Bond legend Sir Sean Connery dies

31 October 2020, 17:00

Sean Connery as James Bond in 1963's From Russia With Love
Sean Connery as James Bond in 1963's From Russia With Love. Picture: United Artist/Getty Images

The veteran Scottish actor and first movie James Bond has died, aged 90.

Sir Sean Connery has died, aged 90.

The James Bond actor's family announced his death on Saturday 31 October.

The star, who was born in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, played the famous spy for the first time in 1962's Dr No and was the lead in the first five films in the franchise - including the classic Goldfinger in 1964. He returned twice, for Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Never Say Never Again (1983).

In a statement via the official James Bond Twitter, current Bond Daniel Craig paid tribute: "It is with such sadness that I heard of the passing of one of the true greats of cinema.

"Sir Sean Connery will be remembered as Bond and so much more. He defined an era and a style. The wit and charm he portrayed on screen could be measured in mega watts; he helped create the modern blockbuster.

"He will continue to influence actors and film-makers alike for years to come. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Wherever he is, I hope there is a golf course.”

In a statement, Bond film producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said: “We are devastated by the news of the passing of Sir Sean Connery. 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 revolutionised the world with his gritty and witty portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent."

In a career spanning over fifty years, Connery also appeared in hits like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Highlander, The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Hunt for Red October and The Rock.

Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage In The Rock, 1996
Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage In The Rock, 1996. Picture: Buena Vista/Getty Images

Connery also appeared in cult classics like Zardoz (1974), Outland (1981) and Time Bandits (1981). He starred for Alfred Hitchcock in 1964's Marnie and won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1987 for The Untouchables. The actor also won two BAFTAs and three Golden Globes. He was knighted by the Queen at Holyrood Palace in 2000.

Sean Connery in Highlander II: The Quickening, 1991
Sean Connery in Highlander II: The Quickening, 1991. Picture: Etienne George/RDA/Getty Images

In 2004, The Sunday Herald name Connery as "The Greatest Living Scot" and People magazine gave him the accolade of the "Sexiest Man Of The Century". The star regularly topped polls of the best James Bond, beating his colleagues Roger Moore, Daniel Craig, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and George Lazenby.

Sean Connery and Alfred Hitchcock during the making of Marnie in February 1964
Sean Connery and Alfred Hitchcock during the making of Marnie in February 1964. Picture: Photoshot/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Actor Hugh Jackman paid tribute to Connery, saying he "idolized" the star.

The official account of Connery's Bond successor Roger Moore also paid tribute: "He and Roger were friends for many decades and Roger always maintained Sean was the best ever James Bond."

Fellow Scot Robert Carlyle noted that Connery was a "trailblazer, a true legend and a gentleman".

Sam Neill, who starred with Connery in The Hunt For Red October in 1990, tweeted: "Every day on set with #SeanConnery was an object lesson in how to act on screen."

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