Tania Mallet, 'Goldfinger' Bond girl, dies at 77

It has been confirmed that model and actress Tania Mallet - who is the cousin of fellow actress Dame Helen Mirren - has died. "Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time". She was referring to the fact that, unlike her onscreen sister Jill Masterson, played by Shirley Eaton, or the same film's Pussy Galore, played by Honor Blackman, she never succumbed to the charms of Sean Connery's Bond.

Helen Mirren was Mallet's first cousin, and described her in her autobiography as "impossibly lovely and kind" and "a loyal and generous person", using her earnings to pay for her brothers' education and supporting her mother. She attended Lucy Clayton's School Of Modeling and started a successful modeling at the age of 16.

In 2003, she told the Bond fan site MI6 that she gained the attention of Bond producer Cubby Broccoli when someone sent him a picture of her. She had previously auditioned for the role of Tatiana Romanova in 1963's From Russia With Love, but lost the part to Daniela Bianchi.

Her death was announced via the official 007 Twitter account.

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Despite Goldfinger's high profile, Mallet said it was "not difficult" to turn her back on the film industry and return to modelling: "I was always more comfortable in a small studio with just the photographer and his assistant".

The role ultimately saw her slain on screen by the steel-rimmed hat of Goldfinger's henchman Oddjob, despite Bond's best efforts to save her.

"She was a very classy and handsome lady inside and out".

In 1976, Mallet made her only other acting appearance, an uncredited role in TV's "The New Avengers".

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