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Shirley Eaton

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Nationality  British
Role  Actress
Books  Golden girl
Name  Shirley Eaton
Children  Jason Rowe, Grant Rowe
Years active  1951–1969
Education  Kingsbury High School
Occupation  Actress
Spouse  Colin Rowe (m. 1957–1994)

Shirley Eaton Shirley Eaton Bond Girl 2015

Born  12 January 1937 (age 78) (1937-01-12) London, England
Movies  Goldfinger, Ten Little Indians, Carry On Nurse, The Million Eyes of Sumuru, The Girl from Rio
Similar People  Honor Blackman, Tania Mallet, Gert Frobe, Claudine Auger, Daniela Bianchi

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Shirley Eaton (born 12 January 1937) is an English actress. She was a sex symbol in the 1960s.


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Eaton appeared regularly in British films throughout the 1950s and 1960s, and achieved notability for her performance as Bond Girl Jill Masterson in the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger. Eaton also had notable roles in the early Carry On films. Preferring to devote herself to bringing up a family, Eaton retired from acting in 1969.

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Early life

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Eaton was born on 12 January 1937 in Edgware General Hospital, Middlesex, and brought up in the suburb of Kingsbury. She attended Roe Green Primary School on Princes Avenue, and although living close to both Kingsbury County Grammar School and Tylers Croft Secondary Modern School, won a place at the Aida Foster Theatre School, a specialist drama school, and remained there until she was sixteen. Her stage debut was in Benjamin Britten's Let's Make an Opera! and her West End debut was in 1954 in Going to Town.

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All through the 1950s she was a singing star both on the stage and on television, appearing with her own act in variety shows all over the country and starring at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London in her own solo singing act, as well as appearing in many films. Throughout her career, she appeared with many of the top British male comedy stars from the period including Jimmy Edwards, Max Bygraves, Bob Monkhouse and Arthur Askey. Her female co-stars included Peggy Mount, Thora Hird and Dora Bryan among others. Her early roles include Three Men in a Boat (1956) and Date with Disaster (1957), in which she co-starred with Tom Drake. She also worked with the Crazy Gang in Life Is a Circus (1958) and with Mickey Spillane in The Girl Hunters (1963) in which Spillane played his own literary creation Mike Hammer. She appeared in several early Carry On films. She made three episodes of The Saint, starring Roger Moore. Eaton participated in the British heat of the 1957 Eurovision Song Contest.

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Eaton achieved most recognition for her performance as Jill Masterson in the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger, gaining more recognition than actress Honor Blackman, who played famed Bond Girl Pussy Galore. She appeared on the cover of Life Magazine in her gold-painted persona. Her character's death, being painted head to toe in gold paint and suffering "skin suffocation" led to an urban myth that Eaton had died during filming. She appeared in a 2003 episode of the series MythBusters to dispel the rumour. Her voice was dubbed by Nikki van der Zyl.

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After Goldfinger, Eaton made only a few more films, including the 1965 version of the Agatha Christie mystery Ten Little Indians co-starring Hugh O'Brian and in a 1967 Bob Hope comedy, Eight on the Lam, plus the spy story The Million Eyes of Sumuru (1967), before her retirement. In a 2014 interview, she explained: "After I finished The Million Eyes of Sumuru and The Girl from Rio and was coming home in the plane was when I made the decision to quit. I hated being away from my baby Jason and his brother Grant. However, I did enjoy being the wicked lady Sumuru in two rather bad films, which I had not had the chance to be before. I do believe they have become cult films now."

Personal life

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Eaton was married to Colin Lenton Rowe from 1957 until his death in 1994. The couple had two children, Grant and Jason. Eaton retired from acting to bring up her family and later commented in a 1999 interview with Steve Swires of Starlog magazine, "A career is a career, but you're a mother until you die". She repeated this statement in an interview with the journalist James Davies on 18 June 2008, adding, "The most important thing for me was being a woman and having a family more than being a very famous glamorous actress".

Eaton published an autobiography in 1999 titled Golden Girl. Her two newer books (Golden Girl Shirley Eaton Her Reflections) a picture book of all her film photos throughout her career and the second book, (Shirley Eaton Bonds Golden Girl; her own ART Gallery) is full of her painting and sculptures over a lifetime and more recently her art and photography. She also has an official website.


Shirley Eaton Wikipedia