See Bond Girl Gloria Hendry Now at 73
She starred in Live and Let Die and was James Bond's first Black love interest.
In 1973, Bond girl Gloria Hendry made film history. The first James Bond movie, Dr. No, was released in 1962, and 11 years later, the spy had his first Black love interest when Hendry played Rosie Carver in Live and Let Die, the eighth Bond movie. Hendry was not the first Black Bond girl, period—that title belongs to Trina Parks, who played the villain Thumper in Diamonds Are Forever—but she was the first to find romance with 007.
Following her breakthrough role in Live and Let Die, Hendry continued acting and appeared in a number of blaxploitation action films. And, while her acting career slowed in recent years, she has returned to the screen for a couple of movies. Read on to learn more about Hendry, her career, and her thoughts on Bond.
She made the most of her breakout role.
In addition to starring opposite Roger Moore in Live and Let Die, Hendry is known for the 1970s movies Black Caesar, Hell Up in Harlem, Black Belt Jones, and more. In the '80s and early '90s, she guested on a number of TV shows, including Falcon Crest, Hunter, and Doogie Houser, M.D. She's appeared in a few projects since then, most recently 2012's Freaky Deaky, 2019's A Brother's Honor, and 2021's Snow Black.
She published a memoir.
Hendry wrote an autobiography, Gloria: Bond and All, which was published in 2008. The book tells readers all about her life, career, and journey to becoming a Bond girl.
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She's branched out into other careers, too.
Before becoming an actor, Hendry studied to be a legal secretary, as she explained to CommanderBond.net. According to the Encyclopedia of African American Actresses in Film and Television, she was once the assistant to the legal secretary for the New York office of the NAACP and also worked as a Playboy Bunny and model. An interview with VOA explains that Hendry pursued a law career after she pulled back from acting somewhat.
She looks back fondly on being a Bond girl.
Hendry and the other Black Bond girls from over the years were honored in 2015 at the African American Film Critics Association's Black Women of Bond Tribute. According to Ebony, Hendry said at the event, "I had a penthouse hotel room in London at the Pinewood Studios. I was treated like I thought I starred in the movie, [as if] I played Bond! They made all my clothes. It was awesome!"
Still, it wasn't all smooth sailing being the first Black woman to be a Bond love interest. "You don't realize you're trailblazing when you're trailblazing," Hendry told Pacific Rim Video in 2013. "All you know is you're working. And all you know is that they call you for a particular thing to do, and you don't really know how, but you're willing." She added that some of her scenes were removed from the film in certain parts of the country and the world. "On one hand people loved it, on the other hand people rejected it," Hendry said.