Miss Taro (Zena Marshall)
Actress: Zena Marshall
Character: Miss Taro
Movie: Dr. No
Date of Birth: 1st January 1925
Place of Birth: Nairobi, Kenya
Height: 5' 5" (1.65m)
Trivia: Is fluent in French, Italian & German
Pleased To Meet You
James Bond catches local governor Pleydell-Smith's secretary, Miss Taro,
eavesdropping on his conversation and, never one to turn down a golden
arranges a date.
Caught In The Act
007 makes the most of Miss Taro's hurried plan to keep him
at her house in the mountains just long enough for his
to arrive. Bond, naturally, finds the perfect way to kill
Miss Taro: What should I say to an invitation from a strange gentleman?
James Bond: You should say yes.
Miss Taro: I should say maybe.
Miss Taro is secretly working for SPECTRE at Government House in Kingston, and
twice tries to kill Bond but fails. She arranges to meet 007 at her apartment
in the mountains. En route, Bond
is menaced by the assassins who pursue him in
a hearse. Bond escapes under a crane parked in the road as the
pursuing hearse plummets over a cliff and explodes.
Taro is startled to find Bond on her doorstep
and later takes a call from someone who wants her to keep him
there for a couple
of hours. After making the most of the interlude, Bond talks
her in to eating out but when the "taxi" arrives for
them, she is bundled into an awaiting police. Bond had Taro set
up to be arrested by the local superintendent all along. He
contact arrives - Professor
Dent. The professor fires several shots into the bed in which
Bond has arranged some pillows so as to make it appear as though
he is sleeping there. Bond takes Dent captive and when he tries
to escape, Bond cold-bloodedly guns him down.
British actress Zena Moyra Marshall was born
on New Year's day in 1925 in Nairobi, Kenya.
Her father died when she was young, and her mother married a landowner in Leicestershire,
where she spent her early years. Her mother’s family were
French, and Zena’s dark beauty would later lend itself
to a series of exotic screen characters.
She attended St Mary’s Roman Catholic
school, Ascot, Berkshire, trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic
Art, and worked with Ensa, the Entertainments National Service
Association during the Second World War. A noted beauty, she was
courted by Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia and she once dined with
President Perón. In 1947 she married the band leader Paul
Adam, though the union was brief.
Her first big screen role came as a bit
part (lady-in-waiting) in the Gabriel Pascal produced 1945 "Caesar
and Cleopatra" that starred Claude Rains and Vivien
Leigh in respective title roles. It would be 17 years before
Marshall had her real brush with James Bond, but the film
also featured an uncredited debut appearance from future-007
actor Roger Moore as a Roman Soldier.
Her exotic looks landed her several small
parts in film and television, often being cast in ethnic
roles, such as Italians and Asian characters. Notable films
for the 5' 5" actress included "Good Time Girl", "The
Lost People", "Helter Skelter", "So
Long At The Fair", "Morning Departure",
'Three Cases Of Murder", and "Crosstrap".
In 1957, Marshall appeared in two episodes of "O.S.S.",
a TV series based on the US spy agency during WWII, produced
by ITC in the UK and distributed
State-side by ABC
Marshall shot to fame in the role of Chinese SPECTRE agent
Miss Taro in the debut James Bond film "Dr
No" in October 1962. Although it took a couple
of years for worldwide audiences to catch on to the 007
phenomenon (the film was not released in the USA until
May 1963), and thanks to re-releases of the early films
when Bondmania struck with "Goldfinger" and "Thunderball",
Marshall's scenes with Sean
Connery became part of cinema history. Although not
the first conquest for Bond, Miss Taro was the first 'bad
girl' of the series.
Above: Zena Marshall with Sean
Connery (top) and 007's other leading ladies in "Dr
No": Eunice Gayson and Ursula Andress.
Contributing to a DVD commentary many years later, Marshall
made it clear that she thought the "Dr No" script was nothing
special till director Terence Young introduced an element of
She also remembered that it took three days to shoot her landmark
bedroom scene with Connery and that she found it very difficult
to spit in his face when handed over to the police.
Marshall was caught up in some controversy when her picture,
in skimpy dressing gown and toweling robe, appeared in a controversial
series of James Bond photo cards issued with bubblegum in 1964
by a company called Somportex. The cards also included other
early Bond girls in various states of undress.
One MP claimed they were “a disgusting and disgraceful
corruption of young children”. The cards were withdrawn
and replaced with a set with more emphasis on guns and violence,
which seemed to please everyone. Both sets are now worth hundreds
Following her most famous role, Marshall also
appeared in popular films "The Switch" (1963) and "Those
Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines" (1965). She came
back in to the Bond fold for an appearance as herself in the
TV special "The Incredible World of James Bond", a
behind the scenes look at the Bond phenomenon during the release
TV roles in the 60's included episodes of "Invisible
Man", "Danger Man" and "Dixon of Dock Green".
Like many of the early Bond girls, she retired from the screen
to focus on domestic life. Her last big screen credit was the
quirky 1967 sci-fi flick "The Terrornauts".
Marshall was married to Ivan Foxwell in 1991
until his death on 16th January 2002. In recent years, she proved
extremely popular at Bond reunion
events and screenings. After suffering a short illness, Zena
Marshall passed away on Friday 10th July 2009 at the age of 84.
Her cause of death was listed as cancer.