Sean Connery is dead. The legendary actor, known best for his role in James Bond, was 90 years old. His death was announced by his family, who revealed that he died in his sleep while in the Bahamas. Connery had been “unwell for some time,” according to his son, Jason, the BBC reported.
The Scottish-born star, who turned 90 in August, was long regarded as the defining actor to play the fictional spy in the James Bond film series after starring in seven of the popular thrillers.
“We are devastated by the news of the passing of Sir Sean Connery,” Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said in a statement shared by ABC News.
“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’ — he revolutionized the world with his gritty and witty portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent. He is undoubtedly largely responsible for the success of the film series and we shall be forever grateful to him.”
His Work Went Well Beyond Bond
Sir Sean Connery has died at the age of 90. He was the first actor to play James Bond on the big screen in Dr. No in 1962, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice and Diamonds Are Forever followed. pic.twitter.com/VaFPHCM5Ou
— James Bond (@007) October 31, 2020
Connery’s good looks and suave demeanor got him attention early on, and in 1962, he landed the starring role in Dr. No, the first of the Bond films, without a screen test. The movie made him an international star, and it spawned popular sequels including From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever, You Only Live Twice, and more. The success of his Bond films enabled Connery to earn massive paychecks in other genres.
While he will forever be known as the savvy spy, his work went beyond Agent 007. Connery also starred in the films The Wind and the Lion, The Man Who Would Be King, Entrapment, The Hunt for Red October, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. One of his biggest roles — in the 1987 Brian DePalma film The Untouchables — scored him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
During his long career, he also won two BAFTA Awards and three Golden Globes, including the coveted Cecil B. DeMille Award.
Connery’s last acting credit was in 2003 when he played Allan Quartermaine in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. In 2005, he provided the voice of Agent 007 in the To Russia With Love video game.
He Led A Busy Life Off-Screen
The handsome star was a colorful character both on and off-screen. Connery’s off-camera passions included soccer, golf, and “lawsuits,” he once joked, per The Hollywood Reporter. In the 1980s he famously engaged in a contentious contract-and-compensation battle with James Bond producers Harry Saltzman and Albert Broccoli.
In his younger years, he took up weightlifting and bodybuilding and once posed in the nude at an Edinburgh art gallery. At age 20, Connery competed in the 1950 Mr. Universe contest and landed in third place.
He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000, per Variety.
Connery was married to actress Diane Cilento from 1962 to 1973 and the marriage produced a son, Jason. The acting legend is survived by his second wife, French artist Micheline Roquebrune, as well as his son and a grandson.