Sean Connery, a charismatic Scottish actor who became famous globally as the original ‘James Bond’, has reportedly passed away at 90.
According to Connery’s wife and two sons, the Oscar-awarded actor died peacefully in his sleep in the Bahamas. Jason Connery, one of his sons, said his father had been unwell for some time.
Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, James Bond producers, said news of Connery’s death devastated them. They also remembered the Scottish actor’s witty and sexy portrayal of the charismatic secret agent was largely responsible for the success of the films that came after, CBS News reported.
“He was and shall always be remembered as the original James Bond whose indelible entrance into cinema history began when he announced those unforgettable words — ‘The name’s Bond… James Bond,’” they said in a statement.
Sean Connery’s prolific and multi-decade acting career earned him multiple awards, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA Award. He also appeared in more than 70 films. At the time of his death, he had a net worth of $350 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Thomas Sean Connery was born on August 25, 1930, in Fountainbridge, Scotland. His parents were Joe, a truck driver, and Euphamia, a laundress. Despite living in a neighborhood that smelled of rubber and breweries, Connery was said to have had a modest upbringing.
The Scottish-native lived in a two-room flat with his family. Due to poverty, infants were made to sleep in a bureau drawer. His father only brought home a few shillings every week, most of which was spent on liquor or gambling.
“We were very poor, but I never knew how poor because that’s how everyone was there,” Connery had said.
During Connery’s childhood, he often played tag or soccer along with the other children in Fountainbridge. The local gangs called him “Big Tam’ due to his size and ability.
As a student at Tollcross elementary, Connery had often amazed his classmates and teachers with his aptitude in mathematics. He was also quite a reader and a film enthusiast.
Connery joined the Royal Navy when he was 16. Though he signed up for a seven-year stint, the Navy released him from service three years later due to stomach ulcers.
In 1953, Connery traveled to London to join the Mr. Universe contest where he introduced himself as “Mr. Scotland.” He was chosen third in the tall men’s division and earned a medal. A local casting director watching the competition asked him to join the chorus of a new production in London’s theater district.
“I didn’t have a voice, couldn’t dance. But I could look good standing there,” Connery said.
After one rehearsal, Connery decided to pursue a career in acting. In the 1950s, he earned roles in several U.K films and television programs, including BBC’s “Requiem for a Heavyweight”, and “Another Time, Another Place” in 1958.
According to Biography, in the early ‘60s, producers Harry Saltzman and Albert “Cubby” Broccoli cast Connery as the lead in a spy movie inspired by one of Ian Fleming’s novels. The 1962 film “Dr. No” gave birth to the world-famous character Bond—James Bond.
The film quickly became iconic and was immediately followed by two sequels: From Russia With Love in 1963 and Goldfinger in 1964. The series was also followed by two more movies, Thunderball in 1965, and You Only Live Twice in 1967.
Connery also had very notable roles outside of the James Bond franchise. He played “Mark Rutland” in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1964 psychological thriller Marnie.
His last role as the British spy was in Diamonds Are Forever in 1971. The role was taken over by Roger Moore in 1973.