Comparing this sultry-eyed blonde to 'Greta Garbo' and'Marlene Dietrich' may seem a bit overzealous, but HonorBlackman's stylish allure over the years cannot be denied. One of four children, Blackman was born in London's East End to astatistician father employed with the civil service and a homemakermother. She received diction lessons as a teenager and later attendedthe Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She temporarily followed inher father's footsteps with a job in the civil service, and then was,of all things, a dispatch rider during World War II.
This is where shedeveloped some of her trademark athleticism. Blackman received her first acting work on stage in London's West End asan understudy for "The Guinea Pig". She continued with roles in "TheGleam" (1946) and "The Blind Goddess" (1947), before moving into film. She debuted with Fame Is the Spur (1947) , starring'Michael Redgrave' . In that picture, Blackman dies from ahorse-riding accident.
This film established the strange patternwherein many of her movie characters meet untimely deaths. Signed upwith the Rank Organisation, Blackman joined several other starlethopefuls who were being groomed for greater fame. She was initiallycast as demure, pleasant young things or "English Rose" types andreceived dependable but unmemorable costar billing in films such as Daughter of Darkness (1948) (1948), Quartet (1948) , A Boy, a Girl and a Bike (1949) (1949), So Long at the Fair (1950) (1950) and Green Grow the Rushes (1951) (1951), the last starring a young'Richard Burton (I)' . Hollywood also took brief notice when shewas cast as the second lead femme in MGM's Conspirator (1949) (1949), starring 'Elizabeth Taylor (I)' and'Robert Taylor (I)' . The stress and struggles of advancing her career coupled with a divorcefrom her first husband, Bill Sankey, caused Blackman to suffer anervous collapse in the mid-1950s.
After a brief time recovering in ahospital, she regained her health and began rebuilding her career withrather obligatory B-level fare, at first. That reentry culminated witha costarring role in one of the more famous retellings of the tragic"Titanic" tale, A Night to Remember (1958) (1958), costarring'Kenneth More' and 'David McCallum (I)' . Developing a solidfooting again, she filmed The Square Peg (1958) (1959) withcomedian 'Norman Wisdom' and A Matter of WHO (1961) (1961)with 'Terry-Thomas' . TV series work then also came her way, notably with the highly popular "The Avengers" (1961) , costarring 'Patrick Macnee' as JohnSteed. As the leather-clad "Mrs.
Cathy Gale", Blackman showcased herincredible beauty, self-confidence, and athletic derring-do. Heradmirable qualities made her not only a catch for the men, but also aninspirational figure for the 1960s feminist movement. Blackman left theshow at its peak, however, and was replaced by the equally assertiveand popular 'Diana Rigg (I)' as "Mrs. Emma Peel". Not out of work long, Blackman took on the role of Greek goddess "Hera"in popular movie adventure Jason and the Argonauts (1963) (1963)with marvelous 'Ray Harryhausen' and melodrama Life at the Top (1965) (1965) with 'Laurence Harvey (I)' .
She then filmed the most popular role of her career: "Pussy Galore". Inthe classic "James Bond" movie Goldfinger (1964) (1964),Blackman went toe to toe with 'Sean Connery' 's womanizing "007"and created major sparks on screen, managing to outclass the(wink-wink) double meaning of her character's name. That resurgence of popularity should have led to better filmopportunities but did not. Blackman toiled for the most part inlow-level melodramas and routine adventures. She earned raves on stage,however, as the blind heroine of the thriller "Wait Until Dark" as wellas for her dual roles in "Mr.
and Mrs. ", a production based on two of'Noël Coward' 's plays. She also enjoyed working occasionally withher second husband, actor 'Maurice Kaufmann' , in the play "MoveOver, Mrs. Markham" and the film thriller Fright (1971) with'Susan George (I)' . On stage, she became a throaty-voicedsensation in various musicals, such as "A Little Night Music", "TheSound of Music", "On Your Toes", and "Nunsense".
Divorced from Kaufmann in 1975 (he died in 1997), Blackman neverremarried. The couple adopted two children in the late 1960s, Lottieand Barnaby. Now an octogenarian, the ever-lovely and still glamorousstar performs frequently, more recently working in the long-runningEnglish hit comedy series "The Upper Hand" (1990) and in herone-woman stage show, "Wayward Ladies". .
|1||A Boy, a Girl and a Bike||1949||as Susie Bates|
|2||A Sense of Belonging||1962||as Herself - Narrator|
|3||Behind the Scenes with Goldfinger||1995||as Herself/Pussy Galore|
|4||Behind the Scenes with Thunderball||1995||as Herself/Pussy Galore|
|5||Bonds Are Forever||1983||as Pussy Galore/Herself|
|6||Girls! Girls! Girls! The 1960s||2009||as Herself|
|7||Goldfinger Original Promotional Featurette||1964||as Pussy Galore|
|8||Jack Brown and the Curse of the Crown||2004||as Madeline Dubouir|
|9||Kings of Cool the Classic Crooners||2004||as Herself - Narrator|
|10||Premiere Bond: Opening Nights||2006||as Herself|
|11||Summer Solstice||2005||as Countess Lucinda Reeves|
|12||The 100 Greatest Sex Symbols||2007||as Herself|
|13||The Best of So Graham Norton||2004||as Herself|
|14||The Bunny Years||1999||as Narrator (UK version)|
|15||The Cat and the Canary||1978||as Susan Sillsby|
|16||The Nations Favourite Bond Song||2015||as Herself|
|17||The Secret Adversary||1983||as Rita Vandemeyer|
|18||The Secret of My Success||1965||as Lily, Baroness von Lukenberg|
|19||The Stars of the Street: 50 Years, 50 Classic Characters||2010||as Rula Romanoff|
|20||The Virgin and the Gypsy||1970||as Mrs. Fawcett|
|21||To the Devil a Daughter||1976||as Anna Fountain|
|22||Top on Television||1964||as Herself - Presenter|
|23||VE Day: Remembering Victory||2015||as Herself - Aged 19 on VE Day|
|24||Welcome to Japan, Mr. Bond||1967||as Pussy Galore|
|25||Celebrity Antiques Road Trip||2011||as Herself|
|26||Celebrity Ready, Steady, Cook||1997||as Herself|
|27||Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Presents||1953||as Kathy|
|28||Entertainment UK||1990||as Herself - Interviewee|
|29||Film Fanfare||1956||as Herself - Quiz contestant|
|30||Friday Night with Jonathan Ross||2001||as Herself|
|31||Going Going Gone||1995||as Herself - Team Captain|
|32||In Performance||1978||as Juno / Empress Eugenie|
|33||Probation Officer||1959||as Iris Cope (1959-1960)|
|34||The American Embassy||2002||as Mrs. Wellington|
|35||The Armando Iannucci Shows||2001||as Ivy Diner|
|36||The First Olympics: Athens 1896||1984||as Madam Ursula Schumann|
|37||The Name of the Game||1968||as Bethany Cromwell|
|38||The Natural World||1983||as Herself - narrator|
|39||The Paul OGrady Show||2004||as Herself - Guest|
|40||The Saturday Night Armistice||1995||as Herself|