Zena Marshall

d. July 10, 2009

British actress Zena Marshall, whose role in 1962’s “Dr. No” made her the first of many beautiful but treacherous femmes fatales encountered by secret agent James Bond, died in London July 10 after a short illness. She was 83.

Marshall portrayed Miss Taro, a secretary at Government House in Kingston, Jamaica, who is secretly in the employ of Dr. No. Bond learns she is working against him but beds her nevertheless — just to pass the time before handing her over to the police — in one of several sequences designed to establish Bond’s callous, anti-hero credentials in his first screen outing.

Marshall’s dark, exotic beauty got her roles as Eurasians, Italians and Arabs. She was born in Nairobi of a French mother and a British father who died when she was a child. She was raised in England after her mother remarried, and made her uncredited screen debut in 1945’s “Caesar and Cleopatra,” starring Claude Rains and Vivien Leigh (with future 007 Roger Moore also making an uncredited debut).

Marshall appeared in a number of British films throughout the 1950s and increasingly in British television as filmed adventure series began to appear. She had guest roles in such popular series as Danger Man, The Invisible Man, Colonel March of Scotland Yard, Saber of London, O.S.S., Sir Francis Drake, The Sentimental Agent and Ghost Squad. Her last significant film role was as the very fertile wife of the Italian pilot in “Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines” (1965). She retired after appearing in 1967’s “The Terrornauts.”

Sean Connery and Zena Marshall in scene from “Dr. No,” top, and meeting the press during shooting.