The Russian spy who came in from the cold.
Tatiana Romanova is recruited to become a Russian agent working for the Soviet Army Intelligence division. She is dispatched to follow Bond as part of a devilish mission to undermine Western intelligence but unknown to her, her boss, Rosa Klebb is actually working for SMERSH and they want Bond dead in revenge for his execution of Dr No. With an ethereal beauty and Russian haughteur, she eventually is seduced by Bond and realizes that she has been double crossed, becoming Bond’s ally and, inevitably, lover.
Born in 1942 in war torn Italy, Daniela Bianchi grew up with the spectre of the conflict always with her, and the political climate of Italy in the 50s gave her a desire to communicate and to escape, leading her to acting. She was a runner up in “Miss World 1960”, after which she was named “Miss Photogenic” which gave her enough attention to make the move into low budget Italian films. She then came to the attention of Cubby Broccoli who invited her to screen test for the role of Tatiana in “From Russia With Love” however the actress was stricken with flu. Undeterred, Broccoli traveled to her and interviewed her from her bed! She won the part and it proved to be her breakout, catapulting her across the world, though for the whole film, her voice was dubbed by another actress, Barbara Jefford.
They dubbed my voice. My God, they even dubbed my legs! But still, I enjoyed it. The experience. I haven’t seen the film in years. Robert Shaw was very sexy. Very intelligent. I have always been attracted to intelligent men. They make good lovers but they are very difficult to live with. I should have liked to have seen Richard Burton in the role of Bond.
She took on a variety of roles in both film and TV in the 1960s, including episodes of “Dr Kildare” and several Italian language films, making a notable appearance in “Operation Kid Brother”, a bond spoof which starred Sean Connery’s brother Neil. In 1970, she retired from acting to start a family, marrying a shipping magnate, her last appearance being the film “Scaccio Internazionale”
I thought I might acquire a sort of Louise Brooks mystique when I retired from the films , instead I was simply forgotten.
After her marriage floundered in the 70’s, she planned a return to acting in a film by Passolini, but the director’s murder in 1975 put paid to that. She never recaptured the heights of her 60s fame and now lives quietly in Italy . She has one son from her marriage.