Sir Sean Connery Dies Aged 90

Reporting by Will Dunham and Sonya Hepinstall in Washington and Andrew MacAskill in London; Editing by Bill Trott, Andrew Heavens and Frances Kerry
Reuters
October 31, 2020

Scottish movie legend Sean Connery, who shot to international stardom as the suave, sexy and sophisticated British agent James Bond and went on to grace the silver screen for four decades, has died aged 90.

“His wife Micheline and his two sons Jason and Stephane have confirmed that he died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by family,” family spokesperson Nancy Seltzer said on Saturday.

Connery was raised in near poverty in the slums of Edinburgh and worked as a coffin polisher, milkman and lifeguard before his bodybuilding hobby helped launch an acting career that made him one of the world’s biggest stars.

“Sean was a global legend but, first and foremost, he was a patriotic and proud Scot,” said Scottish First Minster Nicola Sturgeon.

Connery will be remembered first as British agent 007, the character created by novelist Ian Fleming and immortalized by Connery in films starting with “Dr. No” in 1962.

As Bond, his debonair manner and wry humour in foiling flamboyant villains and cavorting with beautiful women belied a darker, violent edge, and he crafted a depth of character that set the standard for those who followed him in the role.

He would introduce himself in the movies with the signature line, “Bond - James Bond.” But Connery was unhappy being defined by the role and once said he “hated that damned James Bond”.

Tall and handsome, with a throaty voice to match a sometimes crusty personality, Connery played a series of noteworthy roles besides Bond and won an Academy Award for his portrayal of a tough Chicago cop in “”The Untouchables” (1987).

He was 59 when People magazine declared him the “sexiest man alive” in 1989.

Connery was an ardent supporter of Scotland’s independence and had the words “Scotland Forever” tattooed on his arm while serving in the Royal Navy. When he was knighted at the age of 69 by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth in 2000 at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, he wore full Scottish dress including the green-and-black plaid kilt of his mother’s MacLeod clan.

Some noteworthy non-Bond films included director Alfred Hitchcock’s “Marnie” (1964), “The Wind and the Lion” (1975) with Candice Bergen, director John Huston’s “The Man Who Would be King” (1975) with Michael Caine, director Steven Spielberg’s “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989) and the Cold War tale “The Hunt for Red October” (1990).

Fans of alternative cinema will always remember him starring as the “Brutal Exterminator” Zed in John Boorman’s mind-bending fantasy epic “Zardoz” (1974), where a heavily moustachioed Connery spent much of the movie running around in a skimpy red loin-cloth, thigh-high leather boots and a pony tail.

Connery retired from movies after disputes with the director of his final outing, the forgettable “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” in 2003.

“I get fed up dealing with idiots,” he said.

The Bond franchise was still going strong more than five decades after Connery started it. The lavishly produced movies, packed with high-tech gadgetry and spectacular effects, broke box office records and grossed hundreds of millions of dollars.

After the smashing success of “Dr. No,” more Bond movies followed for Connery in quick succession: “From Russia with Love” (1963), “”Goldfinger” (1964), “”Thunderball” (1965) and ““You Only Live Twice” (1967).

Connery then grew concerned about being typecast and decided to break away. Australian actor George Lazenby succeeded him as Bond in “”On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” in 1969.

But without Connery it lacked what the public wanted and he was lured back in 1971 for ““Diamonds Are Forever” with temptations that included a slice of the profits, which he said would go to a Scottish educational trust. He insisted it would be his last time as Bond.

Twelve years later, at age 53, Connery was back as 007 in ““Never Say Never Again” (1983), an independent production that enraged his old mentor, producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli.

In a 1983 interview, Connery summed up the ideal Bond film as having “marvellous locations, interesting ambiance, good stories, interesting characters - like a detective story with espionage and exotic settings and nice birds.”

Connery was a very different type from Fleming’s Bond character with his impeccable social background, preferring beer to Bond’s vodka martini cocktails that were “”shaken not stirred”.

But Connery’s influence helped shape the character in the books as well as the films. He never attempted to disguise his Scottish accent, leading Fleming to give Bond Scottish heritage in the books that were released after Connery’s debut.

Born Thomas Connery on Aug. 25, 1930, he was the elder of two sons of a long-distance truck driver and a mother who worked as a cleaner. He dropped out of school at age 13 and worked in a variety of menial jobs. At 16, two years after World War Two ended, Connery was drafted into the Royal Navy, and served three years.

““I grew up with no notion of a career, much less acting,” he once said. ““I certainly never have plotted it out. It was all happenstance, really.”

Connery played small parts with theatre repertory companies before graduating to films and television.

It was his part in a 1959 Disney leprechaun movie, “Darby O’Gill and the Little People,” that helped land the role of Bond. Broccoli, a producer of the Bond films, asked his wife to watch Connery in the Disney movie while he was searching for the right leading actor.

Dana Broccoli said her husband told her he was not sure Connery had sex appeal.

“I saw that face and the way he moved and talked and I said: ‘Cubby, he’s fabulous!’” she said. “He was just perfect, he had star material right there.”

Connery married actress Diane Cilento in 1962. Before divorcing 11 years later, they had a son, Jason, who became an actor. He married French artist Micheline Roquebrune, whom he met playing golf, in 1975.

Very sad, a true legend.

I’ll never forget that famous line delivered to Honor Blackman (Pussy Galore)… “I must be dreaming”.

RIP

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I’m shaken

Not stirred :wink:

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RIP Big Tam, he use to deliver milk ta ma granny.

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:flushed:

Very sad day. RIP and thanks for entertaining us.

Any Zardoz fans out there?

Sean Connery jumping around in a red loincloth…probably didnt do well at the box office but i like it cos its fuckin weird.

Highlander…played Ramirez “the Spainard” yet talked in his usual Scots accent, nil effort even made to sound any different from his iconic voice. I think it was the same for a submarine movie???

Was fun watching him and Han Solo in Indiana Jones 3 as a youngster.

Hunt for the Red October I think it was called, although a great movie I too never guessed that Russians spoke with a Scottish brogue.

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That’d be it.

It’s as if it was like…

Agent: “You got the job but youre a russian so learn to sound russian”

Sean: “I speak Sean Connery.”

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You stoop pretty low hanging crap on someone who has just passed.
Irrespective of your judgements on their ability; a person passed away.
Great show of your true character @MarchingOn

Where did I do anything wrong?

Where did I “hang crap” on ol 007?

Pray, do tell Cletus?

Bond retires to the Casino in the sky

The thing is, the crew on the Red October were Russian submariners.

They were not about to be speaking English on board, even with a Russian accent!

With Connery leading the way, none of the other actors playing the crew had to worry about it either.

RIP to the the great man, I’ll miss his voice.

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Not to disrespect the guy but Das Boot is the best ever submarine film. Claustrophobic, tense as fuck, classic film.

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The best Bond ever. Roger Moore and Pierce Bronson can fight it out for second place and Timothy Dalton is a clear last.

I remember at high school whilst in drama subject (we all had to do this subject in Year 7 - which I hated) we needed to do a 15 sec skit where we were paired with another student that we allocated by the teacher and had 2 minutes to come with.

So I was put with a female classmate and we came up with a short skit. We even found some clothing in the drama closet which suited out needs. She dressed up in a flashy dress with a feather scarf and I dressed up in a suit and slicked my hair back.

She then pretended to be sitting at the bar with a drink in her hand and I walked up to her rather in a confident walking manner and said “The name’s Bond, James Bond” in a Sean Connery voice.

She replied “Lost, Get lost!” and then slaps me in the face and walks away.

Needless to say we had the class in stitches and the teacher gave us full marks.

So, sadly, even my version classic Bond was refused by woman ahead of her time.

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We need a “licenced troubleshooter” in our forward pack.