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2020 has been a year where several pop culture icons associated with the James Bond series have passed on. Recently, the world lost Moonraker villain Michael Lonsdale, on top of Game of Thrones star and acting legend Dame Diana Rigg, who starred as the woman who would become known as Tracy Bond by the end of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Not to mention, legendary Bond woman Honor Blackman, known to the world as Goldfinger’s Pussy Galore, also passed this year. Today, we’re sad to report that Margaret Nolan, visual artist and another key player in the iconography that made Goldfinger the classic that it is today, has died at the age of 76.
The news was broken this weekend by Last Night In Soho director Edgar Wright, who had collaborated with Nolan, as well as the late Dame Diana Rigg, on his upcoming film. Delivering a primer on Margaret Nolan’s impact on the arts throughout her career, as well as revealing her role in his new psychological horror film, Wright took to Twitter as his method of giving his friend a fitting tribute:
Besides the part she played in Goldfinger’s legacy, Margaret Nolan made a name for herself through appearances in various other films. Most notably, Nolan was a fixture throughout the history of the bawdy comedy franchise of Carry On movies, as well as a player in The Beatles’ musical comedy A Hard Day’s Night. Outside of acting, Margaret Nolan had been a visual artist, who used her voice to provide commentary on the treatment of women in the media, through the manipulation and display of her own image.
In terms of Goldfinger, Ms. Nolan had two specific contributions she made to the 1964 film that nailed it into the public consciousness. The first was her part in the opening title sequence, where Nolan herself was painted gold, and had images projected onto her body. Nolan would also be photographed for the film’s poster in this context, cementing one of the most historic images in the early days of the 007 franchise.
Margaret Nolan also got to play a small part in the film itself, as the masseuse Dink. Giving Sean Connery’s James Bond a massage on camera, her character is eventually dismissed in the name of “man talk” with Cec Linder’s incarnation of Felix Leiter. Simultaneously providing an example of what the Bond series embodied traditionally, as well as a moment that has not aged that well in the modern eye, Nolan still makes an impression as a beautiful co-star, on top of an artistic collaborator in the main titles.
Earlier this morning, the official Twitter account for the James Bond franchise highlighted these contributions in the memory of Margaret Nolan, sharing the following message of condolence with the fans of the iconic film franchise:
While she was shown for her charisma on the big screen, Margaret Nolan made a career of both highlighting her own beauty and how the world eventually saw it. She was a pop icon, and her legacy will live on long after her final screen appearance, which will be seen in Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho, releasing on April 21, 2021. We here at CinemaBlend would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Ms. Nolan’s family and friends during this difficult time.