Thunderball Cast

Thunderball Cast

Sean Connery looking dapper as James Bond

Sean Connery as James Bond

Emilio Largo in Thunderball

Adolfo Celi as Emilio Largo

Claudine Auger as Domino

Claudine Auger as Domino

henchwoman Fiona Volpe in Thunderball

Luciana Paluzzi as Fiona Volpe

Martine Beswick in Thunderball

Martine Beswick as Paula Caplan

Patricia Fearing in Thunderball

Molly Peters as Patricia Fearing

Lois Maxwell

Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny

Rik Van Nutter as Felix Leiter

Rik Van Nutter as Felix Leiter

Guy Doleman as Count Lippe

Guy Doleman as Count Lippe

Paul Stassino as François Derval

Paul Stassino as François Derval

Philip Locke as Vargas

Philip Locke as Vargas

The Cast of Thunderball

The Thunderball cast delivered one of the iconic Bond films with some memorable moments that have gone down in cinematic history.

It was the fourth Bond film in as many years, and it saw Sean Connery return and produce one of his sterling performances as 007.

The pre-title sequence of the film featured Sean Connery delivering one of the most iconic scenes in Bond history with his legendary jetpack escape.

After dispatching Spectre agent Bouvar, Bond finds himself pursued by henchmen onto a palace balcony. With his back against the wall and danger closing in, Bond quickly straps himself into the Bell Rocket Belt, slips on his helmet, and takes off into the sky.

Despite being a real-life jetpack originally designed for the US Army, the Bell Rocket Belt could only remain airborne for a maximum of 22 seconds, rendering it unsuitable for military use. Nonetheless, it provided the perfect tool for Bond’s daring escape, cementing its place in cinematic history.

Adolfo Celi played the role of Emilio Largo, Spectre’s Number Two, and the main villain in the Thunderball cast. He creates a scheme to steal two atomic bombs and hold the British and American governments to ransom.

Largo is a very rich and cultured man, whose power has gone to his own head. And Celi’s performance as the ruthless and calculating villain was very convincing, and his character, Emilio Largo, is a favourite among Bond fans.

Claudine Auger was cast as Dominique ‘Domino’ Derval, Largo’s mistress come Bond girl. Originally, producer Albert R. Broccoli wanted British actress Julie Christie for the role of Domino Derval after seeing her performance in Billy Liar in 1963. However, upon meeting her, he changed his mind and eventually chose Auger for the role instead.

In early drafts of the screenplay, Domino’s name was Dominetta Palazzi, but it was changed to Derval to reflect Auger’s nationality. Her character’s wardrobe reflected her name, as she was usually dressed in black and/or white.

Auger plays Domino with pristine excellence, and the chemistry between her and Connery was obvious, making Broccoli’s choice to go with Claudine Auger a wise one.

Watch Inside Thunderball Documentary

Luciana Paluzzi played the role of Fiona Volpe, a Spectre assassin. Paluzzi had who wanted the role of Domino but later accepted the role as the redheaded femme fatale assassin Fiona Kelly.

In Thunderball, Volpe becomes Francois Derval’s mistress to kill and replace him with his double and later helps Largo in his plot in Nassau. She also beds Bond with the intention of setting him up to kill him, and afterwards Paluzzi admitted it was a more fun role than that of Domino, which we have to agree.

Rik Van Nutter played Felix Leiter, the CIA agent who provided assistance to Bond in his mission. His character’s involvement was as always much needed for Bond and Van Nutter played the part well, even having to take a smack in the stomach from Bond.

Guy Doleman portrayed Count Lippe, Spectre Agent Number Four, who was in charge of the operation of replacing Derval with Angelo. Another convincing performance from Doleman, but his character was killed by Volpe, but unfortunately for him she didn’t bed him.

Molly Peters was cast as Patricia Fearing, a physiotherapist at the health clinic who assists looks after Bond while he’s staying at the clinic. Bond obviously comes onto her, but she refuses him.

Bond uses all the tools in his portfolio to trick her into making love to him, and once she does she’s smitten. Bond uses her while he’s at the clinic, but once it’s time for the investigation, he just despatches of her – something Bond producers would unlikely do today.

Martine Beswick, who was part of the From Russia with Love cast, was back for second Bond girl role in as many films. She plays Paula Caplan, Bond’s ally in Nassau, and although we don’t see them making love, it’s clear she’s more than his aid.

Bernard Lee delivers an impeccable portrayal of M, the head of MI6, with his usual stern demeanour. When he assigns Bond to Canada, Bond requests Nassau in the Bahamas. Aware of Bond’s love for water sports, M jokingly inquires if there is any other reason for the request. However, Bond is being professional explaining that he has a lead in the Caribbean paradise.

Desmond Llewelyn once again played the role of Q, the quartermaster who provides Bond with multi-purpose vehicles and gadgets to aid him in his missions. Q’s trademark wit and humour are on full display, and he occasionally reprimands Bond even telling him to ‘be a little less frivolous.’

Lois Maxwell’s portrayal of Moneypenny in the Bond films was delightful and added a lighthearted touch to the movies. Her chemistry with Bond is undeniable, and their playful banter is always a highlight.

While Moneypenny’s role is essential to the series, it’s also true that her character often serves as a catalyst for some of Bond’s most memorable quips and one-liners, and it seems like that’s the only reason she was cast in Thunderball.

Overall, the cast of Thunderball delivered exceptional performances that contributed to the film’s success. Each character added their unique touch to the story, and their performances made them some of the most memorable characters in the James Bond franchise.

The film was a box office success and received critical acclaim, earning an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. The Thunderball cast remains one of the most iconic ensembles in the history of James Bond films.

Watch the Thunderball Official Trailer

The rest of the Thunderball Cast and Crew

Roland Culver as the Home Secretary

Rose Alba as Madame Boitier

George Pravda as Ladislav Kutze

Michael Brennan as Janni

Leonard Sachs as Group Captain Prichard

Edward Underdown as Air Vice Marshal

Reginald Beckwith as Kenniston

Maryse Guy Mitsouko as Madame La Barbie

Bob Simmons as Colonel Jacques Bouvar

Anthony Dawson as Ernst Stavro Blofeld

Bill Cummings as Quist

Victor Beaumont as SPECTRE Number Three

Philip Stone as SPECTRE Number Five

Cecil Cheng as SPECTRE Number Seven

Michael Smith as SPECTRE Number Eight

Clive Cazes as SPECTRE Number Nine

André Maranne as SPECTRE Number Ten

Murray Kash as SPECTRE Number Eleven

Gábor Baraker as SPECTRE Number Thirteen

Directed by Terence Young

Screenplay by Richard Maibaum and John Hopkins

Original screenplay by Jack Whittingham

Story by Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham and Ian Fleming

Based on Thunderball by Ian Fleming

Produced by Kevin McClory

Cinematography Ted Moore

Edited by Peter Hunt and Ernest Hosler

Music by John Barry

Production company: Eon Productions

Distributed by United Artists

Release dates: 9 December 1965 (Tokyo, premiere), 22 December 1965 (USA), 29 December 1965 (UK)

Budget $9 million

Box office $141.2 million