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

One of James Bond’s sexiest women, she was portrayed by Italian beauty queen Daniela Bianchi in From Russia with Love. She becomes the innocent pawn in a deadly assassination and extortion plan concocted by SPECTRE.

Stationed in Istanbul and assigned to the Russian embassy’s cryptographic section, where she works directly with the Lektor decoding machine, Romanova is a State Security corporal. Her friends call her “Tania.” She was originally stationed in Moscow, where she worked with the English decoding crew and where she first saw Colonel Rosa Klebb (Lotte Lenya), who is now a SPECTRE spymaster but whom Tania thinks is still working for the Russians.

Earlier in her life, Tania was a ballet student who was disqualified for growing one inch over regulation height. Prior to meeting 007 in Istanbul, she had three lovers. Although Klebb orders her to seduce Bond in an Istanbul hotel suite—where, unbeknownst to her, the lovemaking will be filmed by a SPECTRE camera crew hiding in the cabinet de voyeur—she eventually falls in love with him.

Tania joins Bond on the Orient Express with the Lektor decoding machine she has helped steal. Drugged by Donald Grant (Robert Shaw), she survives the flight on the train and the ensuing battles with SPECTRE assassins in helicopters and speedboats. She eventually saves Bond’s life in Venice by shooting Rosa Klebb.


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