Tania Mallet

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Tania Mallet
TaniaMallet1964.jpg
Mallet in 1964
Born(1941-05-19)19 May 1941
Blackpool, England
Died30 March 2019(2019-03-30) (aged 77)
OccupationModel, actress
Years active1961–1976
Spouse(s)
Simon Radcliffe
(m. 1976; wid. 2016)
RelativesHelen Mirren (cousin)

Tania Mallet (19 May 1941 – 30 March 2019) was an English model and actress, best known for playing Tilly Masterson in the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger.

Early life[edit]

Mallet was born on 19 May 1941 in Blackpool, the daughter of Russian former chorus girl Olga (née Mironoff) and English millionaire car salesman Henry Mallet.[1] She was a cousin of actress Helen Mirren; her mother and Mirren's father were siblings.[2][3] Mallet was educated in both England and France.[1] Her parents divorced and her mother later married conman George Dawson, who served three years in prison for committing fraud.[1]

Career[edit]

Mallet worked as a model before becoming an actress.[3] In 1961, she appeared on the cover of Vogue and in the Michael Winner short film Girls Girls Girls.[4]

Mallet reportedly auditioned for the part of Tatiana Romanova in From Russia with Love (1963); despite being half Russian, she was unsuccessful due to having an English accent.[3] According to her, she was given the part of "Bond girl" Tilly Masterson in Goldfinger when someone sent a photo of her wearing a bikini to producer Albert Broccoli. Despite the film's commercial and critical success, Goldfinger was Mallet's only major film role.[3] Her only other acting role was in 1976, an uncredited appearance as Sara in the New Avengers episode "The Midas Touch".[5]

Mallet cited two reasons for returning to modelling and turning down all further film offers. She did not like the restrictions imposed on her personal freedom when she was under contract during the filming of Goldfinger, including being unable to travel abroad or ride horses. She also said the money was "dreadful". She was initially offered £50 a week and managed to increase her fee to £150 a week after tough negotiations, but was still dismayed as she had been earning this kind of money daily as a model.[4][6]

Personal life[edit]

Mallet married Simon Radcliffe in 1976, and became stepmother to his children. They remained married until his death in 2016.[7] Mallet had previously been married once before.[1]

Mallet's cousin Helen Mirren described Mallet in her autobiography as "impossibly beautiful and kind" and "a loyal and generous person" who used her earnings from modelling to pay for her brother's education and financially support her mother.[4][8]:49

Death[edit]

Mallet died at age 77 on 30 March 2019.[1][3][9][10]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1964 Goldfinger Tilly Masterson
1976 The New Avengers Sara Episode: "The Midas Touch"

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Tania Mallet (1941-2019)". MI6-HQ.COM. 31 March 2019.
  2. ^ Mirren 2007, pp. 48, 256.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Goldfinger actress dies aged 77". BBC News. 1 April 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Tania Mallet, Tilly Masterson in James Bond film Goldfinger, dies aged 77". The Guardian. 1 April 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Tania Mallet death: Bond girl who starred in Goldfinger dies aged 77". The Independent. 1 April 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  6. ^ "MI6 :: The Home of James Bond". MI6-HQ.COM.
  7. ^ Obituaries, Telegraph (3 April 2019). "Tania Mallet, model and actress best known as Tilly Masterson in 'Goldfinger' – obituary" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  8. ^ Mirren, Helen (2007). In the Frame: My Life in Words and Pictures. New York: Atria Books.
  9. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (31 March 2019). "Tania Mallet Dies: Model And 'Goldfinger' Actress Was 77". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  10. ^ Bond, James (31 March 2019). "We are very sorry to hear that Tania Mallet who played Tilly Masterson in GOLDFINGER has passed away. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time.pic.twitter.com/gMkqqheGJ7".

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