Facts about Honor Blackman
Honor Blackman Biography
Honor Blackman starred as judo expert Cathy Gale on the TV series The Avengers, and then more famously as icy and strong-willed pilot Pussy Galore in the James Bond film Goldfinger. Blonde, blue-eyed and firm-jawed, she was often cast in roles calling for a no-nonsense woman with a certain flair.
Born in London, Honor Blackman was an office worker and motorcycle dispatch rider during World War II. Her first film role was a non-speaking part in Fame is the Spur (1947); for the next few years she played a series of ingenues and supporting parts in films like Conspirator (1949, with Elizabeth Taylor) and Green Grow the Rushes (1951).
In 1962 she joined the cast of the stylish, spoofy adventure series The Avengers, playing Cathy Gale, a sexy anthropologist with a black belt in judo. (She learned judo for the role, and published Honor Blackman’s Book of Self-Defense in 1965.) After two years she left The Avengers, in part to appear in Goldfinger (1964) as Pussy Galore: the steely leader of an all-female flying circus who is won over in the end by the unbeatable sex appeal of superspy James Bond (played by Sean Connery).
In later years, Blackman became a steady presence on the British stage and on television, guesting on shows like Coronation Street, Hotel Babylon and Doctor Who. She kept her hand in in film as well, making a popular cameo on Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001, with Renee Zellweger) among many other roles. Her last film I, Anna, was released in 2012, the year she turned 87.
Honor Blackman died during the global Covid-19 crisis of 2020, but the virus did not cause her death; her family reported that she died of natural causes… Honor Blackman was married twice: to Bill Sankey (from 1948 until their divorce in 1956), and to Maurice Kaufmann (from 1961 until their divorce in 1975). She adopted two children with Kaufmann: Lottie (in 1967) and Barnaby (in 1968)… After Honor Blackman left The Avengers, she was followed by Diana Rigg in the role of Mrs. Peel.
Something in Common with Honor Blackman
4 Good Links
- Her 2020 obituary from The Guardian
- Also a detailed obituary, from The Hollywood Reporter
- Nice 2011 interview about her work on The Avengers
- A complete history of her most famous character