Sean Connery, the inimitable actor who wowed the globe with his portrayal of James Bond OO7, has died at the age of 90.
Though cause of death is unknown, his son, Jason Connery, said he passed on in his sleep in the Bahamas on Saturday, having been unwell, surrounded by his family.
“My father had many of his family who could be in the Bahamas around him” when he died overnight.
“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,” Jason said.
Connery’s demise signalled the end of an impressive career spanning six decades, winning laurels and global recognition.
Knighted by the Queen at Holyrood Palace in 2000, Connery is regarded as the best actor to have played 007 in the long-running franchise.
A scot, he never hid his love and support for Scottish independence. Not only was he nostalgic about his Scottish roots, he once signified his intention move away from the Bahamas to settle down in Scotland had the 20i4 referendum, which would have enabled Scotland break away from the rest of UK succeeded.
“I was heartbroken to learn this morning of the passing of Sir Sean Connery. Our nation today mourns one of her best loved sons,” said Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Connery was the first actor to portray the character James Bond in film, starring in seven Bond films (every from Dr. No to You Only Live Twice, plus Diamonds Are Forever and Never Say Never Again), film between 1962 and 1983. In 1988, he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Untouchables.
He also acted in other films such as Marnie (1964), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), The Man Who Would Be King (1975), A Bridge Too Far (1977), Highlander (1986), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), The Hunt for Red October (1990), Dragonheart (1996), The Rock (1996), and Finding Forrester (2000).
He was declared “The Greatest Living Scot” in a poll that The Sunday Herald conducted in 2004. He was also celebrated as “Scotland’s Greatest Living Treasure” in a 2011 EurpMillion survey.
Known for his sex appeal, he was voted by People magazine as both the “Sexiest Man Alive” in 1989 and the “Sexiest Man of the Century” in 1999.
He received a lifetime achievement award in the United States with a Kennedy Center Honor in 1999. He was knighted in the 2000 New Year Honours for services to film drama.
Named Thomas after his grandfather, Connery was born in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, Scotland on 25 August 1930. His mother, Euphemia “Effie” McBain McLean, was a cleaner, his father, Joseph Connery, was a factory worker and lorry driver. Though his father was a Roman Catholic, his mother was a protestant.
As a young man, Connery used to deliver milk in Edinburgh with St. Cuthbert’s Co-operative Society. In 2009 he recalled a conversation in a taxi:
“When I took a taxi during a recent Edinburgh Film Festival, the driver was amazed that I could put a name to every street we passed. ‘How come?’ he asked. ‘As a boy I used to deliver milk round here,’ I said.” “‘So what do you do now?’ That was rather harder to answer.”
From being a milkman he went on to do other things such as joining the Royal Navy during which time he acquired two tattoos, as well as a lorry driver, a lifeguard at Portobello swimming baths, a labourer, an artist’s model for the Edinburgh College of Art, and after a suggestion by former Mr. Scotland, Archie Brennan, a coffin polisher, a keen footballer and a bodybuilder.
He started his acting career, accidentally, out of the need to supplement his income, when he helped out backstage at the King’s Theatre in late 1951. He later became interested in the proceedings, and a career was launched.