Sean Connery dead at 90: Star was best known for iconic portrayal of James Bond
It was 1962’s ‘Dr. No’ the first of the Bond films, that skyrocketed Connery to the stature of an international star. Following that, Bond films like ‘From Russia With Love’, ‘Goldfinger’, and ‘Thunderball’ happened, sealing him into cinema immortality
Scottish-born actor Sean Connery, who’s iconic performance as James Bond remains one of the most popular across the world, died at the age of 90, as per his family.
With several notable performances in films like ‘Marnie’, ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, ‘The Man Who Would Be King’, ‘The Name of the Rose’, ‘Highlander’, ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’, ‘The Hunt for Red October’, ‘Dragonheart, ‘The Rock’, and many more, Connery had achieved the status of a legend over the years. In his career of over 40 years, Connery at one point was one of the silver screen's most compelling leading men. But it was his role as James Bond that has endured in cinema for decades, well after there were other James Bonds.
Born on August 25, 1930, in Edinburgh, Scotland, to a cleaning lady and factory worker and truck driver, Connery had humble beginnings in his Irish family. As a young man of 17, he was drafted into the Royal Navy, but he was discharged three years later due to a serious case of ulcers. After that, he returned to Edinburgh and worked a variety of jobs, including as a lifeguard. He even took up bodybuilding and was placed third in the 1950 Mr. Universe competition. At the age of 23, he had a choice between becoming a professional footballer or an actor, and despite showing promise in the sport, he chose acting.
Connery was known for his physique and masculinity, a clear reason why he earned the kind of roles that would define his career. In 1956 he landed the role of a battered prizefighter in the BBC production of ‘Requiem for a Heavyweight’. His first film was ‘No Road Back’, a low-budget crime movie in 1956.
It was 1962’s ‘Dr. No’ the first of the Bond films, that skyrocketed Connery to the stature of an international star. Following that, Bond films like ‘From Russia With Love’, ‘Goldfinger’, and ‘Thunderball’ happened, sealing him into cinema immortality.
Connery won the British Academy’s best actor award for ‘Name of the Rose’. He also received an Oscar for his performance in ‘The Untouchables’. Connery published his autobiography, ‘Being a Scot’, co-written with Murray Grigor, in 2008. He was also knighted in 2000. His many accolades include the Kennedy Center Honors in 1999 and the American Film Institute’s lifetime achievement award in 2006.
Connery was married to actress Diane Cilento from 1962-73. The couple divorced in 1973 and Cilento died in 2011. He is survived by his second wife, painter Micheline Roquebrune, whom he married in 1975; his son by Cilento, actor Jason Connery and a grandson from Jason’s marriage to actress Mia Sara.