First French Bond Girl dies aged 78: Claudine Auger starred as Domino opposite Sean Connery’s 007 in Thunderball
French actress Claudine Auger, best known to international audiences for playing the first French Bond girl alongside Sean Connery in ‘Thunderball’, has died aged 78.
She died in Paris on Thursday, the Time Art agency announced.
Born in April 1941 in Paris, Auger began her career as a model and represented France at the 1958 Miss World competition, where she was first runner-up.
Claudiner Auger made her name in Thunderball as the first French ‘Bond Girl’, playing the character Domino
Sean Connery and French actress Claudine Auger pictured together wearing bathing costumes and sitting on a folding chair on a beach in the Bahamas during production of the James Bond film ‘Thunderball’ in 1965
Connery and Auger played the roles of James Bond and Domino Derval in the spy film
On the side she was taking acting lessons, winning small cinema parts to gradually earn a reputation as an actress in France, including the 1962 Three Musketeers film ‘The Iron Mask’.
But it was Thunderball that made her name as the first French Bond Girl, playing the character Domino.
Claudine Auger (left) of France and Vinne Ingemann of Denmark (right) flank Penelope Anne Coelen, representing South Africa, who was crowned Miss World 1958
Claudine Auger attends the premiere of ‘Up’, during 62nd Cannes Film Festival in 2009
The film’s trailer introduced Auger as: ‘Young. Beautiful. Trapped. Could be dangerous’.
The fourth film in the Bond franchise, Thunderball was set in the Bahamas – providing ample opportunity for swimsuit action scenes.
In a 1965 television interview, she said starring alongside 007 or ‘playing Moliere’ was ‘a game, the same thing’.
After the 1960s, Auger continued her acting career in French film and television, starring in her last movie in 1995.