Tania Mallet, known for playing Bond girl Tilly Masterson for the 1964 film Goldfinger, has passed away, according to Variety. She was 77-years-old.
Mallet was known as one of the original Bond girls and was also a first cousin to the well-known actress Helen Mirren. The former Bond girl’s death was verified by the official Twitter account for the James Bond franchise, which tweeted an announcement about her death.
“We are very sorry to hear that Tania Mallet who played Tilly Masterson in GOLDFINGER has passed away. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time,” the official 007 Twitter account announced on Sunday, according to Variety.
At this time, no other information has been released publicly about Mallet’s passing, including the circumstances related to her death.
Mallet became famous when she took the role of Tilly Masterson and appeared alongside Sean Connery in the 1964 movie Goldfinger. Masterson was one of the original Bond girls, and her role wasn’t featured in the end credits of the movie. Interestingly, prior to winning her role in Goldfinger, Mallet had taken an earlier audition for the Bond film that was created right before Goldfinger, From Russia with Love. When auditioning for From Russia with Love, Mallet was trying to win the role of a different Bond girl, but she didn’t wind up with such a part until 1964 and was overlooked during her first audition, according to TMZ.
Mallet was born in Blackpool, England, on May 19, 1941. Her father, Henry Mallet, was British, and her mother, Olga Mironoff, was Russian and also one of Helen Mirren’s father’s siblings. Prior to winning her first role as a Bond girl, Mallet had started her modeling career. Eventually, Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, who worked on the Bond films in the 1960s, cast her in Goldfinger after Mallet failed to win the role of Tatiana Romanova in the 1963 Bond film From Russia With Love. Instead, Daniela Bianchi won the part of Romanova in the 1963 movie, according to Variety.
Mallet’s role in Goldfinger as Tilly Masterson had her play the role of the sister of Jill Masterson, played by Shirley Eaton. Mallet’s character double-crosses the villain in the film, Auric Goldfinger. After her betrayal, Tilly is murdered by Goldfinger by skin suffocation after he has her painted with gold paint. Her sister Jill wants revenge on Goldfinger for her sister’s death, but winds up killed by Goldfinger’s servant, Oddjob, played by Harold Sakata. As seen in the movie, Oddjob hurls a steel-rimmed hat at Jill Masterson, which causes her death.