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Claudine Auger, Domino in Thunderball, dies aged 78

20 December, 2019

French actress Claudine Auger, best known for her role as Domino in the  James Bond film Thunderball (1965), has died at the age of 78.

Claudine Auger thunderball Domino Derval

Auger passed away died on Wednesday 18 December in Paris following a long period of illness, her agency Time Art said.

Auger started out as a model, representing France and coming first runner-up in Miss World in 1958. But she quickly developed a talent for acting, and landed roles including one in the 1962 film The Iron Mask.

A few years later in 1965, she shot to global stardom as Domino in Thunderball, the fourth film in the Bond franchise. Her big break came when she landed the role of Dominique “Domino” Derval in Thunderball, the fourth movie in the Bond franchise. Auger starred alongside Sean Connery, playing the mistress of villain Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi).

Claudine Auger Thunderball with Sean Connery in The Bahamas

Claudine Auger with Sean Connery on the set of Thunderball

Claudine Auger was the first Bond girl from France. Auger’s role in the film had initially been intended for an Italian actress, but producers were so impressed by Auger that the part was rewritten to be French.

In 1968, she co-starred with another Bond girl, Ursula Andress, in the Italian comedy Anyone Can Play. In 1971, she starred with two future Bond girls, Barbara Bach (Anya Amasova in The Spy Wo Loved Me) and Barbara Bouchet (Miss Moneypenny in the 1967 Casino Royale), in Black Belly of the Tarantula, a giallo mystery. She had some roles in European films such as Triple Cross (1966) (reuniting her with her James Bond director Terence Young), and The Killing Game (1967).

Bond Girls were rarely given recognition for their acting talents, with the focus at the time instead being on their physical appearance and swimsuits. However, Auger approached the role as she would if she were "playing Molière" at a prestigious theatre, she told a TV interview in 1965. It was "a game, the same thing", she said.

After Thunderball, Auger went on to have a long career in French and Italian cinema throughout the late 1960s and 1970s, including some of her best known films are crime thrillers That Man George and Flic Story, and the romantic tragedy A Few Hours of Sunlight.

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