Claudine Auger, French Actress and Bond Girl in ‘Thunderball,’ Dies at 78

Former Miss France played Dominique Derval opposite Sean Connery

Claudine Auger
Getty Images

Claudine Auger, a French actress best known for her work as the Bond girl Domino in the 1965 James Bond movie “Thunderball” opposite Sean Connery, has died. She was 78.

The official James Bond Twitter account shared the news of her passing Friday.

“It’s with great sadness we have learnt that Claudine Auger, who played Domino Derval in ‘Thunderball” (1965), has passed away at the age of 78,” @007 said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with her family and friends.”

Auger, born Claudine Oger, was a French star who first won the Miss France pageant in 1958 and was the runner up for Miss World that same year. She studied dramatic acting at the Conservatory in Paris and made her uncredited film debut in 1958 in a film called “Christine.” She was then discovered by the French auteur Jean Cocteau and appeared in his film “Testament of Orpheus” in 1960. She would later star in films such as “The Iron Mask” and “In the French Style.”

Though the part of Domino was originally written as an Italian woman, Auger met “Thunderball” producer Kevin McClory while on vacation in Nassau, and McClory rewrote the part to better fit Auger’s strengths.

Since her Bond days, Auger became a bigger star in European cinema, including in films and shows such as “Fantastica” and “The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.”