Scottish actor Sean Connery, who first became a household name for the film version of James Bond, has died. He was 90 years old. Connery died in his sleep surrounded by his family at his home in the Bahamas, according to the Associated Press. His eldest son Jason Connery said his father had been “unwell for some time”.
“He was and will always be remembered as the original James Bond, whose indelible entry into cinematic history began when he announced those unforgettable words – ‘The name is Bond … James Bond’,” said Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli issued a statement to the AP. Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon also issued a statement saying the country is mourning the loss of its “most beloved sons”.
Connery was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1930. A passionate supporter of Scottish independence throughout his life, he even had “Scotland Forever” tattooed on his arm as a teenager in the Royal Navy. As a young man he worked in a variety of professions including lifeguard, coffin polisher, truck driver and artist model for the Edinburgh College of Art. He began acting after starting to supplement his income in 1951 by working backstage at the King’s Theater and joined the understudy and supporting roles. He earned 30 acting credits in television and film before starring as James Bond in Dr. No occurred based on the novel by Ian Fleming.
Connery’s appearance as an action star and sex icon made him famous and cemented a career that lasted more than four decades. In total, he appeared as a polite super spy in seven James Bond films and formed the basis for a franchise that is still going strong in 2020. His first Bond film was Dr. No, based on the novel by Ian Fleming. It was shown by President John F. Kennedy before it became a massive blockbuster hit. Connery’s other Bond titles include From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, You Only Love Twice, and Diamonds Are Forever. He turned the role over to Roger Moore so he could pursue other acting opportunities.
While some critics thought giving up Bond would spell the end of Hollywood street for middle-aged Connery, he enjoyed an illustrious career with iconic roles on the Indiana Jones series, The Hunt for Red October and Finding Forrester. He received more than 90 acting credits in his lifetime and received an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1988 for his role in Brian de Palma’s The Untouchables. Connery never forgot his roots and accepted the award by saying, “The name is Connery, Sean Connery.”
The actor was named commander (of the same rank as Bond) of the French Order of Arts and Literature and was named the Kennedy Center in 1999. A year later he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his contributions to film and theater. He officially retired from acting in 2007 after reaching his 70s. He reportedly spent most of the mornings playing golf near his home in Lynford Clay, Bahamas.
Though popular for his stoic film presence and heavy Scottish accent, Connery leaves behind an intricate legacy. The actor was accused of domestic abuse by his first wife, Diane Cilento, whom he married in 1962. Three years after they reunited, Connery told Playboy magazine that he “didn’t see anything particularly wrong with beating a woman – although I don’t.” recommend doing it the same way you would hit a man. A slap in the face is justified – when all other alternatives have failed and there have been many warnings. “When asked about the statement by Barbara Walters in 1987, he said his mind hadn’t changed because” sometimes women just don’t leave things alone, “according to the Associated Press. Connery and Cilento were divorced in 1973.
Connery is survived by his second wife Micheline Roquebrune, his brother Neil, and sons Jason and Stefan. A private ceremony will be held to remember the actor. A memorial service is planned after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.