Claudine Auger, LIFE

Claudine Auger, Sean Connery’s co-star in “Thunderball” and the first French actress to play James Bond’s love interest, died on Wednesday in Paris. She was 78.

Her death was confirmed by the Parisian agency Time Art, which represented her.

Ms. Auger (pronounced oh-JHAY) was 24 when “Thunderball,” the fourth film in the long-running Bond franchise, was released in 1965. Her character, Domino, is the mistress of an evil mastermind who has stolen two nuclear warheads — and killed her brother. Domino does not hold back when exacting revenge on her former lover. (A harpoon gun is involved.)

Because she spoke English with a heavy accent, Ms. Auger’s voice was dubbed by another actress. But because she was an excellent swimmer, she did her own underwater scenes in the film, which was shot largely in the Bahamas.

In a 1965 television interview, Ms. Auger spoke the words that became her most famous quotation. Asked the difference between acting in a James Bond movie and in classic theater by Molière, she insisted there was none. Acting was “un jeu,” and the two forms were “la même chose,” she said. A game. The same thing.

By Anita Gates. The New York Times. Published Dec. 22, 2019

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