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Coming s007n: Luciana Paluzzi/ Monica Bellucci: SPECTRE’s greatest

October 26, 2015

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Talent…

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… These are the lovely ladies and gorgeous girls of eras gone by whose beauty, ability, electricity and all-round x-appeal deserve celebration and – ahem – salivation here at George’s Journal

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Are you ready then? Have you been practicing ‘gunbarrels’ in front of the mirror for the past week? Trying to learn that vodka Martini recipe off by heart? And worrying whether you’ll squeeze into that tux again for the premiere (well, we can all dream, can’t we)? Yes, today’s the day, my friends, when Bond returns to the big screen in the shape of Spectre (2015). And, to mark the occasion, the anticipatory mini-season that’s been ‘Coming s007n’ is reaching its near crescendo with this post that, a pictorial tribute to two (ahem) perfectly proportioned Bond Girls hailing from the indubitable Italy, as it is, may threaten to create something of an early climax to the proceedings – as it were. So then, the ’60s sex bomb-and-a-half Luciana Paluzzi and sizzling star of the latest 007 adventure Monica Bellucci, eh? Yes, the’yre the latest double-entry in this blog’s Talent corner and – mamma mia! – you better believe it…

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Profiles

Names: Luciana Paluzzi/ Monica Anna Maria Bellucci

Nationality: Italian

Heights: 5’ 6”/ 5’ 7”

Professions: Actress/ Actress and model

Born: June 10 1937, Rome, Italy/ September 30 1964, Città di Castello, Umbria, Italy

Known for: Luciana – portraying the greatest femme fatale in cinematic Bond history, Fiona Volpe in 1965’s Thunderball. Having appeared in a host of Italian movies (many of them in the giallo genre), her brush with Bond proved something of a gateway to Hollywood with her going on to star in the Bond-inspired spy capers The Venetian Affair (1967), OSS 117-Double Agent (1968) and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. big-screen spin-off To Trap A Spy (1964), as well as the adventures Chuka (1967) and Captain Nemo And The Underwater City (1969), plus the Peter Sellers farce Carlton-Browne Of The F.O. (1959), the teensploitation ‘classic’ Muscle Beach Party (1964) and the racy sex comedy The Sensuous Nurse (L’Infermiera) (1975), in which she co-starred with fellow former Bond Girl Ursula Andress. Married twice and mother to one son, she also appeared opposite David Hedison (known to 007 fans as Felix Leiter in two Bond escapades) in the short-lived NBC spy drama Five Fingers (1959-60).

Monica – revered for the last two decades as the one of the world’s most beautiful women and becoming an idol of European (and at times) US cinema. Beginning a fashion modelling career that she maintains to this day at the tender age of 13, she became hugely sought after in both Milan and New York before taking the leap into film acting, most notably with a minor role in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992). Since then, she’s mixed up her thesping with a diverse string of roles in the likes of The Apartment (L’Appartement) (1996) – winning her a César Award nom – Malèna (2000), Brotherhood Of The Wolf (Le Pacte des Loups), Irréversible and Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra (Astérix et Obélix : Mission Cléopâtre) (all 2002), The Matrix Reloaded and Tears Of The Sun (both 2003), The Passion Of The Christ (2004), The Brothers Grimm (2006), Shoot ’Em Up (2007) and The Sorceror’s Apprentice (2010). Perennially touted by 007 fans as potential Bond Girl, last year she was finally cast in the role of Lucia Sciarra in Spectre (2015), affording her the distinction of the oldest actress ever to be cast as a Bond Girl. She was married to French actor Vincent Cassel, with whom she has two children.

Strange but true: Originally intended to be Irish and named Fiona Kelly, Thunderball’s foxy villainess had her nationality switched to Italian and re-named Fiona Volpe when Luicana was cast as the character following her missing out on the movie’s main Bond Girl role (which instead went to Claudine Auger)/ as an international actress, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Monica can speak Italian, French and English, but apparently she can also dabble in a Persian too.

Peak of fitness: Luciana – in Thunderball when she’s caught scrubbing up in the tub by Bond, an encounter she’s actually slyly engineered, and then struggling to persuade him to pass her a towel, which is entirely understandable/ Monica – as a Mediterranean sex symbol who’s been making men throughout the globe hot under the collar for longer than many can remember, she’s never appeared shy when it comes to disrobing in front of a camera – and, frankly, there’s enough photographic evidence out there to prove that rather fabulous fact…   

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CLICK on images for full-size

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