Honor Blackman, James Bond’s Pussy Galore, dead at 94

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

Blackman’s family says she died of natural causes unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement to the Guardian, they called her “adored mother and grandmother” with “an extraordinary combination of beauty, brains and physical prowess.”

“It’s with great sadness that we have to announce the death of Honor Blackman aged 94,” the statement read. “She died peacefully of natural causes at her home in Lewes, Sussex, surrounded by her family. She was much loved and will be greatly missed by her two children Barnaby and Lottie, and grandchildren Daisy, Oscar, Olive and Toby.”

The statement continued: “As well as being a much-adored mother and grandmother, Honor was an actor of hugely prolific creative talent; with an extraordinary combination of beauty, brains and physical prowess, along with her unique voice and a dedicated work ethic, she achieved an unparalleled iconic status in the world of film and entertainment and with absolute commitment to her craft and total professionalism in all the endeavors she contributed to some of the great films and theatre productions of our times.”

Blackman is best known for her role as Pussy Galore in the third James Bond flick, “Goldfinger,” in 1964. She landed the role thanks to her proficiency in martial arts, which she learned playing Catherine Gale in spy show “The Avengers” from 1962 to 1964.

She also starred in “Jason and the Argonauts” (1963), “Shalako” (1968) and “The Virgin and the Gypsy” (1970). Blackman also played Laura West in 1990’s sitcom “The Upper Hand” and appeared in theatrical productions including “The Sound of Music,” “My Fair Lady” and “Cabaret.”

But her legacy as Bond girl nemesis Pussy Galore lives on — and the origin of her name in the film was recently explained for the Iconic Images Gallery, which debuted an online exhibit of photos taken by photographer Terry O’Neill on the set of James Bond films.

“Blackman became the Bond girl that broke all the rules,” O’Neill tells GQ. “Concerned over censorship, the producers considered changing her character’s name to Kitty Galore, but art triumphed over censors and the filmmakers stuck to their guns.”

GOLDFINGER, Honor Blackman, 1964THE AVENGERS, Honor Blackman, Patrick Macnee, TV Series 1961-1969GOLDFINGER, Honor Blackman, 1964.JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, from left: Niall MacGinnis as Zeus, Honor Blackman as Hera, 1963THE SECRET OF MY SUCCESS, from left, Honor Blackman, James Booth, 1965

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