Tania Mallet, Goldfinger Bond Girl, Dies at 77
The actress and model starred in the 1964 film alongside Sean Connery.
By Yohana Desta | Vanity Fair April 1, 2019
Tania Mallet, the model and actress who memorably played Bond girl Tilly Masterson in Goldfinger, has died. She was 77 years old.
Mallet, born and raised in Blackpool, England, began her career as a model, posing for magazines like Vogue. In a 2003 interview with Bond fan site MI6, Mallet said she believes it was a Vogue photo shoot that led producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli to see her photos, and ultimately cast her in Goldfinger alongside Sean Connery. The 1964 film was, at the time, only the third installment in the rising spy movie series. Mallet played Tilly, a vengeful woman seeking justice after the death of her sister, Jill (Shirley Eaton). She was later killed by one of Goldfinger’s henchmen, Oddjob.
The role would be Mallet’s first and last in the film world, though she also had a brief turn, in 1976, in the series The New Avengers. She quickly returned to modeling, later explaining that acting was simply not her calling. “Filming had been an interesting experience, but I was always more comfortable in a small studio with just the photographer and his assistant,” she said in the 2003 interview. “Besides which, the restrictions placed on me for the duration of the filming grated, were dreadful, and I could not anticipate living my life like that.”