The ultimate James Bond villains

They have tried to destroy humankind, take over the planet, wipe out whole populations, and extort billions in cash whenever and wherever possible. And there is only one man who can stop them: the British Government's number one secret-agent, James Bond. Yep, we're talking about 007's arch-enemies. Parodied brilliantly in the Austin Powers movies in the form of Mike Myers' Dr. Evil, this dastardly bunch of power-mad maniacs has caused far more than a few problems for 007 over the years. Although there have been many, it's time for us to introduce you to our top ten James Bond villains.

The first and the best

He was the inspiration for numerous insane super-villains. He was James Bond's first big-screen foe. He was Dr. No, played in cold-blooded fashion by Joseph Wiseman. In the 1962 movie, titled Dr. No - what else? - he was the ultimate bad guy with nothing but death and disaster on his nutty mind. And in Sean Connery's first outing as Bond, Dr. No does his best to plunge America's space-program into chaos. Fortunately for NASA, he doesn't count on having to square-off against 007. Dr. No meets a grisly end, and Bond saves the day and gets the girls. Right-on!

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A villain who refuses to die

A cat-loving nut-job, Ernst Stavro Blofeld - the brains behind a nefarious band of no-gooders called SPECTRE - is a villain that even James Bond has found it difficult to get rid of. Between 1963 and 1983, Blofeld surfaced in For Your Eyes Only, You Only Live Twice, Thunderball, Never Say Never Again, Diamonds Are Forever, and On Her Majesty's Secret Service; thus proving that you can't keep an evil-doer down for very long. And that goes for today, too. Proving he has more lives than his beloved cat, Blofeld appears in a 2012 video game called 007 Legends.

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A bone-crunching killer

Named after a gigantic, man-eating shark, Jaws - played by seven-foot-tall giant, Richard Kiel - was a deadly assassin with steel teeth that delivered an equally-deadly bite. As more than a few characters found out in The Spy Who Loved Me. Made in 1977, the movie also introduces us to Karl Stromberg, who plans to plunge the world into nuclear destruction, after which he and his elite band of followers will create a new civilisation. While Stromberg is the chief villain in the story, it's Jaws who steals the show. To the extent that he returned, two-years later, in Moonraker.

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The villain of Voodoo

Live and Let Die, produced in 1973, gave us a brand new James Bond: Roger Moore, the dapperest of all dapper actors, who had previously made his mark on television as Simon Templar in The Saint. But, Live and Let Die also brought us Dr. Kananga, a ruthless drug-lord who plans to control the world's heroin supply. In an action-packed movie filled with voodoo activity, occult rituals, hot girls, and cool locations, 007 is forced to thwart the powers of evil and send Kananga packing. Which he does, but not without a great deal of trouble on the way!

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Stealing the golden goods

A 1964 movie that prominently featured one of Bond's most famous chicks - the memorably-titled Pussy Galore - Goldfinger was also the name of the villain of the story. Played by Gert Fröbe, Goldfinger - as his name suggests - is a bad guy with nothing but precious gold on his mind. Lots of it, too. So much, in fact, that he plans on breaking into the US Government's gold-bullion depository at Ft. Knox and cleaning it out. But the man with a licence to kill ensures all ends well. Not before almost losing his privates to a laser-beam, however!

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A new villain for a new time

When Daniel Craig took over the role of 007, it brought a new dimension to the character: gone was the dark hair, as was the laid-back approach of Roger Moore. This was Bond for a new era and a new audience. The same went for the villains, too. Dr. Evil-types were nowhere to be seen. In Craig's first outing as Bond - in 2006's Casino Royale - the villain was a banker named Le Chiffre, who works hand-in-glove with major terrorist organisations. Deadly and ice-cold, Le Chiffre - portrayed by Mads Mikkelsen - was a force to be reckoned with.

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The golden shot

Francisco Scaramanga is a ruthless assassin who has his deadly weapon set on James Bond. For Scaramanga, that's a golden pistol with golden bullets. Yes, literally. The role went to legendary horror-actor Christopher Lee, in the 1975 film The Man with the Golden Gun. Roger Moore's 007 finds himself in far more than a few tight spots when he is forced to go head-to-head with Scaramanga - as well as his dwarfish, murderous cohort, Nick Nack - on the killer's secluded island. Our Rodge comes out on top and "celebrates" with Britt Ekland. Not a bad job being a spy.

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Here, kitty-kitty

Pussy Galore was not the only pussy that James Bond crossed paths with. There was also Octopussy, played by Maud Adams. How many pussies can one man get to know? If you're suave 007, lots. But Octopussy is a bit of a contradiction. She's a smuggler of rare jewels, who doesn't mind mixing with some deadly characters. But, in the 1983 movie that shared her name, Octopussy develops a soft spot for James Bond, and the two work together to prevent the disastrous detonation of an atomic bomb at an American military base in West Germany. Good pussy, after all.

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Poisoning the planet

Someone has just stolen a space shuttle. Not the easiest thing to do. So, what's the answer to the problem? Get James Bond on the case! That's what happens in Moonraker, which hit cinemas in 1979. A powerful lunatic named Hugo Drax plans to release - from the safety of a space-station in the Earth's orbit - a deadly toxin that will wipe out the human population, paving the way for Drax and his followers to start a new society. Bond, along with his old foe, Jaws, who sees the error of his ways, decks Drax and saves the world.

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007 vs. 006

It's not often that 007 has to do battle with one of his own, but that's exactly what happened in 1995's GoldenEye, which marked Pierce Brosnan's first outing as Bond. The villain of this production is 006, Alec Trevelyan, played by Sean Bean. Having gone rogue, Trevelyan plans to rob the Bank of England and, following that, wipe out the nation's financial records, thus plunging Britain's economy into chaos. Thankfully, 006 is thwarted by 007 and good old Blighty continues to fly the flag. And, of course, Bond bags a bird or two while he brings Bean's baddie to book!

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About the Author

Nick Redfern is the author of many books on UFOs, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, Hollywood scandal and much more. He has worked as a writer for more than two decades and has written for the Daily Express, Military Illustrated and Penthouse.