Democracy Dies in Darkness


Karin Dor, actress who played Bond assassin, dies at 79

By Staff reports and news services

November 10, 2017 at 9:53 AM

Karin Dor in 1967. (Dpa/AP)

Karin Dor, a titian-haired German actress who played an assassin sent by James Bond's nemesis Blofeld to kill the British agent in 1967's "You Only Live Twice," died Nov. 6 in Munich. She was 79.

The German news agency DPA, citing a Munich theater where Ms. Dor had worked for a long time, reported the death.

She was born Kätherose Derr in Wiesbaden on Feb. 22, 1938. After studying ballet, she began working in movies as an extra before drawing the notice of Austrian-born director Harald Reinl, who was 30 years her senior and whom she married in 1954.

He gave her starring roles in several films that displayed her sensual appeal, none more than a series of westerns co-starring the former Tarzan actor Lex Barker and based on stories by Karl May.

Established as a bankable star in Germany, she ventured into international productions of widely ranging quality, including "The Face of Fu Manchu" (1965) starring Christopher Lee and "You Only Live Twice" with Sean Connery as Bond. As would-be Bond assassin Helga Brandt, she ended up being fed to piranhas by the cat-stroking Blofeld (Donald Pleasence).

Karin Dor in a scene from the James Bond 1967 film “You Only Live Twice.” (AP/AP)

Ms. Dor met a similarly unpleasant fate as an anti-Castro Cuban resistance leader in Alfred Hitchcock's espionage thriller "Topaz" (1969), based on a Leon Uris novel about a Russian spy ring that infiltrates the French government.

The film, a rare commercial flop for Hitchcock, caused her promising career to plunge. She co-starred with David Janssen in the middling thriller "Warhead" (1977) and had cameos the American-made crime series "Ironside" and "The FBI" in addition to her prolific TV and stage career in Germany.

Her marriages to Reinl and Günther Schmucker ended in divorce. Her third husband, American stuntman and actor George Robotham, died in 2007. She had a son with her first husband, actor Andreas Renell.

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