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Thomas Sean Connery was born in the Fountainbridge area of Edinburgh, Scotland, on 25 August 1930. Sir Sean died peacefully in his sleep in the Bahamas. "My name is Bond, James Bond." For movie watchers of the 1960s, that is one of the most familiar lines in movie history. It was the legendary spy 007's way of introducing himself.
Sir Sean Connery was the first to bring author Ian Fleming's charming, ruthless, and witty spy to life, beginning in 1962 with Dr. No, and continuing in six more James Bond films, ending with Never Say Never Again in 1983.
Thomas Sean Connery was born in the Fountainbridge area of Edinburgh, Scotland, on August 25, 1930. His father, a Catholic factory worker, had emigrated from Ireland in the 19th century. His mother, a Protestant domestic cleaner, could trace her ancestry back to Gaelic speakers from the Isle of Skye.
Sean, then known as young Tommy, had a difficult upbringing, being raised in a single room of a tenement, with no hot water, and sharing a bathroom with other residents.
He dropped out of school at 13. He had nothing in the way of qualifications, and worked at unglamorous jobs, including delivering milk, laying brick, and polishing coffins. From there, Connery joined the Royal Navy, but was discharged 3 years later because of ulcers.
During this time, he decorated his body with tattoos advertising what was important to him: "Scotland forever" and "Mum & Dad."
Perhaps as a premonition of his future film-spy reputation, Connery won a real reputation as a "hard man" when six gang members accosted him. They tried to steal his coat, but he stopped them. They made the mistake of following him, at which point he bested them in true Bond style.
This award-winning, debonair, future knight, scraped by in his younger years by driving trucks, working as a lifeguard, and even posing as a model for the Edinburgh College of Art. Like any good international spy, he spent his spare time bodybuilding, and finished third in a Mr. Universe competition in London in 1953.
Connery got his first leading role in a BBC drama, "Blood Money," where he played a boxer whose career was declining, after Jack Palance's wife recommended him, saying, "The ladies will like him." The rest is history.
- Connery's second leading role was opposite Lana Turner in Another Time, Another Place. Turner's jealous boyfriend, mobster Johnny Stompanato, brandished a gun on the movie set. The future 007 grabbed it and overpowered him.
- Richard Burton, Cary Grant, Rex Harrison, and others were considered for the role of James Bond. One producer's wife liked Sean's magnetism.
Ian Fleming, 007's creator, did not like Connery for the part, wanting more of a "commodore" and not "an overgrown stuntman."
- Many critics were not kind in their reviews, but the public found the action scenes, sex, and exotic locations appealing.
- Acting as as spy could be as dangerous as actually being one. During one film shoot, Connery was thrown into a pool full of sharks with only a flexi-glass screen between them. One of the sharks broke through, and Connery quickly exited.
- After You Only Live Twice, Connery, tired and fearful of being typecast, turned down the next Bond film, Her Majesty's Secret Service.
- However, a record $1.2-million fee brought him back for Diamonds Are Forever in 1971.
- After vowing "never to play Bond again," he played an older and wiser, yet still hard, Bond in Never Say Never Again.
- It was his loss of a lot of money in a Spanish land deal that moved him to play that last Bond part. It was his wife who suggested the title.
- Connery was married to Diane Cilento from 1962 to 1973, then Micheline Roquebrune from 1975 until his death.
- In 2000, he was awarded knighthood, and was considered by some to be the "Greatest Living Scot."
A Few of connery's Films and TV Appearances
Dr. No (1962)
From Russian With Love (1963)
You Only Live Twice (1967)
Diamonds are Forever (1971)
Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
Time Bandits (1981)
Never Say Never Again (1983)
The Untouchables (1987)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
The Hunt for Red October (1990)
Rising Sun (1993)
The Avengers (1998)
Time Bandits (1981)