Was There a Transgender Bond Girl?

Rumors about the transgender actress and her role in the James Bond film 'For Your Eyes Only' have morphed over time.

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Claim

One of the women in the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only is transgender.

Origin

The 1981 film For Your Eyes Only was the twelfth in the James Bond series and marked the fifth appearance of Roger Moore as secret agent 007. Like all Bond offerings, the non-stop action was sprinkled with bodacious babes, about one of whom questions subsequently surfaced.

Caroline Cossey, one of the “Bond girls” appearing in that film was a transgender woman. Ms. Cossey began life in 1954 as Barry Cossey but later decided to live as a woman. She changed her name to Caroline in 1972, began taking hormone tablets, had breast augmentation surgery, and in 1974 underwent the final sex reassignment surgery (SRS). From about 1979 to 1986 Caroline worked as a fashion model and actress under the name Tula, and she caught a break in 1980 when she was cast in the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only. Shortly after the film’s release in 1981, however, the UK tabloid News of the World “outed” her and disrupted her modeling and acting career.

Caroline’s first attempt at marriage, to Count Glauco, an Italian national, was blocked in 1983 by legal complications (under English law she was still considered male). In 1989 she married Elias Fattal in London, but her husband left her shortly after the honeymoon and the marriage was annulled by the High Court (under a ruling that the bride and groom had not been female and male, respectively). Caroline told her story in the 1982 book, Tula: I Am a Woman and published an autobiography, My Story, in 1991; she has resumed her modelling career and is now married to David Finch, a Canadian.

But Caroline Cossey was a ‘Bond girl’ in only the most fleeting of ways: She appeared but briefly on screen in For Your Eyes Only, and film credits describe her as “girl at pool,” a designation she shared with ten other actresses.

Rumors about the real transgender Bond girl have morphed over time, with later versions asserting the woman in question had been one of the primary love interests in For Your Eyes Only. That role was filled by French actress Carole Bouquet, appearing as the vengeful daughter of the scientist the villain had done away with.

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Sources

Binyon, Michael.   “Sex Change Woman Loses Legal Case.”
    The Times.   28 September 1990   Home News.

Dunn, Jane.   “How Barry Became Carrie.”
    Sunday Times.   5 May 1991   Features.

Goodchild, Sophie.   “New Hope for Transsexuals as MPs Move to Change Law on Birth Certificates.”
    The [London] Independent.   23 June 2002   (p. 13).