Emilio Largo is the main villain from the James Bond novel and film Thunderball, He was portrayed by Adolfo Celi.
In the novel, Largo is "No. 1" in the SPECTRE hierarchy; however, unlike the film, the number is randomly assigned as a security precaution. Nonetheless, Largo is the successor to Ernst Stavro Blofeld and the supreme commander of "Plan Omega". Largo is a large, handsome, athletic man, but his good looks are hard and smarmy. Attractive to women, Largo has satyr-like lips, oiled hair, and a hooked, Roman nose. He is a ruthless, successful criminal who womanizes and lives the high life among wealthy companions. This makes Largo's cover as a seeker of sunken treasure perfect.
Largo makes use of a private hydrofoil yacht, the Disco Volante. Purchased with SPECTRE funds for £200,000, the ship was specially commissioned for use in the shallow Bahamian waters. The craft plays a pivotal role in the seizure and transportation of the two nuclear weapons. Largo also obtained a rented beach property for the operation named Palmyra at Lyford Key.
It serves as a residence for his "niece" and a few of his men. Largo and the crew of the Disco Volante kill the NATO traitor Giuseppe Petacchi and steal the two nuclear warheads aboard the jet. Largo then reports the successful recovery of the weapons to Blofeld via radio. SPECTRE afterwards announces its existence to the world by threatening to destroy a major city in the United States or United Kingdom, unless a ransom of £100,000,000 is paid. This plan is dubbed "Plan Omega" by Blofeld and is overseen by Largo.
Largo is shot through the neck with a harpoon by his mistress, Domino, while he and Bond engage in underwater fighting.
In the 1965 film adaptation, Largo is portrayed as a grey-haired man in his late 40s who wears an eye patch and works for the criminal organization, SPECTRE. In the film, Largo is "No. 2" and head of their current extortion operation. As with the novel, Largo has two main headquarters; a villa at Palmyra and his private yacht, the Disco Volante. Unlike the novel, his estate at Palmyra plays a much greater role in the film adaptation. When not transporting the warheads, Largo spends much of his time at the villa, which now includes a large swimming pool filled with his prized shark collection. Bond is later knocked into the shark pool, but manages to narrowly escape.
Largo's scheme in Thunderball, at the time, was unique and ingenious. It involved the theft of two nuclear weapons from NATO at sea to which he would then use to hold the world hostage by threating to detonate the two devices in England or the United States unless they paid the ransom of £100 million British pounds. This scheme has been used countless times since Thunderball and is even a joke in the Austin Powers series of movies.
In the film, his death is less gruesome than the novel, but more dramatic. As Bond and Largo do battle on the bridge of the Disco Volante, the spy is knocked to the floor by a sudden collision. In the confusion Largo snatches a nearby pistol and holds 007 at gunpoint. As he prepares to pull the trigger Domino shoots him in the back with a harpoon. He turns and collapses dead on the ship's wheel, jamming the controls. Unable to move the body and with seconds to spare, Bond, Domino and Kutze leap overboard as the Disco Volante runs aground and explodes violently.