Angelo Palazzi was hired to assassinate and impersonate NATO pilot, Major François Derval, as part of SPECTRE's scheme to hijack a British bomber and its atomic payload. He appeared in the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball and was played by Paul Stassino.
Bond first encountered Palazzi at the Shrublands health farm, whilst investigating the suite belonging to sinister Count Lippe. Palazzi, his face covered in bandages, abruptly interrupted Bond's snooping. Saved by a ringing telephone, Bond made a quick exit from the room; unaware that he had been spotted leaving. This encounter led to an attempt on Bond's life by Lippe.
Palazzi spent approximately two years studying Derval, undergoing drastic plastic surgery and vocal training for the role. He believed this entitled him to a greater sum of money than he had initially been offered; a belief which he forcefully presented to SPECTRE representatives Fiona Volpe and Count Lippe on the night of the operation. Given that time was of the essence, Volpe conceded to his blackmail attempt and offered the original amount merely as a down-payment, the rest to be received on completion of his mission.
The night of the NATO training exercise, Palazzi murdered Derval and assumed his identity, easily breaching security at the airbase and gaining access to the Vulcan bomber. Mid way through the flight, he introduced a lethal nerve gas into the plane's oxygen supply, murdering the crew, and delivered its two atomic bombs into the hands of Emilio Largo and SPECTRE by way of an ocean landing. Unable to flee the sunken aircraft, due to a malfunction of his harness, Palazzi signaled to Largo's divers for help. Largo obliged by personally severing the man's oxygen supply, leaving him to drown. It was unknown if the plan had been to murder him all along in order to keep him quiet, or if Largo had been angered by Palazzi's grabbiness in demanding more money.
In the novel of Thunderball, the characters of Derval and Palazzi were one in the same individual; Giuseppe Petacchi, a NATO airman who had been bribed by SPECTRE to hijack the plane and bring it to Largo. The choice of Petacchi was largely due to his unequalled skill with aquatic landings and his weakness for women and material gain. On completion of his mission, he was murdered by Vargas.
Behind the scenes
During his death's scene, Palazzi was played by Courtney Brown and Willie Meyers.