Actress Honor Blackman died at the age of 94, according to a report from The Guardian. She was best known for her role as Pussy Galore in Goldfinger, a movie in the James Bond franchise. Blackman died of natural causes unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic.
She first gained recognition as Cathy Gale in The Avengers in the 1960s and went on to have a career that spanned eight decades.
Blackman married and divorced two times. She married Bill Sankey and Maurice Kaufmann and adopted two children -- Lottie and Barnaby -- with Kaufmann. The actress's family released a statement about her death.
"It's with great sadness that we have to announce the death of Honor Blackman aged 94. She died peacefully of natural causes at her home in Lewes, Sussex, surrounded by her family. She was much loved and will be greatly missed by her two children Barnaby and Lottie, and 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."
Blackman Had Many Notable Roles
Blackman became famous for her role as Cathy Gale in The Avengers TV series, which ran from 1962 to 1964. She starred in the series with Patrick Macnee, who portrayed John Steed. She learned judo as part of the role and the fitted catsuits and boots her character wore made her instantly recognizable and famous. Her martial arts experience helped her land the role of Bond girl Pussy Galore in Goldfinger.
The actress also had many credits before her breakout role starting in the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s, including small roles in the 1958 Titanic drama A Night to Remember and the 1959-1960 series The Four Just Men.
She portrayed a vengeful goddess named Hera in Jason and the Argonauts, which is a 1963 film released during the time Blackman was on The Avengers. In the 1990s, the actress brought Laura West to life on the TV show, The Upper Hand. More recently, she appeared as herself on her show, Honor Blackman. Her namesake show explored her life, including her childhood, her family, and her rise to stardom.
In addition to her work on television and in films, Blackman also acted on stage. Some of her most notable stage performances included roles in The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, and Cabaret.
Blackman Became An Activist
In addition to acting, the star also used her fame as an activist. Throughout her life, she campaigned for the Liberal party and -- in later years -- became a member of the Liberal Democrats. She also campaigned on behalf of pensioners who lost their money as part of the Equitable Life scandal. Because she worried about being a hypocrite, she turned down a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 2002.