Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi)


Actor: Adolfo Celi
Character: Emilio Largo
Movie: Thunderball
Date of Birth: 27 July 1922
Distinguishing Feature: The highest ranking SPECTRE member aside from Blofeld
Appearance: Tall and fit with rich grey hair, rugged jaw line and green-grey eyes (the left eye is always covered by a patch)
Status: Terminated
Organisations And Alliances: SPECTRE, Vargas, Janni, Count Lippe, Francois Derval & Fiona Volpe

A rich but aging playboy type, Largo is a distinctive figure in a crowed casino. As SPECTRE's number two, and their most experienced agent, Emilio Largo is forging a plan to cripple the defences of the Western Superpowers. Largo is the quiet but callous guardian over Domino - his beautiful niece with a tragic past. Largo ordered the death of her brother in order to infiltrate a NATO airbase.

Largo places no value in the sanctity of life if it will further his manic cause. Determined to see the successful end to his meticulous plan, he hides his brooding and spiteful nature behind the temperate façade of a rich industrialist. He demands attention and respect and is often the most striking, if not deadliest man in any room. With a taste for the finer things in life, every one of Largo's possessions is lavish and modern. To Largo, failure is a crime, punishable by death.

"You wish to put the evil eye on me, eh? We have a way to deal with that where I come from."

Bent on raising millions for SPECTRE and terrorising some of the world's most impregnable defences, Largo arranged for the hijacking of two atomic warheads from a NATO training flight. His price? 100 million pounds from the British government, or else bombs will be detonated in cities in the UK or USA.

007 is dispatched to investigate what at first appears to be a tenuous link in the Bahamas, and must stop Largo from triggering the bombs and causing a nuclear meltdown on the shores of Miami. Largo's manic plan is nevertheless immaculately conceived to the last detail, and even with 007 hot on his tail, the super-villain is often one step ahead of the game.


I've Been Expecting You
Bond comes face to face with his nemesis over a high-stakes card game in a Nassau casino. Largo is a regular at the gambling tables, yet 007's bold gambling style throws him off his game. Bond is provocative and wagers "your spectre against mine," on spying Largo's SPECTRE signature ring.

Largo is funded by the lucrative SPECTRE, but is in his own right a millionaire with a flare for the extravagant. The villain operates out of his luxury estate Palmyra - where 007 joins him for lunch. With two swimming pools (one for the sharks), its own power generator and a maze of underground rooms, Largo's headquarters are well equipped to stage a nuclear coup.


Gadgets & Vehicles
Largo's pride and joy is the Disco Volante - a luxury super-launch with a top speed of no less than 20 knots. The Volante is decked out with spacious cabins, a discreet underwater hatch and a hydrofoil for fast getaways. For his subaquatic work, Largo uses a variety of motorised bomb-sleds to transport the nukes, as well as mini-assault subs - armed with an arsenal of spears.

"Like your friend you've been a little too clever, and now you are caught!"

Dress Code
Largo is tailored in rich open-collar cotton shirts for casual attire or an impeccable white tuxedo for his idealistic nightlife. He supports a black patch over his left eye to hide a wound best left forgotten.

Goodbye Mr Bond
After 007 has rocked the boat and foiled his plan to use the bombs, the villain - in a last attempt to regain control of the Disco Volante - fights Bond for the wheel and almost has him beat until Domino aims a well-placed spear gun shot for Emilio Largo's heart.

Born in Sicily, Italy, on the July 27th 1922, Adolfo Celi is a bilingual writer, director and actor. With over 100 credits to his name, Celi is a familiar face in Italian cinema. While his talent for languages and his striking figure won him range of films in the UK and America, Celi was almost always dubbed when appearing in English speaking movies.

Prior to his brush with Bond, Adolfo Celi lived and worked in Argentina and Brazil where he made a successful career as a stage actor and director in the 1950s. Celi directed a successful Latin-American production, "Tico-Tico no Fubá" in 1952.


"Thunderball", Sean Connery's fourth outing as 007, exploded onto cinema screens in 1965 and Celi was exposed to Hollywood. In the film, Celi's thick Sicilian accent was overdubbed by Anglo-Italian actor Robert Rietty for the final cut.

After winning the role of Largo, Celi came to the attention of British and American audiences but retained a slim profile in Hollywood, instead enjoying a full and successful career as an actor and occasional a director in Europe. Celi remains a much-loved figure of Italian movie-making. Adolfo Celi's final credit was in 1987 before passing away after a heart attack in Rome.