Influences

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Honor Blackman, born 1925-08-22, is a British actress, known for the roles of Cathy Gale in The Avengers (1962~64) and Bond girl Pussy Galore in Goldfinger (1964). She is also famous for her role as the vengeful goddess Hera in the Ray Harryhausen, Charles H. Schneer, production of Jason and the Argonauts. Blackman was born in Plaistow, Newham, London. Her father Frederick was a statistician. She attended North Ealing Primary School and Ealing County School for Girls. She then trained as an actress at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, after her father on her fifteenth birthday thought that an appropriate birthday gift would be acting lessons. While attending the Guildhall School she also worked as a clerical assistant for the Home Office.

Blackman's film debut was a nonspeaking part in Fame is the Spur (1947). Other films include Quartet (1948) and So Long at the Fair (1950) with Dirk Bogarde, the RMS Titanic true story A Night to Remember (1958), the comedy The Square Peg (1958), Life at the Top (1965) with Laurence Harvey, The Virgin and the Gypsy (1970), and the Western films Shalako (1968) with Sean Connery and Brigitte Bardot and Something Big (1971) with Dean Martin. She played the role of Hera in Jason and the Argonauts (1963). She also did an overdub for an actress in the same film providing the voice for the character of Medea. More recently, she has had small roles in the films Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) and Jack Brown and the Curse of the Crown (also 2001).

Bond film producer Albert R. Broccoli admitted that Blackman had been cast on the back of her success in The Avengers, despite the fact that the American audience had never even seen the programme. Broccoli said, "The Brits would love her because they knew her as Mrs. Gale, the Yanks would like her because she was so good, it was a perfect combination". Blackman was the first of two "Bond girls" older than the actor playing James Bond, and she was the oldest actress ever to play a Bond girl.

In 1981, she was in the London revival of The Sound of Music opposite Petula Clark, which opened to rave reviews with, at that time, the largest advance sale in British theatre history. She spent most of 1987 at the Fortune Theatre starring as the Mother Superior in the West End production of Nunsense. From 2005 to 2006, she toured the country as Mrs Higgins in My Fair Lady. Her show Word Of Honor premiered in October 2006. In April 2007, she took over the role of Fraulein Schneider from Olivier Award-winning actress Sheila Hancock, in Cabaret at the Lyric Theatre in London's West End. She left the show at the end of September 2007.

One of her earliest appearances on TV was in a recurring role as Nichole, secretary/assistant to Dan Dailey's character of Tim Collier in the 1959 series The Four Just Men. In a 1965 episode of The Avengers, titled "Too Many Christmas Trees", John Steed received his Christmas cards, one of which was from Cathy. "A card from Mrs Gale!", Steed exclaims in delight. Then, reading the inscription, he says in a puzzled voice, "Whatever can she be doing at Fort Knox?". It was an inside joke, as Blackman was filming Goldfinger at the time.

Blackman co-starred with Richard Basehart as a married pair of Shakespearean actors who commit a homicide in the Columbo episode "Dagger of the Mind" with Peter Falk. Blackman was the subject of This Is Your Life on two occasions, in December 1969 when she was surprised by Eamonn Andrews in a TV studio dressing room, and in February 1993, when she was caught out by Michael Aspel during a ‘mock’ television interview.

In 1986, she had a role in "Terror of the Vervoids", a segment of the Doctor Who serial The Trial of a Time Lord. From 1990 to 1996 she appeared as Laura West on The Upper Hand. Blackman took a guest role on Midsomer Murders as ex-racing driver Isobel Hewitt in the episode "A Talent for Life". In September 2004, she briefly joined the Coronation Street cast in a storyline about wife swapping. In 2007, she participated in the BBC TV project The Verdict, as one of 12 well-known figures forming a jury to hear a fictional rape case. The series was designed to explore the jury system. She was sworn in as a juror as "Honor Kaufmann".

A song she recorded with Patrick Macnee during 1964, "Kinky Boots", was a surprise hit, peaking at No.5 in 1990 after it was played incessantly by BBC Radio 1 breakfast show presenter Simon Mayo. After her appearance in Goldfinger, she recorded a full album of songs, entitled "Everything I've Got". In 1983, she appeared as Juno in a special TV production of Jacques Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld. On 6 July 2009, Blackman released a new single, "The Star Who Fell from Grace", composed by Jeff Chegwin and Adrian Munsey and compered a James Bond Prom as part of the "Welsh Proms" concert series.

More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor_Blackman


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