Actress and model Margaret Nolan, who appeared in the Beatles’ first film, A Hard Day’s Night, and the James Bond movie Goldfinger the same year, died on Oct. 5 at the age of 76, her son Oscar Deeks confirmed to Variety.
Nolan played a woman at a casino in the Fab Four’s comedy, which was released in July 1964. A couple months later, she was seen as the gold-painted woman in the title sequence for Sean Connery’s third 007 outing; she also played Dink in the same movie. Goldfinger included a scene where Bond disses the Beatles, saying that drinking champagne that’s lost its chill was like listening to the group’s music “without earmuffs.”
Edgar Wright, who cast Nolan in his upcoming movie Last Night in Soho, described her as a person at the center of “everything cool in the ‘60s” and added she was often seen “sending up her own glamour-puss image.” She’d continued her career in film and TV; she later became known for her artwork based on manipulations of her own publicity shots.
In 2007, Nolan told Den of Geek: “I’d send off a photo, perhaps three or four – wonderful eight-by-10 portraits – with a letter, and I’d get work! And from that work came more work and more work, and I just didn’t stop at all. … There’s this kind of passive ‘look’, which is part of what it was like in the ‘60s. … We weren’t allowed to have an expression on our face.”
Nolan added that the “idea was really to just look beautiful … and passive, the way men liked you to look. And I hope that comes out in the montages; that’s why I made some of them quite grotesque, really. … The idea that I was there as this passive woman, being looked at, but behind it all, behind my eyes, of course I knew what was going on. Hopefully, that comes out in the material, that I’m looking at you looking at me – that I’m acting coy but I know what it’s all about!”
Nolan is survived by her two sons, cinematographer Deeks and Luke O’Sullivan.