1960s Bond girl Honor Blackman dead at 94

London (AFP) –


Honor Blackman, one of most memorable co-stars of the early James Bond films, has died at the age of 94, her family said on Monday.

The actress shot to fame in her late 30s after playing legendary Bond girl Pussy Galore in the 1964 movie "Goldfinger", starring alongside Sean Connery.

It was only the third instalment in the storied spy franchise, and received critical acclaim and box office success.

"It's with great sadness that we have to announce the death of Honor Blackman aged 94," the family said in a statement.

"She died peacefully of natural causes at home in Lewes, Sussex, surrounded by her family.

"As well as being a much adored mother and grandmother, Honor was an actor of hugely prolific creative talent."

Her family added she possessed "an extraordinary combination of beauty, brains and physical prowess, along with her unique voice and a dedicated work ethic".

Blackman also became well-known in Britain for playing the character Cathy Gale in the popular 1960s TV spy series The Avengers.

Her successful career also included theatre roles in productions such as The Sound Of Music, My Fair Lady and Cabaret.

British comedian and actor David Walliams was among those to pay tribute to the iconic star.

"Farewell Honor Blackman," he said on Twitter. "She will live forever as Pussy Galore in 'Goldfinger'."

Blackman was five years older than Connery whom she starred opposite in "Goldfinger" and is thought to be the oldest actress ever to play a Bond girl.

"Most of the Bond girls have been bimbos," the BBC reported her saying once.

"I have never been a bimbo."