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Honor Blackman

Blackman in Jason and the Argonauts, 1963
Born 22 August 1925 (age 84)
Plaistow, Newham, London, England, United Kingdom
Occupation Film, television actress
Years active 1947 – present
Spouse(s) Bill Sankey (1946–1954) (divorced) 2 children
Maurice Kaufmann (1961–1975) (divorced)

Honor Blackman (born 22 August 1925)[1] is an English actress, who is perhaps best known for the roles of Cathy Gale in The Avengers (1962-64) and as Bond girl Pussy Galore in Goldfinger (1964).

Contents

Biography

Early life

Blackman was born in Plaistow, Newham, London. Her father was a statistician. Blackman was educated at Ealing Girls' School in Ealing, West London and trained as an actress at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, after persuading her father that an appropriate birthday gift would be acting lessons. Whilst training at the Guildhall, Honor worked as a clerical assistant at the Home Office.

Films

Blackman's films include Quartet (1948) and So Long at the Fair (1950) with Dirk Bogarde, the 1958 story of the Titanic's sinking A Night to Remember (1958); Life at the Top (1965) with Laurence Harvey, The Virgin and the Gypsy (1970), and the Western films Shalako (1968) with Sean Connery and Brigitte Bardot and Something Big (1971) with Dean Martin. She played the role of Hera in Jason and the Argonauts (1963). She also did an overdub for an actress in the same film providing the voice for the character of Medea. More recently, the actress has had small roles in the films Bridget Jones Diary (2001) and Jack Brown and the Curse of the Crown (also 2001).

James Bond

Bond film supremo Albert R. Broccoli admitted that Blackman had been cast on the back of her success in The Avengers, despite the fact that the American audience had never even seen the programme. Broccoli said, "The Brits would love her because they knew her as Mrs. Gale, the Yanks would like her because she was so good, it was a perfect combination".[2] Blackman was the first and one of two "Bond girls" older than the actor playing James Bond, and at 39 she was the oldest actress ever to play a Bond girl. [1]

Theatre

In 1981, she was in the London revival of The Sound of Music opposite Petula Clark, which opened to rave reviews with, at that time, the largest advance sale in British theatre history. She spent most of 1987 at the Fortune Theatre. From 2005 to 2006, she toured the country as Mrs Higgins in My Fair Lady. Her show Word Of Honor premiered in October 2006. In April 2007, she took over the role of Fraulein Schneider from Olivier Award-winning actress Sheila Hancock, in Cabaret at the Lyric Theatre in London's West End. She left the show at the end of September 2007.

Television

One of her earliest appearances on TV was in a recurring role as Nichole, secretary/assistant to Dan Dailey's character of Tim Collier in the 1959 series The Four Just Men.

In a 1965 episode of The Avengers, titled "Too Many Christmas Trees", John Steed received his Christmas cards, one of which was from Cathy. "A card from Mrs Gale!", Steed exclaims in delight. Then, reading the inscription, he says in a puzzled voice, "Whatever can she be doing at Fort Knox...?". It was an inside joke, as Blackman was filming Goldfinger at the time.

Blackman co-starred with Richard Basehart as a married pair of Shakespearean actors who commit a homicide in the Columbo episode Dagger of the Mind with Peter Falk.

In 1986, she had a role in the Doctor Who serial The Trial of a Time Lord. From 1990 to 1996 she appeared as Laura West on The Upper Hand. Blackman took a guest role on Midsomer Murders as ex-racing driver Isobel Hewitt in the episode A Talent for Life. In September 2004, she briefly joined the Coronation Street cast in a storyline about wife swapping.

In 2007, she participated in the BBC TV project The Verdict, as one of 12 well-known figures forming a jury to hear a fictional rape case. The series was designed to explore the jury system. She was sworn in as a juror as "Honor Kaufmann".

Singing career

A song she recorded with Patrick Macnee during 1964, "Kinky Boots", was a surprise hit, peaking at #5 in 1990 after it was played incessantly by BBC Radio 1 breakfast show presenter Simon Mayo. After her appearance in Goldfinger, Blackman recorded a full album of songs, "Everything I've Got".[3]

On 6 July 2009 Blackman released a new single "The Star Who Fell from Grace" composed by Jeff Chegwin and Adrian Munsey [4] and during the summer will be compering an all-new James Bond Prom as part of the "Welsh Proms" concert series.[5]

Personal life

She married twice: Bill Sankey (1946–1956) and the British actor Maurice Kaufmann (1963–1975), with whom she appeared in the slasher film Fright (1971). They adopted two children, Barnaby and Lottie. She enjoys watching football[6]. During the 1960s Blackman practiced Judo at the famous Budokwai dojo for her roles in The Avengers and Goldfinger[7].

Politics

Blackman is a signed supporter of Republic, The Campaign for an Elected Head of State, the UK campaign to replace the monarchy with a republic.[8] She declined a CBE honour in 2002. She has also been a prominent supporter of the Liberal Democrats.

Partial filmography

Discography

  • Everything I've Got (1964)

References

External links


Simple English

Honor Blackman (born December 12, 1927) is a English actress. She is best known for her roles in the movie Goldfinger and on the television programmes, The Avengers and "The Upper Hand" (the British version of Who's the Boss).








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