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Wednesday 21 August 2019

Dame Helen Mirren speaks of sadness following death of her Bond Girl cousin

Tania Mallet starred in Goldfinger.

Dame Helen Mirren (Ian West/PA)
Dame Helen Mirren (Ian West/PA)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Dame Helen Mirren has paid tribute to her Bond Girl cousin, Goldfinger star Tania Mallet.

The actress played Tilly Masterson alongside Sir Sean Connery’s James Bond in the 1964 film.

Oscar-winner Dame Helen said in a statement: “I was very sad to lose my cousin Tania this week.

“Tania was my Aunt Olga’s daughter, and my sister and I grew up with her. She showed her Russian heritage in her very beautiful bone structure and eyes, that made her into one of the top models of the early ’60s.

“However she was never vain, but a kind and generous person who used her model earnings to put her half-brothers through school.”

The Queen star said: “She was a great optimist and always looked on life with positivity.

“The first visit I ever made to a film set was visiting her in a night shoot on the set of Goldfinger, where she joined the exclusive club of Bond Girls.

“I will always remember her laughter and the best porcini risotto I have ever tasted.”

“She made (the risotto) from porcini she found by the side of a golf course in Sussex (our Russian grandmother taught her how to look for mushrooms).

“My sister and I will miss her very much.”

Britt Ekland, who starred as a Bond Girl in The Man With The Golden Gun, also paid tribute on Twitter, writing: “So very sad to hear that Tania Mallet has passed, we worked together and she was such an lovely and easygoing ‘gal'”

Mallet’s death, at the age of 77, was announced on the official 007 Twitter account.

“We are very sorry to hear that Tania Mallet who played Tilly Masterson in GOLDFINGER has passed away,” a tweet said.

“Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time.”

Blackpool-born Mallet was working as a model when she was cast as Masterson by Albert “Cubby” Broccoli.

However, instead of pursuing a career in acting after her blockbuster turn, she returned to modelling.

PA Media

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