Jill Masterton is the secondary Bond girl in Ian Fleming's James Bond novel Goldfinger. For the film adaptation, both she and her sister Tilly had their surname changed to Masterson. Jill Masterson was played by Shirley Eaton.
Jill Masterson unwittingly got herself involved with the obsessive and pathological criminal, Auric Goldfinger. She quickly became his kept lady and helped him win at cards and to be "seen" with him. She can see Goldfinger's opponent’s cards through her high-powered binoculars. She communicates via radio with Goldfinger (who receives the messages through a false hearing aid), telling him what cards his opponent has and what is going on in the game.
When Felix Leiter meets James Bond at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami, and tells him M wants him to look into Auric Goldfinger, he points out Goldfinger's astonishing luck at cards. Bond observes a game of Gin Rummy between Goldfinger and Simmons, and suspects some foul play. He sneaks into Goldfinger's suite and finds Jill lying on a sunbed on the balcony.
Bond questions her, and after implying otherwise, discovers that their relationship is merely professional. He uses the radio to talk to his boss, threatening to call the Miami Beach Police unless he loses the money he has gained by cheating.
Jill is impressed by Bond's daring move, and the two of them go back to his hotel suite. But Goldfinger, out of pettiness and massive greed for losing a small amount of money, is angered by her betrayal, and gets his revenge, sending henchman Oddjob to kill her. Oddjob knocks her unconscious and paints her entire body in gold paint, causing her to die from skin asphyxiation.
Jill's sister, Tilly, attempts to avenge her sister by assassinating Goldfinger. Unfortunately she fails each time, and her persistence leads to her own death, struck in the neck by Oddjob's steel-rimmed hat.
Behind the scenes
Shirley Eaton is most recognized for appearing in the film and numerous advertisements covered head to toe in gold paint. It must be noted that the gold-painted girl in the opening credits of the film is not Eaton, but rather Margaret Nolan, who plays Dink, Bond's Miami masseuse.
Although the character of Shirley Eaton only appears in the film for less than ten minutes, the scene with her painted in gold remains one of the most striking in the whole Bond series. In November 1964, this image caused a sensation when it was recreated on the front cover of Life magazine.
The bizarre nature of her death is explained as skin suffocation. Although attributed to have happened to cabaret dancers, the validity of actually dying from this method has been questioned.
In the 2008 film Quantum of Solace, as a homage to Jill's death, MI6 agent Strawberry Fields is drowned in crude oil by Quantum. Her naked, oil-covered body is left at the hotel room in which the two had slept together, draped over the bed in a similar pose to Eaton.
- Despite being considered the film's primary Bond girl, the Bond girl timeline lists her as an enemy to Bond. She is essentially Goldfinger's henchwoman, though never really does anything directly against Bond.
- Unless one is to count Tatiana Romanova, Jill is the first Bond girl in the series to start out as a henchwoman to the main villain, before betraying their employer after being persuaded by Bond, though she is one of the few not to become an ally to Bond, instead only becoming his lover. This is a tradition that would be used in many more Bond films.
- Jill is the first woman that Bond fails to protect from death.