MOVIES

The Only Main Actor Still Alive From The James Bond Movie Goldfinger

Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton) isn’t the main Bond girl in “Goldfinger” — that honor goes to Honor Blackman, who played the now iconic role of Pussy Galore and passed away at the age of 94 in August 2020. But Eaton can safely be credited with helping to create one of the most memorable images in the entire “James Bond” franchise, thanks to her visually stunning death scene. Originally an accomplice of the titular villain Auric Goldfinger, Masterson gets on his bad side after sleeping with Bond, and is killed by having her entire body painted gold, causing her to expire from the medically dubious ailment of skin suffocation. (Although this is not actually a thing — people don’t breathe through their skin, after all — the filmmakers were concerned enough about it that they left a patch of skin unpainted just to be safe, and rumors abounded that Eaton had actually died of skin suffocation while making the movie.)

Eaton began her acting career at the age of 13 in 1950, when she appeared in an episode of the British television series, “For the Children.” She worked steadily throughout the 1950s, before getting what became her most memorable role in “Goldfinger.” Eaton had a few other major roles in the 1960s, including playing Sumuru in the spy film “The Million Eyes of Sumuru” opposite Frankie Avalon and Klaus Kinski, of all people. Although she retired from acting in 1969 to raise her two sons, she has always remained fond of her connection to “James Bond,” even paying homage to the role with the title of her 1999 autobiography, “Golden Girl.”

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