Patricia Fearing is a Bond girl who first appeared in Ian Fleming’s 1961 novel, Thunderball, and was later portrayed by the late Molly Peters in the 1965 film adaptation. As a skilled nurse employed at the Shrublands Health Clinic, Fearing is responsible for taking care of James Bond during his stay.
Initially, Fearing tries to maintain professionalism, but she’s drawn to Bond’s charm and charisma. During a checkup, Bond forcibly kisses her, leaving her shaken. Despite this, their relationship deepens when Fearing saves Bond’s life after Count Lippe attempts to kill him by tampering with the traction table, but Fearing intervenes just in time.
In the aftermath, Patricia Fearing and Bond move into the clinic’s steam room, where they undress and make love. Following this incident, the two share a room and continue their sexual affair throughout Bond’s stay.
Both in the novel and the film, Fearing asks Bond not to report the near-fatal traction table incident to protect the clinic’s reputation and her job. Bond agrees to remain silent, and their relationship develops further.
How Patricia Fearing Differs in the Novel
One notable scene in both the novel and the film adaptation involves Fearing giving Bond a sensual massage using mink gloves. However, in the film, the roles are reversed, and Bond gives Fearing the massage instead, claiming that mink “reduces tension.” Their relationship highlights the complexities of the James Bond universe, blending elements of danger, seduction, and romance.
Molly Peters, born March 15, 1939, was an English model and actress. She began her career as a model before being discovered by film director Terence Young.
Peters appeared in a handful of films during the 1960s before starring as Patrica fearing in Thunderball. With this role, Peters became the first Bond girl to undress on screen in the series.
Her appearance in Playboy’s November 1965 issue as part of a pictorial essay titled “James Bond’s Girls” by Richard Maibaum further increased her fame. She starred in several more films, including Target for Killing Vera (1966), The Naked World of Harrison Marks (1967), Don’t Raise the Bridge (1968), Zeppelin (1971), and her final film, Nobody Ordered Love (1972).
According to the special edition DVD of Thunderball, her short film career resulted from a disagreement between her and her agent. Although the specifics remain undisclosed, Peters claimed that her agent held her to a contract due to the immense box-office success of Bond 4 in 1965.
Despite her brief film career, Peters led a fulfilling life. She gave birth to a daughter when she was young, whom she later gave up for adoption. She eventually married and resided with her husband in Ipswich, Suffolk. Molly Peters passed away on May 29, 2017, at the age of 78.