D'Abo's the name. Maryam d'Abo. She's 26 and concerned that her role in the summer's hot movie might mislead audiences into thinking she is just another bimbo. Not content to be picked over hundreds of actresses as the new James Bond girl in The Living Daylights, the 16th screen adventure for Agent 007, D'Abo yearns for respectability. She insists that her character "is not the typical all-sex, no-thought creature."

Go ahead, laugh. Bond babes have said it before. But in some ways, D'Abo is right. Bedroom scenes in the latest Bond outing are nonexistent partially due to the safe-sex era. D'Abo and co-star Timothy Dalton (following Sean Connery, George Lazenby and Roger Moore) share a few chaste kisses. Playing a Czech cellist, D'Abo is meant to be a class act. "We needed someone with a classical face who could be an innocent pawn," says the movie's co-producer Michael Wilson. The other Bond girls, says D'Abo, "were mostly car-toony...I am an actress."

Still, when Maryam auditioned (unsuccessfully) for Wilson three years ago during the bimbo search for A View to a Kill, she was apparently ready to jump in the hot tub with Roger Moore. Back then, argues Maryam, she'd do a part for fun or just to work. Now, she insists, she has a career to build. Her favorite Bond predecessor is Diana {On Her Majesty's Secret Service) Rigg, a stage actress who, D'Abo says, "brought soul to her character." When D'Abo met Wilson again, she was ready to do the same.

During shooting, D'Abo was concerned that her character "wasn't full enough at times." Unlike Dalton, she couldn't rest on her reputation—based on TV commercials, two roles on the stage in France and a few film walk-ons. Her only starring part (also her film debut) was a piece of 1982 sci-fi shlock called Xtro. Daylights, which tallied the heftiest opening gross of any Bond film to date, is her best shot.

Perhaps that's why she's defensive about what sets her above the bikinied herd. "I'm not playing tits and bum," says D'Abo. "I'm playing a part."

Easy on the integrity, Maryam. The current issue of Playboy, which includes D'Abo posing nude with cello and other Bond artifacts, gives T&B equal time. D'Abo squirms a bit trying to square the photos with her artistic stance. "I wouldn't do those pictures now [they were shot last fall]," she says. "I've learned a lot since then."

She won't say what, except to avoid more nudie layouts. At home in England, she'll concentrate on winning more substantial roles—perhaps onstage, like her idol Rigg. Maryam was born in London. Her father, incapacitated by meningitis, is Dutch and her mother, who heads the UNICEF greeting-card operation in Europe, is Russian. Her parents split (largely due to her father's illness) when Maryam was 5, and she moved with her mother to Paris, later Geneva. In 1980 she returned to London to study acting.

Career, she says, consumes her life. There is little time for men. "I came close to marrying four years ago," she says. "I'm glad it didn't happen. I'm not prepared." Picking names for her future children is hardly a priority. It's names like Daniela Bianchi, Mie Hama and Carole Bouquet that haunt her. They're just a few past Bond girls—calendar art now forgotten. Maryam d'Abo's goal is to keep her name off that list.