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5 Memorable Bond Henchmen

From Red Grant to Jaws

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Using few words and signature methods of killing that sometimes border on absurd, Bond henchmen posed a considerable physical threat to 007 and needed to be dispatched before Bond can disrupt the main villain’s evil machinations.

But unlike their villainous masters or enigmatic Bond girls, henchmen were single-minded killers capable of outmatching Bond. Whether psychotic killers or indestructible assassins with steel teeth, Bond henchmen were as colorful as they were dangerous.

1. Red Grant – ‘From Russia With Love’ (1963)

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Played by the great Robert Shaw, Red Grant was a convicted killer hired by the criminal organization SPECTRE to become a ruthless and exceedingly dangerous assassin. In fact, Grant’s only mission in From Russia With Love is to avenge the death of Dr. Julius No (Joseph Wiseman), the brilliant SPECTRE scientist with metal hands and the first villain to be dispatched by Bond (Sean Connery). Though ruthless, Grant is also quite intelligent and almost manages to kill 007 with a garrote wire hidden in his wristwatch. But it’s Bond who turns the tables and uses the wire to kill off Grant after tricking the assassin into opening a Q branch briefcase loaded with tear gas.
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2. Oddjob – ‘Goldfinger’ (1964)

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The second most famous henchman behind Richard Kiel’s Jaws, Oddjob (Harold Sakata) was the mute manservant of Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe), whose preferred method of killing is throwing his razor-sharp bowler hat and decapitating his victims. Oddjob assists Goldfinger in his plan to irradiate Fort Knox and increase the value of his own gold stockpile, only to meet his end via electrocution when his hat becomes implanted in the iron bars of the famed gold depository. Though his character was a cold, silent and ruthless killer, Sakata was quite the opposite in real life. A professional wrestler turned actor, he was remembered as a genial family man.
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3. Tee Hee – ‘Live and Let Die’ (1973)

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Unlike the cold, monolithic killers from the Sean Connery era, the pincer-handed Tee Hee (Julius W. Harris) enjoyed his villainy as he assists Dr. Kananga/Mr. Big (Yaphet Kotto) corner the heroin market while trying to kill Bond (Roger Moore). Tee Hee first tries to dispose of 007 by leaving him alone on an island overrun by crocodiles and later attacks him inside a cabin on a moving train, all while displaying his enjoyment of killing through maniacal grinning and laughter. Bond manages to dispatch Tee Hee by immobilizing his mechanical arm and throwing him off the train.
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4. Nick Nack – ‘The Man With the Golden Gun’ (1974)

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Before he played Tattoo on Fantasy Island, Hervé Villechaize played Nick Nack in The Man With the Golden Gun, the killer manservant to arch-villain Francisco Scaramanga (Christopher Lee), who seeks to harness the power of the sun into a destructive weapon. With hopes of inheriting his master’s private yacht and island, Nick Nack tries to take out Bond first by posing as a statue in a garden and killing him with a trident, then by attacking him with a knife aboard one of Scaramanga’s boats. Bond turns the tables rather easily on Nick Nack, forcing the dwarfish assassin to resort to standing on a bar and throwing wine bottles. Bond easily traps Nick Nack inside a luggage case and throws him overboard, making for one of the silliest Bond-henchmen fights of the entire franchise.
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5. Jaws – ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ (1977) and ‘Moonraker’ (1979)

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The ultimate henchmen and everybody’s favorite. Played by seven-foot-tall actor Richard Kiel, Jaws was an almost comically indestructible bad guy who used his steel teeth to do everything from killing his victims to chomping through thick steel cables. Appearing in both The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, Jaws was a freelance killer hired by criminal masterminds Karl Stromberg and Hugo Drax to dispatch of 007. He attempts to kill Bond in a variety of ways, including biting him in the neck, shooting him during a boat chase on the Amazon, pushing him out of an airplane without a parachute and beating him up in a tiny compartment aboard a moving train. Bond typically got the better of Jaws, though the monstrous hitman always managed to survive and dust himself off. At the end of Moonraker, Jaws has fallen in love with one of Drax’s genetically perfect specimens and actually helps Bond win the day.
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