Noted British actor Sean Connery, who played the legendary James Bond in seven films, died on Saturday at the age of 90, according to his family.
He was the first to bring the role of Agent 007 to the big screen, appearing in seven films in the series.
During his artistic career, which lasted several decades, he won an Oscar, two Bafta awards and three Golden Globes.
Connery is also known for his roles in films such as The Hunt for Red October (“The hunt for Red October“), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (“Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”) and The Rock (“The rock”).
Film critics rated him on several occasions as the best actor who has played Agent 007 in the franchise.
Won the oscar in 1988, when he was named best supporting actor for his role as a seasoned cop in The Untouchables(“The Untouchables”).
In 2000 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Holyrood Palace, Scotland.
And in August he celebrated his 90th birthday.
For many, Sean Connery’s performance as James Bond was second to none. Courteous but cold-hearted, his portrayal of Agent 007 was extremely faithful to the Cold War Bond described in books created by English novelist Ian Fleming.
And it is that he jumped to the big screen with “license to kill“It moved exactly like a panther, very hungry and looking for prey.
He had no competition. His great rival, Roger Moore, by contrast, used to raise an eyebrow, smile and joke, according to critics.
But while the literary hero created by Ian Fleming went to the prestigious Eton School in southern England, Connery’s past did not include fast, sophisticated cars, neither beautiful women nor martinis.
Son of a Catholic worker and a Protestant maidThomas Sean Connery was born in the Fountainbridge area of Edinburgh, Scotland on August 25, 1930.
His father’s family had emigrated from Ireland in the 19th century, while his mother’s origins traced back to Gaelic speakers on the Isle of Skye in northern Scotland.
Fountainbridge was a pretty run-down area of Edinburgh. There Connery grew up in a neighborhood room with shared bathroom and no hot water.
He dropped out of school at age 13 and worked delivering milk, polishing coffins and laying bricks before joining the Royal Navy, the naval branch of the British Armed Forces.
Three years later, he was invalidated from the service after suffering from a peptic ulcer.
By then, he had already gotten tattoos that made his passions clear: “Scotland Forever” and “Mom and Dad.”
In Edinburgh, he earned a reputation as “hard man“When six gang members tried to steal his coat. When Connery confronted them, the thugs followed him. But Connery won the fight as he always would in his role as James Bond.
Sean Connery made a living in any way he could.
He drove trucks, worked as a lifeguard, and posed as a model at the Edinburgh College of Art.
And he spent his free time doing bodybuilding.
Until James Bond came into his life.
“Too beautiful to describe”
Artist Richard Demarco, who frequently painted Connery as a student, went as far as to say that he was “too beautiful to describe in words, a virtual Adonis.”
Connery was a soccer fan and was good enough to get the attention of then-coach Matt Busby, who offered him a contract of about $ 30 a week at the Manchester United.
But, working in a local theater, the world of acting was already beginning to seduce him, so he decided that the football career was potentially too short and chose to pursue his luck on stage.
It was, as he would later say, “one of the smartest moves (he made).”
In 1953, he participated in the Mr. Universe competition in London and while in the city he heard that there were places in the choir of a production of the musical South Pacific.
And by the following year, he was already playing the role of Lieutenant Buzz Adams, which Larry Hagman had made famous on Broadway.
American actor Robert Henderson encouraged a Connery a to be educated. He lent him works by Ibsen, Shakespeare, and Bernard Shaw, and convinced Connery to take elocution lessons.
Connery made the first of many extra appearances in the film Lilacs in the Spring (“The Reconciliation”), released in 1954. He also played minor roles on television, including a gangster in an episode of the police drama Dixon of Dock Green, de la BBC.
His name is Bond, James Bond …
And then came Bond. Producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman had acquired the rights to film Ian Fleming’s novels and were looking for an actor to play Agent 007.
Actors like Richard Burton, Cary Grant and Rex Harrison were considered, and even former BBC presenter Peter Snow.
It was producer Cubby Broccoli’s wife, Dana, who convinced her husband that Connery had the magnetism and the sexual chemistry for the role.
An opinion that was not initially shared by the character’s creator, Ian Fleming. “I’m looking for Agent Bond, not a stuntman,” he insisted.
But Broccoli was right and Fleming was wrong.
The English novelist quickly changed his mind when he saw it on the screen. He even wrote a half-Scottish story for the character in some of his later works.
Director Terence Young took Connery under his wing and took him to fancy restaurants and casinos; teaching him to behave like James Bond would, all in order to make that slightly awkward Scotsman manage to pass himself off as an affable and sophisticated secret agent.
But Connery made the character his own, mixing cruelty with wit.
Many critics did not like the character and some of his reviews were cruel. But the public disagreed.
7 as 007 – Sean Connery movies as James Bond
- Dr. No (1962)
- From Russia with Love (“From Russia with love”) (1963)
- Goldfinger (1964)
- Thunderball (“Operation Thunder”) (1965)
- You Only Live Twice (“You only live twice”) (1967)
- Diamonds Are Forever (“Diamonds are forever”) (1971)
- Never Say Never Again (“Never say never again”) (1983)
The scenes of action and sex mixed with exotic locations they were a winning formula.
The first film, Dr. No, raised a lot of money at the box office. Even abroad it achieved great success. President Kennedy requested a private screening at the White House.
Other successes quickly followed: From Russia with Love (“From Russia with Love”) in 1963, Goldfinger in 1964, Thunderball (“Operation Thunder “) in 1965 and You Only Live Twice (“You only live twice”) in 1967.
It was grueling and sometimes dangerous work.
At one point, he was thrown into a pool full of sharks with only a polymethylmethacrylate screen protecting him. When one of the creatures made it through, Connery made the quickest of retreats.
When completed You Only Live Twice, Connery was already tired of the Bond papers and feared that they would typecast him.
He refused to act in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”) and Australian actor George Lazenby got the role, but received so many reviews, most of them not so positive, that he did not want to participate in another film. Lazenby’s career would never have another star moment like the one offered by the James Bond franchise.
Eventually, Saltzman and Broccoli managed to convince Connery to return as Agent 007 in Diamonds Are Forever in 1971, yielding to the actor’s demand that he be paid the record amount of US$1,25 millones.
Connery used that money to establish the Scottish International Education Trust, which supports the careers of emerging artists from his native Scotland.
The film received mixed reviews with some complaining that it used too much humor. camp, a current that his successor, Roger Moore, would continue and develop.
Never say Never
Having lost a lot of money on a land deal in Spain, Connery accepted a very good offer to reprise his role as Bond, in Never Say Never Again.
This time Agent 007 was an aging hero; Older, wiser, and self-critical, but as tough as stone.
The title was suggested by Connery’s wife, who recalled that her husband had sworn “never play Bond again“.
He went on to accept other roles and won a Bafta for his portrayal of William de Baskerville in The Name of the Rose (“The name of the rose”).
A year later, his performance as a world-weary Irish cop in “The Untouchables” earned him an Oscar as best supporting actor.
Forever I hate hollywood lifestyle: He preferred to play golf at his homes in Spain, Portugal and the Caribbean with his second wife, Micheline Roqubrune, an artist he had met in Morocco.
His previous marriage, to Australian actress Diane Cilento, had ended in 1975 amid accusations that he had been violent towards her. They had a son, actor Jason Connery.
Despite his exile, he always kept a intense passion for its natal Scotland.
He attributed his “mood swings” to his Celtic genes. “My opinion is that to get to any part of life you have to be antisocial,” he once said, “otherwise you will end up being eaten.”
Fortunately, it’s been a while since the critics’ favorite 007 agent spanked a woman. But Connery’s performance transcended, was enjoyed by millions of people of both genders, and gave the big screen an icon of the 20th century.
He leaves behind a fighting corps that any actor would be proud of, but he also leaves a vacancy for the title of “mScottish ejor alive“.
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