Credit: The Kobal Collection
Yeoh's Bond alter-ego, Colonel Wai Lin, wasn't just eye-candy -- she was a huge asset to Pierce Brosnan's Bond in "Tomorrow Never Dies." A Chinese spy with mean martial arts skills, she initially thinks Bond is out to kill her. They develop a mutual trust after getting captured by the insane media mogul Elliot Carver, and after destroying him, they rev up the relationship from business to pleasure.
Bond watchers praised Yeoh for matching wits with the legendary spy. (Entertainment Weekly called her turn as Wai the first Bond girl "you could take seriously.") Yeoh went on to wow critics again in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," scoring a BAFTA nomination for best actress.