French actress Claudine Auger is dead at the age of 78. The actress was perhaps best known for her role as Dominique "Domino" Derval in the James Bond film "Thunderball." The announcement came from Time Art, the actress's agency, which said that Auger had died in Paris on Thursday. No cause of death was disclosed with the announcement.
Auger began her career as an actress in 1960 when famous French director Jean Cocteau cast her in a small role in "Testament of Orpheus."
At the young age of 18, Auger married French director Pierre Gaspard-Huit, who was 43 at the time. Auger was then cast in several of the director's films.
Auger's biggest break came when she landed the role of Domino in "Thunderball," which propelled her to international stardom. "Thunderball" was the fourth film in the Bond franchise, and she starred alongside Sean Connery. Domino was the mistress of the film's villain Emilio Largo, who was played by Adolfo Celi in the film.
Initially, Domino was meant to be played by an Italian actress, but the production crew was so impressed by her audition that they rewrote the role so that she could be French.
After her starring role in "Thunderball," Auger's career never totally took off in the States. Even so, she did have a fair number of starring roles with actors that many Americans know and love. That includes a role in the spy movie "Triple Cross" alongside Christopher Plummer and Yul Brynner.
In Europe, Auger remained a consistent presence on TV and at the movies through the 1990s. Near the end of her career, she appeared alongside Jeremy Brett in an episode of "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes." She also starred in a wide variety of French films and TV movies.
She eventually divorced director Gaspard-Huit and remarried British businessman Peter Brent in the 1980s. She had one child with him and remained married to him until he died more than a decade ago in 2008.
For fans of the Bond franchise, though, Auger will always be Domino. Auger was an early part of a franchise that's still going strong today, and that alone provides her with a legacy for an international audience.
Playing a Bond girl may not seem like a super flattering role, but Auger knew how to transform the character into someone both intriguing and three-dimensional. The official James Bond Twitter account posted a message of mourning for the actress shortly after her death was announced.