The British actress and artist’s son, Oscar Deeks, tells Variety she died on 5 October (20), and filmmaker Edgar Wright, who cast Nolan in his upcoming movie Last Night in Soho, broke the news to fans via Twitter on Sunday.
Paying tribute to Nolan, Wright wrote, “She was the middle of Venn diagram of everything cool in the 60’s; having appeared with the Beatles, been beyond iconic in Bond and been part of the ‘Carry On’ cast too.”
Nolan began her career in the 1960s as a glamour model, using the stage moniker Vicky Kennedy, but stuck to her real name as she pursued acting.
In 1964, she rose to prominence as the gold-painted model in the famed title sequence of 007 movie Goldfinger, in which she also played Dink, the masseuse for James Bond, portrayed by Sean Connery, and appeared in The Beatles film A Hard Day’s Night.
She went on to feature in Ferry Cross the Mersey, the movie musical starring rock band Gerry and the Pacemakers, and joined the Carry On comedy franchise with her first of many parts in Carry On Cowboy.
Nolan’s other acting credits included series like Steptoe and Son, and Spike Milligan’s Q…, and movies such as The Great St Trinian’s Train Robbery, No Sex Please, We’re British, and Yvonne Deutschman’s 2011 film The Power of Three, which marked her onscreen return after an almost three-decade-long hiatus.
Wright’s Last Night in Soho, one of Nolan’s last projects, is set for release in April.
comicbook wrote: Beloved actress and model Margaret Nolan, who is best known for her work in Goldfinger and the Carry On franchise, has passed away at the age of 76. Her death reportedly occurred on October 5th, although the cause is currently unknown. The news of her passing was shared on Sunday by director Edgar Wright, who cast the actress in the forthcoming Last Night in Soho, and took to social media to pay tribute to the actress. Wright wrote that the actress "was so funny, sharp, and, as you might imagine, full of the most amazing stories."
"I’m so glad I got to know her," Wright's posts say in part. "My heart goes out to her family and all that loved her. She will be much missed.”
Born in Norton Radstock, Somerset on October 29th, 1943, Nolan grew up in Hampstead, London. Her career first began as a glamour model in the 1960s, with her briefly going by the stage name of Vicky Kennedy. Her breakout role was undoubtedly in the James Bond film Goldfinger, in which she played Dink. In addition to being Bond's masseuse in the film, Dink also appeared painted gold and wore a gold bikini in the film's title sequence and marketing material. The images that resulted from that sequence have been regarded as iconic, and even became the first film title sequence to be shown at New York's Museum of Modern Art.
"It does celebrate the physical form," Nolan said of the title sequence in a 2012 interview with Playerist. "If I'd been nude it might have been about liberation because up to that point you wouldn't have seen a nude woman in a publicly visible thing like that. I could have been very pretentious and said this is liberating. But because I was dressed-up anyway I didn't get that sense."
Nolan's film career went on to include A Hard Day's Night, Ferry Cross the Mersey, and Three Rooms in Manhattan. She also made multiple appearances in the Carry On film franchise, which was incredibly popular in Britain. Outside of Last Night in Soho, Nolan's final onscreen role was as Dame Margaret in 2011's The Power of Three. Beyond acting, Nolan also had a prolific career as a visual artist, creating photo collages and montages out of her early publicity photos.
Nolan is survived by her two sons, Luke O'Sullivan and Oscar Deeks.