Website last updated: 29-10-2018

In Memoriam of Eunice Gayson (1928-2018): The First Bond Girl

By: Anders Frejdh
Published:
2018-06-09
Eunice Gayson Sylvia Trench James Bond
Sad to learn of Eunice Gayson's passing on 8th June 2018 aged 90. She was the first Bond girl on the big screen opposite Sean Connery in Dr. No (1962). And one of our favourite girls in the series. Was fortunate to meet her on numerous occasions over the years, first time in London 2002. Rest in peace, Eunice. Will treasure the memories.

James Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli commented:

“We are so sad to learn that Eunice Gayson, our very first 'Bond girl' who played Sylvia Trench in DR. NO and FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, has passed away. Our sincere thoughts are with her family.”

About British actress Eunice Gayson


Eunice Gayson was born on 17th March 1928 in Surrey, England. She first studied singing and dancing as a teenager and then went into rep for a year to gain acting experience. She was auditioned for a television show and this then led to a series of TV revues. She toured in Born Yesterday, The Little Hut and No, No, No Nanette and she has also appeared in pantomime and on television, appearing in over 75 shows, playing everything from Shaw to farce.

Her big screen acting career began in 1948 age 17 playing the role of a young girl in the Harold French directed My Brother Johnathan. This led to a string of film appearances including The Goon Show movie Down Amongst the Z Men in 1952 and Hammer's Revenge of Frankenstein in 1958 with Peter Cushing.

In 1962 Eunice starred in the first of the James Bond film adventures playing the part of Sylvia Trench, the role she is best known for, directed by Terence Young. In the casino scene she gives James Bond (Sean Connery) the opportunity to introduce himself with what is considered to be the most famous line in cinema History, "I admire your luck Mr...", to which 007 replies "Bond, James Bond".

Eunice Gayson Sean Connery Dr No Jeff Marshall artwork
Eunice Gayson kissing Sean Connery Dr. No. Artwork by FSWL reader Jeff Marshall.

Gayson was also the first Bond girl to make a return to the franchise when in 1963 she briefly reprised her role in From Russia with Love (1963) sharing an intimate scene with 007 on the riverbank. Initially the character was to have made an appearance in subsequent movies however this idea was dropped when director Guy Hamilton came onboard.

Eunice made several notable appearances in classic British 60's & 70's TV serials such as The Saint with Roger Moore, Dangerman, The Adventurer and The Avengers. She returned to the stage in 1990 to play the part of Little Red Hood's grandmother in a production of the musical Into The Woods at Phoenix Theatre in London.

In September 2012, the autobiography of Eunice Gayson, titled The First Lady Of Bond, was published by Signum Books.

In recent years, Eunice Gayson remained a popular figure in Bond circles and attended the World premieres of both Spectre and Skyfall at Royal Albert Hall in London.

Photo above:
Eunice Gayson at Pinewood Studios in the summer of 2005. Copyright © From Sweden with Love.

More about Eunice Gayson's film, television and theatre work on her IMDB page.

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Managing Editor: Anders Frejdh