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September 12, 2021

Publicity Photos of Bond Girl Martine Beswick as Paula Caplan in ‘Thunderball’ (1965)

Martine Beswick is an English-Jamaican actress and model perhaps best known for her roles in two James Bond films, From Russia with Love (1963) and Thunderball (1965).

Although Beswick auditioned for the first Bond film Dr. No, she was cast in the second film From Russia with Love as the fiery gypsy girl, Zora. She engaged in a “catfight” scene with her rival Vida (played by former Miss Israel Aliza Gur). Beswick later stated that there was as much bad feeling with Gur offscreen as well as on, with the film’s director, Terence Young encouraging Beswick to get rough with Gur.

“I was a very nice girl but Aliza was a cow. We had terrible clashes and I was disgusted with her. I had a lot of anger inside of me so that [fight] scene was a perfect way to work it out. We rehearsed the fight for three weeks but when we shot it, Aliza was really fighting. Everyone encouraged me to fight back, so I did. We got into a real scrapping match.”

She was incorrectly billed as “Martin Beswick” in the title sequence. Beswick then appeared as the ill-fated Paula Caplan in Thunderball. She had been away from the Caribbean so long that she was required to sunbathe constantly for two weeks before filming, to look like a local.

“Oh yes! I hadn’t seen the sun in years. I was too busy having fun at night. I was pale and skinny. I was too busy dancing my feet off! When I arrived, I was given strict instructions just to sun myself and eat. For two weeks, that was literally all I had to do. So it was that in the day and parties in the evening. Terence spoiled us all, champagne and caviar for real! It was one of the best jobs I ever had!


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