novel Dr. No by Ian Fleming, Crab Key is named after the thousands of large land crabs – what they call in Jamaica "black crabs" – which infest the island. The book features a scene where Dr. No plans to torture Honey to death by tying her naked to the ground in the path of the crabs' migration; mistakenly believing that the animals are carnivorous from the death of an earlier victim. A similar scene was initially replicated for the 1962 film with Honey being tortured by being tied to the ground along with crabs, but since the crabs were sent frozen from the Caribbean, they did not move much during filming, so the scene was altered to have Honey slowly drowning.[6]

Reception and legacy

Honey Ryder was voted the best Bond Girl by Entertainment Weekly.[17]

Author Anthony Horowitz named his James Bond tribute character Alex Rider after Honeychile Rider.[18] Also, Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel, who has a tradition of assigning his cars female names, designated his Aston Martin AMR21 chassis after Ryder.[19]


Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress)/Gallery


  • Honey is revealed to sell sea shells in Miami when she reveals to Bond that one of the sea shells she found was worth $50 there.
  • It is possible that she gave Bond the scar on his back that is seen in From Russia with Love, possibly to remember her by.
  • In the 1969 film On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Ryder's knife is seen while Bond is cleaning out his desk. Possibly she gave it to Bond as a memento. Archive footages of the character also can be seen in the film's opening credits alongside other characters of the previous films.
  • Honey was at one point considered to return for From Russia with Love and later Live and Let Die, though the idea was scrapped.
  • Like Pussy Galore in Goldfinger, Honey doesn't appear until half way through the film.


  1. Dr. No (1962) – Cast. British Film Institute.
  2. "Dr No bikini for sale", BBC News, 12 January 2001. 
  3. "Actress Diana Coupland dies at 74", BBC News, 10 November 2006. 
  4. "Kiss Of Death", 12 November 1995, New York Daily News
  5. 5.0 5.1 Field, Matthew (2015). Some kind of hero : 007 : the remarkable story of the James Bond films, Ajay Chowdhury. ISBN 978-0-7509-6421-0. OCLC 930556527. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 (1999). Inside Dr. No Documentary [DVD]. Dr. No (Ultimate Edition, 2006): MGM Home Entertainment.
  7. "Former Bond girl to sell Dr No bikini", 13 January 2011. 
  8. Bensimon, Kelly Killoren (2006). The bikini book. Thames & Hudson. ISBN 978-0-500-51316-3. 
  9. Lindner, Christoph (2009). The James Bond Phenomenon: A Critical Reader. Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-8095-1. 
  10. A history of Bond Girl fashion.
  11. "Goodbye, Daniel Craig: How the actor became bigger than the character James Bond", 28 September 2021. 
  12. Bond Daniel Craig on being 'constantly naked' and who chose those infamous blue trunks (21 September 2021).
  13. "One girl is not enough", BBC News, 19 November 1999. 
  14. "The bikini: Not a brief affair", BBC News, 5 July 2006. 
  15. "Andress scene voted 'most sexy'", BBC News, 30 November 2003. 
  16. "GoldenGlobes.org.", 13 July 2010. 
  17. Countdown! The 10 best Bond girls (30 March 2007) Entertainment Weekly Accessed 20 February 2017
  18. As stated by Horowitz in his Intelligence Squared debate, Ian Fleming vs John le Carré
  19. "Vettel names his AMR21 after first Bond girl", PlanetF1, 25 March 2021. 

See also