James Bond legend Sir Sean Connery dies aged 90
The iconic James Bond star’s death was confirmed by his family on Saturday. Connery’s son Jason told the BBC his father died peacefully in his sleep overnight while in the Bahamas, having been ‘unwell for some time’, and said his father ‘had many of his family who could be in the Bahamas around him’ when he died. He said: ‘We are all working at understanding this huge event as it only happened so recently, even though my dad has been unwell for some time. ‘A sad day for all who knew and loved my dad and a sad loss for all people around the world who enjoyed the wonderful gift he had as an actor.’
The Scottish star’s legendary acting career spanned decades, but he was best known for being the first person to play 007. Connery played the suave secret agent in seven films between 1982 and 1983 – Dr No, You Only Live Twice, From Russia With Love, Thunderball, Diamonds Are Forever, Goldfinger and Never Say Never Again – and is considered to be the best actor to ever play Bond.
In 1988, five years after his last Bond film Never Say Never Again, Connery won the Oscar for best supporting actor for his role in The Untouchables. Other classic roles included parts in Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, Murder On The Orient Express, Highlander, The Rock, Finding Forrester and The Hunt For Red October. He was also offered two iconic roles – that of Gandalf in Lord Of The Rings, and the Architect in the Matrix – but turned them down because he didn’t understand the scripts.
In 1999, he received a lifetime achievement award with a Kennedy Center Honor, and the following year, he was knighted for his services to film and drama. In addition to these honours, he was also named the Greatest Living Scot in a 2004 poll, and People magazine called him the Sexiest Man Alive in 1989 and the Sexiest Man Of The Century ten years later. However, he wasn’t that overwhelmed by the Sexiest Man Alive title, saying: ‘Well, there aren’t many sexy dead men, are there?’
Connery announced his retirement from acting in 2006, but briefly returned to the world of film in 2012 when he voiced the title character in Sir Billi the Vet. His close friend Sir Michael Caine previously said that his friend decided to retire ‘because he didn’t want to play small parts about old men and they weren’t offering him any young parts in romantic leads’. Thomas Sean Connery was born in Edinburgh’s Fountainbridge area on August 25 1930. The elder of two boys, he left school at an early age and took his first job as a milkman, complete with horse-drawn cart.