Eunice Gayson, the actress who played the first Bond Girl, has passed away at the age of 90.
Gayson was a British actress with a long and prolific career. Her passing was announced on Saturday through her official Twitter feed. Presumably members of her family and estate let fans know that Gayson had passed away on Friday, June 8.
We are very sad to learn that our dear Eunice passed away on June 8th. An amazing lady who left a lasting impression on everyone she met. She will be very much missed. pic.twitter.com/c5kVHs256Y— Eunice Gayson (@EuniceGayson) June 9, 2018
"We are very sad to learn that our dear Eunice passed away on June 8th," they wrote. "An amazing lady who left a lasting impression on everyone she met. She will be very much missed."
In no time, social media filled with tributes to Gayson, who was an institution in the entertainment industry for decades. A few hours after her death was announced, Gayson's Twitter account retweeted a memorial from her nephew.
"Eunice my Aunty, was a kind & amazing woman," he wrote. "Her stories of life on stage and screen always filled me with wonder at the richness of experience which was her life. I arrived in the UK straight from the colonies and she gave me a home and showed me her world. Sadly missed by all."
Eunice my Aunty, was a kind & amazing woman. Her stories of life on stage and screen always filled me with wonder at the richness of experience which was her life. I arrived in the UK straight from the colonies and she gave me a home and showed me her world. Sadly missed by all.— Brisbane Headshots (@AUS_Headshots) June 9, 2018
Gayson played Sylvia Trench in two James Bond films -- Dr. No and From Russia With Love. She was already and established actress when she took the role, having appeared in The Revenge of Frankenstein a few years earlier. Her portrayal of the mysterious woman set the tone for decades of spy thrillers, and she established the template that all future "Bond Girls" would model their characters after.
Originally, the writers intended for Sylvia Trench to be a recurring character throughout the 007 franchise. She was meant to appear in at least six movies as Bond's consistent love interest, however, director Guy Hamilton scrapped the idea for Goldfinger. Still, Gayson remains one of only two Bond Girls to appear in more than one movie -- the other being Rubavitch, portrayed by Virginia Hey.
Sylvia Trench even originated one of the most iconic lines in action movie history. In Dr. No, she first meets James Bond (Sean Connery) in a game of cards at a casino. He asks for her name.
"Trench. Sylvia Trench," she says. Bond follows suit when giving his own name.
"Bond. James Bond."1comments
Gayson went on to delight audiences in movies and TV for years to come. She starred in two TV series, The Saint and The Avengers. In 2012, she published an autobiography titled The First Lady of Bond: My Autobiography. In the book, she detailed her high-profile career and her massive body of work, but also her low points, including divorces and and an arrest for shoplifting.
There's no word yet on Gayson's cause of death.