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Obituary

Sean Connery: Farewell to the man who brought the first James Bond to life

Sean Connery was best known for portraying James Bond roles.
Sean Connery was best known for portraying James Bond roles. AFP/File
3 min

Legendary actor Sean Connery died on Saturday aged 90. Though best known for his roles as the secret agent James Bond, Connery produced an impressive body of work beyond the 007 films, including an Oscar-winning performance in the 1988 The Untouchables.

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Sir Sean Connery died peacefully in his sleep in the Bahamas, having been "unwell for some time", his family told the press.

He leaves wife Micheline and sons Jason and Stephane.

Born on 25 August, 1930 in Edinburgh, Scotland, Connery made his acting debut in 1954. He shot to fame in 1962 after starring as James Bond in the first movie of the series Dr. No. He earned accolades and plenty of fans following from all over the world for his definitive portrayal of Ian Fleming's fictitious secret agent 007 in six more films.

His other Bond movies were From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Never Say Never Again (1983).

Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said they were "devastated by the news" of his death.

"He revolutionised the world with his gritty and witty portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent. He is undoubtedly largely responsible for the success of the film series and we shall be forever grateful to him," they told the BBC.

In this file photo dated April 11, 1971, renowned British actor Sean Connery, famous for his role as secret agent James Bond 007, relaxes at the River Room of the Savoy Hotel in London, prior to filming "Diamonds Are Forever" in Las Vegas.
In this file photo dated April 11, 1971, renowned British actor Sean Connery, famous for his role as secret agent James Bond 007, relaxes at the River Room of the Savoy Hotel in London, prior to filming "Diamonds Are Forever" in Las Vegas. AP - Robert Dear

Connery was a fiercely proud Scot and a financial backer of the Scottish National Party (SNP), which advocates separating Scotland from the United Kingdom.

Connery had humble beginnings. He left school at 13 and started his working life as a milkman before joining the Royal Navy at 16. He was discharged after three years due to a stomach ulcer.

Connery worked as a bricklayer, lifeguard, and coffin polisher, among other manual jobs. His bodybuilding hobby led him to enter the Mr Universe competition, where a fellow competitor urged him to audition for acting parts.

He got his big break in the 1958 film, Another Time, Another Place (1958), and then went on to win the Bond role.

His post-Bond film career featured Murder on the Orient Express (1974), The Man Who Would Be King (1975), Robin and Marian (1976), Highlander (1986), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) and The Rock (1996).

He won an Oscar in 1988 for his role in The Untouchables.

The following year, just shy of his 60th birthday, Connery was named People Magazine's sexist man.

He was knighted by the Queen at Holyrood Palace in 2000.

(with AFP)

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