Shirley Eaton (born January 12, 1937) is a glamorous blonde actress who appeared in many British black and white comedies in the 1950s and onwards.
She was born in London. Throughout her career, she appeared with many of the main 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.
Early roles include Three Men In A Boat (1956) and Date with Disaster (1957), starring with American 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. Later she starred in an entertaining version of Ten Little Indians (1965), co-starring American singer and actor Fabian. She also appeared in several early Carry On films, but did little TV work (she did appear in three episodes of The Saint opposite Roger Moore).
However, undoubtedly Eaton's most famous role was that of Jill Masterson in the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger. Her character's demise, being painted head to toe in gold paint and suffering "skin suffocation", became an iconic image of the film and inadvertently led to the creation of an urban legend concerning both the method of death and the actress' own fate. Ms. Eaton, very much alive, later appeared in a 2003 episode of the TV documentary series MythBusters to help debunk the legend.
In any case, the movie made Eaton a star; she even appeared on the cover of Life Magazine in her gold-painted persona. After Goldfinger, Eaton made a few more films including the notorious The Million Eyes of Su-Muru, before she retired from acting to raise her family.
Eaton expressed no regrets in giving up show business while at the height of her fame. In a 1999 interview with Steve Swires of Starlog Magazine, Eaton said: "A career is a career, but you're a mother until you die."