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Honor Blackman, starred in ‘Goldfinger,’ dies at 94

The actress portrayed the sultry Pussy Galore opposite Sean Connery in the 1964 James Bond film.

Sean Connery and Honor Blackman are shown in a scene from the 1964 James Bond film “Goldfinger.”
Sean Connery and Honor Blackman are shown in a scene from the 1964 James Bond film “Goldfinger.”
File

British actress Honor Blackman, best known for her role as Pussy Galore in the 1964 James Bond film “Goldfinger,” has died. She was 94.

The actress, who also starred as the leather catsuit-clad judo expert Cathy Gale on hit 1960s TV series “The Avengers,” died of natural causes according to her family.

An official statement issued by her family read, in part: “It’s with great sadness that we have to announce the death of Honor Blackman aged 94. She died peacefully of natural causes at home in Lewes, Sussex, surrounded by her family. She was much loved and will be greatly missed by her two children Barnaby Kaufmann and Lottie Croft, adopted during her marriage to Maurice Kaufmann and her four grandchildren.”

Blackman’s other film credits include the Titanic drama “A Night to Remember” (1958) and the sci-fi cult classic “Jason and the Argonauts” (1963) in which she portrayed the Mt. Olympus goddess Hera. Her more recent film work included “Bridget Jones’s Diary” (2001).

Blackman left “The Avengers” in 1963 after two seasons to take the Bond girl role in “Goldfinger.” She was replaced by Diana Rigg who starred as Emma Peel.

According to hollywoodreporter.com Blackman stood by her decision to leave the popular series: “Everybody was quite startled when I decided to leave, especially since the program was about to go onto film and into color. It was a bombshell, I’m afraid, for everybody, that I was going, but I thought my decision was right and I still think it was right,” Blackman said in a 2011 interview with SciFiandTVtalk.

Actress and singer Honor Blackman poses for a photograph whilst recording her single ‘The Star Who Fell From Grace’ at Angel Studios in 2008 in London, England.
Actress and singer Honor Blackman poses for a photograph while recording her single ‘The Star Who Fell From Grace’ at Angel Studios in 2008 in London, England.
Getty

Her stage credits, mostly in London’s West End and tours of her native England and also Australia, included “The Sound of Music,” “My Fair Lady” and “Nunsense.” Her singing career included the release of “Kinky Boots” in 1964 accompanied by her “Avengers” co-star Patrick Macnee. The song referred to the black boots her character wore on “The Avengers.”

Honor Blackman was born in East London on Aug. 22, 1925. Her father, Frederick Blackman, was a civil servant clerk. She recalled her father giving her the choice, as a teenager, of taking biking or elocution lessons. She chose the lessons, and went to attend the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and acting in the West End.

Blackman considered Pussy Galore — a lesbian in Ian Fleming’s book — a kind of early feminist, and a different breed than the average Bond woman.

“In so many of the films, the girls just looked at James and fell flat on their backs,” Blackman told the magazine TV Times in 2014. “Yet Pussy Galore was a career woman — a pilot who had her own air force, which was very impressive. She was never a bimbo.”

Contributing: Associated Press