Kicking butts on and off the screen.
Have you heard of Honor Blackman? If not, the name Pussy Galore will likely make that lightbulb over your head light up. While she is best known for her role as Sean Connery’s Bond Girl in Goldfinger, Blackman has a whole history of badassery that’s her own, aside from flipping 007 on his back in a barn. Some of that badassery involved riding motorcycles during World War II.
See, Honor Blackman did more than kick butts on the silver screen. She showed her inherent coolness early on when she volunteered as a motorcycle dispatch to carry packages around London during World War II.
"I was only just old enough to ride a bike and my mother was terrified, but I thought it was heaven. It was pretty dangerous because we were in the midst of war and had to mask the headlights during the blackout. Bombs were falling, but the roar of the motorbike engine used to drown out the sound of the doodlebugs (V-1 flying bombs) so we never heard them coming. It seemed terribly exciting to me,” Motorcycle News quoted her saying.
For reference, she was only 15 years old when the bombing of London occurred between 1940 and 1941. She also started studying and training as an actor around that age.
Blackman went on to become Cathy Gale, one of the original Avengers—the spies, not the otherworldly superheroes—and, of course, one of the most famous Bond Girls in the series’ history. She also made guest appearances on such shows as Doctor Who and Columbo.
She was an involved citizen and was described by her family as a “much-adored mother and grandmother” with an “an extraordinary combination of beauty, brains and physical prowess.” She passed away at age 94 in her home in Lewes, Sussex, England on April 5, 2020.