Death of Claudine Auger, First French James Bond Girl

Claudine Auger, with Sean Connery

DEATH: Before embarking on cinema, Claudine Auger was first runner-up to the Miss World competition in 1958

The actress Claudine Auger, who gained international notoriety by becoming the first French James Bond girl in Thunderball in 1965, alongside Sean Connery, died Wednesday at the age of 78, announced on Thursday the agency Time Art. She died in Paris, said the artistic agency that represented her.

The one who started in small roles alongside Romy Schneider and Alain Delon ( Christine  de Pierre Gaspard-Huit – 1958) then at Cocteau ( Le testament d’Orphée ), is mainly known for her role in the James Bond franchise. Long before Léa Seydoux, Eva Green and Carole Bouquet, other French James Bond girls, Claudine Auger was Domino, who helps agent 007, played by Sean Connery, to put down the criminal organization led by her former lover.

In front of Raquel Welch

The young actress, with a mole under her lip, had won the casting before notably Raquel Welch, Faye Dunaway and Julie Christie. For her, facing Sean Connery, the character of Domino, initially Italian, had become French. Born in April 1941, Claudine Auger began her career in modelling, becoming miss Cinémonde 1957, after the name of a journal in vogue, then representing France in the Miss World competition. She won the title of first runner-up in 1958.

At the same time, this “beauty queen” takes acting lessons and after several small roles on the big screen and on the boards became known in France, in 1962 in The Iron Mask with Jean Marais. Unsurprisingly, the year 1965 marked a turning point with the role of Domino in the film by Terence Young. His appearances in a white and black swimsuit and white playsuit, alongside Agent 007, are legendary. For her, playing in the movies in the adventures of 007 or “playing Molière directed by Jean Vilar at the TNP” (National Popular Theater), it was “a game, the same thing”, said the actress, interviewed on television in 1965.

The rest of her career took place mainly in Italy, although she was later found in small roles in films by Jacques Deray such as L’homme de Marrakech (1965), Un peu de soleil dans l’eau froide (1971), Flic story (1975) and Un papillon sur l’épaule (1977).

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