Contributed by: The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin

(August 22, 1925–April 5, 2020): Sultry British actress who starred in Goldfinger as Pussy Galore, the title character’s resourceful pilot and confederate in Operation Grand Slam. Blackman won the part after impressing producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman with her continuing role as the leather-clad, judo-proficient Cathy Gale in the second and third seasons of the British spy duo series The Avengers (1962–1964). Leaving the series, she was replaced by Diana Rigg, who would later star in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969). The male half of The AvengersPatrick Macnee—would join the 007 series in A View to a Kill (1985).

Said Blackman, “The fighting in Goldfinger was really quite easy as compared to The Avengers. . . . Sean is a lovely gent, and who doesn’t want to fight in the hay or do anything with Sean? Secondly, they provide you with hay, the soft stuff. In the television studio, you’re bouncing around on the cement all over the place. You don’t have to wait until you get to the fighting sequences when you’re with Sean, he just says, ‘Uh, just a minute,’ and he gets hold of you, and you’ve gone through to the bone because he is so tough. There is one scene where he just has to yank me back and [my] arm was just in a disgusting condition for about a week because of the brute force of the fist, you know.

“Before Bond, I was sweet, innocent, peaches and cream and golden hair. I really couldn’t help it, I took an awful long time to grow up, I think. When you get past twenty-five, you want to start growing out of that. I was always looked upon as terribly kind and understanding and I never got any lovely bitch parts. And I was never really intelligent—I was usually the one who says, “Darling, I’ll make the cocoa. You just go to bed and don’t worry about it.”[1]

Born in Plaistow in London’s East End and a dispatch rider during World War II, Blackman made her uncredited feature film debut in the drama Fame Is the Spur (1947), and her credited debut the following year in the horror drama Daughter of Darkness. Just prior to Goldfinger, Blackman made a strong impression as a very fetching Hera, Queen of Gods in Jason and the Argonauts (1963), working with future Bond players Laurence Naismith (Diamonds Are Forever) and Douglas Wilmer (Octopussy). Later appearances included a starring role in the British sitcom The Upper Hand (95 episodes, 1990–1996) and a memorable cameo in Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001).

[1] Special features, Goldfinger, James Bond Ultimate Edition (1964; MGM, 2006), DVD.


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