Thursday, October 6, 2011

Did Shirley Eaton die during the making of Goldfinger

Goldfinger is many peoples favourite James Bond movie. Made in 1964 and starring Sean Connery in the role of 007, it has Bond investigating a global gold smuggling racket run by magnate Auric Goldfinger and his plan to attack the Bullion depositary at Fort Knox.

However, the thing that most people remember about Goldfinger is the woman who was killed after being covered from top to toe in gold paint and died from skin suffocation.

Goldfinger is such an old film, that many people now cannot remember if this was part of the plot or really happened during a tragic accident in filming. In fact, if you ask most people, the latter is the most believed version of events and the story of the gold paint death has achieved urban myth status.

Happily, for the actress, it was just part of the plot. In the film Bond girl Jill Masterson played by British actress Shirley Eaton was cast in the role as the evil Goldfinger’s girlfriend who unfortunately fell far the charms of 007.

Because of this betrayal, Auric Goldfinger had her covered in gold paint so that she died through skin asphyxiation. As usual in Bond films, important characters are rarely shot or hit over the head and this certainly was a memorable way to go. And of course, she looked fabulous so for this reason many of the films publicity shots feature a nude golden Shirley Eaton.

So can you die from skin suffocation? The simple answer is no. Ian Fleming invented the condition and made the whole thing up.

Shirley Eaton was a glamorous actress who featured on the cover of Time magazine. She was in many films throughout the 1950s and 1960s and achieved a cult status through Goldfinger. She retired from acting in 1969 to raise a family.

She did appear in a film in 2000 called Mythbusters – to dispel the urban myth that she died during the filming Goldfinger.