No, Barbara Carrera isn’t just another Bond girl. She’s much more than that, an actress for over fifty years now who’s starred alongside such greats as Sean Connery and Tom Selleck while holding her own in the profession. Barbara has been making her way through Hollywood all this time.
Barbara’s upbringing was certainly unique, beginning in Bluefields, Nicaragua in December of 1945. Her mother was a yoga instructor, and her father was a diplomat, but Barbara had different aspirations. From a young age, she had aspirations of becoming… a nun? Strange, but she quickly turned her sights toward acting instead of the cloth, taking up modeling and commercial acting between other jobs starting at sixteen.
Carrera, who is fluent in five languages, started her career as a model, gracing the covers of over 300 fashion magazines before transitioning to the silver screen.
Her journey in Hollywood began with a small part in a soap opera, which led to her breakthrough role in “The Master Gunfighter” in 1975. This was followed by notable performances in “Embryo” (1976) and “The Island of Dr. Moreau” (1977).
The Island of Dr. Moreau
“The Island of Dr. Moreau” is a science fiction horror film based on the novel of the same name by H.G. Wells. The story revolves around a scientist named Dr. Moreau, who conducts unethical experiments on animals, turning them into half-human, half-animal hybrids. The film explores themes of morality, ethics, and the limits of scientific experimentation.
In the film, Barbara Carrera played the character Maria, a young woman who is brought to Dr. Moreau’s island. She becomes romantically involved with one of the animal-human hybrids, a man named Braddock (portrayed by Michael York).
In 1981 she landed the role of Natalia Rambova in the superhero comedy film "Condorman." It tells the story of Woodrow “Woody” Wilkins, a comic book writer and illustrator who becomes a real-life superhero named Condorman after a series of events. With his gadgets and super-powered suit, Condorman embarks on a mission to protect a beautiful Russian spy and stop an evil plot.
Natalia is a Russian spy who seeks Condorman’s help in defecting to the United States. She becomes a key figure in the story and forms a romantic connection with Woody Wilkins, aka Condorman.
Never Say Never Again
In 1983, Carrera starred in the James Bond film “Never Say Never Again”, where she played the villainous Fatima Blush alongside Sean Connery’s James Bond.
Her portrayal of Fatima, a deadly and seductive SPECTRE agent, was met with critical acclaim, and she quickly became one of the most memorable Bond girls.
Carrera’s performance was a perfect blend of charm, wit, and menace, bringing a unique depth to her character that set her apart from the typical Bond girl archetype. This role not only solidified her status as a Hollywood star but also showcased her versatility and talent as an actress.
“Never Say Never Again” was released by Warner Bros. on October 7, 1983, and was generally well-received by critics. The film was a commercial success, grossing $160 million at the box office. However, it earned less overall than the Eon-produced “Octopussy,” which was released earlier the same year.
Despite the competition, “Never Say Never Again” managed to carve out its own niche in the Bond franchise, largely due to Connery’s return to the role of Bond.
What Did She Do After Never Say Never Again?
Barbara Carrera mentioned in an interview that after her role in Never Say Never Again, Hollywood tried to typecast her as the sexy femme fatale.
"Every role I got offered was bad-women roles, bad women, bad women. And I just kept turning them down. Sometimes to my detriment, because some of them were really great. But inevitably that role kind of stuck with me. I wanted so much to be a serious actress. I wanted to be great and do serious work."
After her iconic role in “Never Say Never Again”, Barbara Carrera continued in both film and television. She took on a variety of roles that showcased her versatility as an actress. In 1984, she appeared in the TV movie “Sins of the Past” as Terry Halloran. She also had a memorable stint on the popular TV series “Dallas” from 1985 to 1986, where she portrayed the character of Angelica Nero. In 1985, she starred in “Wild Geese II” as Kathy Lukas, further cementing her status in the film industry.
The 1990s saw Carrera taking on a mix of film and television roles. She starred in the TV movie “Murder in Paradise” as Emma Danton in 1990 and appeared in the film “Point of Impact” as Eva Largo in 1993. She also had notable roles in TV series like “Fortune Hunter” in 1994, where she played President Isabella Duarte, and “JAG” in 1998, where she portrayed Marcella Paretti.
In the new millennium, she continued to act in both mediums, with roles in films like “Panic” (2002) and TV series like “Judging Amy” (2004).
Her last acting credit came in 2005in the short film “Twenty” in 2005, where she played the character Maria.
What is Barbara Carrera Doing Now?
Barbara Carrera retired from acting a few years ago due to a change in perspective and a bit of illness. She decided to focus on her art and has been dedicating most of her time to painting. She has a website called BarbaraCarreraArt.com where she showcases her artwork.
Her artwork has been showcased in the Makk Galleries in Beverly Hills, California since the 1980s, and the Roy Miles Gallery in London, England.
In May 2002, her works were exhibited at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum and have typically been sold for up to $8,000.
You can also find Carrera at fan conventions. She will be attending the Hollywood Show Los Angeles on the weekend of June 30th.
Recently in an interview Fox News, Barbara Carrera, fondly remembered her time on set with the late actor. Carrera praised Connery as a great kisser and a gentleman, and shared anecdotes about their time filming, including a memorable moment when Connery had his wife removed from the set during their kissing scene. Carrera also revealed that she turned down a role in “Octopussy” to work with Connery, and spoke about her admiration for him, both as an actor and as a person. Carrera and Connery remained friends over the years, and she expressed her deep respect and admiration for him, stating that his role as Bond will live on forever.