Claudine Auger was an actress that gained prominence in 1965 when she became the very first French Bond girl. Many years later, in 2019, Claudine became the first headlining Bond girl from the series to pass away. Although the actress is simple for her role in 1965’s Thunderball, she’s immense beauty. Join Facts Verse as we explore what happened to Claudine Auger, a forgotten beauty.
Claudine Auger was born in Paris, France, in the early 1940s. German forces occupied the city she is born, and the young woman grew up in World War II. At a young age, Claudine began performing and studying dramatic acting. During her teenage years, she took to modeling and became quite successful.
In her late teens, Claudine represented her country as Miss France at Miss World 1958. Though Claudine is not Miss World at the competition, she is the runner-up. Around this same time, the burgeoning star secured her first small role in a movie. This was in the film Christine, which starred notable stars, Romy Schneider and Alain Delon. Though Claudine’s role is small, it doesn’t stand out, it’s a way for better things in the future. Before long, Claudine was going to become a star as one of the first Bond girls.
In 1960, around the age of 20, Claudine Auger could be seen on the screen in her first credited role. This credited role came in the feature Terrain Vague. Although she’s busy on French television, it’s her turn to be a star in the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball. Claudine wasn’t the producers’ first choice for the role, but she ended up wowing them anyways.
It’s a long and windy road before ended up Claudine to get the role in the film. They consider numerous actresses before they suggest Claudine, and she blows them out of the water!
Faye Dunaway is the first actress who ask about the role in the film and ended up turning down. The reason that Faye turned the part down was so that she could appear in the 1967 feature The Happening. That was perhaps a wise business decision for Faye. Most of the early Bond actresses became pigeonholed by their parts, with Claudine included.
After that, they offer her in Thunderball so that she can appear in The Happening. The producers of the James Bond series considered actress Raquel Welch for a time. She is actually signing the film, but the producers let her go in the film Fantastic Voyage. Raquel appears in Fantastic Voyage so producers of the James Bond series, again looking for someone to fill the role.
British actress Julie Christie is another person that is considered to play the part in Thunderball. However, it appears that Julie wasn’t comfortable with an entry into the franchise and things fell through with the negotiations. And the producers of the James Bond series are desperate, hunting across the globe to find an actress. During this time that the producers turn to Claudine Auger, apparently at the behest of a French writer. When Claudine gave her audition, she wowed the producers.
The character of Claudine in Thunderball is Dominetta Palazzi in the novel upon which the film was based. The character is Italian in the novel, to be revising for Claudine’s casting to fit the French actress. Domino Vitali is now the character and Claudine taking English lessons to prepare for her role in the film. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
Though Claudine didn’t find much success in Hollywood after her role in Thunderball, she continued acting internationally. Some of her notable European roles include her turns in the films Triple Cross and The Killing Game, which are 1966 and 1967, respectively. 1968 saw Claudine appear alongside Bond girl Ursula Andress in the film Anyone Can Play, which was an Italian comedy. Ursula had been the very first Bond girl on the screen, appearing in the film Dr. No in 1962. Claudine’s turn in Anyone Can Play wasn’t her only time appearing alongside other Bond girls.
In 1971, Claudine Auger starred alongside two future Bond girls in a film by the name of Black Bell of the Tarantula. They were both named Barbara: Barbara Bach and Barbara Bouchet. Over the remainder of the 1970s and into the 1980s, Claudine continued appearing in European films and also continued appearing on French television. Into the 1990s, Claudine’s acting appearances would become much more sporadic, though they would continue.
One of the roles that Claudine took on during the 1990s was in the notable British television series The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Her very last role is in a made-for-television feature named The Red and the Black. The film premiered on television in 1997, after which point the actress would retire until her death two decades later.
Claudine Auger marries two times throughout her lifetime. Claudine’s first husband was a man named Pierre Gaspard-Huit, who was a French filmmaker. The two married when Claudine was only 18 years of age. They married in 1959, and the marriage would last for a decade before ending in divorce in 1969. At some point in the 1980s, Claudine then went on to marry her second husband. Claudine’s second husband was a man by the name of Peter Brent, and they remained married until 2008. In 1991, Claudine and Peter had a child, named Jessica. Jessica was the only child that Claudine had during her lifetime.
Claudine ended up passing away on December 19th, 2019, in her home city of Paris, France. At the time of her death, the French actress was 78 years old. Her death made her the first headlining actress from the James Bond film series to pass away, another notable accomplishment after being the first French actress ever cast in the franchise. There have been plenty of French actresses to play Bond girls in the days since Claudine’s role as Domino Vitali.
Some of the many actresses that have carried on Claudine Auger’s legacy by becoming French Bond girls include Corinne Cléry, Carole Bouquet, Sophie Marceau, Eva Green, and Léa Seydoux. Corinne Cléry appeared in the 1979 film Moonraker, which became the first James Bond film to see the character take to space! Carole Bouquet appeared two years later in 1981’s For Your Eyes Only, and was followed nearly two decades later by fellow French actress Sophie Marceau in the 1999 James Bond film The World Is Not Enough. In more recent years Eva Green and Léa Seydoux have been the ones carrying on the mantle. Both appeared alongside Daniel Craig, who is the most recent actor to take on the lead role in the James Bond franchise. Eva appeared in Casino Royale, while Léa Seydoux appeared in Spectre.
All in all, Claudine Auger’s career in the entertainment industry spanned nearly four decades before her retirement from acting just before the new millennium. Although the French actress remains best known around the world for her turn as the character of Domino Vitali in the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball, that role wasn’t even the tip of the iceberg when it came to the actress’s vast body of work. By the time of her retirement, Claudine appeared in nearly 100 different roles across both film and television.
Although Claudine Auger remains best known as the character of Domino Vitali in the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball, that was only the tip of the iceberg when it came to her career in entertainment! Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that Claudine Auger was the first French actress to play a Bond girl, and did you know that she had to take English lessons to get the part? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!