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News: Nikki van der Zyl, the "unknown" Bond Girl, aged 85

The industry lost another veteran of the arts on March 6th 2021, as Monica van der Zyl, known mostly as Nikki, passed away aged 85.

Nikki will be unknown to millions, but also known by millions - she was the voice of many James Bond leading ladies from Dr. No to Moonraker as she dubbed the lines of actresses who weren't fluent in English.

A voice-over artist and voice coach, she added the husky, seductive and alluring tones that accompanied the on-screen body of Bond Girls such as Honey Ryder, Domino Derval and Corinne Dufour.

Her work was often un-credited on screen, but to fans and crew, she was crucial in the James Bond franchise.

Nikki was also on hand to help international stars learn some of their English dialogue and understand the dialect, all to help the dubbing process later in post-production.

She helped Auric Goldfinger himself, Gert Fröbe, do just that in 1964.

But it wasn't just James Bond where she lent her voice-over work to; she was active in the industry for two decades from the 1960s and 70s in major works such as The Ipcress File, One Million Years B.C. and Gawain and the Green Knight.

Here are some of the famous leading ladies she voiced, and helped cement their role in cinema history:

Dr. No (dubbed Ursula Andress, Eunice Gayson and assorted females)

From Russia With Love (dubbed Eunice Gayson)

Call Me Bwana (revoiced Anita Ekberg)

Goldfinger (dubbed Shirley Eaton and Nadja Regin)

Thunderball (dubbed Claudine Auger)

You Only Live Twice (dubbed Mie Hama)

Funeral in Berlin (revoiced Eva Renzi)

On Her Majesty's Secret Service (dubbed Virginia North)

One Million Years B.C. (revoiced Raquel Welch)

Krakatoa, East of Java (revoiced Jacqui Chan)

Diamonds Are Forever (dubbed Denise Perrier)

Live and Let Die (partially dubbed Jane Seymour)

The Man with the Golden Gun (dubbed Francoise Therry)

The Cherry Picker (revoiced Lulu)

Moonraker (dubbed Corinne Cléry and Leila Shenna)

Without knowing it, you've heard Nikki in some of your most favourite films voicing leading ladies you probably never thought dubbed, and her part in the film industry and James Bond franchise is often heartbreakingly overlooked due to her lack of screen credit, but her legacy will live on through her work and fans across the world.

Monica van der Zyl


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