Honor Blackman, the star best known for her roles in James Bond film Goldfinger and The Avengers, has been remembered for her “extraordinary combination of beauty, brains and physical prowess” after her death at the age of 94.
The actress was 38 when she found international fame in the role of Pussy Galore in 1964, starring opposite Sean Connery as the spy with a licence to kill.
Galore almost resisted Bond’s charms, but finally succumbed after a playful fight in the hay.
The moment she throws him to the ground is one of the most famous in the history of the franchise.
A statement from 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.
“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.”
Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said in a statement on Twitter: “Today we mark the passing of a film icon, Honor Blackman who shall forever be remembered as Pussy Galore in Goldfinger.
“She was an extraordinary talent and a beloved member of the Bond family. Our thoughts are with her family at this time.”
Blackman was also well known for playing Cathy Gale in the 1960s spy series The Avengers.
She also played the vengeful goddess Hera in Jason And The Argonauts and Laura West on the TV series The Upper Hand, which ran from 1990 to 1996, with Blackman playing a glamorous grandmother with a taste for toyboys.
More recently she played Penny Husbands-Bosworth in the big-screen adaptation of Bridget Jones’s Diary and looked back over her life and career in her touring show Honor Blackman As Herself, which saw her in conversation with her colleague and friend Richard Digby Day.
In 2004 she played Rula Romanoff in Coronation Street, playing a flirty pensioner who caught the eye of Norris Cole, and appeared in an episode of Casualty in 2013.
Her family said Blackman was “an avid reader of news and politics”, adding that she “particularly loved all forms of insightful unbiased reporting and intellectually enlightened broadcasting”.