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Blackman, Honor (1925-)


Main image of Blackman, Honor (1925-)

For many, Honor Blackman will always be associated with definitive Bond girl Pussy Galore in Goldfinger (d. Guy Hamilton, 1964) and, before that, the leather-clad Cathy Gayle in ITV's The Avengers (1962-64). However, Blackman's film, TV and stage career has spanned more than 60 years.

Born in Plaistow, London on 22 August 1925, she studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Contracted to the Rank Organisation, she notched up a number of film performances in the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s, including major roles in the Titanic film A Night to Remember (d. Roy Ward Baker, 1958) and Norman Wisdom comedy The Square Peg (d. John Paddy Carstairs, 1958). Her big break came in TV playing John Steed's assistant Dr Cathy Gale in The Avengers. Her smart, self-assured demeanour, physical prowess and eye-catching outfits led directly to Pussy Galore, leaving her inextricably linked to 1960s glamour.

Beyond Bond, Blackman's film credits include Life at the Top (d. Ted Kotcheff, 1965), the Western Shalako (d. Edward Dmytryk, 1968), The Virgin and the Gypsy (d. Christopher Miles, 1970) and the horror film Fright (d. Peter Collinson, 1971). On television, she notably starred as Laura West in ITV's romantic sitcom The Upper Hand (1990-1996).

In the 2000s, she continued to appear regularly on the stage and screen with appearances in films like Bridget Jones's Diary (US/France/UK, d. Sharon Maguire, 2001) and TV work ranging from Coronation Street (ITV, 2004) to The Verdict (2007) the BBC's controversial rape case courtroom drama-cum-reality show.

Eddie Dyja

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Selected credits

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Lively British 'Western' set in South Africa's diamond fields

Thumbnail image of Goldfinger (1964)Goldfinger (1964)

Sean Connery returns as James Bond in what may be the best of the series

Thumbnail image of Square Peg, The (1958)Square Peg, The (1958)

Chaos ensues when council employee Norman Wisdom joins the army

Thumbnail image of To the Devil a Daughter (1976)To the Devil a Daughter (1976)

Occult horror starring Christopher Lee and Nastassja Kinski

Thumbnail image of Agatha Christie's The Secret Adversary (1983)Agatha Christie's The Secret Adversary (1983)

Intrepid sleuths Tommy and Tuppence solve their first mystery

Thumbnail image of Avengers, The (1961-69)Avengers, The (1961-69)

Ultra-stylish '60s spy drama that all but invented cult TV

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