In 1954 Linda Christian, whose curvaceous figure earned her the nickname "the anatomic bomb", starred opposite Barry Nelson as Valerie Mathis, James Bond's love interest in a television adaptation of Ian Fleming's novel Casino Royale, screened as an episode of the American CBS series Climax. It was, however, Ursula Andress, Sean Connery's co-star in the first big-screen Bond film, Dr No (1962), who became known as the "first" Bond girl. Linda Christian, though, could claim that she was the only Bond girl whose affair with 007 remained unconsummated.
In a ceremony that was somehow symbolic of the marriage, more than 1,000 Italian riot police had to be drafted in to hold back the crowd of screaming "tifosi" (the Italian equivalent of bobby-soxers), who nevertheless broke through the barriers as Linda Christian, resplendent in white satin with an eight-yard-long train, arrived 22 minutes late.
Power, who turned up to the church on time, had told friends that he hoped the wedding wouldn't turn into a "hassle". He was to be sorely disappointed. When his bride had not arrived after 15 minutes, he delegated an aide to phone her to instruct her to come at once. Then, as the couple left for a special audience with the Pope, the crowd broke through again and halted their car.
Power had been allowed to get married in church because the Vatican had never recognised his earlier (civil) marriage to the French star Annabella. But the same could not be said of Hollywood County Clerk WG Sharp, who claimed that since Annabella had not had a final divorce decree entered in California, Power had technically committed bigamy. Later, a press agent for 20th Century Fox, to which Power was under contract, claimed that his marriage to Linda Christian had been perfectly legal as the time difference between Rome and California meant that the divorce had come through in time.
During their 15-minute audience at the Vatican, the Pope presented the second Mrs Power with a rosary and a booklet on "instructions about the good Christian family". But by the time the first of their two daughters was born in 1951 the marriage was on the rocks. In her memoirs, published in 1962, Linda Christian blamed her husband's extramarital affairs, though she acknowledged that she herself had had an affair with the British actor Edmund Purdom. In 1955 she filed for divorce, citing her husband's "mental cruelty".
The daughter of a Dutch oil executive and his Mexican-born wife, she was born Blanca Rosa Henrietta Stella Welter Vorhauer at Tampico, Mexico, on November 13 1923. As a child she travelled the world with her parents, becoming fluent in several languages.
A fortuitous meeting with Errol Flynn during her teenage years led her to seek a career in Hollywood, where she was spotted by a talent scout at a fashion show and signed to a seven-year contract with MGM. She made her film debut alongside Danny Kaye in the musical comedy Up In Arms (1944), and played Mara in Tarzan and the Mermaids (1948), the last Tarzan film starring Johnny Weissmuller.
In 1954, as well as her role in Casino Royale, Linda Christian co-starred with Edmund Purdom in Athena. Despite the fact that Purdom's wife Anita was a childhood friend of hers, they began an affair and, following her divorce from Tyrone Power, she announced their intention to get married. The fact that they did not tie the knot until 1963 and that the marriage lasted little more than a year was hardly surprising, given Linda Christian adventures in the intervening eight years.
In 1956 Purdom was reported to be looking for her after she had decamped to St Moritz, allegedly to find a millionaire to keep her in the lifestyle to which she had become accustomed. The following year Linda Christian was photographed kissing the Spanish racing driver Alfonso de Portago (who was married at the time) before the start of the 1957 Mille Miglia in which he crashed his Ferrari, killing himself and at least 10 spectators. The photograph was published under the headline "The Kiss of Death". Later the same year she embarked on a round-the-world trip with the Brazilian mining millionaire Francisco "Baby" Pignatari.
After her divorce from Power, Linda Christian acting career was somewhat desultory. In 1963 she appeared in the Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton film The VIPs, and in America she had small roles on television in The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and The Dick Powell Theatre.Linda Christian also made several films in Italy.
After her divorce from Purdom, she took up with the bullfighter Luis Dominguin, her co-star in Francesco Rosi's Il momento della verità (The Moment of Truth, 1965). Subsequently it was reported that her pet chihuahua, in a fit of jealousy, jumped to his death from her penthouse flat in Rome.
Linda Christian is survived by her two daughters with Tyrone Power, of whom the eldest went on to become one half of the singing duo Al Bano & Romina Power, described as "the Sonny and Cher of Italy".