Nikki van der Zy: The clandestine voiceover artist of secret agent films

First James Bond girl Eunice Gayson dies at 90: "... She played Sylvia Trench in 007's 1962 debut, Dr No. [...] As with many of the Bond girls in the 1960s and 1970s, her lines were rerecorded by voiceover artist Nikki van der Zyl."

- - -

The World of Nikki van der Zyl

EXCERPT: A review of Taryn Simons' exhibition *Birds of the West Indies* says: "... the uncredited voice artist Nikki van der Zyl, who dubbed most of the Bond girls throughout the years, was - and continues to be - denied recognition due to the producers' efforts to maintain the total 'Bond girl' image."

[...] Many of the women who appeared in the Bond movies were mere 'eye candy' and although they may have looked good on screen, their voices were often not suitable for the sexy parts they were playing. The solution? Use a voice double, that is, have them revoiced (or dubbed) by a professionally trained actress. But that seems to be something they are too ashamed to admit to - and so it is rarely disclosed - and very rarely openly discussed. In fact great efforts have been made to conceal the facts and deny the truth about this aspect of movies. It's the 'artifice that dare not speak its name' - the dark secret. Nevertheless, it has been a part of film production since the first talkies in the late 1920s. And it takes great skill to pull it off successfully without being detected. It has been likened to ventriloquism, with the actress being the dummy.

[...] In Dr.No, Nikki's smooth, sexy voice replaced the thick Germanic teeth-gnashing accent of Ursula Andress. Yes, every word spoken (and sung) by Honey Ryder was the voice of German born actress Nikki van der Zyl - now a British National Treasure. Her vocal performance was crucial to the success of the film, but you will look in vain for any mention of Nikki's name in the credits. Suppressed in Britain; but acclaimed in Germany, you can see - and hear - the famous beach scene by following the YouTube link.

The deception was so successful that, in the subsequent Bond films, the producers continued to use females with limited acting ability and/or unsuitable 'cor-blimey' accents, or little known foreigners with both limited acting ability and a poor command of English. They were effectively mute and would have been better suited to the era of silent films. When talkies came along in the 1920s it revealed the limitations of many actors, but even as late as the 1960s and 70s unsuitable 'actresses' were still being employed. So the all-important seductive voices needed to seduce 007 were supplied by Nikki van der Zyl.

OK, you might say, Nikki didn't get any credits but she must have been richly rewarded for her work, after all the Bond films made millions (and now billions). Think again; she was paid a pittance for what was normally just one or two days' work. Because she was so efficient, she usually achieved a perfect match with one or two 'takes' and therefore only received a session fee. (A 'session' is half a day.)

Nikki was also was the unsung 'star' of many other films and added glamour and conviction to the performance of the likes of Racquel Welch, Anita Ekberg, Shirley Eaton, Eunice Gayson, Claudine Auger, Jane Seymour, .... and many, many others whose names have yet to be revealed. Nikki went on to revoice Ursula Andress again in *She* and *The Blue Max*. Nikki's unique versatility was proven once more in One Million Years BC, where only she could be relied upon to grunt in the authentic Neanderthal way!

Next time you are watching a film, look carefully and see if you can detect which females have been dubbed. Unless you already know, you will not detect Nikki's voice, which is why the deception was never discovered - but you might detect those females who were dubbed by persons less skilled than her, and where the lip synchronisation is less than perfect....


ALSO: Nikki van der Zyl: The Bond girl you've never seen who voiced some of the films’ best known heroines

= = = = = Media Bias valuation / Factual Reporting ranking of website ( SOURCES PENDING REVIEW

Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  15 metaphysical films Magical Realist 3 57 Mar 22, 2019 05:55 PM
Last Post: Magical Realist
  Science Fiction Short Films on Youtube Yazata 3 80 Mar 15, 2019 05:51 PM
Last Post: Yazata
  One of my favorite foreign art films Magical Realist 0 130 Oct 2, 2018 09:36 PM
Last Post: Magical Realist
  10 essential Greenaway films Magical Realist 0 443 Mar 13, 2016 02:05 AM
Last Post: Magical Realist
  Why Michael Bay films are so awful Magical Realist 0 401 Dec 24, 2015 10:32 PM
Last Post: Magical Realist
  Steampunk and Dieselpunk films Magical Realist 2 686 Jul 12, 2015 04:45 PM
Last Post: Yazata

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)