Bond Girl: Tilly Masterson

Tilly Masterson was the fictional vengeful sister of Jill Masterson, the late secretary and victim of Auric Goldfinger. Based on the literary character Tilly Masterton, who first appeared in the 1959 Ian Fleming novel Goldfinger, she was portrayed by the late Tania Mallet in its 1964 film adaptation of the same name. For the film, both sisters had their surname changed from Masterton to Masterson.


Tilly plays a somewhat more minor role in the film version of the book. She is first introduced when James Bond follows Auric Goldfinger when he lands in Geneva. 007 is calmly driving along the road when Tilly speeds around a corner and beeps her horn, wanting to get past. Bond obliges and decides to pursue her when he sees her drive past. However, 007 restrains himself, commenting, “Discipline 007!”. He stops on the hill’s edge when he notices Goldfinger has stopped below him.

Unknown to Bond, Tilly tries to shoot Goldfinger for revenge for killing her sister Jill but misses completely, nearly hitting Bond in the process. She escapes in her car, and 007 follows. After a short game of cat and mouse, Bond uses the tire shredder feature on his Aston Martin and shreds both Tilly’s tires. 007 escorts her to the nearest garage, but she refuses any additional help.

Masterson is killed by Oddjob

Bond and Tilly Masterson meet up at Goldfinger’s factory, where she tries to kill Goldfinger. Bond stops her, but she accidentally sets off an alarm. Goldfinger’s henchmen pursue Tilly and Bond in his Aston Martin, but by using its various features, he disposes of some of the following cars. However, the road suddenly stops, forcing Tilly to run into the forest with 007 covering fire. Oddjob, Goldfinger’s henchman and assassin, throws his razor-rimmed hat and strikes her down, breaking her neck. When Bond catches up, she’s already dead.

Behind the scenes

Goldfinger was Mallet’s only film role despite the film’s commercial and critical success. Mallet reportedly auditioned for the part of Tatiana Romanova in the previous James Bond film, From Russia with Love (1963); although half-Russian, she was unsuccessful due to her English accent. She was then given the part of Tilly Masterson in Goldfinger when someone sent a photo of her wearing a bikini to producer Albert R. Broccoli.