Tania Mallet, who played the iconic Bond girl Tilly Masterson in Goldfinger, has passed away. The British actress and model was 77. On Twitter, the official James Bond account announced her death and offered condolences to her family.
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. pic.twitter.com/gMkqqheGJ7
— James Bond (@007) March 31, 2019
Mallet was born in Blackpool, England to Henry Mallet and Olga Mironoff. Her mother Olga was siblings with Helen Mirren’s father. In the 2007 memoir, In the Frame: My Life in Words and Pictures, Mirren shared that Mallet was always a “loyal and generous person.” She shared an anecdote of when Mallet stepped up to help pay for her brother’s schooling while working as a model.
Mallet originally auditioned in 1963 for a similar role in From Russia With Love. However, she lost put on that role to Daniela Bianchi. Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, a producer on Goldfinger, then cast her a year later to play Masterson.
In the film, Mallet’s character is hell-bent to avenge her sister Jill (Shirley Eaton), after she’s killed by the titular villain. She ultimately perishes at the hands of the mastermind’s henchman Oddjob.
In 2003, Mallet detailed her experience on set. “The restrictions placed on me for the duration of the filming grated,” she continued. “I could not anticipate living my life like that.” She said she always preferred the more intimate, loose feeling on modeling jobs.