Contributed by: The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin

(August 27, 1947–    ; birth name: Barbara Ann Goldbach) ; American actress, and wife of former Beatle Ringo Starr, who portrayed resourceful KGB agent Major Anya Amasova in The Spy Who Loved Me.

Recalled the late director Lewis Gilbert, “Barbara was a very serene kind of girl, very quiet, and thus very effective as the Russian agent. We didn’t want anyone flashy or loud. And we couldn’t have someone too young either—a girl in her early twenties—because she wouldn’t match up with Roger [Moore]. She had to be a mature woman, especially since she was playing a top KGB assassin.”[1]

Beginning with Major Amasova in The Spy Who Loved Me, the Bond filmmakers began to replace the breathless, bosomy Bond girls of the 1960s with more believable female protagonists who could defend themselves and show 007 a thing or two. Bach’s Major Amasova demonstrates these qualities throughout the film.

A New York City native, Bach married Italian citizen Augusto Gregorini in 1968 and moved to Italy. She made her feature debut in director Antonio Racioppi’s 1971 comedy Mio padre Monsignore. That same year she was featured opposite Bond veteran Claudine Auger in two films: Paolo Cavara’s horror thriller The Black Belly of the Tarantula and Jacques Deray’s A Few Hours of Sunlight. Bach’s additional feature credits include Stateline Motel (1973), opposite fellow Bond actress Ursula Andress; Force 10 from Navarone (1978), opposite Bond veterans Robert Shaw, Edward Fox, and Richard Kiel and directed by 007 vet Guy Hamilton; The Humanoid (1979), once again teaming with Richard Kiel and joined by another Bond vet, Corinne Cléry; Jaguar Lives! (1979), surrounded by another bevy of Bond vets, including Christopher Lee, Donald Pleasence, and Joseph Wiseman; and Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984).

[1] Lewis Gilbert, interview by the Steven Jay Rubin, London, June 15, 1977.


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