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Real Women Spies

Updated September 07, 2011

While most onscreen spies, from James Bond to Jason Bourne, are men, women, like the Rachel Singer in THE DEBT, are more than their equal. We remember the great role that real-life women spies have played in modern history.

Rachel Singer
Mata Hari
Denise Bloch
Mathilde Carré
Suzanne Spaak
Nancy Wake
Violette Szabo
Virginia Hall
Madeleine Damerment
Princess Stephanie Julianna von Hohenlohe
Krystyna Skarbek
Rachel Singer

Rachel Singer

In John Madden’s thriller THE DEBT, Jessica Chastain plays Rachel Singer, a female Mossad agent sent along with two male agents in the 1960s to bring to justice a Nazi war criminal hiding out in East Berlin. While the men (played by Sam Worthington and Marton Csokas) put her to the test, Singer easily proves to be as quick-witted and fast-acting as the men. While female spies haven’t captured the popular imagination or been publicly acknowledged as much as their male counterparts, their contributions have nevertheless changed history. Here we pay tribute to the real female spies, many of whom gave their lives for their countries and causes.