Claudine Auger, Bond Girl in 'Thunderball,' Dies at 78

Thunderball (1965)  - Claudine Auger (as Domino)-Photofest-H 2019a
United Artists/Photofest

The French-born actress played Domino opposite Sean Connery in the 1965 movie.

Claudine Auger, the French actress who played Bond girl Dominique "Domino" Derval in 1965's Thunderball, died Wednesday in Paris, her talent agency announced. She was 78.

Born in Paris on April 26, 1941, Auger was a model who won the Miss France beauty contest and finished first runner-up in the 1958 Miss World pageant. While still in school, she was discovered by Jean Cocteau and appeared in his 1960 film Testament of Orpheus, and then in The Iron Mask (1962) and Games of Desire (1964).

During a vacation in Nassau, the Bahamas, Auger bumped into producer Kevin McClory, and he signed her for Thunderball. Her Domino is the mistress of Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi), a diabolical SPECTRE agent who kills her brother. Of course, she falls for Sean Connery's James Bond in the Bahamas-set movie.

Other actresses who had been considered for the Ian Fleming-created part included Julie Christie, Raquel Welch and Faye Dunaway.

The striking brunette soon starred in The Man From Marrakech (1966) starring George Hamilton, Triple Cross (1966) with Christopher Plummer and Yul Brynner and The Killing Game (1967).

She went on to appear in the 1971 horror films Bay of Blood and Black Belly of the Tarantula, in several projects directed by Jacques Deray and with Jeremy Brett on a 1994 episode of The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.