Luciana Paluzzi

Luciana Paluzzi (born 10 June 1937) is an Italian American actress. She is best known for playing SPECTRE assassin Fiona Volpe in the fourth James Bond film, Thunderball.

Luciana Paluzzi
Paluzzi in La mala ordina (1972)
Born (1937-06-10) 10 June 1937
Years active1953–1978
Spouse(s)Brett Halsey (1960–1962; divorce) 1 child
Michael Jay Solomon (1980–present)
Partner(s)Tony Anthony (1960s–1970s)
ChildrenChristian Halsey Solomon (b. 1961)[1]



Paluzzi was born in Rome, Kingdom of Italy, and was brought up there. She went to Milan and studied naval engineering for two years at the Scientific Academy of Milan, being the only woman in her class.[2][3]

One of her first roles was an uncredited walk-on part in Three Coins in the Fountain (1954), which she got by chance when during a visit in Rome through friend of her father, who was invited at her family's for dinner and happened to be looking for a young actress doing a very short two-line role for director Jean Negulesco, thinking Paluzzi might be a fit. Negulesco had not been satisfied with the other actresses so far, but when Paluzzi, who did not plan to become an actress, recited the English line the next day – it was the only English she spoke at that time – she got the role.[3]

Paluzzi went on to appear in many movies, most of which were made in her native Italy. In her early films, she is credited as Luciana Paoluzzi.

In 1959, she went to Hollywood under contract with Twentieth Century Fox Television to star as regular in the TV series Five Fingers, which however got cancelled after three months.[4][5] Paluzzi then played Rafaella, the wife of Brett Halsey's character Ted Carter, in 1961's Return to Peyton Place.

From 1963 to 1965, Paluzzi almost exclusively appeared in Italian productions.[4]

In 1965, Paluzzi was cast as SPECTRE villainess, Fiona Volpe, in Thunderball (1965), for which she is best known. She had auditioned for the part of the lead Bond girl, Dominetta "Domino" Petacchi, but producers instead cast Claudine Auger, changing the characters name from an Italian to a Frenchwoman, renaming her Dominique Derval. Initially crestfallen when informed she did not get the part, Paluzzi rejoiced when told her consolatory prize was the part of Volpe, which she said was "more fun" to play.[6] Paluzzi later claimed being a Bond girl was a double-edged sword. In the documentary Bond Girls Are Forever, Paluzzi expressed amazement at the level of fame, publicity, and recognition she received from Thunderball; but as a result of being in such an outlandish film, she felt she was taken less seriously as an actress when returning to the Italian film industry.

Paluzzi appeared in such films as Muscle Beach Party (1964) and Chuka (1967). She co-starred in the 1969 women in prison film 99 Women,[7] and as a Southern belle in the 1974 Hollywood drama The Klansman (with her voice dubbed by American actress Joanna Moore).


In 1959–60, Paluzzi appeared with David Hedison in the short-lived espionage television series, Five Fingers. In 1962 she played a murderous wife in an episode of Thriller titled "Flowers of Evil". In 1964 she played the villainess in an episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., as the seductive THRUSH agent Angela in the first-season episode "The Four Steps Affair" and in the movie version of the show's pilot episode, To Trap a Spy.[8] In 1966 she played Baroness Carla Montaglia in Season 3, Episode 3 "Face of a Shadow" in Twelve O'Clock High [9]. In 1967 she played the seductive foreign agent Marla Valemska in "Matchless," the premier episode of Mr. Teriffic. In 1971 Paluzzi appeared as a special guest star in "Powderkeg," the pilot movie for the CBS TV series, Bearcats!. In 1978 she portrayed journalist Liana Labella in the Hawaii Five-O episode "My Friend, the Enemy".

Personal life

In 1960, Paluzzi married actor Brett Halsey, who had just left his marriage with Renate Hoy, an actress and Miss Germany of 1954. The two co-starred as a newlywed couple in the film, Return to Peyton Place. The couple had one son, Christian, and after the divorce in 1962 Halsey married Heidi Brühl.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Paluzzi had a long-term relationship with Tony Anthony, with whom she appeared in the films Wounds of Hunger and Come Together. Her work in Japan on The Green Slime inspired Anthony to write and produce the hybrid Spaghetti Western-jidaigeki film The Silent Stranger.[10]

In 1979, Paluzzi married her current husband, American media mogul Michael Jay Solomon, who had founded Michael Jay Solomon Film International in 1977, co-founded Telepictures Corporation in 1978 and in 1985 became president of Warner Bros. International Television, and she moved to New York to live with her husband.[11][12][13][14] The marriage caused her to leave her film career behind.[12] In 1980, she became sales representative of Canale 5 and it:Reteitalia in the United States, which she characterized as a very quiet job, and followed her husband on his international travels.[12][15]

Paluzzi and her husband also resided at an exclusive clifftop estate overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Jalisco, Mexico, known as "Casa Dos Estrellas".[16][17] The couple sold that estate in about 2005 to live in New York and Rome, to be close to family.

Selected filmography


  1. "Luciana Paluzzi". Flickr. 4 June 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  2. Aaker, Everett (2006). Encyclopedia of Early Television Crime Fighters: All Regular Cast Members in American Crime and Mystery Series, 1948-1959. McFarland. p. 435. ISBN 9780786424764. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  3. Luciana Paluzzi and Martha Guptill (2016). LUCIANA PALUZZI - Bond Girl Extraordinaire (video stream). 2016 Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention in Hunt Valley, MD: Bill Guptill. Event occurs at 01:14. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  4. Stathos, Enrico (3 March 1965). "Viaggia su una moto lanciarazzi la nuova nemica dell' <<agente 007>>". Stampa Sera: 5. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  5. Hyatt, Wesley (2015). Short-Lived Television Series, 1948-1978: Thirty Years of More Than 1,000 Flops. McFarland. p. 101. ISBN 9781476605159. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  6. Video on YouTube
  7. Toledo Blade, 6 June 1969
  8. "IMDb profile of Luciana Paluzzi". IMDb. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  9. ""12 O'Clock High" Face of a Shadow (TV Episode 1966)".
  10. Bayless, Jason (17 February 2010). "The Tony Anthony Interview – Re-broadcast". Zombie Popcorn Radio. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  11. United States Information Agency (1990). "michael+jay+solomon" Points of Light. pp. 68–69. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  12. (Anonymous) (23 June 1982). "Luciana Paluzzi diventa manager. Non reciterà più". Stampa Sera (in Italian): 28. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  13. Unknown (October 1981). "Unknown". Broadcasting. Broadcasting Publications. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  14. Serafini, Dom. "Michael J. Solomon: A Master Salesman For Hollywood and a Marketing Genius". VideoAge International. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  15. Television/radio Age. Television Editorial Corporation. 1981. p. 59. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  16. "The Mexican villa of actress Luciana Paluzzi". Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  17. Casa Dos Estrellas – Costa Careyes Luxury Mansion Archived 23 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine (per 3 November 2013)
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