Tania Mallet: Goldfinger actress dies aged 77 | Sunday Observer

Tania Mallet: Goldfinger actress dies aged 77

Dame Helen Mirren has described Mallet as “loyal and generous”
Dame Helen Mirren has described Mallet as “loyal and generous”

Actress Tania Mallet, who played Bond girl Tilly Masterson in Goldfinger, has died aged 77.

Mallet, a cousin of Dame Helen Mirren, starred alongside Sean Connery in the 1964 spy film.

The Blackpool-born actress had been working as a model when she was cast by producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli - a world she ultimately returned to and prioritised over film.

Her death was announced via the official 007 Twitter account.

The role ultimately saw her slain on screen by the steel-rimmed hat of Goldfinger’s henchman Oddjob, despite Bond’s best efforts to save her.

Her appearance reportedly followed a failed audition to land the role of lead Bond girl Tatiana Romanova in 1963’s From Russia with Love.

Speaking to James Bond fan site MI6 in 2003, Mallet said that although filming had been an “interesting” experience, she had always been “more comfortable” in a small studio with “just a photographer and his assistant”.

“The restrictions placed on me for the duration of the filming grated, were dreadful and I could not anticipate living my life like that,” she added.

The “dreadful” pay also discouraged her. “Originally, I was offered £50 per week, which I managed to push up to £150, but even so I earned more than that in a day modelling.

“So the six months I worked (or was retained to work) on Goldfinger were real sacrifice.”

Mallet was related to Dame Helen through her mother, whose younger brother was Dame Helen’s father.

Dame Helen’s 2007 memoir In the Frame: My Life in Words and Pictures described Mallet as a “loyal and generous person” who helped pay for for her brothers’ education with her income as a model.

- bbc.com 

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