Honor Blackman, the actress best-known for her role as Bond girl Pussy Galore in Goldfinger (the third James Bond film), has died at the age 94.
Honor, who became a household name in the 1960s as Cathy Gale in The Avengers, died of natural causes unrelated to coronavirus.
Blackman’s family called her an “adored mother and grandmother” who possessed “an extraordinary combination of beauty, brains and physical prowess”.
In a statement to the Guardian, her family said: “It’s with great sadness that we have to announce the death of Honor Blackman aged 94. 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.
“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 her endeavours she contributed to some of the great films and theatre productions of our times.”
Blackman was married and divorced twice, to Bill Sankey and Maurice Kaufmann. She adopted two children with Kaufmann, Lottie and Barnaby.
As well as her parts as Cathy Gale in The Avengers and Bond girl Pussy Galore in Goldfinger, her family highlighted Blackman’s roles as the vengeful goddess Hera in Jason and the Argonauts and as Laura West in the 1990s sitcom The Upper Hand. She appeared in theatrical productions including The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady and Cabaret.
Tributes poured in for Blackman, with film director Edgar Wright calling her the “ultimate Bond Girl and original Avenger” in a tribute tweet.
Actor Joe McGann, who starred alongside her in The Upper Hand, tweeted: “What a woman she was- fiercely bright, superbly funny and a wonderful actress on screen and onstage. I loved every day of working with her and I loved and respected her with all my heart. RIP.”