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Pussy Galore actress Honor Blackman dies aged 94

Honor Blackman, best known for playing Bond girl Pussy Galore, has died aged 94.

The actress shot to international stardom as Pussy Galore at the age of 38, starring alongside Sean Connery, in 1964’s Goldfinger.

In a statement, 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 home in Lewes, Sussex, surrounded by her family.

“She was much loved and will be greatly missed by her two adopted children Barnaby and Lottie, and her four grandchildren Daisy, Oscar, Olive and Toby.”

The statement referenced Blackman’s “unique voice” and said she “was an actor of hugely prolific creative talent; with an extraordinary combination of beauty, brains and physical prowess”.

Gert Frobe, Honor Blackman and Sean Connery in Goldfinger in 1964. Pic: Danjaq/Eon/Ua/Kobal/Shutterstock
Image: Gert Frobe, Honor Blackman and Sean Connery in Goldfinger in 1964. Pic: Danjaq/Eon/Ua/Kobal/Shutterstock

Born in Plaistow in East London in 1925, Blackman trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

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She went on to play Cathy Gale in The Avengers and the vengeful goddess Hera in 1963’s Jason And The Argonauts, as well as Laura West in ITV series The Upper Hand.

In 2004 she played flirty pensioner Rula Romanoff in Coronation Street who caught the eye of Norris Cole, and appeared in an episode of Casualty in 2013.

Blackman recently looked back over her life and career in her touring show Honor Blackman As Herself, in which she was in conversation with her colleague and friend Richard Digby Day.

Tributes to the star have been pouring in.

Film director Edgar Wright described Blackman as the “ultimate Bond Girl and original Avenger” in a tweet.

David Walliams tweeted: “Farewell Honor Blackman. She will live forever as Pussy Galore in ‘Goldfinger’.”

Actor Joe McGann, who starred alongside Blackman in The Upper Hand, tweeted: “Just heard the very sad news that dear Honor has died.

“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.”

The actress was a member of the Liberal Democrats, and before that the Liberal Party, and often attended campaign events.

Honor Blackman with Patrick MacNee in The Avengers
Image: Honor Blackman with Patrick MacNee in The Avengers

Former leader Tim Farron tweeted: “You could guarantee bums on seats at any Lib Dem event Honor was at. She was charismatic, principled and kind. A very sad day, sending love to her family.”

Current acting leader Sir Ed Davey posted: “Very sad to see Honor Blackman has died – my condolences to her family & friends. Never forget when she came to Kingston to campaign with me – sheer grace and charm, & a great supporter for Liberals & @LibDems .”

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