Margaret Nolan, Model Behind the Iconic ‘Goldfinger’ Opening Credits, Dies at 76

Actress also appeared in the Beatles film “A Hard Day’s Night”

Margaret Nolan, the actress whose gold-painted body was the basis for the iconic opening credits sequence for the James Bond film “Goldfinger,” died this past week at the age of 76.

Nolan’s death was first announced by director Edgar Wright, who described her in a Twitter post as “the middle of Venn diagram of everything cool in the 60’s.” Born in Somerset, England, Nolan got her start as a model under the alias Vicky Kennedy but reverted back to her birth name after she started getting acting offers.

Nolan got her big break in 1964 with “Goldfinger,” appearing briefly at the start of the film as a masseuse taking care of James Bond at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. But her biggest contribution to the Bond lore came in the film’s opening credits, in which scenes of the film are projected across her gold-painted body as Shirley Bassey’s legendary theme plays in the background. Nolan also got painted for posters and ads for the film, solidifying sex appeal as part of the Bond formula.

That same year, Nolan also appeared in “A Hard Day’s Night,” playing a buxom woman who spends the day with Paul McCartney’s grandfather at a casino. Her appearances in the two films led to a shoot with Playboy Magazine, as well as repeated roles in the bawdy “Carry On” comedy film series. Outside of comedy and modeling, Nolan started a career as an artist with exhibitions that included subversive twists on photos of her own modeling career.

That artistic work became the focus of the latter half of Nolan’s life, though she did take a role as Dame Margaret in Yvonne Deutschman’s “The Power of Three.” Wright provided Nolan with her final acting role, casting her in a small part in his upcoming film, “Last Night in Soho.”

“She was so funny, sharp and, as you might imagine, full of the most amazing stories,” the filmmaker tweeted. “I’m so glad I got to know her. My heart goes out to her family and all that loved her. She will be much missed.”