Remembered as the greatest Scotsman ever, Connery revealed that his decades of success were never planned when he was growing up in working-class Edinburgh. He put it all down to ‘happenstance’ and never forgot his roots.
Sean Connery, the Scotsman who was a hero of the silver screen and an inspiration to many, has died in The Bahamas.
Sean Connery, the international acting legend who is best known as the first James Bond, has died. His death in The Bahamas was confirmed today by the BBC. He was 90 years old.
The son of a cleaner and lorry driver, Connery carved out a role for himself as a consummate actor and professional as well as a straight-talking and tough Scotsman.
A legend both off the screen and on
Stories about Sean Connery are innumerable. One relates to a film incident during the making of the 1958 feature Another Time Another Place starring Connery and Lana Turner who was then the girlfriend of a mobster and enforcer for the Cohen crime family, named Johnny Stompanato.
The legend has it that Connery was confronted on the set about the affair by a gun-wielding Stompanato but promptly disarmed the feared gangster while the film camera continued to roll.
Favourite Bond who also made it pay in Diamonds are Forever when he came back to the role in 1971
Sean Connery played the Bond part for the first five films in the series based on Ian Fleming’s fictional creation between 1962 and 1967. These were Dr No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), and You Only Live Twice (1967).
He was, however, destined to return for a sixth.
Connery was replaced in 1969 by Australian, Geoge Lazenby as Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
He was brought back in 1971 for Diamonds are Forever and it is reported that he was given a share of the profits for his return in what was one of the most successful Bond movies.
He was succeeded by Sir Roger Moore who also passed away at 90 in 2017 with the 1973 Bond movie, Live and Let Die.
For many, he was the favourite Bond.
Knighted by the Queen in 2006
Connery went on to play many more parts including a role in Indiana Jones and the 1990 film, The Hunt for Red October. In 1988, he won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in the classic film The Untouchables.
The actor’s qualities included his distinctively deep voice and tough appearance, all which can be seen in this Oscar-winning role.
He was knighted by the UK’s Queen Elizabeth in 2000 and retired officially from acting in 2006 although he remained a huge personality that we will all miss.
Reputedly the greatest Scotsman that ever lived, his passing is a loss to the world of film and the arts.
Working-class roots, married twice
Born in 1930, his father was from Irish stock, hence his first name.
Connery grew up in working-class Edinburgh and before his breakthrough in acting, worked as a coffin polisher, milkman or even as a lifeguard.
Connery was married to actress Diane Cilento in 1962 but divorced in 1973. The couple had a son named Jason who also became an actor.
He married French artist Micheline Roquebrune in 1975 and she survives him.
‘Sexiest man alive’ in 1989, Connery didn’t suffer fools gladly and it was part of his appeal
He was 59 when People magazine declared him the ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ in 1989. Part of his on-screen appeal was his tough no-nonsense attitude. He didn’t suffer fools gladly.
At the end of his career, he looked back and admitted that he had never dreamed of being an actor when he was growing up in Edinburgh.
‘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.’
Asked why he had given up acting in 2006 he said: ‘I get fed up dealing with idiots’.
About the Author
James Morris is a pename for an international writer based in Bangkok who works on various international news media. He is a sub editor with the Thai Examiner news website since it began in 2015. Son Nguyen is an international writer and news commentator specialising in Thai news and current affairs. He commenced working with the Thai Examiner News Desk in May 2018.