He became popular as the first James Bond, but Sir Sean Connery enjoyed a glamorous and diverse Hollywood career that spanned 50 years and won him prestigious awards including an Oscar and two Baftas, even away from the role of 007.
The former Edinburgh milkman became a Hollywood star as the first James Bond in the 1962 film Dr. No, following his first major appearance in the 1957 British gangster film No Path Back.
In seven movies, Connery played Bond – Dr. No (1962), From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Never Say Never Again (1983).
Popular for his dry one-liners and action-packed scenes, for decades to come, he set the stage for the womanizing protagonist.
His top Bond moments include the first line of “The name is Bond, James Bond” during a poker scene in Dr. No, the Goldfinger scene in which after his Aston Martin crashes into a concrete wall, he is trapped and threatened with a laser cutter, and the Orient Express brawl in From Russia With Love.
The actor took a break from Bond after You Only Live Twice, fulfilling his original contract, and George Lazenby stepped in for the part in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
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A major check, however, which he used to create the Scottish International Education Trust, got him back as 007 in the Diamonds Are Forever of 1971, before handing over the reins to Roger Moore.
In 1993, at the age of 52, he returned one last time as 007 in the unofficial Bond film Never Say Never Again, which came out against Roger Moore’s Octopussy.
His charm made fans forget the creaky body and dubious toupee in the role, while Connery seemed to remember the somewhat ludicrous existence of a man in his fifties trying to take out armies of evil henchmen by himself.
In a RadioTimes.com poll in August 2020, he was voted the best Bond of all time, beating out competition from stars like Daniel Craig, Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan.
In movies such as The Man Who Would Be King, Murder On The Orient Express and A Bridge Too Far, much of his subsequent accomplishments have been part of ensemble casts.
In the 1980s, The Untouchables of Brian De Palma resurrected a slipping career with (1987). His role as a gritty, gang-busting Irish cop who mentors Kevin Costner’s Eliot Ness won him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, although with his native Scottish accent.
In 1988, for his role as a Franciscan friar in the European mystery drama The Name of the Rose, he received his first British Academy Film Awards (Bafta) and, a decade later, he became one of the screen greats to win a lifetime achievement Bafta Fellowship Award.
In 1989, in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Connery also played the lead father and earned a Bafta nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
The 1990s brought roles in The Search For Red October (1990), Dragonheart (1996) and Entrapment, where, in the 1999 love story/thriller with Catherine Zeta-Jones that Connery also made, he played the villain as an art thief.
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Connery proved himself to be the opposite of what made him stand out in an industry notorious for its sycophancy and desperate attempts to please.
“dashing and elegant Old Etonian.”dashing and elegant Old Etonian.
Connery was wearing scruffy jeans and a lumberjack hat. Connery was also encouraged by Young not to ask for too much money. Broccoli later recalled watching as Connery pounded his fist on the desk in amazement as he made his financial demands and set out his vision of how to play the part.
And Connery turned them down as coldly as Bond beat a confession out of Tatiana Romanova in 1963’s From Russia With Love when the producers asked him if he would be able to do a screen test along with the other actors they were considering.
One of the biggest qualities of Connery was that he understood the limits of his acting.
He believed he knew which positions he was best able to perform. It was not because he could not act; for his Shakespeare work on television and his West End theater performances, he got positive reviews.
C had C on the way to Bond,