Daliah Lavi, Actress in Both Dramas and Spoofs, Dies at 74

Her first American film was “Two Weeks in Another Town” (1962), Vincente Minnelli’s drama, starring Kirk Douglas, about filming a movie in Rome. Ms. Lavi said Mr. Douglas had discovered her as a child in Israel and started her on the path to becoming an actress.

“Lord Jim” (1965), Richard Brooks’s adaptation of the Joseph Conrad novel starring Peter O’Toole, was to be the breakout American role for Ms. Lavi, who played Mr. O’Toole’s love interest. But the movie flopped, and Ms. Lavi accepted a new career path as scantily clad femmes fatales in a number of parodies that sprung up after the initial success of the James Bond films.

She appeared in “The Silencers” (1966), the first of Dean Martin’s Matt Helm films, and “The Spy With a Cold Nose” (1966), a British comedy built around the conceit of a bugged bulldog. It also starred Lionel Jeffries and Laurence Harvey.

Perhaps the best example of the subgenre was the discursive, psychedelic “Casino Royale” (1967), which had almost nothing in common with Ian Fleming’s first Bond novel besides the titular casino. The movie had an ensemble cast that included Peter Sellers, Orson Welles, Ursula Andress, Deborah Kerr and Woody Allen; and an ensemble of directors that included John Huston, Ken Hughes and Joseph McGrath, each shooting a segment.

Ms. Lavi played a British agent who tricks Mr. Allen’s character into poisoning himself with an atomic pill.

Casino Royale Official Trailer #1 – David Niven Movie (1967) HD Video by Movieclips Trailer Vault

The critical response was largely negative, but audiences enjoyed it, making it a financial success, as was the soundtrack by Burt Bacharach. But it marked the beginning of the end of Ms. Lavi’s American film career.

Daliah Levinbuck was born on Oct. 12, 1942, in Haifa, in what was then British Palestine. (Her last name…

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