Her death was announced by her family to UK’s The Guardian.
“It’s with great sadness that we have to announce the death of Honor Blackman aged 94,” her family said in the statement. “She died peacefully of natural causes at her home in Lewes, Sussex, surrounded by her family. She was much loved and will be greatly missed by her two children Barnaby and Lottie, and grandchildren Daisy, Oscar, Olive and Toby.”
After her 1962 breakthrough in Britain as Cathy Gale on The Avengers, Blackman became an international star with the release of the third James Bond film that same year. As the villain Goldfinger’s wickedly named partner-in-crime aviatrix, Blackman was able to show off the judo skills she’d learned for her Avengers role – and provide the Bond franchise with one of its most indelible character introductions.
As Bond, played by Sean Connery, wakes up from a drug-induced blackout, he asks, “Who are you?”
Says she, “My name is Pussy Galore.”
Deadpans Connery, “I must be dreaming.”
The memorable exchange was spoofed by Mike Meyers and Fabiana Udenio in 1997 Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.
Blackman’s other credits include playing the goddess Hera in Jason and the Argonauts, and British TV roles in Doctor Who, The Upper Hand and Coronation Street, and stage productions of The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady and Cabaret.
“As well as being a much-adored mother and grandmother,” the family told The Guardian, “Honor was an actor of hugely prolific creative talent; with an extraordinary combination of beauty, brains and physical prowess, along with her unique voice and a dedicated work ethic, she achieved an unparalleled iconic status in the world of film and entertainment and with absolute commitment to her craft and total professionalism in all her endeavours she contributed to some of the great films and theatre productions of our times.”
During her stint on The Avengers as the black-leather-clad secret agent, Blackman recorded the 1964 single “Kinky Boots” with co-star Patrick Macnee, a flop upon release that became an unlikely hit on the British charts in 1990.