Tania Mallet

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Tania Mallet
Mallet in 1964 on set of Goldfinger
Born(1941-05-19)19 May 1941
Blackpool, England
Died30 March 2019(2019-03-30) (aged 77)
OccupationActress, model
Years active1961–1976
Simon Radcliffe
(m. 1976; died 2016)
RelativesHelen Mirren (cousin)

Tania Mallet (19 May 1941 – 30 March 2019)[1] was an English actress and model, best known for playing Tilly Masterson in the James Bond film Goldfinger (1964).

Early life and ancestry[edit]

Mallet was born on 19 May 1941 in Blackpool, the daughter of Russian noblewoman and former chorus girl Olga Mironoff and English millionaire car salesman Henry Mallet.[2] Her maternal grandfather Pyotr, who owned a family estate near Gzhatsk (now Gagarin, Smolensk Oblast), was a member of the Russian aristocracy. His mother was Countess Lydia Andreevna Kamenskaya, aristocrat and a descendant of Count Mikhail Fedotovich Kamensky, a prominent Russian general in the Napoleonic Wars.[3][4] Tania Mallett signed her name with the double "-tt" when giving autographs and her modelling card as a Lucie Clayton model in 1968 was as "Tania Mallett". Her half-brothers Paul and Peter both spell their names as 'Mallett'. She was a cousin of actress Helen Mirren; her mother and Mirren's father were siblings.[5][6] Her maternal grandfather, Pyotr Mironov, was an aristocratic colonel in the Imperial Russian army, who was serving as a diplomat in London as the Russian Revolution was unfolding and decided to stay in the UK.[7] Mallet was educated in both England and France. Her parents divorced and her mother later married conman George Dawson, who served three years in prison for committing fraud.[2]


Mallet with Sean Connery in Goldfinger (1964)

Mallet worked as a model before becoming an actress.[6] She appeared twice on the cover of Vogue in 1961, and in Michael Winner's short film Girls Girls Girls released the same year.[8]

Mallet reportedly auditioned for the part of Tatiana Romanova in From Russia with Love (1963); although half-Russian, she was unsuccessful due to her English accent.[6] According to Mallet, she was given the part of "Bond girl" Tilly Masterson in Goldfinger (1964) 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.[6] Cast as the revenge-seeking sister of the murdered Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton), her own character was killed by the steel-rimmed hat of Goldfinger's henchman Oddjob.[8] Her only other acting role was in 1976, an uncredited appearance as Sara in the New Avengers episode "The Midas Touch".[2]

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.[2][8]

Personal life[edit]

Mallet married Simon Radcliffe in 1976, and became stepmother to his children. They remained married until his death in 2016.[9] It was Mallet's second marriage.[2]

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.[8][10]: 49 


Mallet died on 30 March 2019, aged 77.[6][11][12]


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


  1. ^ England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1916–2007
  2. ^ a b c d e Manby, Christine (6 May 2019). "Tania Mallet: The Blackpool Bond girl who shunned Hollywood". The Independent. Archived from the original on 26 May 2022. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  3. ^ Lahr, John (2 October 2006). "Command Performance: The reign of Helen Mirren". The New Yorker. Retrieved 24 October 2010.
  4. ^ James, Susan E. (28 September 2006). "Behind the Scene:God Save The Queen". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  5. ^ Mirren 2007, pp. 48, 256.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Goldfinger actress dies aged 77". BBC News. 1 April 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  7. ^ Pendreigh, Brian (5 April 2019). "Obituary: Tania Mallet, actress and model who was a Bond girl in Goldfinger". The Herald. Glasgow. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d Pulver, Andrew (1 April 2019). "Tania Mallet, Tilly Masterson in James Bond film Goldfinger, dies aged 77". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  9. ^ Obituaries, Telegraph (3 April 2019). "Tania Mallet, model and actress best known as Tilly Masterson in 'Goldfinger' – obituary". The Telegraph – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  10. ^ Mirren, Helen (2007). In the Frame: My Life in Words and Pictures. New York: Atria Books.
  11. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (31 March 2019). "Tania Mallet Dies: Model And 'Goldfinger' Actress Was 77". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  12. ^ 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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