Hold onto your hats. A Bond girl was a man! Well kind of. You will have to stretch your imagination quite a bit to class this person as a true Bond girl. You see, she was only an extra, and this Bond girl used to be a man. She underwent gender reassignment surgery before the film was hot. Such a thing today would hardly register as a scandal, but when this happened back in the early 1980’s, the outrage was almost universal.
One of the Bond girls, from the movie franchise James Bond was born a man. Although not exactly a Bond girl in all her essence, Carolyn Cossey was actually one of the extras in the 1981 release of “For Your Eyes Only.” Her actual role is only a small one, and you can see her by the pool in one scene. She or he is credited as one of the ten “girl at pool.” Hardly a leading role, but enough to stir a storm of controversy.
Carolyn Cossey, the Bond girl who was a man, was born Barry and underwent gender reassignment surgery in 1972. As is often the case with such surgeries, she had to go onto hormone pills, undergo breast augmentation surgery and rework the plumbing, so to speak. Following the extensive procedure she spent many years working as a model named Tula.
But being in a James Bond film was not the only role she had, and not the only controversy she caused. It seems as though the tabloid press were out to get the transsexual. In 1978 Cossey appeared in a British game show. A reporter discovered her past and told her that he planned to write about it. Other reporters soon caught on and planned to do likewise. She convinced the producers to release her from her contract, and she laid low until the storm had passed. Her career was now on pause.
She may have managed to avoid the media scrutiny of her hidden past for the moment, but it was only a short delay. With the release of “For Your Eyes Only” in 1981, it didn’t take long for the storm to brew once more. Once it became widely known in the public arena that a James Bond girl was a man, the ridicule was intense. She even contemplated suicide at the time.