Characters: From Russia with Love

Characters specific to From Russia with Love. For those in the entire film franchise, see here.

Ali Karim Bey

Played by: Pedro Armendáriz

A former circus strongman, he is MI6's head of Station T in Istanbul. He is a wise, good natured man whom Bond immediately takes a liking to.

  • Adaptation Name Change: His given name was changed from "Darko" to "Ali" in the film, possibly because the context of "Darko" (it's exactly what you think it is) would be uncomfortable even for 1963.
  • Abusive Parents: We get to learn his rather twisted backstory in the book. His father was a brutish man who stole other men's wives and thrashed his kids for discipline. Nevertheless his community respected him (as does Kerim in an odd way) due to being a poor village that prized strength.
  • Badass Mustache: A badass with a moustache.
  • Cool Old Guy: A cool guy, and Armendáriz's age was showing.
  • Family Business: Most of his employees are his sons (and he has a lot).
  • The Patriarch: Exclusively employs family members, reasoning they're the only people you can trust in the spying business. This, of course, has the side effect of him being at least as promiscuous as Bond is.
  • Pornstache: Look at the picture.
  • Really Gets Around: Probably the only Bond character who gets more than Bond. This is a matter of necessity, as a large family means a lot of underlings who are guarenteed to be loyal to him.
    Kerim: [about to sleep with his mistress] Back to the salt mines...
  • Sacrificial Lion
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Even though his arm is injured he insists on pulling the trigger on Bond's sniper rifle to kill his old enemy, the Bulgarian agent Krilencu.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: He's sexist, hedonistic, and willing to do all sorts of dubiously-moral deeds, but is also the most loyal and competent intelligence agent in Turkey. Bond would later encounter similar "bad good guy" characters such as Marc-Ange Draco and Tiger Tanaka.

Tatiana "Tanya" Romanova

Played by: Daniela Bianchi

A corporal in Soviet Army Intelligence, assigned to work in the Soviet Embassy in Istanbul as a cipher clerk. Because of her beauty, Rosa Klebb assigns her the mission of seducing Bond and having him take her to England to deliver a LEKTOR code machine.

Donald "Red" Grant

Played by: Robert Shaw

Along with Oddjob and Jaws, he is quite an iconic Bond villain henchman. Grant is a tall, burly, blonde SPECTRE agent (SMERSH in the books) and a sadistic, ruthless and psychotic killer. Grant's backstory in the movie and book are completely different but both effectively amount to "This is a horrible person you don't want to mess with".

  • Alone with the Psycho: Again, one of the only times Bond is totally gotten the drop on by an enemy.
  • Ax-Crazy: Machine gun crazy, actually (in the book).
  • Badass
  • Badass Normal: Unlike later notable Bond henchmen, he doesn't have any fancy gimmicks or superhuman attributes. Unlike Giant Mook guys like Hans or Krieger, he's not even noticeably larger than Bond either. He's just a ruthless, extremely efficient covert operative, just like Bond himself.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: A possible Trope Codifier.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Robert Shaw's chilling, brilliant performance obscures the fact that Grant may be the single most egregious example in the entire series. For once, shooting Bond is the actual plan, but Grant manages to muck it up with an inexcusable bout of Evil Gloating and Just Between You and Me. Further, after revealing to Bond that he's going to kill him and Tatiana and make it look like Bond committed murder-suicide, Grant gloats, "The first one [bullet] won't kill you. Not the second. Not even the third. Not till you crawl over here and kiss my foot!" Of course, if Grant had succeeded in doing this, with four or more bullets in Bond's dead body, it wouldn't look like a suicide.
  • The Brute: Just pointing it out in case that the other tropes didn't make it clear.
  • Dirty Communists: In the book version, he defected to SMERSH just so he could become a paid assassin as compared to killing them for free like he did before.
  • Dumb Blonde: Subverted. While the book version doesn't seem like the sharpest tool in the shed, he's actually able to do things that other Bond villain henchmen are completely incapable of (like use stealth or hold down a cover).
  • The Dragon: Rosa Klebb's or Blofeld's in the movie, and General G's in the book.
  • Greed: His Achilles' Heel in the film.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Killed with his own garrote (film) or gun (book).
  • Karmic Death: Killed going for some gold coins.
  • Made of Iron: Doesn't flinch when hit by a pair of brass knuckles. This is a slight exaggeration from the book, where he doubles over slightly and stands upright again, looking pissed, from a blow that the narration notes would have left any normal man cringing helplessly on the floor.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Practically alone amongst male Bond villains, Grant is actually incredibly handsome. The novel notes, however, that he's handsome in such a way that you can still tell there's something... off about him.
  • Psycho for Hire: A serial killer (stemming from advanced case of manic-depressive disorder) in the original book, and a homicidal paranoiac in the movie.
  • The Quiet One: Bordering on The Voiceless. He does not speak for most of the movie, and when he finally does, it's to imitate someone he has just murdered.
  • Red Right Hand: He's asexual. More literally, his reddish skin tone is noted in the novel as marring what are otherwise extremely handsome physical features, giving a clue to his nature.
  • Sadist: As shown with the aforementioned "Kiss my foot!" line and, if you look closely, you can see a smile on his face as he prepares to use his garrote on Bond.
  • Serial Killer: Book version.
  • Weapon of Choice: His garrote, which is concealed in his watch.

Rosa Klebb

Played by: Lotte Lenya

In the movie, Rosa Klebb is depicted as a former SMERSH agent who has defected to become a member of SPECTRE (Blofeld refers to her as "Number 3"). She uses Kronsteen's plans to obtain the Lektor and kill Bond. She deceives Tatiana Romanova into helping Bond steal the Lektor, and then sends Red Grant to kill Bond and recover it.

  • The Baroness: An iconic example.
  • Blofeld Ploy: She's spared and given a last chance.
  • Bus Crash: She actually survives the end of the book, and is arrested by the Deuxieme Bureau. At the beginning of Dr. No, it's offhandedly mentioned she died in prison, and she is then never brought up again. Even the cause of her death is unrevealed.
  • Co-Dragons: With Kronsteen.
  • The Dark Chick
  • Depraved Bisexual: She apparently had an affair with Spanish Communist leader Andrés Nin (a historical figure), but was also pretty blatantly coming on to Tatiana.
  • Dirty Old Woman: Implied to be a depraved lesbian.
  • The Heavy: Blofeld is in charge, but Klebb's the anatagonist who drives the plot.
  • Evil Redhead: Evil and has red hair.
  • Fan Disservice: We get to read a description of her in her lingerie in the book. Eeeeew.
  • Gonky Femme: She is described in quite ugly terms in the book, but when Tatiana is ordered to report to Krebb's apartment for a late night briefing, Krebb is dressed in a babydoll-ish nightie and giggly tries to seduce Tatiana.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Killed by her own weapon in the climax.
  • Improbable Weapon User: The famous spring-loaded knife-tipped shoe she uses against Bond.
  • Karmic Death: Shot through the heart by her own protege, who had really fallen for the man she had groomed her to fake falling for.
  • Older Than They Look: In the book, she's mentioned to be in her forties, but look much older, presumably because she's evil or something.
  • Psycho Lesbian: Her sexuality is kept ambiguous in the film but there's some hints towards it. Not so much in the book, in which... well, it's a lot more overt.
  • Red Right Hand: Not a disfigurement or anything, but she's said to look elderly despite being only middle-aged. Why is never explained.
  • Renegade Russian: In the movie. Totally loyal in the book.
  • Room Disservice / Janitor Impersonation Infiltration: Her last gambit to kill Bond and steal the McGuffin is to disguise herself as a hotel maid.


Played by: Vladek Sheybal

The head of planning for SPECTRE. He devised a plan to lure James Bond into Turkey and then kill him, humiliating the British government and getting revenge for the death of Dr. No. When the plan failed, he was killed with a poison-tipped knife concealed in a shoe.

  • Adaptational Villainy: He's not a nice man in the book, but he's still just a Soviet Colonel doing his job. The film makes him into a board member for the world's most powerful terrorism-for-hire organization and gives him about a million levels in smug.
  • Blofeld Ploy: Blofeld's first victim.
  • Bowties Are Cool: If you consider him cool.
  • The Chessmaster: Is a literal chessmaster too, in the book this aspect is more overt.
  • Co-Dragons: With Rosa Klebb.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Averted, actually; it's mentioned that he has a wife and children in the book, but his years as a merciless Soviet intelligence agent has left him unable to see them, or anyone, really, as anything other than pieces on a chessboard.
  • Evil Genius: The mastermind behind the lektor decoder plot.
  • Smart People Play Chess: A literal chessmaster and SPECTRE's chief strategist.
  • Smug Snake: Excessively arrogant, not even Klebb likes him.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Kronsteen wasn't prepared for Bond.

Number One (Ernst Stavro Blofeld)

Played by: Anthony Dawson
Voiced by: Eric Pohlmann

The film marks the first appearance of the mysterious chief of the SPECTRE organization. His face was not seen on screen until You Only Live Twice.


Played by: Walter Gotell

The one in charge of training the SPECTRE mooks. He will also step in for ground operations when needed.

  • Bald of Evil: Fits the criteria.
  • The Dragon: He fits this role in the villain hierarchy better than Grant does despite having less screentime.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has an X-shaped scar on the left side of his face.
  • Man on Fire: Dies when he and his men are engulfed in flames created by Bond during the boat chase (and the actor actually had burns while shooting).
  • Mook Lieutenant: Trains the mooks for SPECTRE.
  • You Look Familiar: Walter Gotell went on to play KGB chief General Gogol in the Moore era.