'Thunderball' star Claudine Auger dies at 78

Paris, Dec 21 (PTI) French actor Claudine Auger, best known for starring opposite Sean Connery in 1965 James Bond film 'Thunderball', has passed away. She was 78.

The news of her death was shared by her talent agency Time Art, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Born on April 26, 1941 in the French capital, Auger started her career as a model at the age of 17. She represented her country at the Miss World in 1958, securing the first runners-up spot.

The same year, Auger started her film career with 'Christine', in which she made a brief appearance opposite actors Romy Schneider and Alain Delon.

She followed it up with movies such as Jean Cocteau’s 'Testament Of Orpheus' (1960), 'Le Masque de fer' (1962), 'In the French Style' (1963) and 'Yo Yo' (1965), among others.

Auger's international breakout moment came with 'Thunderball' opposite Connery. She became the first French actor to feature as a Bond girl in the franchise and was later followed by the likes of Lea Seydoux, Eva Green, Sophie Marceau, Carole Bouquet and Berenice Marlohe.

In 'Thunderball', the actor played the role of Domino, the mistress of Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi), a diabolical SPECTRE agent who kills her brother.

Auger later 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 also featured in several films directed by Jacques Deray such as 'L’homme de Marrakech', 'Un peu de soleil dans l’eau froide' and 'Un papillon sur l’épaule'.

On Twitter, the official page of James Bond condoled her death.

'It’s with great sadness we have learnt that Claudine Auger, who played Domino Derval in 'THUNDERBALL', has passed away at the age of 78. Our thoughts are with her family and friends,' read the post from 007 Twitter handle.

Auger was married twice. She tied the knot with filmmaker Pierre Gaspard-Huit in 1959 but the couple soon got divorced. She later married the British businessman Peter Brent. PTI RB RB