Sean Connery, first James Bond on the big screen, has died at 90

Sean Connery, first James Bond on the big screen, has died at 90

Sean Connery as James Bond in Dr.

Sean Connery as James Bond in Dr.

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Sean Connery, famous for his portrayal of James Bond, has died at the age of 90, his family said on Saturday. The actor who played Bond in seven films Starting with Dr. No from 1962, he died in his sleep in the Bahamas. The actor had been “unwell for some time,” his son Jason told the BBC.

Connery was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and has had a decade-long acting career with several award-winning appearances. He won the 1988 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work in The Untouchables and won three Golden Globes. He also starred alongside Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones in 1989 and The Last Crusade, in which he played Jones’ father.

Connery was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000. He largely retired from acting that decade, but played Bond one last time through voice-over in the 2005 video game adaptation of From Russia With Love. His final role was a voice-over in the Scottish animated film Sir Billi from 2012.

Over the years he has appeared in dozens of films and has worked with directors from Alfred Hitchcock and John Huston to Steven Spielberg and Brian De Palma. In his pre-Bond work, he was probably best known for a 1959 Disney film about goblins, Darby O’Gill, and the little people.

It was his appearance in Dr. No, the first film adaptation of a James Bond novel by Ian Fleming that catapulted Connery into a superstar. He followed suit in rapid succession with From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball and You Only Live Twice over a period of five years. He resigned from the role and gave the title to 007 George Lazenby for a film, then returned in 1971 in Diamonds Are Forever.

Connery made another comeback as Bond, starring in Never Say Never Again (a rework of Thunderball) in 1983, which is believed to have taken its name from Connery’s previous opposition to returning to the role and subsequently giving in.

However, other notable actors including Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig have done so played James BondConnery was widely regarded as such the final 007. He brought an unmistakable mix of polite sophistication and steely brutality to the role, with his achievements becoming the yardstick for judging his successors.

In his later years, he made appearances that were almost as iconic. Often bearded where Bond was clean-shaven, but sometimes almost as physical as the British secret agent, he brought both authority and wit to films like The Name of the Rose, The Untouchables, The Hunt for Red October, and The Rock on the Turn Indiana Jones series one.

Tributes to Connery

Many paid homage to the online actor, including current James Bond Daniel Craig, who called Connery “one of the real greats in cinema”.

Another Bond actor, George Lazenby, was the first to cast the role after Connery’s great success. He noted that “Sean Connery as James Bond has personally inspired me, but seems to have encapsulated an age.”

“Every day on set with Sean Connery has been an acting lesson,” said Sam Neill, who starred alongside Connery in The Hunt for Red October in the 1990s. “But all this charisma and power – it was absolutely unique to Sean.”

“I found it unbearable to hear of Sir Sean Connery’s death this morning,” said Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish First Minister. “Our nation today mourns one of its most beloved sons.”

Roger Moore, the actor who succeeded Connery in the 1973 role live and Let Die, died in 2017.

A Connery representative did not respond to a request for comment.

CNET’s Sean Keane and Jon Skillings contributed to this report.

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