27 Phenomenal Female Spies and Secret Agents

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Move over, James Bond! Spies of the female persuasion have been dominating the small screen since the 1960s. 
International women of mystery have taken on many forms, from foreign operatives to inter-dimensional moles. Whether taking down evil regimes or unwittingly working for the enemy, chasing international assassins or joining the family business, gutsy gals get the work done.
Is your dream life filled with espionage and intrigue? Live vicariously through TV's top female spies and secret agents.

1. Elizabeth Jennings (The Americans)

For six seasons, we've watched Elizabeth Jennings, a KGB operative under deep cover in 1980s America. She's been willing to do whatever it takes to help Mother Russia, like having kids with her partner, Philip, or ending the lives of those who stand in the way of her mission. With the series finale on the horizon and an end to the Cold War in sight, viewers can't wait to learn what fate holds for the Jennings family.

2. Carrie Mathison (Homeland)

At times, Carrie Mathison is a bit of a train wreck and her methods are unorthodox, but she is damned good at her job. Intuition, an ability to see the bigger picture, and a hint of luck are what make this former CIA agent such a compelling yet polarizing character to watch.

3. Eve Polastri (Killing Eve)

Eve is bored with her desk job at MI-5 and dreams of a more glamorous, action-packed life. When she starts secretly tracking the movements of an elusive female assassin and their paths intersect, she gets exactly what she's always wanted even though her life is in peril.

4. Sydney Bristow (Alias)

A spy prodigy recruited while still in college, Sydney Bristow thinks she's working for a CIA black ops team that actually turns out to be the bad guys. She becomes a double agent, finds out that spy craft runs in the family, loses some of the people closest to her, and manages to kick some serious butt along the way.

5. Fiona Glenanne (Burn Notice)

Fiona may have used her feminine wiles to get the intel for her mission, but she was so much more. Arms runner, explosives expert and former member of the IRA, her modus operandi was to shoot first and ask questions later.

6. Nikita Mears (Nikita)

Saved from death by a secret government organization known as Division, Nikita becomes a special operative until she learns that she's not actually serving her country. Nikita escapes and vows to take down Division, but the corruption and evil runs deeper than anyone could've imagined.

7. Lana Kane (Archer)

A skilled field agent with dreams of becoming a master spy, Lana's strengths are sometimes eclipsed by her temper, especially when it comes to covering the shortfalls of her on again/off again lover, Sterling Archer. When the spy agency is shut down, she puts her knowledge to use as a private investigator.

8. Annie Walker (Covert Affairs)

Deception was an art for Annie Walker, and along with her knowledge of several languages, it made her a good CIA agent. What really set Annie apart was her compassion for the people she was tasked with helping, and at times, it worked to her disadvantage.

9. Sameen Shaw (Person of Interest)

Support Activity before joining Reese and Finch. Her marksmanship and skill with hand-to-hand combat made her a formidable member of the team in their mission to keep the Machine from those who would use it for evil.

10. Agent 99 (Get Smart)

One of TV's first female spies, Agent 99 was one of CONTROL's top agents, and often paired with Maxwell Smart during missions. She had a mysterious past, but it was later revealed that her dad was also a spy.

11. Sarah Walker (Chuck)

When Chuck Bartowski downloaded a secret government computer into his brain, Sarah was the CIA agent assigned to protect him. Her combat skills coupled with her past as a con artist alongside her dad made her a great spy. She started out as a cold, calculated operative but after Chuck came into her life, she reconnected with her emotions.

12. Ziva David (NCIS)

When we first met Ziva, she was a Mossad agent and daughter of the Israeli spy agency's director. In an arrangement between NCIS and Mossad, she joined the team as liaison officer, replacing the agent that died at the hands of her half-brother, Ari. Confident and skilled, her background in the military and in a special ops unit known as Kidon made her an expert in sabotage, assassinations and psychological warfare.

13. K.C. Cooper (K.C. Undercover)

Katrina Charlotte Coretta Scott Cooper, better known as K.C., discovers that her parents are spies and wants to follow in their footsteps. In the pilot, her folks decide that it's time for her to be tested by the Organization, and she's recruited for both her intellectual and physical abilities.

14. Alex Udinov (Nikita)

Nikita rescued a young Alexandra Udinov following the murder of her parents. Heiress to a billion dollar company, Alex was sold into sex slavery and became an addict. She crossed paths with Nikita once again and became a mole in Division while Nikita was on the run. She was a complex character who could go from snarky to vulnerable in mere moments.

15. Zoe Reynolds (MI-5)

A case officer in MI-5's counterterrorism division, Zoe was a master linguist and had great instincts. Although she excelled as an undercover agent, one of her assignments led to her dismissal and eventual conviction for conspiracy to commit murder.

16. Aurora Luft (X Company)

An agent at Camp X, the Canadian spy training school that pre-dated the CIA, Aurora Luft was on the ground as a resistance fighter during World War II. Her fluency in three languages and excellence in strategic planning are what made her the leader of this team.

17. Alex Parrish (Quantico)

A former FBI recruit, Alex Parrish joined the CIA after she was wrongfully accused as the prime suspect in a terrorist attack on Grand Central Station in New York. While training at The Farm, she learned that she was to be part of a mission to uncover a rogue faction of the CIA.

18. Peggy Carter (Agent Carter)

Being a secret agent is hard enough. It's even harder when you're a woman in the 1940s. Peggy Carter is an agent with the Strategic Scientific Reserve, and her male counterparts never take her seriously. She's secretly helping a friend clear his name when he's accused of supplying weapons to enemy nations. At the same time, she's trying to navigate sexism and the arbitrary rules placed on women.

19. Claudia (The Americans)

Claudia replaced Gabriel as The Jennings' handler during the third season. A KGB officer nostalgic for her homeland, her relationship with Elizabeth starts on very rocky footing. They eventually call a truce, but that peace is threatened when Elizabeth learns that Claudia may be working with a rogue faction.

20. Emma Peel (The Avengers)

A highly intelligent spy as well as an expert in martial arts and fencing, Emma Peel was rarely defeated. She was also a fashion icon, a feminist role model, and one of British pop culture's most notable characters.

21. Clare (Counterpart)

In one of the greatest twists in TV history, Clare is revealed to be a deep cover sleeper agent for Dimension Two, and part of Indigo, a black ops program. Forced to kill her Dimension One counterpart, Clare has taken over the dead woman's life, getting married and even having a child in D1.

22. Elizabeth Keen (The Blacklist)

Elizabeth is full of surprises. First introduced as an FBI agent and the only person Red Reddington will work with, one of her many secrets includes the fact that she's a KGB spy.

23. BB Yates (Berlin Station)

In Season 2, Berlin's CIA outpost got a new Chief of Station, BB Yates. Known as "The Station Whisperer," she's a strong leader tasked with working alongside one of America's longest-standing allies.

24. Peggy Shippen (Turn: Washington's Spies)

In the series about the Culper Ring, also known as America's first spy ring, Peggy Shippen was Benedict Arnold's second wife. As brilliant as she was beautiful, Peggy was the highest paid spy in the American Revolution.

25. Malory Archer (Archer)

Malory Archer will never be praised for her skills as a mother, but she is an accomplished secret agent. Her commitment to her work often separated her from her son. The only thing she's ever shown affect for is alcohol, and later on, her granddaughter.

26. Cassie McBaine (She Spies)

A convicted con woman, Cassie, was paroled from prison along with DD Cummings and Shane Phillips to be secret operatives for the US government in the ComCent Division of the ISD. Skilled in martial arts and hand to hand combat, she was also pretty darned funny.

27. Amanda King (Scarecrow and Mrs. King)

A divorced housewife has a chance meeting with a secret operative in a train station, and a partnership is born. After Amanda helps solve a case, she is invited to work at the Agency, often going on undercover assignments with Lee Stetson, known as codename "Scarecrow."

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