• 19 May 1941
  •  Blackpool, Lancashire, England, UK

Tania Mallet


Tania Mallet was born in the seaside resort of Blackpool, England. Her mother Olga was Russian but was born in England and had been a beautiful chorus girl. Her father was an successful English car salesman named Henry Mallet. They divorced and Olga married her second husband, a non-violent con man named George Dawson who was in prison for three years for committing fraud. Olga's older brother is actress Helen Mirren's father, making Tania and Helen first cousins. Helen wrote in her autobiography that her cousin "survived this extraordinary upbringing and came out miraculously a loyal and generous person." Tania took a course at Lucy Clayton's School Of Modelling and started working as a model at just 16 years old. In 1961, she appeared as herself in the documentary about models in Michael Winner's Girls Girls Girls! (1961). In 1963 she was considered for the role of the lead James Bond girl in From Russia with Love (1963). Even though, she was half-Russian, her provincial English accent deemed her unsuitable for the role of the Russian love interest, so she lost the role to Daniela Bianchi. However, the following year she was cast in the next Bond film, Goldfinger (1964) , playing the ill-fated, Tilly Masterson. She agreed to appear in "Goldfinger" as an experiment. She was earning £2,000 a week as a model, and after much bargaining managed to secure only £150 a week as her fee for the film. She claimed that she could not afford to continue working as an actress, because she was earning more as a model. She was supporting her mother and putting her brothers thru school with her income as a model. Tania had mixed feelings about her time on "Goldfinger". Filming was fun, but in her personal life her long-time boyfriend had died at the same time. She had no desire to pursue a career as an actress and went back to modeling. She is married to her second husband Simon Radcliffe and is a stepmother to his children, such as Louisa Radcliffe. She also enjoys a warm relationship with her cousin Academy Award winner Helen Mirren. She continues to attend Bond events and autographs her photographs at these events.