Known to the underworld as the rogue goldfish who violently stalked Diana Ross, Jack Palance, and Paul Reiser, among others, the Scotsman Goldfinger died of respiratory failure this past Oct. 1 in a swimming pool in Reseda, Calif. He was 69 (in goldfish years) and is survived by his only son, Coppola, and four ex-wives.
Raised in the cold, rough seas of the North Atlantic by a hard-drinking Scottish kelp farmer named Flannery and his barmaid wife, Fritzi MacCool, Goldfinger grew up admiring American gangster Al Capone. Amidst a stint in the Scottish coast guard, Goldfinger fled to New York City during a weeklong shore leave, a stunt that earned him instant fugitive status in his native land. As soon as he hit shore, young Goldfinger set out to emulate Capone by going on a months-long burgling spree that ceased when he got caught robbing Judy Garland at gunpoint in a Carnegie Hall rest room.
After a short stint in prison, which he used to pump iron in anticipation of a marathon swim, Goldfinger charted a river route west, eventually washing ashore in a drainage ditch somewhere in the San Fernando Valley in the late '70s, where he began shacking up with a gaggle of adult-film actresses. Not content with a steady diet of silicone breasts and cocaine, Goldfinger slept his way to the top, eventually catching the eye of Diana Ross. Goldfinger soon moved in with the supreme Supreme—but Ross dumped the fish after he stole $50,000 worth of rubies and slept with her housekeeper. The relationship led the fish to resent celebrities in general and Ross in particular, whom he stalked until Brentwood police apprehended Goldfinger in Ross' bathtub in January 1984.
Goldfinger would go on to stalk many a Hollywood titan, making perhaps his biggest splash when he pantsed a sloshed Robert De Niro backstage at the 1991 Golden Globe Awards. De Niro responded by puncturing one of Goldfinger's gills with a ballpoint pen, which is rumored to have eventually contributed to his demise—the fish was discovered facedown in a swimming pool on the set of an X-rated film titled Romancing the Bone.
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