Contributed by: The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin

SPECTRE-employed mercenary, portrayed by Paul Stassino, who for $100,000 agrees to undergo plastic surgery to become an exact duplicate of NATO aerial observer Major François Derval in Thunderball. After disposing of Derval with a blast of deadly gamma gas, Palazzi informs his SPECTRE co-conspirators Fiona Volpe (Luciana Paluzzi) and Count Lippe (Guy Doleman) that his payment must be increased to $250,000 or he will not go ahead with their plan to hijack an A-bomb-equipped NATO bomber to the Bahamas. They agree, and he succeeds in gaining entrance to a NATO air base by posing as Derval.

Aboard the Vulcan bomber, he murders his fellow crew members by inserting the gamma gas into their oxygen system, takes control of the plane, and lands it in the water near the Disco Volante yacht of SPECTRE spymaster Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi). Its landing gear lowered, the plane gently floats to the sea floor of the Golden Grotto, a fictional area near Nassau, Bahamas, that is home to a deadly species of shark. When his seat belt becomes stuck, Angelo seeks the help of Largo, who has arrived in scuba gear. But instead of rescuing the mercenary, Largo takes his knife and cuts Palazzi’s oxygen hose. Trapped by the malfunctioning seat belt, he drowns in the cockpit of the downed bomber.

When this sequence was shot in the water off Nassau’s Clifton Pier, diver Courtney Brown, a member of the underwater film crew from Ivan Tors Studios, was doubling actor Paul Stassino. According to diving specialist and underwater cameraman/engineer Jordan Klein, Brown’s actual air hose was cut; the diver was then supposed to rely on a “bailout bottle” of air once the shot was completed. However, during the sequence, Brown dropped his bailout bottle and nearly drowned before diving assistants brought him to the surface and took him to the hospital. After recovering from this accident, Brown went back to work for the climactic underwater battle, this time playing a SPECTRE diver—only to be injured by an explosive charge meant to simulate Bond (Sean Connery) firing his spear-gun at the character. The charge ignited under Brown’s wet suit, causing a severe burn.


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