Ruby Bartlett is one of Ernst Stavro Blofeld‘s Angels of Death at his clinical allergy-research institute, Institut für physiologische Forschung, situated atop Piz Gloria in the Swiss Alps.
Played by British actress Angela Scoular in the 1969 James Bond film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, she’s based on the literary character Ruby Windsor from Ian Fleming’s 1963 novel of the same name.
Hailing from Morecambe Bay, Lancashire, Ruby Bartlett struggles with a poultry allergy that disrupts life on her father’s poultry farm. Her specialist recommends Blofeld’s institute, which seemingly offers free treatment to patients in exchange for participation in groundbreaking research.
Unbeknownst to her, Ruby is one of twelve women chosen for brainwashing into unwitting sleeper agents, which Blofeld calls his Angels of Death.
Blofeld plans to utilize Ruby’s agricultural connections to unleash “virus omega,” a potent biological weapon designed to cause irreversible infertility in plants and animals, thereby decimating entire species across continents.
When Bond, played by George Lazenby, infiltrates Blofeld’s clinic in the disguise of genealogist Sir Hillary Bray, Ruby is instantly drawn to him. Enthralled by Bond’s stories about the College of Arms in London over dinner, she covertly writes her room number on his leg under his kilt using lipstick.
Later that night, Bond sneaks into Ruby’s room to seduce her, hoping to uncover what transpires when patients are unsupervised. Their tryst is interrupted by a hypnotic recording, replete with psychedelic lights and disorienting music, intended to condition the women through sleep-learning.
The next day, Bond plans to meet Ruby again but is instead ambushed by the institute’s matron, Irma Bunt, and her accomplice Grunther.
After escaping captivity, Bond overhears the women receiving their final programming, instructing them to use their parting gifts—a cosmetic compact disguised as a miniature radio and an atomizer containing the “virus omega.”
Ruby and the other women are told to tune into the radio secretly at midnight every night for instructions. Ruby then returns to England, and after this we don’t know what happened to her.
Angela Scoular was a British actress best known for her roles in the 1967 Bond spoof Casino Royale and the 1969 Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Other than her work with Bond, Scoular boasted diverse roles in films such as A Countess from Hong Kong, Doctor in Trouble, Wuthering Heights, and The Adventurers.
Scoular’s television career was equally noteworthy, featuring roles in popular shows like The Avengers, Coronation Street, and As Time Goes By.
Despite her professional success, Scoular faced personal challenges, including depression, alcoholism, bipolar disorder, and anorexia nervosa. After being diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2009, she lived in fear of its recurrence. Tragically, Angela Scoular took her own life in 2011 after ingesting a corrosive drain cleaner.